Just a little over two years ago, as most of you know, mine and my family's world was turned upside down. More importantly my dad's world was snuffed out. Though that's not really what this post is about. I feel like I've probably talked about that, my feelings, etc., enough. That being said, I want to mention the one particular thing I really had a hard time with besides the obvious and STILL have a hard time with (I suspect the same goes for my mom, siblings and aunt and uncles as well) and that is coping with how my dad was feeling about everything in his own head. He kept it together enough when we were around and he did his utmost to maintain positivity, but I've really struggled and felt an awful lot of guilt over not being able to ease the shit in his head.
Lately I've been following a blog (The Art of Breast Cancer) written by an amazing woman named Carolyn. Right now, Carolyn is battling a brutal war with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer. It's not a huge blog, you can most certainly quickly catch up with her journey as it's based solely around this diagnosis, how she's living with it and how she's coping with the help of her family. I guess I wanted to blog about Carolyn's journey because frankly the majority of us will face the same fate as Carolyn and have to go through what she's currently going through at some point in our life. My biggest fear for myself is dying while my children are still young...but then I fret dying while my grandchildren are young...I'm just not sure when it's an acceptable time. Aside from being a very well written blog, my main (and selfish) reason is because in one of her recent posts she actually writes about what mental struggles she's contended with and how she's coped with the trickery of her own mind. Now flip back up to my struggles with what my dad went through...
I'm so grateful to her for giving me a mere glimpse into what my dad was probably struggling with. More importantly though, she has given me a really good understanding from what she wrote in her follow up to my comment on her post. She gave me some insight into how she struggled in those early stages and likely my dad was too. I read her follow up comment to me and I cried. I cried because the kindness of a stranger overwhelms me. I cried because this woman is handling her prognosis with grace and decorum even when she's having a bad day. I cried because this woman is being kind enough to share her story with us and sharing it all. The good, the bad and the ugly. I cried because I'm so very sorry she is going through all these changes. I'm sad because things didn't work out for her the way she envisioned and she's had to change her life course. I'm sad for her children. I'm sad for her sister, who has been her rock through the whole ordeal. I'm just sad that people still have to keep going through this.
If you have an hour, please go read her blog. Let her words not be in vain. It's difficult to read, but her story needs to be told and she's doing a magnificent job telling it. I have never truly been more grateful to have a stranger enter my life.