Friday, February 27, 2015

Giving in isn't giving up

This phrase is too true in too many situations, but today it is my message to Oren.

I don't know Oren, as in I have never spoken directly to him or met him in person.  But, I know Oren ... the person who has given so much of himself for his community, and who has enlarged that community by giving so generously around his illness.

I check on his twitter and facebook religiously ... hoping for good news and bracing for bad.  He has been very silent lately.  And I have been worried.

I saw some posts on fb by others this morning ... and my heart sank.  There are so many things I want to do, and none of them will help.  But I thought I could put out here what is in my heart.

Dear Oren,
You have been brave, so brave, even in those moments when you thought you weren't being brave.  Brave looks and acts differently in the many situations we face.  You have exhibited brave by being present, by admitting the pain and fear and bewilderment, by writing those letters to your kids, by believing in the treatments, by accepting the limited successes, by succumbing to the inevitable.  Giving in is not giving up.  There is no way to see all you have been through in any way as giving up.

At a time when I needed to remember to live despite the pain, I turned to your story.  I used the strength and courage and bravery you showed to remind myself to hold on.  I used the vulnerability you recounted to remember to be compassionate with myself when I felt like I was giving up.  I realized that sometimes you have to give in to the pain and the grief in order to get through it -- to whatever is on the other side.

You are and will always be a bright spot in this world -- through your life, your words, your tremendous wife and beautiful children.  You have given us your living legacy.  I cannot begin to thank you enough for sharing your journey with the world.  You put it out there -- fearless, brave, strong, courageous and intensely human.

I wish you peace.  I pray your pain is manageable.  I hope you are surrounded by all the love possible.  I know that there are many of us out here who do not know you that are sending it all your way.

All my best to you and your family, now and always.

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