“I just enjoyed the sweetest, juiciest, tastiest nectarine. It was delicious and a reminder that life is about the little things, the accumulation of subtle sweet surprises. Appreciating that each day will have a blessing or two in camouflage is what gets me out of bed in the morning.”Arlene Martin, Face Book post, August 2011
The following is a letter I received ten years ago from someone in response to the above quote. If I think I am having a bad day, I only have to think of this special lady and the anguish she has been dealing with. I tell her she has it all wrong – SHE is the encouraging, positive one. Read on. You’ll see what I mean and how your day, too will suddenly seem another day in paradise. Her poignant words are also a reminder to ‘stay sweet’ – one never knows along the way who will benefit from a friendly wave and smile.
Thank you for replying to my little message.. I got your reply on what was a really hard week – my son was hospitalized again for blood clots and his spirits as well as mine were pretty low. So just as I saw your little comment on nectarines when I really needed to remember that life is still sweet your reply came at a time when I needed a hug and that’s what it felt like – a hug, so thank you for writing back. As you know, no one can really prepare you for what life is like when cancer hits someone you love. It’s been a rollercoaster in soo many ways.
My son said a few weeks into his treatment that cancer may be the best thing that’s ever happened to him because he sees life and everyone and everything around him so much differently now. It has done that for both of us. But there are still times when it’s scary – when his spirits lag, when he’s just tired of being tired and sick and I lay awake at night wishing my boy was little again and I could tuck him in at night. And when he came in with a scraped knee I could bandage it up and make it all better. This is so much bigger than a scraped knee but the need to make it better for him is still there. I guess it’s hard to feel so helpless.
We have been blessed in so many ways since he was diagnosed though so many family and friends and people we didn’t even know have reached out to us and have helped us. I would be soo grateful for your prayers for us. Thank you for being a light in what feels like such a dark time sometimes.
There is a little poster hanging on the wall in the cancer ward in RUH* that says, ‘Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.’ When I read it I thought of you. Thank you for sharing your sunshine with me. Bless you.”
As I read through this I was reminded on an old Irish proverb that rings so true and especially now during pandemic times. I have tucked it in my heart and double-dare you to do the same: “It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.”