Today, September 28, is National Good Neighbor Day. This thought from NationalDayCalendar.com:
It is a blessing to have a good neighbor, but it is even a greater thing to BE a good neighbor.
What if we made it our goal to be a good neighbor year-round?
It’s infinitely more comfortable to wrap the security blanket of my routine around me — with stacks of books and pots of tea nearby — than it is to travel alone without my best friend/tour director/husband.
And so, I booked a cruise to the last frontier as a brave-making venture. Alone.
All photos by Marlys unless otherwise noted
Being a caregiver was one of the most challenging and sweetest roles I’ve ever held. The challenging part was in the beginning, when terminal cancer was dropped on us from a high-flying bomber we didn’t see coming.
A year later—after my husband, Gary, finally admitted his fears and feelings of failure as a man—we sorted things out, determined to live more fully, found ways to give back, and made more fun and memories. That was the thunderous, sweet, majestic part.
If given the assignment to share tips from my cancer caregiving years, and if the assignment required an alphabetized list …
I walked beside my husband, Gary, with late stage prostate cancer for ten courage-filled years. The experience taught us to pay attention to life and its simple pleasures and the astonishing people who surrounded us in love.
There are numerous folks dealing with cancer who have suggested it is a gift … and countless others who would never refer to it that way. “Would you re-gift it?” someone once asked sarcastically.
But consider this thought from one of my cancer-fighting friends …
In her book, Bittersweet, author Shauna Niequist wrote that people often say the wrong thing when something bad happens:
But there’s something worse than the things people say. It’s much worse, I think, when people say nothing.
A kindly palliative care physician stopped by my husband’s hospital room to help him complete a Physicians Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) form. “What most concerns you?” he asked my husband.
Gary pointed at me and said, “Leaving her.”