Everything is greening and growing. Flowers bloom, bees sip clover, lawnmowers drone.
This is the time of year for resurrection.
I typically like resurrection. I like new life. I like hope fulfilled. I like the idea of being raised again.
But I don’t like the fact that it’s preceded by death.
Because death means pain. Death means letting go. Death means that something that once was is no more.
But I’m at a point in my life now that I feel – even with the death part, especially with the death part - I feel resurrected.
I’ve been thinking back two years to when I was finishing treatment for breast cancer. Relay for Life was coming up, and I felt I should raise some money. But I didn’t. I didn’t have the energy. I didn’t have much of an inclination even to go to the event. But I went anyhow. I made myself go.
It felt odd to get a “survivor” T-shirt. I’d always been pretty healthy, only having surgery once when I was three to have my tonsils out. But now, in April 2012, I was mostly bald from two rounds of chemo. Now I had three scars from surgeries. Now I was very weak, wondering if I could walk a lap that evening. But I went. I can’t say I really enjoyed it. But I went.
Last year, 2013, was a year removed from my cancer journey, and I was stronger. I had hair. I could walk more than a lap. But I didn’t want to go to Relay for Life. It was too close to real. Cancer had made a mark on me, and I wasn’t sure who I was. I didn’t want to be around a lot of people who had that same mark. That would be too hard. So I didn’t go.
Cancer feels further away. I feel so much stronger. I know that this year I can walk several laps. I know I can see people in the middle of their cancer journeys and not feel so vulnerable. I can know that I was there, that I survived – but also that I came out a better person.
I have had time to acknowledge and to be with the feelings of my brush with death, to grieve what I lost, to become a new person and get used to how she feels and how she thinks.
And you know what? I like this new person a lot better!
She’s not as resentful, not so burdened with negative thoughts and feelings. She’s better at going with the flow of life.
She’s less judgmental, less critical. She’s more forgiving, more generous. And she’s happier at any given moment.
I like being resurrected – even though it meant a death of my former self. It was time for her to go.
And now it’s time for the new me to be.
This year, I want to be a part of the Relay for Life. I want to participate, to be with others who have been or who are on the cancer journey. I want to walk laps with them and with those who had or have companions on the cancer journey.
I want to raise some money. My Facebook friends have been very generous (thank you to all who have donated!), and I’ve increased my goal twice because of their generosity. But I’d love to raise a little more money and meet another goal.
So if you’re reading this and want to make a donation to my resurrection and my Relay for Life participation, here’s where you can do just that on my Relay for Life page. Your donation will go to the American Cancer Society and helping people who are on the cancer journey – or who will be. It will also go toward helping find a cure so that fewer and fewer people have to take this journey.
I’m using this year’s Relay for Life as a marker. A marker that says, “Yes, I survived a cancer journey. I suffered and persevered. And I came out the other side a better person for it.”
This Friday night, April 25th, I’ll be walking the first lap with other cancer survivors. And I’ll know I’ve been resurrected. And I’ll be happy and grateful and feel especially blessed.
Because resurrection is a miracle!