Life often provides us with opportunities for newfound appreciation of what we had previously taken for granted. Joni Mitchell said it beautifully when she reminded us, “you don’t know what you've got till its gone.” Forgetting this refrain is part of our shared human frailty.
When we are sick, we remember how good it felt to be well.
The absence of pain can go unrecognized. We recall what had been a blissful state when we are suffering in discomfort.
Some instances of no longer taking things for granted are starkly etched in my consciousness....the final scratch from chicken pox, finding my mother after losing her in a department store for what seemed, for a 6-yearold girl, an eternity, taking a hot shower after over two years of cold showers as a Peace Corps volunteer in the cool highlands of Guatemala.
I am currently three weeks into a bottle of shampoo, an item I did not use in 2016. The feel of thick, fragrant lather on my scalp is an indescribable joy. Losing my hair was not all that bad, and the privilege of noticing how much I love shampoo almost made it worth it.
Please stay tuned for an invitation to an appreciation party for all of you who, through your support and care, made my survival possible. Chemotherapy killed my cancer, but you helped me to live.