"Our soul must perform two duties. The one is that we must reverently wonder and be surprised. The other is that we must gently let go and let be." Julian of Norwich

...Cancer teaches both!!!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Remembering Helen and Mark

This Sunday I remember two friends who have died of cancer in this past week.  Helen, a wonderful woman from St. Stephen's and Mark, aka "Limey", a "cyber friend" and fellow "semicolon" from my online cancer community.

Helen was a nurse, wife, mother, grandmother and stalwart friend to many at St. Stephen's.  She loved her summers on the boat with family, "Guiding", making pies with the "Holy Rollers", her family, and especially her granddaughters.  When you went to Helen's house you always knew there were kids around.  Maybe not at the moment, but recently or soon again.  Helen and I shared this dread disease for the 3 years I've known her and it often came up in our visits.  She lived with incredible grace, dignity, and a sense of humour.

Mark was a life partner to Earl, a devoted Dad, a beloved son and a friend to many including those in the colorectal cancer community where he was known as "Limey".  Like Helen, he loved the water and boating.  He, too, lived with incredible grace, dignity, and a sense of humour, even in the midst of great suffering and hardship on account of a relentless disease.

I share these brief words from Limey with the nautical theme, zest for life, and love of family that ties these two fellow travellers together...
"I want others to know that no matter what may come my way, that cancer has not and is not beating me down, it may adjust my sails, but it is not stopping the boat. Each of us has a journey that we are on. Cancer may be a part of my journey, but it does not make me who I am. My partner, my children, my family and my friends are what make me who I am."  Limey
AMEN to that!
"Crossing the Bar"
Alfred Lord Tennyson

Sunset and evening star
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,

But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.

Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;

For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.

Remembering, reflecting, and releasing...

Rob; in Vancouver

"Down, down, down into the darkness of the grave
Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

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