I share and it stings, pierces. But the vulnerability that wells up and spills over meets my own pain and holds it, an embrace without touching. It happens each time I disclose my stage IV diagnosis.
This intimacy, this connection, is so powerful beneath the tears and hugs, that instead of choking up my news through anxiety and fear, I begin to lose my stress response. I share with love and an openness to the connection with people who care. People who love.
I thank you for your courage. I thank you for opening your raw response to me, letting me see. Thank you for not hiding.
I have discovered that 47 is an age of courage and humility, of love and strength. Every single person I shared this weekend with at my 25th college reunion met me with this strength, even the many people who had no memory of me from our college days.
We stayed in this space. We ravished Spinach pesto omelettes and heirloom tomatoes at the restaurant we loved. We adored Professor Dodds and erupted in disruptive class discussion. We listened to the alumni blue grass band, ate salmon, drank wine in plastic cups (I passed), rocked the B-52’s lobster, played in the carnival, tarot and photo booth, and wondered, finally, after sunset, at the strength, beauty and agility of our young college-age fire dancers.
Then we sat in that circle, the one that forms when everyone wants to hear and be present and share. We sipped and nibbled and talked from honest, reflective space.
It didn’t matter what I thought about. I could let my mind wander freely through the possibilities my diagnosis evoked. And I was happy every single minute today.