Everyone has a story. All our individual lives, make up our story. I didn’t really understand this until recently. We had a class on it at the local Cancer Lifeline support group at Evergreen Medical Center.
Somehow as individuals we don’t always want to share our story, or some of us do want to share it. It’s a way of understanding it, seeing it, and working our way through it. Some life stories are pretty bumpy, but ya know what? We all have a bumpy ride sooner or later. Things happen to us, things happen to people we love and things happen to other people than inadvertently effect us whether we want it to or not.
I guess its what makes us interesting really. As a journalist, I am a story teller, and a story gatherer. I am interested in other people and their stories, and how they made it through or not. Aren’t you curious about the world around you? Have you gotten so cynical, that you want to protect yourself from the whirling world around you? There are times, when we need to take a break from it. That’s called downtime. Just don’t stay there. ITs not an interesting place to be and probably not healthy.
Reflection has its place in our life. We can identify patterns. Maybe start to understand why some people don’t understand us. They have their own story. What I have found that many people become narcissistic, self involved in their own lives. I think that’s another blog post.
I have moved on with my life. Some people came along for the journey, other people walked away, others just faded in the distance maybe to resurface later. People always think they have a lot of later. Since I have had cancer, I have observed the most insane behavior in individuals and families. Cancer patients will always tell you, especially in the early days of diagnosis that people say the most ridiculous things to them, the most hurtful things, and continue to do so long after its gone.
Some idiot just told me in a letter, oh thanks for the letter old friend, that I have lost my memory. Oh, no, I remember the things that are worth remembering. I just don’t put up with peoples crap anymore. I use to put up with a lot of crap! That was my story, I let these people walk all over me because of what I thought was the kindness of my heart. I was way to forgiving of people in the light of my own needs and mental health. Oh boy, no more of that shit going on in my life. I tell it like I see it. I don’t have time, literally don’t have time to go along with bullshit. I think most cancer patients see it that way.
The response to the C word, has such various reactions. Its like you have a ‘disease’ or something. HA HA I guess you do. But what you don’t realize, what a fantastic gift it is. Its the gift of life right here on earth. Its the gift of awareness of the things around you. You don’t get to gain that in sight, if you are hit by a garbage truck on the corner of 9th and James in downtown Seattle. I had an interesting experience last summer when a young woman I had sat next to on the bus, later that day was killed on that corner, drug by a truck that hit her and not knowing, kept going down the street. Later there were markings made by somebody measuring the impact, and where she lay on the street. I looked at those. and they changed me.
Her life left. Very quickly, and I doubt it was with reflection. She had no time, to think about the people she loved. She had no time to reflect on who will take care of her service dog after she was gone. She had no time to scratch his head one more time.
Why are we so dumb and take our lives for granted? Why does it take the gift of cancer, to grasp onto the minutes of our life? We could die today, or tomorrow. As a writer, I like to think about things, analyze things and draw conclusions. And I like to share those things with others. I guess our stories bring to our story the realization that this is our life, that we have the ability to choose our response.
Sometimes I think I hate my story. Not the job of doing the blog. Which by the way has been very hard to do these past six months. I think sometimes I don’t have anything to say but I really know that isn’t true. When you have a gift, you are suppose to share it. There’s an old saying in the bible somewhere (I am never one to remember versus and quote them…I have enough data in my brain) that says don’t hide your light under a bushel. IT means that we all have a gift of something and we need to let it shine. What is your gift? Do you take the time to think about it, and what life has brought to you?
Its all so deep. I think right now I will go scratch my dog’s head, and then I will give her lots of tummy kisses and a back rub. Don’t forget to take the time, to love those around you!