similar days (and my friend with cancer)

“You can become blind by seeing each day as a similar one. Each day is a different one, each day brings a miracle of its own. It’s just a matter of paying attention to this miracle.”

Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist

I have always liked this quote from a great and talented author. And maybe until today I would have interpreted it a little differently and written something different than what I am going to say today.

I think it would be trite to waste this space talking about how something like cancer can make you think about the value of each day.

So I won’t.

What I will do is write about how my friend who was diagnosed with prostate cancer took each day with grace and strength and an attitude that was awe inspiring.

What I will do is write about the fact that every once in awhile a friend of mine shows me how to be better in life. To be a better man.

Ok. Often that happens I guess. Maybe that’s why they are my friends.

So I figure if I write about it and share it with people maybe someone other than me can benefit from it.

Anyway. He just finished his last radiation treatment for his prostate cancer.

And you know what? While it was a pretty memorable day for him and his family each day leading up to it was … well … just another day. Each day kinda looked similar from the outside looking in.

stronger not easierOther than the fact he had to make time every, yes … every, day for some treatment I am not sure you would have ever known anything was happening. I think he told his boss and probably human resources at his company and beyond that he didn’t tell anyone. And I am also fairly sure no one around him knew. He faced each day as … well … a similar day.

We around him probably became a little blind to the little miracle happening each day. Because he made each day look so similar it was easy to overlook what was happening.

And what he was dealing with.

And what he was doing in dealing with it.

And, in general, the strength he showed all of us by, well, showing us nothing then similar days.greatness-300x300

Each day he faced a different challenge, each day was different to him but to all of us around him they seemed similar. And in doing so it is quite possible we missed a minor miracle.

Not the fact he is overcoming this evil challenge called cancer. But the miracle of inner strength.

I guess we all run the risk of seeing (or overlooking) such thing.

Typically the strongest people are the ones who aren’t overt in showing their strength.

The ones who show it to us in some ways are selfish. Or are seeking validation of their strength.

And then there are people like my friend who needs no validation.

I believe he sees strength in nothing he is doing nor in anything he has done.

He sees his strength in the fact that the people around him don’t see a miracle happening.

They simply see each day as similar to another.

Well. Paulo Coelho is correct. It is all about paying attention. It would have been very easy to miss this if I hadn’t paid attention. And I would have been lesser in some way if I had. So. In the end I would imagine I am suggesting maybe all of us pay attention every day just a little more. You may see something, if not a miracle, each day if you just pay attention.

Written by Bruce