Be loving. That was Rem’s advice to me when I was leaving the house to accompany my parents to a medical appointment.
The previous day they had met with the oncologist to learn the results of my dad’s recent PET scan. Sadly, the news is not good. The cancer, originally in his esophagus has spread to his lungs. Future treatment will be palliative. We were all distraught and trying to come to grips with this information.
Rem saw that I was anxious; worried about my folks and distressed about the news. He gave me a hug and said “be loving”. It was exactly what I needed to hear and gave me comfort as I went out the door.
We all need to lean on each other, especially in difficult times. We need to be as loving as possible and cut each other some slack. Right now I’m trying to be as supportive, loving, strong and comforting as I can to my parents, my siblings and extended family. I also love to make my dad laugh and I’m delighted when I do.
My friends have been compassionate, caring and generous. They give me hugs and listen when I need to talk, hold me when I need to cry and strive to make sure I’m taking care of myself.
One dear friend touched me deeply with the loan of her beloved Lambie. Lambie sits on our bed and sometimes at night I rub one of her ears between my fingers, finding comfort both in the soft fabric and in the tenderness of my friend’s gesture.
The women I sing with with, of the Threshold Choir, have sung beautiful songs on behalf of my dad, my mom and my whole family. At rehearsal, where we sing with our chairs in a circle, we have a practice of giving songs to those who want them. A reclining chair is in the middle of the circle and the person receiving the song lies down in the chair.
With women surrounding you, the a cappella singing is like a warm blanket of music. I often feel as if I’m floating on the sound and I sink into it gratefully, tears welling up and spilling over in a completely safe and supportive atmosphere. The wisdom, love and understanding of these friends has been a blessing.
We really don’t know what the future holds. Heartache and suffering but also conversations, music, walking the dog, joy and laughter. If we can be loving it will only help.