Scrolling through my newsfeed a few nights ago, I came upon two posts, one on top of the other that captured a thing I know to be true about cancer…it gives and it takes. Hope Schaberg – I’ve never met her in person…but we became friends on July 17, 2012 after a short phone chat about coaching as a profession. There’s just something wonderful and quirky about Hope (I mean that in the best way possible – normal is boring) that kept me following her story. She’s one of those people who oozes great energy and sunshine.
Cancer survivors inspire me. Seeing them take all the challenges of this disease and keep on living and loving is simply awesome. So I was very excited to see her post of February 2nd announcing that, in spite of being warned it may never be possible, she is pregnant. Hope keeps her Facebook friends updated from time to time with some preggie selfies and other tiny tidbits of miraculous moments she’s experiencing. In the spirit of her name, she gives Hope and, now life.
And, then, the yin moment. Directly below, appears a post about the passing of a truly incredible journalist by the name of Betsy Cohen, dead at a young 49 years of age from metastatic breast cancer. And, yes, when you read the beautifully written obituary, you absolutely wish you could have been in Missoula for one of Betsy’s famous July 4th strawberry shortcake celebrations or that you could have saddled up a borrowed ride and taken to the trails with her perched high on her horse, Jewel.
Life…it can give us miracles and it can take in a way that tears us apart and leaves us, for a time, lost in the pain. All in one moment there can be joyful beginnings for one and heart-wrenching endings for another. It is a natural part of the ebb and the flow as we move between our own birth and death with some moments so brilliant we can hardly believe they are ours to experience and others so dark we wonder if we’ll ever find our way back.
The odd juxtaposition of Hope’s latest belly share and the obituary of a woman who left those who knew and loved her too soon is, for me, just a different expression of one of the mantra’s that got me through some of my darkest days… “This, too, shall pass.” Joy shall pass and so shall pain. Births will come and so will deaths. But what occurs in the in between moments is ours and both of these women, Hope and Betsy, in their own unique ways have shown us that it is up to us to choose how we fill the days we are gifted with and the kind of difference we will make in the lives of those we touch.