Image default
COMMENTARY

Stripping Away Life’s Trappings…

By Gary W. Moore

We are all on our individual life journey.

Thank you. The positive response to last week’s column has been both touching and overwhelming. Emails have poured in from across the country and around the globe. There seemed to be one unifying message and that is that this “Cancel Culture” movement is dangerous, and we must resist. I’m not a political columnist and each time I step outside of my ‘hoola hoop’ to comment politically I’m always sorry. But this dangerous movement is at the very heart of it a lifestyle issue and I’m a lifestyle columnist.

Is our culture perfect? Of course not. Are there things that need to change? Of course, and I believe our history shows that as a nation we recognize where we are wrong and evolve. But this idea that we must tear down everything is ridiculous and again … dangerous.

So, what’s new?

As I’ve traveled my cancer journey, I’ve learned so much about the difference between our needs and wants. Looking back on my life, I wish I could have learned these lessons at a younger age, but lessons worth learning come at a price. My price is age, experience, and cancer.

I’ve learned that whatever life takes away from you, let it go. Struggling against what you cannot change only fills your life with frustration and disappointment. We are born with nothing and will leave the same way. And once you let go, you’ feel the joy of true freedom.

Someone I don’t know sent me a needed message via social media saying, “Cancer is all consuming and strips away your life and all that’s important to you. You act like it’s nothing, so I hope you’ll seek counseling to help you understand the truth of what you face.”

Her response served as a reminder that we are all on our individual life and health journey. My perspective is as a man who has been fortunate enough to have raised my children and lived a very full life before my diagnosis. That is not true for all.

For me Cancer only strips away the unimportant. This body was always and only meant to be a temporary jar of clay. Cancer doesn’t strip away my family and friends but has instead brought them closer. Cancer can’t take away my love for others and the beautiful experiences I’ve enjoyed in my life. And cancer not only hasn’t stripped away my faith but has intensified it. I feel and recognize God’s love for me each day. Yes, my body is deteriorating but I feel my soul beginning to thrive and look forward to someday returning home. So, no … for me, cancer takes away nothing of any lasting value.

My reader reminded me my truth isn’t truth for all. I understand what I’m facing. But I realize everything in life is a two-headed coin. There’s always positives and negatives to every situation. I recognize both but choose to focus on the good and positive of every circumstance. I laugh often as I realize my optimism confuses some and even angers others.

But I also understand everyone’s health journey is different. A young mother with small children would certainly have a different look at her cancer as she faces leaving her family without her … or parents of a three-year old with cancer stand at the brink of losing far more than I could imagine, If I had lost one of my children, I don’t know that my positive outlook and optimism could have ever been the same.

We all look at our lives from our vantage point. For me, cancer is an experience to grow emotionally and spiritually, while I fight against the odds to beat this disease and believe I am and will. For others it can be complete and utter devastation.

But even in the worst of cases, those left behind must recover and move on. Recognizing and embracing the positive memories and looking at the gifts we cherished with our loved ones are important to that process.

I guess my point is, as always, look for the good in every circumstance. It’s there if you seek it.

On a lighter note …

An interesting part of this is since stomach cancer prohibits me from eating all the foods I enjoy, I find myself, watching cooking tutorials 3-5 hours a day. I’ve learned that I love to cook for my family and others as much, if not more, than I enjoy eating. But there is a downside …

I’ve become a prolific online shopper of spices, and cooking devices. Ice cream maker, tortilla press, sausage maker, meat grinder … an endless parade of items has found their way to my front porch. But when the new outdoor pizza oven and new rotisserie grill arrived, Arlene threatened to take away my phone and credit card.

I guess I lay awake at night thinking of food, watch a tutorial, then order the gadget or food items needed. But hey … I’m an optimist! I’m working on beating this cancer and making up for lost time once I do.  I promise I’ll put them all to good use and invite you to a barbecue!

So, what’s my new mantra?

Be an optimist and buy a new grill!

Gary W. Moore is a freelance columnist, speaker, and author of three books including the award-winning, critically acclaimed, “Playing with the Enemy.” Follow Gary on Twitter @GaryWMoore721 and at www.garywmoore.com

Leave a Comment

Related posts

Quarantine is What We Make of It

Caprock Patriot

It Is with a Broken Heart…

Caprock Patriot

The Healthy Patriot

Caprock Patriot