Saturday, March 14, 2009

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1209 – Laugh, Think, Cry

marchmadness_2009

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.”

- Jim Valvano, NCAA coach

What time of year is it? For me, it’s not spring, it’s not cracks in the foundation repair time, it’s not reading week, it’s not Lent. It’s March Madness! Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Yes, I’m spending a lot of my TV viewing time already watching NCAA conference tournament games to get a sense of who the candidate men’s college basketball teams are leading up to Selection Sunday – tomorrow – the time when 65 teams are chosen to participate in the madness that begins next week and continues until the early part of April.

Last year, I ran the company pool and won with my second bracket choice of Kansas. This year, since I’m on long-term disability and spending most of my time in my medical bed receiving home hospice care, I am not involved in the corporate pool (is anyone running it this year?).

This year, although I miss my work a lot and I would like to have been part of a corporate pool enjoying a little corporate camaraderie, I am doing what I can to tell cancer to go to hell. Actually, I’m finding lots of ways to transform my unwanted journey with metastatic colorectal cancer into the mountain-top experience of my overall life journey.

Everywhere I turn, whether it’s my TV viewing, my reading, my correspondence, or my rather constrained social life, I am learning and appreciating exactly what coach Valvano discovered in his own journey with metastatic bone cancer. Laughing, thinking and crying make for a very good day.

As Charlie Crews says in What They Saw, an episode from Season One in the entertaining and sometimes enlightening TV Series Life, “Every day above ground is a good one.” But, not just because we’re alive. It’s a good day because we’ve taken the extra steps to laugh, to think, and to feel until tears prove we’ve actually touched the heart of our humanity.

1 comment:

Brie said...

Hello there!I feel like it's been ages since I "dropped by", although it's probably only been a week or so ... I never did get bak to yo uon community, although I wanted to. Life just got ahead of me - again :-)
I used to think that someday I would learn to manage better, and that these times of "life getting ahead of me" wouldn't happen. Now that I am MUCH more mature :-), I just grin and accept them ... not too much else TO do, now is there?

I loved your quote from Jim Valvano. It really struck a chord, not only with myself, but with a good friend I just shared it with. THanks!

The more that I thnk about it, the more I think that your blog provides a lot of what Valvano refers to. It gets me thinking, it often makes me chuckle, and definitely moves me, sometimes in the direction of sorrow, sometimes in a happy direction. It always make me grateful for your honesty. It is such a gift to those who read this. Even 'though I don't know the limit of my time here, I do know that life is much too short to be less than honest !!! It is through this honesty that we have the best chance, I believe, of becoming more aware of our common humanity.

Loved your March Madness commentary. I, too, succumb to it, much to my surprise. I have even broken one of my cardinal rules for this year's duration .... I have allowed a large flatscreen t.v. to take over my living room just to be able to see the games better. Oh, how far we fall sometimes from our good intentions! LOL!

Off to brunch. Be back soon. Take very good care.

Brie