Did you know Cancer can be a gift?
It wasn’t long ago that I was up in LA having an incredible day of growing and expansion. I was in traffic on the way home when I got a text msg. from my sister, “We have a diagnosis on mom. There is a road ahead, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.”
No one is ever really ready to hear someone has Cancer. However, when I first heard this, I thought to myself, wow…. thank goodness I am really living. I love my life, and I want to live it as fully as I possibly can. No Regrets!
I am not writing to tell you the details of my mother’s journey. However, I can tell you, when someone you love gets sick, it makes you look at things differently. For me it has been yet another reminder that life is short, and we are here to learn. We all have lessons to learn. The choice is ours to leverage our learning or not.
If we are really smart, we can learn from those who share with us.
The real challenge for me has been on how to strike a balance between what I thought I needed to do and be for my mother. When I have been with my mother, I have had the experience of stress, getting everything done, trying to get all the information, research other alternatives to give my mother more options. As she said to me not long ago “at times we are like sand paper… but aren’t we lucky!” It turns out she has as many choices as the rest of us. We get to choose how we want to move through whatever challenge life presents. Our responsibility as leaders is to listen for the learning and adjust our course of action accordingly.
For me, the biggest learning from Cancer was to experience it as a gift. You heard me right. Cancer has been a gift in my life. When I first had this realization that Cancer was a gift, tears began to flow. Not tears of fear of what might happen. My tears were of gratitude, forgiveness, compassion and grace. Grace had literally filled my being. All the things I was resisting about cancer or fearing had all disappeared. I was able to realize that all the talks my mother and I had been having are the kind of talks that fill my heart with joy. They are conversations that bring laughter in the shadow of pain. Most importantly the gift of time with my mother is something that I think I had taken for granted. My time with my mother wasn’t about doing after this realization. It was about being. I think back about my time with her I am with her, rarely is the TV on. Sometimes we sit and watch the birds, or talk about a new insight. Mostly, I was present enough to just be with her.
No rushing around trying to do the right thing anymore. The gift of cancer is simply a gift for all of us to BE MORE FULLY PRESENT.
On 1 September 2013, my mother made her transition. She is, was, and always will be one of the most important leaders to impact my life. When I think of all that I have learned and gained from knowing her, it’s hard to be sad, and easier to be grateful.
Being In Sync One Moment At A Time.