Today marks day #1338 since I began my war against brain cancer. 1338 days ago, I got on my motorcycle to head to a business meeting when my plans were cut short/halted by a seizure. Thankfully, as most of you know, I was fortunate enough – by God’s grace and to His glory – to realize that my body was going haywire and I pulled over just in time to collapse aside my bike along the highway. Ever since that moment of coming to with CHP over top of me, I have been warring against this disease. Some days, my war is struggling to wake up to cook a measly something for the girls; other days it is summiting a nearby mountain. On a few occasions, it has taken the form of using every ounce of willpower to hit the ski slopes with my daughters – like the good old days. On other days, it is summoning the strength to encourage Jana as she goes in for her next shift.
But every day and every moment is a battle of its own. I don’t mean to complain or to draw attention to my personal trials; rather, I mean to bridge the chasm with you – who similarly battle daily in your own fight. And I hope to find a connection.
Above, I mentioned that my “plans” were cut short. Yes, in an instant all that had a blink of an eye earlier seemed to be of greatest significance – climbing the corporate ladder, making a financial goal and deadline – was obliterated. In its place was foisted a yearning for pure joy, pure meaning, a longing for enduring significance to my life. Call it legacy.
Suddenly, I was overcome with gratitude for those who had spent their whole lives dedicated to my moment of need: my Neurosurgeon, my reassuring and faithful anaestheologist, my caring wife.
Suddenly, all that mattered was what really mattered all along. Why can’t we see that, live in that day to day? Why do we need these overwhelming reminders to rethink and recalibrate our lives?
I’m not sure – but I am sure that those of us who have gotten the cancer diagnosis – the brain cancer diagnosis – owe it to those with whom we can make connection to call out in the wilderness the vital truth that life is about human connection – one on one. Life is about loving one another. Life is most blissfully realized when we stop talking about our own story and start listening. That is why we have our story: so that we can more openly hear the stories of others. Run your race and you will find that it’s got a lot in common with your neighbor’s.
~ Coach Reed