What is it that we recover from?
My job requires some traveling between Gettysburg and York, PA. Route 30 is the route that I take when I drive back and forth. For years I did this commute a few times every month and noticed the Children’s Cancer Recovery Foundation sign on the side of the road in New Oxford. My thoughts were almost always around how tragic it had to be for “others” to go through battles with cancer.
It was more than 3 years ago I started to pay closer attention. My son, Sebastian Gagliardi, was diagnosed in 2014 with DIPG, a rare brain cancer that carries a dire prognosis. A few months later he died of this terrible disease. We have many memories of the time he spent with us, especially during those last months. During his treatment he would receive many gifts from family and friends. We do recall gifts from organizations like the Children Cancer Recovery Foundation. We are forever grateful for the joy they brought to my son.
What is it that we recover from? For cancer patients, indeed, it is the painful physical and mental trauma of suffering. Recovery is part of the miracle story that cancer survivors share with us. That is a story that can bring joy and hope. For others, what we recover from is the trauma of loss; the loss of a loved one and the loss of a dream to have long life in their presence. In recovery we embrace the loss and move through it at our own pace. The miracle happens when we find our own way on a different journey, a journey where we can live more fully, more mindfully, and give truly to others.