I’ve got three families on my heart right now: my own, the Forbeses, and the Richters. Cancer has touched several of my people, and I wish I were a scientist who could end this horrible scourge.
My buddy, Martin Forbes, is battling esophageal cancer, just like Ken Richter did. Every day Martin’s youngest daughter posts a family photo and an anecdote on Instagram. They bruise the muscle of my heart. Martin has the most delightful sense of humor and a laugh that warms a room. He reminds me of Ken in those ways.
Ken’s boys are four years older than when they lost their dad, but their every day pain is as real as that of the Forbes family. My own family currently has the support of hospice for my Uncle Paul.
This period of time reminds me of 2007, when my beloved president Martha Anne Dow was struggling with cancer, as was my Aunt Betty. None of us get out of this life experience without having cancer touch us somewhere in the circle of connections. Then, as with now, it was the revival of connections that help make the watching and waiting bearable.
Never too far from my mind, Ken’s boys will always have a piece of my heart. I feel blessed to have had a cousin reach out to me recently, across the distance of geography. While he’s a grown man, in some ways he is still a boy to me. A blue-eyed gift from God, whose smile could change the Earth’s orbit. He was younger than Ken’s sons when he lost his mother to cancer. Now, he’s miles away and Uncle Paul is slipping from us.
The point of this post is to remind us to cherish those in our lives and to remember that most people are dealing with more on their minds than we will ever know.
Rejoice in today. We are one day closer to the end of cancer.