April 17th marks the one year anniversary of my cancer surgery.
In the capable hands of surgeon Dr. Shandra Wilson, I spent twelve days in the hospital. In and out of pain, deprived of sleep, and yet, I felt uplifted by the loving support of my friends and family. I had plenty of visitors and received cards and letters, offering up compassionate words of wisdom.
Barry and Matthew, my two eldest sons, took me to the hospital the day of my surgery and visited everyday, offering so much comfort. When I opened my eyes after surgery, there was Barry, Matthew and Arlene, my ex-wife and wonderful mother to these two men. Their positive energy and love fueled my recovery in the hospital and after I went home.
My girlfriend, Judith, came soon after I awoke. With tubes coming out of my mouth I asked her, “Are you sticking with me baby?” Her soulful spirit brought light and love in the darkest hours of my struggle.
My youngest son, Michael, would walk me around the hallways, challenging me to keep on longer than I wanted to.
A year has passed and I am feeling stronger. While it took some time to regain my physical strength, it was the emotional healing that took longer. I experienced intermittent times of sadness that has now seemed to have mostly evaporated.
As I consider the whole experience, I am reminded of the human condition that requires us to face mortality and appreciate the present. Life is a paradox of joy and struggle, pain and love, dark and light. In other words, we live in a world of duality, but we end up in the oneness of the unknowable. Hopefully, that realization is comforting, allowing us the opportunity to experience life and live in the moment with humility, perhaps the greatest virtue of all.
I thank all my friends and family for their enduring support over the last year.