Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Stronger Together

Ron and Arthur died.
Carmen and Mel died.
They all died way too young, and with so much more to offer. Eirini was very close to Ron and Arthur and I remember talking about their passing and she worried if they ever found peace. She was hopeful that they had. I remember thinking about the concept of finding peace in a terminal illness, especially when you are so young. Can it really be possible?
I remember not talking to Carmen about her imminent death, she forbade it.
I begged Carmen to write for her daughter and I bought her a journal. We never spoke about whether or not she wrote, I never knew. Last year i saw her daughter and she asked me to tell her a little about her mother. It broke my heart. " Just tell me a little Sam she said, because I try but I don't remember". It's then that she told me all she has to hold onto is the journal that Carmen wrote in, the journal that she new I had given her mother. I realized that in her own way she had found peace. She had allowed herself to write, to leave her story for her daughter.
I wonder a lot about the process of finding peace. When I was diagnosed I never went through the "Why Me" phase. I know some people do, but I didn't. I often said that it would be too egotistical to always pass in front of the hospital and to somehow never expect that it could be you. Why someone else and not me?
I realize that having lived through the worst of the AIDS disaster somehow prepared me for loss, but having lived through that period also taught me about finding strength in numbers. We stood together.
In the last few years we have been dissecting cancer into infinite subsegments. We have divided the disease into so many small pieces, somehow obliging people to decide if they support: Breast, Colon, Lung, Prostate, Ovarian......
I wonder if we wouldn't be stronger if we all fought together. If we walked and rode and hiked together, and not apart.
Maybe if we all joined together we could really find peace together. Maybe.
On September 11th I ride for all Cancers...thank you for your support.

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