Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thoughts from a friend

This is from an email sent to me this morning - had to share it lovely and reassuring.

Mike's little entry about dropping off the kids at school, the greasy spoon on Queen, and ultimately going down to the lake, reminded me of the what my uncle Arnold said at his father's (my grandpa's) funeral. Arnold wasn't a church-goer but he was an English teacher, so he was well equipped with words that could transcend. He described the swamp in the bush on the old farm. But he did it in a way that made those creeks and puddles turn into the flow of life for generations. He stated the obvious, namely that the creek flowing through the farm flowed first past the cemetery in town, and then, after it went through the farm, became a swamp and evaporated into the prairie sky. Obvious, yes. But when he said it at the funeral it was like he was saying grandpa will live on, as long as that creek, and all subterranean waters, flowed on. It was like he was telling us that grandpa has given him reason to go on, even though grandpa used more faith words to talk about his life-reasons.

This coming Tuesday I go in to Toronto East General Hospital for yet another cystoscopy (a camera into the bladder) to check yet again for any more tumours. I'll do this for the rest of my life, say the doctors. Sometimes now, with my wife, who sheds tears and laughs with me many times, I joke that I need to get a cystoscopy to "see if I'm going to die." Heck, I know I'm going to die. The cancer didn't make that a fact, it only put that fact into relief for awhile. And it does every time I go in again.

And I must say, have we ever learned to appreciate our friends who care, and stick with us, and say words, or cry or laugh, or listen to us so often.

So I try to think about cancer as having changed the way I live, rather than having told me that I was going to die. It's obvious that the creek runs past the cemetery. But the creek also evaporates into the sky. That mysterious watery-ness of life keeps flowing. It keeps calling.

And I see it in the eyes of caring friends. Often.

I hope you feel sources of life when you and Mike, and your friends, "go down to the lake" as often as you do it.

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