In October in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness I will post a daily blog with a reflection about breast cancer. The reflections will stem from something in the play. (All quoted lines are text from the play.)
Day 27: B’Shert – Destiny: There is a Yiddish word meaning destiny --B’Shert. In the breast cancer context destiny can be complicated. Yes, I think Susan and I were destined to be together. “I can even remember the first time I noticed Susan, we hadn’t even met yet. She was living in Houston and I was living in El Paso,” is how I begin telling the story of how Susan and I at the age of 16 attended the same youth group convention and ‘noticed’ each other. Then 3 years later we end up at the same college (Texas Western, now UTEP) and find each other again. Eyeballing each other in Texarkana, Texas and then magically going to the same college, meeting then dating and falling in love. How can that be? Just an accident? I don’t think so. Somehow in the universe of unexplainable things this had to have been meant to be. Yet, if things are “destined to happen” to us, what about illness? What about “cancer.” Was that pre-ordained for Susan or any other person with cancer? It is much easier to believe that love is “meant to be” than it is that illness or tragedy is the product of some preordain structure in the universe. I do not know. I am open to the possibility that it is true that the end is written at the same time the story of our lives begins. We do not know so much about the “whys” of life and death. What we can do is respond to both the love and the loss in our lives as if it is our responsibility to honor both.
Stat of the Day: Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the world. For example, in Australia, in 2010 breast cancer accounted for 28% of all cancers in women in Australia.
Task of the Day: Read a love story or watch a movie about a love story and cancer. Here are a couple of books I recently enjoyed. One Hundred Names for Love , by Diane Ackerman; The Wisdom of Love, by Jacob Needleman; Levels of Life by Julian Barnes. Then there is there is the original: Love Story by Erich Segal.
Resource of the Day: If you are Jewish, check-out Sharsheret a breast cancer program for Jewish Communities.