“What was your first reaction, Donna, when you were diagnosed with bladder cancer?” my friend Sue asked. She is a compassionate breast cancer survivor and had driven me to the hospital for surgery.
I told her, “I was stunned. Dopey. I came home and just sat in the sunshine on the front porch steps. After a while, I asked myself, ‘Well, if you have six months left, what needs to be done?’ I mulled over my options and decided to clean out the attic. Sort and give away. Who else would know what to do with all that stuff?”
I found the wooden toy train that used to encircle the Christmas tree and emailed my adult grandson to see if he’d like it. “I don’t decorate for Christmas, Gran, so I can’t use the train.” I put it back. I heaved a lot of old baskets and just-in-case cardboard boxes out the attic door. And I found three cartons of memorabilia from the peace walks I’d joined in the 1980s. Aaaah. I sat on the floor for hours poring over memories, savoring those adventurous times of living outdoors, walking thousands of miles with hundreds of people committed to a world of peaceful co-existence. (more…)