Today is 9/11. Three years ago today, the surgeon cut out the greater part of Jim’s left frontal lobe, and the pathologist confirmed a diagnosis of glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is grade IV brain cancer, almost always fatal, and even with aggressive treatment, most patients are dead within 9 months. I was also told that due to the location of the tumor and the size of the resection that he may never talk again, and would have minimal passion for life. Jim lived for 14 months after his surgery. He never stopped talking, even when he no longer made sense. He accomplished 90% of his bucket list (we never did make it to Bhutan), and remained passionate about the adventure of life and the people in it.
Today is 9/11. According to my google calendar, it’s Patriot Day. There are kids at the middle school that were just babies in the year 2001. Yet, on my morning dog walk, I saw one of these kids raising a flag in his yard, and placing it at half mast. 9/11 is a day of remembrance of loss…a loss of lives, a loss of innocence, a loss of a feeling of security. A whole country grieves on the same day I do. That kid will head off to school, he will laugh with friends, perhaps he will learn something in Earth Science.
Today is 9/11. I grieve. Everyone grieves. On 9/11, I am reminded that death is a part of life, and grief is a universal condition. I am not alone, we are not alone. And, even in days that can seem darker than death, there is hope. Hold your lanterns high.