"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, June 20, 2010

Father's Day 2010

Morgan - Kelly - Robyn

A Dad's delight. And 3 Great reasons to keep on living!!

If you think these gals are cute... you should see their Mom!!

For all the blessings I have enjoyed as a Father,
I owe many thanks to my Father.

It matters not that Time has shed
His thawless snow upon your head,
For he maintains, with wondrous art,
Perpetual summer in your heart.
William Hamilton Hayne

TTFN... Rob


"It is much easier to become a father than to be one." 
Kent Nerburn

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

"Living on the Edge"

For the past 6 years I've felt as though I have been living on the edge of death.  Or perhaps the edge of life, depending on how you look at it.  Either way, living with metastatic cancer is "living on the edge".  I tend not to share many of my thoughts about this dimension of the journey.  It is not the kind of thinking that people normally want to engage in.  But it is the kind of thinking that late-stage cancer survivors are drawn to.  At least occasionally.

I can't imagine any cancer survivor who hasn't delved a little into the "existential questions" of life and death.  For those of us with metastatic or recurrent cancers, these questions become more pressing.  To avoid them is to live in denial of our mortality.

Henri Nouwen offers up the following as food for thought...

"Is death something so terrible and absurd that we are better off not thinking or talking about it? Or... 
Is it possible to befriend our dying gradually and live open to it?  Trusting that we have nothing to fear.  
Is it possible to prepare for death with the same attentiveness that our parents had in preparing for our birth?"   
Henri Nouwen "Our Greatest Gift"

Beginning in July, I will have the opportunity to explore these and other questions in a new program I am facilitating at InspireHealth, Vancouver's integrated cancer care center. "Living on the Edge" will be a small support group for "late-stage" cancer survivors.  Themes explored will include: facing death; accepting our mortality; getting the most out of THIS life; doing what is life-giving; finding friends for the journey; engaging family and friends; and life after death, to name but a few.

So, over the next few months, I will be using this space to share some of my own personal reflections on this aspect of the cancer journey.  Please do not be alarmed or think that I am feeling any closer to the end of MY journey.  I am not! The truth is I have been living with this awareness of the "proximity of death" for most of the past 6 years. Much of what I'll be sharing here will come from what has been on my mind from time to time over the past several years, the "unpublished" pages of my journal.

If you're interested you can start by reading some of my previous posts on death and dying...  here.

Be well... Rob; in Vancouver

“There is no cure for birth and death,
save to enjoy the interval.”
George Santayana

Monday, June 7, 2010

Wedding - Anniversary - Engagement

June 5, 2010

I officiated at the wedding of our dear friends Amanda and Chris who came all the way from Edinburgh to be married in the Vancouver sunshine.  It was our own 29th anniversary (June 5, 1981) and to top it all off Brandon proposed to Robyn with the gift of a beautiful diamond ring at the end of the evening!  This after Robyn caught the bridal bouquet!

It was a great day and one of those rare occasions when we were all together.  Robyn returned to Edmonton this morning after a 3-week visit.  I miss her already.

Pam gave me a lovely new digital SLR camera for our anniversary so I am finally back in photography mode!

Life is for living!

Rob; in Vancouver