This morning, I discovered the most unexpected gift...a role model for who I'd like to be with illness. It came quite by accident via a friend's Facebook post. In it, a link to a blog (no one I know personally, but someone who runs in the same circle).
The post was simple...no pulling punches. Joan (the author) is starting a new chapter in life, after what she calls her "five-year health adventure."
- She has liver cancer.
- Doctors can no longer do anything for her.
- It's been easier for her to be out of communication than in.
- She's moved to British Columbia.
- She spending her days being in nature, watching the ocean and wildlife.
- She's happy.
- She's grateful.
- If you have anything to say to her, please do so. She's listening.
There's a deliberateness to her speaking.
At the bottom of the page, hundreds of messages flood the space with love, thanks, and gratitude. At the top, an unexpected comment from one of my favorite mentors...June P...the one who trained me to lead courses for leaders (a part of me I worry has disappeared).
"Dearest Joanie: How glad I am to see these pictures of Bowen Island and you there, where you chose to be. How wonderful that we know choice and have the power that comes with that. I love you. I honor you and I promise to make you proud that you gave life to me as a leader...." -June
Instantly, I dissolve into tears.
"Choice. You ALWAYS have a choice," I can practically hear June shouting through the screen.
It's a choice to be bitter.
It's a choice to be happy.
It's a choice to be liked, admired, inspiring, miserable, bold, loving, forgiving, courageous, kind, right, proud, generative, angry, curious, brave, hopeful, upset, terrified, or optimistic.
It is all a choice.
Something I'd recently forgotten.
Thank you, June and Joanie, for reminding me what peace and power looks like in sickness and in health.
I will treasure you both forever.
Altered Today: Appreciation for Landmark Education, possibilities