Saturday, July 21, 2007

July 21, 2007 - Trusting the River

This evening, I come across a rather good metaphor for living with cancer. It comes from an obituary in the Boston Globe, for Lynne Dahlborg, a woman whose cancer blog I've been following. It was written by a Globe correspondent by the name of J.M. Lawrence:

"On her 59th birthday last year, Lynne Dahlborg went tubing with her children down the rocky course of the Virgin River near Utah's Zion National Park.

Doctors had told her a few weeks earlier that she had a rare terminal cancer and removed her gallbladder.

Writing about that river ride in a blog, Ms. Dahlborg said she found herself exhausted and terrified, with no exit. Her daughter loved the three-hour adventure, but Ms. Dahlborg was in agony until she stopped fighting the flow, she wrote.

‘Like life, the river kept going, and my surrender was part of living and healing and knowing that I could survive even the sharpest rocks and deepest drops,' Ms. Dahlborg wrote, using the river as a metaphor for her cancer and strong faith that God would heal her spirit."

I felt touched, a week or so ago, when I visited Lynne's blog and found an entry written by her partner, the Rev. Patty Kogut, announcing her death. These blogs allow us to journey with people we've never met, through some pretty rich and challenging human experiences. When one of us falls, there's a sadness – not as distinct as the sadness of someone we've known through face-to-face contacts, but a sadness all the same.

I do so appreciate Lynne's image of the white-water tubing trip. The cancer journey includes some wild rides, and also significant periods of calm, placid water. I think Lynne was right in pointing out that the only way to make the journey is to cease resisting our little craft's tossings and turnings, and trust the river to carry us along.

1 comment:

Vicky said...

Carl, Thanks so much for the link to Lynne's blog. It is so beautifully done.