I have begun this blog post several times, only to delete everything I've written. The news this week that David Bowie, Alan Rickman and now Celine Dion's husband, René Angélil, have all died from Cancer within days of each other is depressing enough. But then to read in today' newspaper that a young man, full of hope and promise, from a town just up the road was shot and killed in a robbery as he waited in line to buy a hamburger at a fast food restaurant is almost too much to process.
When you have stage IV cancer, you realize that the odds are it is going to kill you, you just don't know when. It's sort of like waiting for the other shoe to drop. Meanwhile you go on with life in as normal a way as possible, because you also realize that any of us could die at any time, even while waiting in line for a hamburger. So you decide that you can either spend your days worrying about dying or you can get on with the business of living. And you do that in between waiting for the next scan or test to be scheduled, the next doctor appointment, the next treatment. But in between all those tests, appointments, treatments, some of which sap your energy, make you ill, cause you to have numb feet and fingers, there are meals to plan, shop for and cook, dogs and cats to feed, walk, take to the vet, bird feeders to refill, gardens to plant and weed, and even toilets to scrub. And there are sunrises and sunsets to marvel at, birds flitting about, squirrels scampering up tree trunks, and friends and family to talk to and interact with.
And life goes on. Until it doesn't. And that's OK, because today is all we have, and the best we can do is live today in the best way we know how and not take it for granted. To squeeze every drop of joy and love and life from every day and share that love and joy as best we can with those around us. As Francis Bacon said: “We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake...” Let us live that moment well and fully.