Cancer As Curse And Gift
For four of the six years we were married, my husband Bud dealt daily with the realities of cancer. After a long remission, his prostate cancer flared in 2006 and from that point until his death a few weeks ago, Bud lived in constant pain. Fortunately, Bud and I soon discovered Harmony Hill, a retreat center on Hood Canal in Union, Washington that offers cancer programs that truly transform the experience of cancer.
Bud took the skills and lessons gained at Harmony Hill on the road, speaking to groups about the new possibilities Harmony Hill offers to those experiencing cancer, including family members. He also started a men’s support group for those facing serious illness and disability which now continues in his name.
The Wrapping Sucks
Like so many others, Bud and I did find that cancer brings many gifts in its wake, but Bud was quick to say, “Cancer is a gift, but the wrapping sucks.”
One gift I won’t soon forget was Bud’s amazing appreciation for just being alive. He woke up happy, just because he did wake up. It is awe inspiring to live with somebody who actually embodies that delicious pleasure in life.
Bud faced his numerous losses with courage, humor, dignity and abiding love. In his final few years, Bud was able to realize his deep desire to live a life of service and had some of the happiest times of his life.
A Final Project
One of Bud’s last projects was to convert our old hot tub into a garden bed. Now lush with winter vegetables, it is one of the first things I see each day and a constant reminder to be grateful and kind. In the end, it really is kindness that counts the most.