Friday, May 27, 2011

How many must be lost?

Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.

~ Robert Frost

The donation arrived quietly with but one sentence accompanying it:

In memory of my father who passed away from cancer in 1998.

And I instantly felt ashamed. Embarrassed. Because I didn't know. I didn't know she had lost her father. I didn't know her family struggled and cried and begged and pleaded and mourned and lost. Oh, how that family must have lost.

I started thinking about her - younger than me, kinder than me, sweeter than me. Married with two beautiful children. Two children her father never got to meet. A son-in-law; did he ever get to meet the man his daughter would marry?

Cancer steals.
Cancer steals experiences and steals memories that ought to be made.

And I'm tired of it.

I'm sick and tired of cancer stealing dads away from daughters, and grandfathers away from grandsons.

I'm tired of cancer stealing children away from their parents and spouses away from their loved ones.

I'm tired of cancer stealing the sweet, peaceful slumber we're all meant to enjoy and forcing good people to lay awake scared, afraid, choking back sobs.

I'm tired of cancer stealing money that was meant for a brand new birthday bike that now has to be spent on chemotherapy treatments that make her beautiful hair fall out in clumps and makes her too sick to even celebrate her 6th year of life.

I'm tired of this thief who gets away with murder time and time again.

And then I look around and realize that cancer hasn't won. Because we haven't given up and given in. We've gathered in numbers and we've gathered in strength and together we're fighting like mad.

We fight in memory of our fathers.
We fight in honor of those we have lost and those we are afraid of losing.
And we won't ever back down.

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