WHY CANCER IS GOOD FOR MY FAMILY

You know, seeing the word GOOD and CANCER in the same sentence is a bizarre thing.  Remember on Sesame Street? “Which of these things is not like the other?”.

But, since my mom’s cancer has returned, there have been some pretty amazing things going on around here.

First off, my kids have been struck with what I call the “Titanic” syndrome.  They are as close to their grandmother, and sometimes more, than to me and so her sickness is the first dose of real-life they have ahd to face. I am SO proud of them and that their reactions were to love each other more…not less. To close up ranks and hold hands and help each other.  Any parent understands this is the ultimate litmus test of who our children are. Where is their compassion, their empathy and their ability to love when the love is so important.  They are a team and are supporting each other gently and with love.  It’s a miracle. They have spent the better part of ten years trying to off one another.  Because I grew up in a very strange situation where my “siblings” were much older than me, I had really wanted that my kids be close in age and be able to rely upon each other when the really big challenges that life spearheads at you come around.  Up until very recently, I thought that this dream was one for the trash – it would never happen. Shows you what I know.

My daughter turned 16 two days ago. The same daughter I have had ENORMOUS struggles with over the past two years.  For those of you with teens who advised me that “this too shall pass”…thank you. It passed. For those of you I swore at, I apologize…I really didn’t think it WOULD pass.  This year, I was surprised when she said the only thing she really wanted to do on her birthday was spend a few hours at her nana’s and family and her boyfriend. All of us together.  So that’s what we did. I made a delicious red velvet cake (wow…our first one…that was DELICIOUS!) and we headed off, cake toothpicks, boyfriend and happy smiles all the way to grandmas house 🙂 well actually, grandmas twin sister’s apartment.

I see  humility in this kind of love.  We hug, we cry we laugh and we hold hands. We tell each other we love each other, and we do things for each other just because we love.  We are very open with this kind of love and it feels wonderful.   It’s such a warm safe feeling all around us.

I hate that I am loving the effects of cancer..but I am.

My mom and her sister (who I also call my sister because of how I was raised, but in my family, titles like mother aunt sister brother are used VERY loosely), sang happy birthday about twenty times, sang it in french, english and then move don to christmas songs before Sara was allowed to blow out her candles.  It’s the kind of silliness she would have loved when she was little, but would have become vociferously annoyed at since entering the dreaded teens.  But this year…she was back to joyfully accepting. Her boyfriend came to meet the family for the first time. He sat smiling through all the songs and revelry and silliness. he didn’t have a big family, being raised by a single mom a quieter life…I could see he was really enjoying this.  It was a HUGE step for Sara. She has been mostly living her life apart from us and without any introductions for the better part of two years. now here we are, in the living with the very loud funny family, and this poor kid…handled it like a prince. he was gentle and sweet. gave Sara a beautiful crystal bracelet, they style of which showed us all the he both knew her and loved her well. We were so happy.

I love this LOVE we are sending each other.  and I am not sitting here thinking…ohhhh…why didn’t we do this all the time. It wouldn’t have felt the same if we would have, and it’s normal for the intensity of relationships to change when the chips are down.

The thing is, since all this loving, I can’t seem, to be able to make it stop at my family…I am in love with EVERYONE!  I had a client leave yesterday, very angry and upset.  She was yelling at me and crying and loosing her mind. I could see that there were things inside that had nothing to do with her life here, but that she had transferred it all into one big lump and was going to take it all out on me.  But it didn’t faze me, not for a second.  All I could see was that she was in pain.

So half way through this woman yelling at me, all I could do was put my arms around her, give her a hug and tell her it was all going to be ok.  I was sure she was going to punch me in the face haha!!  I felt like one of those hippies who would put the flowers in the guns of the army guys when they did the protests in the 60’s 🙂 But I was really just not affected by anger…I only felt this real compassion, because I have TOTALLY done what she did – take out everything in my life on one situation that I morph in my head to fit whatever I need to be angry about.  Been there, done that…got the prozac.

No more of that for me today.

I was stunned. This was a very strange reaction for me.  usually, I try but always unsuccessfully to manage my emotions. Especially if someone is showing “disfavour” towards me..>I was so self-centered it was always ALL about me.  But, yesterday it wasn’t all about me…acutally, the whole event felt more like an opportunity to practice what I am learning about my own consciousness.  And because I was focusing on my own reaction, and also on NOT reacting towards her, i was both calm and happy in the exchange. Wild wild wild.

So, I face today with a smile…

I realize I have been TRYING to be spiritual in my life, but without JOY – where’s the spirit?

Spiritual living is about love and joy and feeling the fullness of life, but I’ve been going around depressed and  for three years. It’s enough of that. Today and because of an act of Spirit…I am so grateful for the challenges in our lives so that we can experience this incredible higher level of love that I thank God for every single second.

Hope you can find the roses in your thorns today…

Love

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