Words for Cynthia


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

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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.\r\n\r\nMy 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.\r\n\r\nThey 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.