Brain cancer: Gratitude

It rained last night, wetting the Adirondack chair I had perched on the two stones that make up our fledgling bedroom courtyard patio. The drops plopped on the red sandstone flags we laid on Sunday, kicking up puffs of fragrant dust until the steady patter darkened the surface of the stone, until the stone glimmered with water and the air smelled wet and alive; it rained until the trellis around the kitchen garden was hung with diamond drops of rain, until the tires of passing cars splashed in the sheet of water on the streets, until the rush and gurgle of rain had the gutters singing again.

Our rain gauge this morning registered about three-tenths of an inch of rain. Not much, but enough to briefly revive this high-desert valley, where life survives on very little water.

Perhaps you live where that rain is a regular visitor, and you can’t imagine the gratitude we feel for its occasional stops here. To go for weeks or months without life-giving water falling from the sky is to shrivel inside, weary of cloudless day after cloudless day, the ground dusty, the plants brittle, and the landscape silenced as life is silenced. We wait for rain, for hope, for life’s return.


And when it comes, we are grateful, our faith in life–the capital L stuff, the whole grand cycle of birth and death and dissolution of molecules into atoms that agglomerate eventually into the building blocks of new life–is renewed.

So today, I am filled with gratitude. For rain. For life. For the kindness and love that helps buoy Richard and I on this journey with his brain cancer.

As we prepare to drive over the mountains yet again for his next infusion of Avastin, the chemotherapy drug that seems to be slowing the glioblastoma in his right brain, making space for gradual healing, my well of hope and faith is filled again.

I bow to this battered Earth, to the process of Life itself, to all of you. My deep gratitude.