Column: No epiphanies, but realization of how kind people are

I don’t have any epiphanies to tell you about. I thought that being treated for a life-threatening illness might make me reevaluate my life. Maybe I would come out of this experience a changed woman with a new purpose.
In Sikka Madhulika’s book “A Breast Cancer Alphabet,” the E is for epiphanies.
“I’d like to say I had one,” she writes. “I’m tempted to say everything in my life changed and I have become a better person. I’d like to say that I unleashed a newfound sense of purpose, a motivation to do all those things I hadn’t had the guts to do before.”
Like the author, I haven’t had any epiphanies either. What I want is what she writes that she wants, too — to have back the life I had before cancer. I’d give anything to be training to run the Charleston Distance Run or another half marathon this year instead of enduring chemotherapy treatment.
I wish I could get up every morning and work from my office downtown instead of on the couch in my living room. I wish I were planning to see a music festival or two this year instead of being at home most of the time.
(Granted, a lot of the things I want may or may not happen anyway because of COVID-19).
And while I haven’t had any epiphanies, I have had small realizations. For one, I should just adopt the dog and buy the kayak that every summer I wish I had. When this is over and I’m done with treatment, I’m going to do just that.
Also, people are really kind. I always knew people were kind, but I’ve never experienced it like this before.
I’ve gotten cards and emails from strangers. A family friend I hadn’t spoken to in years sent me money in case I have to quit working.
The other night, a neighbor from up the street made chili and brought me over a cup of it. Another neighbor watered my plants in a shared community garden.
A friend of mine has hosted me and some of my colleagues at her home for Sunday night dinners ever since I moved to Charleston (a great act of kindness in itself). She had not hosted them for a while because of the pandemic. Recently, after regulations loosened up a bit, she moved the entire dinner to the rooftop deck of her condo. She put everyone at different tables several feet apart for social distancing and encouraged everyone to wear masks. All so I could safely attend.
I found my name on the emailed prayer list at Christ United Methodist Church, which is my church even though I’m an infrequent attender at best. I could go on like this, with example after example of people being kind, but you get the picture. People are really kind.
When this is over, I don’t want to forget their kindness. I want to find a way to repay it in some way.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s