Thursday, April 25, 2013

book review~ To the End and Back: Lessons Learned Through Surviving Cancer

I've started this post several times.  A lot has been swirling through my head since I read Aaron Offord's book "To the End and Back: Lessons Learned Through Surviving Cancer".  It was an amazing read for me, and I was at a loss how to describe it to the people who read my blog.  I had promised Aaron I would offer a post and link back to him to allow people to connect, read, and perhaps leave a donation.

Aaron wanted to share his experiences and "aha" moments, in the hope that he could help people to see that there is life after cancer, it isn't hopeless, and that you can take any tribulation in life and turn it into a way to grow and learn, and savor life fully.

I guess that is what meant the most to me.  I had followed Aaron's blog and read about his journey through treatment for acute leukemia.  We had first connected through our mutual love of photography, and I watched his talent and ability take flight online, bit by bit.

Then I read his book, and it all became clear to me.  What life meant to Aaron, and how he turned what could have been seen as a negative experience into something very positive.  One of the first sentences that jumped out at me, a theme that was woven throughout Aaron's writing, was a quote from a book Aaron had read by Viktor Frankl, a neurologist and physicist who survived the Holocaust:

The meaning of life is found in every moment of living.

I saw such a simple truth in this sentence, such a clarity.  As I read on I found many themes and ideas Aaron had discovered that resonated with me in my own life.  Along the way, as I finished reading, a coworker in my organization died suddenly of acute leukemia.  This brought a sudden clarity to my mind, and I went back and reread Aaron's book with new eyes.

I don't want to use a lot of quotes from the book in here, because Aaron has taken his lessons and beliefs and presented them so concisely, so to the point, that I want to encourage you all to download and read it.  I don't do many book reviews, and I don't promote something I don't believe in.

I believe this book will bring you some "aha" moments as it did for me.  Download it.  Read it.  Be prepared to be inspired, as I was.

Then leave a comment on Aaron's blog, and a donation if you are so inclined.  All proceeds from the book will go to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Click on this link to download To the End and Back: Lessons Learned Through Surviving Cancer is inspirational!~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

in the midst of chaos...comes spring

Mankind is a violent, cruel species.  Evolved from whatever your beliefs are based in, we have a tendency to destroy our own, with no thought to the value, or the uniqueness and individuality that we each possess.  The events yesterday in Boston during the Boston Marathon served to reinforce this for me.  And I paused to think about the past several weeks...

I have had time to reflect on many things since mid-February, through surgeries (one my own), illnesses, allergies from hell, the day to day crises that have been my life.  My mood has been sinking lower and lower.  I stopped taking photos, stopped painting, and stopped writing.

Then...spring arrived.  A little bit at a time, it arrived.  One leaf at a time, one rainstorm after another, days that warmed slowly.  It crept up until suddenly, a day came and my eyes noticed that winter had finally left.  The seasons pass as surely as time in an hourglass...there is no stopping it.  Which is as it should be.

I find suddenly the urge to strike out on my own again...with camera, pen and ink, paints and canvas, and words.

So, here I am.  And here is my spring... is good. ~cath
find me @jonesbabie on Twitter