This I Believe

Linda - Burns, Oregon
Entered on October 8, 2007

This I Believe

This I believe, death is not to be feared but embraced. Thus, recently being diagnosed with a rare cancer – I do not panic nor fear the poor prognosis. I have accepted since my 20’s I’ve been living on borrowed time, now it is time to pay back the loan. Heavy exposure to toxic chemicals, such as DDT used to fog the whole town in an attempt to kill mosquitoes which carried deadly diseases, since my youth I’ve always known one day I would get cancer. In living I did my best to make positive impacts on others lives – being what they needed at the time then having life force me to move on so they didn’t become dependent on me. This is not said in an air of self-importance, for it took me a long time to realize it. It is said in understanding of my role and purpose in life, that my difficulties and hard life helped me be more compassionate to those in need. But at one time, I too, resented and cried out wanting to know which god I offended that my life has to be such a struggle.

I pity the ones who never know sadness, loss, poverty and the struggles life gives some of us. For in not knowing, they do not develop the compassion and understanding from deep within the heart and soul. Life taught me not to rely on the material needs others crave and when I forget the lesson, life teaches me again. So now, with my life winding down long before I wish, I understand and accept it. I am grateful for the time I have left to order my affairs and tell others in my life just how much they have meant to me before it’s too late. Some do not have such a living luxury, and I feel sorrow for those they leave behind.

With my cancer, I learn new compassions and understandings. My brain turns on me with the cancer within it – now I have more compassion for those who have had strokes, alseimers and other brain disorders. My patience grows. Do not think I have given up on life, but embrace it more fully. I will fight to live, but not at the price of losing my ability to think, to feel, to love. “Life is not about finding yourself, but about creating yourself” George Bernard Shaw said. The trick is to let life help you create the inner person that is truly you. The only thing I have to offer others is to be at peace within, and no matter what life throws at you, you will find contentment in a life lived as well as you could. Accept that there are always regrets, but do not let them consume you – learn from them. Do not fear the end of living, it is just another path to walk.

Say only of me, “she cared to the depths of her soul and understood.”