Publisert av: For the Little Prince - Per | januar 24, 2008

Let’s Talk: Cancer

Let’s Talk

One of the hardest things to do with regards to CANCER is to talk about it.

My grandmother had Multiple Myeloma for three years. Her 12 grandchildren

were mostly unaware of her diagnosis. She looked perfectly normal- to us. My

mother and her siblings took a unique stance to the cancer that lived WITH my

grandmother. They did not talk about it. The end of grandmother’s life was a

SHOCKING SURPRISE. She was already in the hospital and on morphine. We

expected a full recovery because- she was not sick.

The silver lining is: we did not treat grandmother like she was sick or dying or

terminal. She was our grandmother and we lived life to it’s fullest with the greatest

amount of hope and faith imaginable. She taught us how to ride bike. She watched

us climb trees. She made graham crackers with dates and whipped topping for us.

She watched kittens being born with us. She mourned with us.

Honestly, we did not have a clue. Her time confined to a hospital bed

was rather short. She spent some time at

the local hospital confined to a bed with the care of a very caring physician

and comforted by morphine. After the hospital stay, she

CAME HOME. Her daughters and grand-children cared for

her 24/7. It was during this time that she began to GIVE GIFTS

to her family. She attempted so very sincerely to give me the FAMILY BIBLE.

I declined. She bought me a pretty corduoroy red dress and hung it in the closet.

She would hand me family heirlooms and tell me very quietly

that she wanted me to have THIS or THAT. Most of the time, I declined the

gifts and explained to my mother that I DID NOT KNOW why my grandmother

was being so generous. For the record, I kept very few of the gifts.

All I wanted was to be with my grandmother.

She was my grandmother AND my very best friend. My mother was an exceptional

mother, and my grandmother was like a SAINT to me. She was very kind. She

was a good listener. She liked to take walks with me. She was a great storyteller.

Her mission was to convey ALL of the family stories to me, without me knowing WHY.

She accomplished her mission. I savored her storytelling.

I found the red dress after her funeral. It was a stunningly beautiful dress and

I just loved to LOOK at it, and to imagine the places at

which to wear this lovely dress. I never wore the dress. I just studied it intently and

wondered about it for years.

To me, the red dress represented my grandmother’s wish: that

I would wear the RED dress and also be/to feel stunningly beautiful.

Perhaps, itwas the exclamation point. My life has ended and I still want

you to enjoy the beauty of life. The red dress was always a mystery and my

grandmother’s life WILL always be a mystery. What was she thinking

during those three years while enduring multiple myeloma?

I don’t think she ever said, «Goodbye.»

However, her stories live on. Her gentle courage lives on. Amen!

It’s hard to talk about cancer. Let’s talk.

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