There is a saying that when life give you lemons, make lemonade. It might sound trite and naive but it does have a bit of truth. Make no bones about it, life can be tough and if we are breathing there will be some days with a lot of lemons. In my mind if life were a mental disorder it would have the characteristics of being bi-polar. Unfortunately life cannot take a pill and cure its ups and downs. In my thoughts life is a gift and many days are spent drinking that lemonade but we all know with life there comes loss, sadness, pain and despair. We lose those that we love, we lose our vitality and we lose our own lives. There is not one of us that will not need that recipe for lemonade. I marvel at the human spirit and its resilience. I see people who have surmounted incredible difficulties crossed the abyss and come back even stronger. I sometimes wonder what makes resilience and how adversity changes us and those around us.
Eight years ago I was diagnosed with a rare and deadly form of cancer. There were a few lemons in that bag and I just did not know how to make lemonade. I lived in fear of the outcome. I also lived on the internet which can add a lot of fuel to the fire of fear. Every 3 months at followup time there it was, my own private panic attack. I was one of few surviving and oh how I searched for others. I wanted company and the reassurance that all would be well. Sometimes there just is not a map and we have to be willing to take one step at a time and peer into the abyss. Cancer is a strange entity. It not only messes with your body but it messes with your mind and sense of well being. It also has a strange effect on those we hold close.
Fear comes in many colors and friends may disappear along our journey through the abyss. Many fear another’s pain and grief and cannot or will not be a personal witness. When we are going thru our personal hells we come to know our true friends, what is important and how much sugar to add to our lemonade. If we are lucky, we eventually find a place for our sore spots. They become a part of us but do not define us. One day my sore spots will heal and I too will have come to the other side.