As we continue to recover from the chemo and radiation therapy, we often reflect on ‘how things used to be’. Always willing to be on the go, ‘The Little One’ has taken a wait and see attitude on many of the things he used to like to do. While there has been steady progress in his overall health these past few weeks, we are really on a ‘day-to-day event planner schedule.
Crowds has never been his thing, even when feeling good. So approaching his 81st birthday, I was puzzled at what might we do? And…if we would be able to do it! With a small gathering in Brentwood, ‘The Little One” was greeted by ‘The Sisters’ and a couple of friends from our Tuesday night group at Pietro’s. (of course, one sister forgot to make it)
What struck me about the evening was not so much about the significance of the day, but rather the engagement in conversation of “The Little One.” I will be the first one to admit that I can be a little worry wort and always have one eye out for him, yet on this night I glad that I did because I saw a person return to life in a way that was good to see.
You see, cancer can take the root out of your being. Cancer drains your energy, it drains your confidence and it drains your piece of mind. It is easy to understand why so many people give up, that is why outside support is so important in the healing process. What I saw on Saturday was a man who enjoyed talking about topics that were important to him, all removed from the thought of having cancer. When the topic turned to the Virgin Islands, well…he was off and running. You can’t go through 81 years of life without having special memories of people, places and things. It was a joy to watch him revel in the conversation.
When we talked about his ‘engagement’ at the gathering, I mentioned to him that it was great to see him involved in conversation that was important to him and completely outside to scope of health, cancer and the rest. He too, acknowledged that it was a great experience, with lots of fun and easy to talk to ‘because they are so nice.’
What “The Little One” learned on this evening is that its good for him to be in conversation on topics that he enjoys as it takes his mind of the health concerns. What I learned is that I cannot be mother hen, worried about every step in the road. We live day by day. Often times we go through life with so many misunderstandings, so many unresolved conflicts and so many worries that seem unbearable.
Yet when you think about it, it is easier to get through the day simply when people are nice!