Words for Cynthia

English: Jazz singer Solitaire Miles

English: Jazz singer Solitaire Miles (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow evening, I have my first opportunity to speak to a group of cancer patients and caregivers. This is not just my first opportunity to speak to this group; this is the first time in my life. I earnestly pray that I can provide words of support.

A good friend, who is also an experienced hospice nurse, advised me to go easy on them. She believes that I have seen too much as a caregiver, too much for any spouse or human being, and that I could scare my brother and sisters in arms. I believe her, she has never been more right. I will follow her advice.

Coincidentally, I received a message from a Facebook friend named Cynthia this evening. She is a singer, and she recently lost her best friend’s mom and then her own mom within a week. She wants a copy of my “speech”. She wants a copy of my “comforting words”.

Cynthia, I sincerely wish I had comforting words. If I had, I would read them to myself every night, but Cynthia, much like jazz, I have no speech and I have no words. I only have an outline; just like the good people you lost only had an outline.

You see, Cynthia, classical music was written by geniuses and intended to be played by musicians. Their score is perfect. Jazz on the other hand, is written by musicians and intended to be played geniuses, and this is the music and life I identify with.

The good people who walk planet earth have to improvise. Good people with no special gifts become great people under the intense weight life can put on them. And great people can lift up lives besides their own, for no reward, for no selfish profit other than making another life better, even for a short time.

Cynthia, while your mourning bounces between depression and anger, please allow your soul to be wrapped in acceptance, even for a little while. Accept that you were touched by unselfish, imperfect lives that made the lives around them better, including yours, because that was their music, their genius.

Every day in every step, you carry their example into the world, and you decide whether to spread their genius to others.

Good lives are only forgotten when lesser lives fail to share them. Touch other souls the same way these great women touched yours. I cannot tell you how to do this, you will have to improvise, but you have been gifted with great performances. Emulate them; repeat them until they become rote and boring.

Honor these great women with their own music, performed in your own personal way. Sing baby sing. Sing like when God touches your soul, for He has, and He has requested a song you know well.

Cynthia, I do not have the comforting words.

You do.

Reposted from http://besidesthecancer.org

Avatar of Bob Marcotte

About Bob Marcotte

WHAT ABOUT BOB?My name is Bob Marcotte, and I am a musician, photographer, author and caregiver. Unlike my other job titles, the caregiver job title came without training and with little notice. Now, it’s the job title I am most proud of.I live in California with my wife, Carole, who is still recovering from her massive surgeries. We are guarded and kept company by our two dogs and a cat, all rescued animals. After the Stanford medical miracle, perhaps Carole can be considered ‘rescued’, too.You can contact us at bob@besidesthecancer.org .ABOUT THE BOOKIf everyone's life is a book, and every day a page, then there are some days that deserve to be dog-eared. Your high school graduation, your wedding day, the birth of your children, and the day that your doctor discusses cancer with you for the first time.I wrote "You Mean, Besides the Cancer?" to vent frustration, to keep hold of my sanity, and hopefully help future caregivers. If you are a caregiver, or about to be one, this book can hopefully shortcut the learning curve that sliced me to shreds.This book is the story of my wife's cancer and our journey through the medical system that eventually led us to one of the most cutting edge, lifesaving surgeries on earth.You can buy the book on our blog or online at the usual online bookstores. The price of the e-book is $1.99. It's as low as they'd let be price it. This book was not written to make money.Our blog is http://besidesthecancer.org.

5 thoughts on “Words for Cynthia

  1. Avatar of RichardRichard

    Bob, How good for you that you were asked to speak. I have years of speaking in front of small – groups, of course it was for tech classes for major oil engineers in the petroleum field but I did learn a thing or three. Here are my top three for you;

    1) Speak from the heart.
    2) The old trick of, “Look at the audience as if they were nude.” DOES NOT WORK!! There is always a couple of attendees you would not want even your worst enemy to see nude.
    3) Be honest and make it humorous. Even in the worst of times you can always find a little humor. Don’t get me wrong, the entire thing does not have to be this way just a zinger here and there.
    4) Keep eye contact with your audience. This makes it feel like you are reaching out to them and not just talking at them. (I know I said three, then number four just jumped onto the screen.)

    Good luck Bob, I will be there in spirit with you. Please let us know how it goes. – Richard

  2. Cathy Mitchell

    Beautiful words, Bob. As a prepare to go to a caregiving class this afternoon, it is inspirational to read. I look forward to hear how your presentation goes. I have done a lot of public speaking in my life, and Richard’s advice is spot on. Folks who are there are worried and probably scared. Humor and the notion that we are all in this together is incredibly helpful and empowering.

  3. Avatar of Gail KrollGail Kroll

    Dear Bob, This is a beautifully written blog and post! if your speech was half as eloquent you were a success and I am sure you were! Keep us inspired and in awe of life and caring for another, Bob! You have given me hope and thank you for that! And I know little of music!

  4. Avatar of PegiPegi

    Bob, this is absolutely beautiful. I, too, recently lost my much loved Mother and I did find comfort in your words, Thank you.

    You’ll do great on your speaking if its even half as good as your blogs. Let us know how it goes!

  5. Avatar of TeresatalkTeresatalk

    Love the music analogy. Our lives are much like musical compositions. And the music lives on in the ears of our listeners. You will find comforting words at that group, just like you did for your FB friend.

    My advice (from having gone to a support group for years now) is not to hold back too much on the hard stuff. When we hear the hard stuff others are going through, it reminds us that our experience isn’t so bad–and allows us to reach out to each other–and to forget our own trials, no matter how they compare, for a moment and focus on someone else’s story.

    They already know cancer is bad; they just need to know that it can be survived with grace and dignity. That there’s always hope and there’s always support in surprising places.


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