Friday, July 6, 2012


A few days ago, I sat down with my journal. At the end of journal, my habit is to write a list of things I'm grateful for. I started a number of years ago when I was at Homer and feeling very isolated. Thinking about all the good and great things in my life shifted my attitude so much.

As I was writing this week, I looked down at my list and saw I had written "cancer." I was shocked. I had vowed never to be one of those sacchrine sweet people who expressed gratitude for the ordeal of cancer. Not me. Not mean, bitchy me.

But there it was. Staring up at me. So, why do I have any gratitude for cancer? One reason--showing me the beauty of life. I still take life for granted more often than I'd like. I still live my life as if I were on autopilot much of the time. I still struggle to live mindfully, to savor each moment. But I know in my heart that I am mortal; that this life will end. I stop more often to look at the belladonna vine I need to rip out and marvel at the heart-shaped green leaves. The sun dappling the leave. I feel the water from the faucet on my hands as I wash them. I feel my shoulders strain as I swim another stroke. I love the mourning doves that wash and splatter in the small pool of water above the small waterfall in my back yard. I notice the green rice growing along I-55. I stop more often. I try to care more for other people.

It's the same reason all those other ickily sweet people give for being grateful for cancer--joy in life. 


river song said...

learning to live more fully... beautiful post; thanks and peace!

kathrynzj said...

Joy in life, amen.
Thank you.

Joolie said...

Cancer taught me many good lessons, and I am grateful for what I learned. I hope that doesn't make me sickly sweet. Totally get you on that point. Blessings to you.