Posted by Danny
It won’t stop.
Virtually every single week someone else in my circle is stricken with cancer.
Two weeks ago a friend at church passed on a prayer request: a 36-year-old mother of three young boys had just been diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.
Last week I was eating lunch at Pam’s Farmhouse and ran into an old friend.
“How ya’ getting along?” I casually asked after a great big hug.
“I’m struggling. Cancer in my back, just like your wife.”
Shit. Another one.
And this week, my neighbor who came to my house at 1:30 am to sit with my kids on February 24, 2009, when I headed to Duke to tell Lisa goodbye, has been taken to Hospice. His cancer won’t stop – it’s finally beaten down one of the physically strongest men I know.
I used to hear about folks struggling with illness and toss-up a quick prayer. In one ear, out the other. The obligatory appeal to the man upstairs.
It had to be someone mighty close to me to register long-term in my mind. I just didn’t get it. I just couldn’t comprehend how cruel disease could be, how deeply one could hurt.
I guess I got a good dose of understanding. And now that I know, now that I’ve been there, I feel their pain so deeply – so intensely. Even those I’ve never met.
Maybe I liked it better before. Maybe it was easier not knowing how deeply the wound could be.
Or maybe I’m better. Not better emotionally, but a better person. More able to empathize. More able to feel. More able to walk beside –