When you get a cancer diagnosis and you stare death in the face, you wonder if you have done enough with your life. Have I loved deep enough? Passionately enough? Have I taught my kids everything they need to know? Do the people around me know that they are special? But, more importantly, did I make a difference to them? You want your life to mean something. You want to know that your time here on earth was not in vain. You want to know that your life had meaning, purpose and others were changed because they knew you. Life kind of stops and time warps in slow motion. There are days when you don’t know if you are going to make it. Is time here on earth done? Have I completed the purpose I was created for?
When you go through the valley of the shadow of death on a daily basis for months, you tell yourself you can do it because your hope is that your experience will change people; change situations. You think the people around you will learn to love easier, forgive quicker and overlook things that are trivial when looked through the lens of how short our time on earth truly is. When treatments end you are left with this “new normal” life to go out and conquer and make a difference. But, those around you go back to their ‘old’ life. Things didn’t change for them. They did not have to look at death everyday when they looked in the mirror. They did not have to consider their own mortality. And, they walk away from the experience unchanged. Unaware of the true fragile nature of life. It is easy for them to forget how they felt when they thought they would lose a friend, a loved one. It is easy for them. But, not for those of us facing life with a new perspective.
The truth is, only those who have walked in these shoes can really understand. It is hard for us to remember this and even harder to accept. The struggles we go through may not change others like it changes us. And it can be a very, very lonely place. Yet, we have to embrace life through a different view and move on. We are still here for a purpose. There will be those that come along side us and join us in the rest of the journey we call life. And, there will others that just can’t understand the perspective we have. Hang on to the ones that stand with you even when they don’t “get it”. They are the true blessings and angels sent to travel with us down the road of life.
Wishing you strength, love and many angels!