“A kind gesture can reach a wound that only compassion can heal.”
― Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free
When my sister was diagnosed with lung cancer in January of 2007, my life went into a tailspin. I was a thousand miles away and my workplace was busy. This was going to be difficult.
I remember telling my office manager I was leaving and heading to Iowa. As I sobbed, I told her I didn’t know when I’d be back but I’d call when I had more information.
For four months (much longer, really) my work family protected me–giving me the space I needed to do whatever it was I needed to do. No one questioned me. No one grew impatient with me as I took phone calls from family and chased down physicians as my sister’s condition deteriorated. At home my husband made sure we had whatever we needed in order to travel at a moment’s notice–not an easy feat when you are traveling to Iowa in February and March and the wind chill is somewhere around -20. Our friends did what they could to make all things easier–one rapid trip home was made possible because I was given a buddy pass for a direct flight to Des Moines. Our family and friends in Iowa were always close by supporting and visiting Beth when we could not be there while helping us all as we struggled along, attempting to understand.
Cancer is a brutal and aggressive in its battles. We understood the cards were stacked against us. Beth fought hard. Mid-May she told me she was ready to be done–she was tired–we headed to Iowa to be with her.
I am grateful for all who helped us all during that time. I never could have done what I did without so much support from every single person who stood beside me and my family. As I look back over those days I don’t think I’ve ever taken an inventory of all those amazing gifts of love and time. I am thankful. I love you all.
“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other – above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow-men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”
God bless you.