26 June 2010
A friend sends me this message:
Life is not the way it's supposed to be. It is the way it is.
The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.
Many years ago - more than 25 - my late husband, an attorney, was contacted by a friend regarding a car accident that involved his teenage daughter. The accident was a neighborhood fender-bender involving two cars. There was very little damage to either car and nobody was carried away by ambulance. Instead, insurance contact information was shared and both drivers drove away in their vehicles. However, a few weeks later, Tim’s friend would be notified that the driver of the other car was suing for medical expenses and “pain and suffering.” Tim’s response, which I will never forget: “Who in the world honestly believes that God intended our time on this earth to be free from pain and suffering.”
Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.
This week I read a story in tribute to Farrah Fawcett, who died a year ago of anal cancer. The feature was an interview with Alana Stewart, Fawcett’s longtime friend and the woman who captured her on film for the documentary Farrah’s Story. In the interview Stewart remembers Farrah’s attitude in her cancer battle. “Se was a fighter, and she usually won her battles. Until the day before her death, Farrah always believed she would beat the cancer.”
Attitudes are contagious. Are yours worth catching?
The annual No Worries Now prom is the brainchild of 20-year-old Fred Scarf, a Cornell University junior. This one-of-a-kind senior prom event is hosted for teens who are facing life-threatening illnesses, an opportunity to celebrate their life and their youth in an environment of acceptance and camaraderie. Scarf started the No Worries Now Foundation in 2006 to honor his best friend, Shiri Gumbiner. Gumbiner passed away at the age of 16 from osteosarcoma. Scarf initially conceived an organization to raise funds for osteosarcoma research. But he quickly changed course, realizing he could better capture Gumbiner's spirit by providing teens with a much-needed break from their illness. In his own words: "Our proms don't give patients the opportunity to be normal; they give patients the opportunity to be themselves. Our proms celebrate life and broadcast the message that we should celebrate who we are because life is precious."
It's not what they take away from you that counts.
It's what you do with what you have left.
Many years ago I was so fortunate to have Erica as a CJRW colleague. And her contagious heart and spirit never went unnoticed, not to mention her fabulous PR instincts. While her time at CJRW was not as long as I would have liked, Erica and I have remained friends all these years. Now she is married, the mother of a precious daughter, and living in Searcy. Several weeks ago she sent me some wonderful hats for my shocking skinhead, which I’ve had to guard from my youngest daughter Anna-Lee who really thinks they are cool. And this last week she sends me this – a photograph of a sign she saw hanging on the wall at the local hospital’s oncology clinic. How true this message is about the limitations of cancer, and one that all cancer patients can understand.
This weekend I’m going to stay inside, out of the heat. It’s a rather slow weekend, so I think I’ll spend it doing paint-by-numbers. With many thanks to Brother Mike, Bonnie Nickol, Sarah Tennille and Ginger Beebe, I’ll spend my summer enjoying this long-lost craft for art idiots like me. I’ve almost finished one with a few more to go. Maybe I'll frame them and give them to Tim and family for Christmas gifts.
Bishop Hicks will be preaching in the morning so I’ll make certain I get to church. And one other thing . . .
Wednesday is my big day back at UAMS for scans and MRI imaging to find out if the chemotherapy treatments have worked. I have every reason to believe that the news will be good. All I need for the weekend are your good thoughts and prayers for Wednesday. I’ll keep my attitude in the right place and hope you will send good thoughts my way.
Thank you friends for helping me keep my spirits high.
Posted by Stacy Sells at 11:58 AM