Sunday, February 07, 2010

Safety and strength in numbers

Snow is the topic of conversation for most of us here in the Land of Pleasant Living. And why not, it will affect nearly all that we do for the next few days, maybe more.

While witnessing Mother Nature unleashing her fury my mind wandered and I found myself isolating on a single snowflake. These are the places where thoughts travel while in the grip of cabin fever.

As one flake would touch the ground I watched another and then another. And then it dawned on me how such a fragile little creation of God, that single crystallized unique configuration of water, can make such a difference when it sticks together with other flakes.

Look around you.

Look what they’ve accomplished together.

The two feet plus of achievement made me wonder what people of varying opinions, styles, political persuasions, religions, colors, etc., etc. can achieve if they work together to promote the greatest good.

It could be your family working in harmony or your neighborhood or employer.

It might even be your favorite football team.

I thought about this wonderfully simple concept of banding together again yesterday when I learned of some unsettling news about a very dear friend.

Janine learned several months ago that doctors discovered cancer. She attacked the cancer with the same zest and determination that characterize her life. She is truly an inspiration for all who know her.

I first met Janine less than three years ago and immediately I was attracted to her energy and enthusiasm. The twinkle in her eye was the beautiful byproduct of a soul fueled by optimism and positivity.

Aggressive chemotherapy would dominate Janine’s life for months. Doctors believed that they removed all the cancer from her body during surgery prior to the chemo treatments – treatments which were then considered somewhat of an overkill but in essence an insurance policy for Janine to emerge cancer free once and for all.

Unfortunately it hasn’t worked out that way.

Janine now has more cancer and a lesion on her brain. She has been scheduled for brain surgery tomorrow at 1pm. After surgery, she will undergo cyber knife radiation and more chemo.

Despite it all, this brilliant beacon of light for all who know her takes it all in stride and views the physical challenges ahead as nothing more than a few speed bumps along the path of her life’s journey.

She continues to inspire…

I often wonder why God would allow one of His Rembrandts to suffer so. Why Janine? Why now?

Sometimes I think she was chosen because of who she is. Perhaps more than anyone I know, Janine can handle this with grace, style, dignity and faith and in doing so, she continues to be that beacon of light showing the rest of us the way.

Janine might not be thrilled that I’m sharing this story but I think that it absolutely captures the essence of her being.

As is the case with most chemo patients, Janine shed her dazzling blonde hair and was forced to revert to a temporary back up plan – a wig.

In November while attending the Bruce Springsteen concert at The Arena with some of her BFF’s, Janine let loose. As Springsteen romped through song after song without taking a break, Janine refused to let her ailment break her. She yanked off the wig and waved it in the air like a pompom as she swayed and celebrated with The Boss.

That is energy.

That is determination and confidence.

That is living.

That is Janine!

There is not a doubt in my mind that her recent setback is merely temporary and like all those memorable twists and turns along the path of her life, this too will soon be in her rearview mirror.

Janine’s friends will band together in support and in prayer.

And like those snowflakes so fragile alone yet so safe in numbers, together we can make a difference.

Here’s to the journey Janine.

Your effervescence will prevail!



Jerry B said...

TL: having lost my father and two dear friends to cancer and with my father-in-law currently battling it, there are few things more devestating to family and friends than this dreaded disease. Your poignant story has touched a "nerve" and I find myself wishing your friend a peaceful resolution to her illness! So sad........

Golfphotog said...

WoW Lombo....You have really conveyed through words the SPECIAL Gal Janine really is. Lucky enough as a young buck, to meet and date her. The points you made, were all the things that were and are so attractive about her. Despite her physical Beauty.
I am praying harder than ever for truly one of "God's Little Angels"!
We all Love You and are wishing for a fast recovery!