Thank You

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“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

― John Hughes, Not A Book    
 
That quote is pretty true. It’s a given that for some, life will move faster and end earlier than others. You never know when the bus is coming, or whether you’re going to be the one behind, or under the wheel. What we do know is life keeps changing. That little fact is really the only thing that doesn’t change. It’s that dynamic that affords us opportunities- Opportunities to help, to create, to understand, to be grateful…to….to…..to…
***
I’ve been given an opportunity that is unfortunately becoming less unique with each passing day. It’s an opportunity that I sometimes squander in the face of my sense of personal privacy. I’ve written about having a chronic illness and I will again leave it at that, other than to say it regularly puts me in IV rooms for long hours with people receiving chemotherapy or other toxic treatments. I often meet these people, get to know them , call them friends after months, sometimes years of Scrabble and family stories, while we each enjoy an eight to twelve hour shot-in-the-arm-cocktail. I’ve had the privilege and the hardship of becoming part of their lives – their often too short lives. While I wouldn’t trade a single person I’ve met, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone either. Walking into the room and seeing a familiar face for another week or month is often a relief.
When they’re not there, the loss can be devastating.weeping-buddha
***
This winter was particularly tough. There have been a lot of losses. Maybe it was the long bouts of cold and darkness, maybe it was just time. I don’t know. Two years ago today is also the day a list showed up in my email box. On it was news of people who have gone missing over the previous three years in Tibet. Two unknowns fitting the description of my partner and his brother were on the list.  This morning I took some time to visit the stupa of my partner (and very best friend) and to honor those I have known and lost. The past few years have been difficult, but in taking such an inventory of lives,  it also forces me to look at those whom I’ve grown closer to over that same time. People who help me move on, despite the losses. People whom I would also like to honor and thank in writing, because there is no stupa for the living. 

***

If you doubt you belong on that latter list, you’re probably wrong.

Consider yourself thanked. 014

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20 thoughts on “Thank You

  1. The experience of seeing people regularly for treatments and then not seeing them must be a terrible experience. I don’t think I’ve ever thought that through until now.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yeah it can be disconcerting. Its one of the weird things about recovery as well . You get very close and even get to know people like staff intimately and then you dont see them anymore after sometimes years of treatment. Its a weird setup. Here is an excellent op ed piece that explains what its like… it is totally true. I agree and have experienced this 100% as I assume have most people in this situation.
      http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/03/16/lost-in-transition-after-cancer/?_r=0

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Damnit this nearly made me cry.

    ANYWAY. When I went to have my nose pierced on Tuesday, the guy was a massive, dreadlocked bear of a man, with tattoos on every inch, and where he wasn’t tatted, he was pierced, and at the end we were talking about Indian jewellery, and he told me he often visits India. Then I noticed a table of what looked like mandelas and stickers, and I asked about them and he took me over and showed me – the stickers were all pleading to free Tibet from the Chinese. He offered me one, and I took it, and told him about you and about Tseering, and how you guys would rescue lobsters from delis and put them back in the ocean. He grinned and told me that he could understand that, and that some of the very best people he knew in life were Tibetian.

    It was lovely to be able to share that, even if it wasn’t my story, and to make a connection.

    *HUGS*

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I love that you met that guy…. he sounds awesome! Ask him for a photo op if you get anything else pierced and see him again! Im glad the lobster story stuck with you! Thanks for thinking of us and sharing it.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. awww…. thanks I love you too! Its a royal drag and the latter type leaves you hanging for a lifetime… people who “disappear” from a treatment room have only a few possible outcomes… recovery (lets hope) or death (argh)…. Not knowing if someone is living or dead or what the fuck happened … its like when a kid goes missing… I dont know how those poor families survive… I sometimes feel like Im barely doing it. Moving on is tough. Wow, where did that come from? Im sitting here debating pushing the “send.” WTF?

      Like

  3. WOW, this is Soooo moving, Zoe. Like Val, I feel I have no words. The circumstance of someone being missing is tough, because there may be no resolution–too many unanswered questions, emotional loose ends. Gosh, I’m just so sorry… xxoo, Stella

    Like

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