Profiles of Hope: First Edition
I've gotten to know the stories of several individuals in the blogworld through this blog, and searching for others who are dealing with cancer of any kind. One of the first blogs that really struck a chord with me was, A Woman of Many Parts. There was an honesty and a vulnerablity about the words revealing a strengh of character that you don't see very often. What I read wasn't Lance Armstrong spin-doctoring about what a "gift" cancer could be. It was stark reality, but far from despair. Through her blog, and through just a few interactions with Minerva, I've been given another window that helps me to see what REAL HOPE is. REAL HOPE doesn't pretend that it's not scared shitless just to make people feel better. But it doesn't wallow in the mire of fear and pity either. REAL HOPE can be honest about the hard stuff, but pushes you towards that truly good stuff of substance that helps you to remember why it is that we say life is good.
Not only did Minerva encourage me by sharing her story, but she's come and shared her compassion with me. She has validated my feelings when I desperately needed to know that I was really ok right where I was. She has spurred me on to focus on the light. She has helped me hold onto hope simply with the comments that she's made here at my blog.
I think one of the most powerful gifts she has given me, without even knowing it I'm sure, is a testimony to life. When loss just seemed to be swirling around me, when it seemed that the beast was too strong, I always, always, always though, "But look at Minerva. She's still going. And she is going to win." She was the counter-argument to the loss and the hopelessness, every time that I was bogged down in the losses that loomed, or came and with the harshest force. She was, some days, the one ray of light that I held onto when I thought about the beast that is cancer.
She is fighting the beast. She is "evicting" it from taking up residence in her life. And she is winning.
Thanks, Minerva for giving me courage, for sharing compassion even in the midst of your own struggle, and for all in all being remarkable.