That terrible moment

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Mandi of the blog Making Nice in the Midwest

A blogger whom I’ve been reading for a while just found out that she has cancer. Her tumor-removal surgery turned into something worse, and now she’s in the middle of discovering the extent of it. Mandi wrote a paragraph that struck me so deeply that I had to post it here:

On Monday, while everyone else was playing April Fool’s jokes on each other, I was staring at my grandma laying in her casket and contemplating how to tell my family I have cancer as we all gathered together after Grandma’s unexpected death. I just wanted someone to shout ‘April Fools!’ and for Grandma to sit up in her coffin and for me to not have cancer any more. (Source)

Cancer changes everything. It nailed my awareness to the present rather than the future or past, and threw every second of my life into the sharpest relief, to the extent that even grocery shopping felt epic. I imagine that Mandi’s mind is spinning right now. How long, how far, how much pain, what next, and will I have to give up what I love? All of those questions crowded into my mind too, and for a while it was like living in a humid climate of sadness.

At the same time, I found that cancer inspired a lot of mental housekeeping. What am I living for? I need to do it, and enjoy the hell out of it, as much as I can. I need to reconnect to the people that I love, and make an effort to stay in touch. I need to maximize the joy, however I can.

I’m not sure what life is about, and never have been, but surely if it’s about anything, it’s about living in a spirit of love and joy. I wish that on you, Ms. Mandi, with all my heart.

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