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Monday, May 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Day in May

This is Thanksgiving Day for me.  I saw Dr. Diaz today to get the results of my bone marrow biopsy upon which a very thorough analysis had been undertaken.  Result—no cancer of any kind.  I had braced myself for the worse news only to find out the best.  It has been roughly a month since I was told it was possible that I had cancer.   A period in which I have had to shape an attitude that would supplant a feeling of victimization should I have only six months to live, or that would entail the cheerful acceptance of an extensive prolonged fight should that prove necessary. My appointment was at 2 pm, and I could not help but wonder what would be contained in my calls to friends and family an hour later.  When I made those calls, instead of offering earnest encouragement for me to join the fight for life everyone simply said “Hallelujah!”

Kindly Faces

Osama bin Laden
Sometimes I watch TV programs that follow inmates in high security prisons.  I am often struck by the incongruity of the pleasant visage of those who have done heinous crimes.  Some with innocent faces pose grave danger to fellow prisoners.  Their faces often seem to offer hope that they can be reached—that they can be taught empathy and kindness. With just a little can-do effort they can be made mentally and spiritually whole.  But, it is pointless to study the face in search of a good heart.  The smile and sparkle in the eye can derive from hatred as surely as it can derive from love.  Perhaps, one thinks, if only they had experienced a different childhood, then they could be happily and lawfully enjoying freedom in society—forming an example of an ideal citizen.  Lost opportunities be what they may, today’s realities are denied at one’s peril.      

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