A couple weeks ago I was at a fundraiser and offered to sell 50/50 tickets. In the process, I met a gentleman who Brigette and I ended up having a meeting with. He is the epitome of the Bitter and Sweet message. Turns out, 14 years ago he lost his 17 year old son to cancer. During that time, they had a fundraiser and had extra money left over after paying what they needed to. They decided to create a foundation and have been raising money ever since. They average about $80,000 every year! They help families that have children with cancer. He said they help 40-50 families a year. Can you imagine?
If you go to babycooppublishing.com, you can see a link to his site. It’s called The Matthew Foster Foundation. Inspiring guy. Inspiring family. Talk about taking tragedy and doing something good with it. Thanks for your example Burt!
This week, I spoke with someone who had read my book. I love hearing stories about how it has touched people. Each one has its own nuance, just a little different twist. I asked if I could share her reflections because it was a new thought that I loved hearing.
She is a cancer survivor. A young woman, maybe not even thirty yet. She had breast cancer and it was quite a story. After she had mentioned some of the things in the book she could identify with, she articulated the gift that was in the reading for her. She has an amazing support system around her- family, friends, significant other. They took care of her during her illness but she said in the back of her mind, she always thought it must have sucked for them to have to give up their time and energy for her. Bitter and Sweet seemed to release her from that. She realized when she read from a caretaker’s perspective, that people resent the disease, but never the person who suffers from it.
We were able to talk some more about that. I don’t know why I never thought to put this in my book, but I often say when I am speaking, that I love what I do for a living. Being a counselor is very rewarding. I am proud of the fact that I help people keep their families together, resolve grief and conflict, etc. I feel good about that when I hit the pillow every night.
BUT THERE IS NOTHING MORE SACRED THAN HAVING THE PRIVILEGE OF HELPING SOMEONE DIE WELL. I’ve never done anything more important with my life. I probably never will. Yes, it was hard. But this not a cliche- it was an honor to care for Tim and be on the journey with him.
So thanks for sharing your stories with me. And I hope this particular woman breathes a little easier these days, knowing it was ok to let the people that love her take care of her. Yea for humanity!