The Other “C” Word

The power of a word rests in the weight we give it. Some words are considered extremely powerful, some words offend, some inspire. Still others bend and contort to change according to their environment. Words like love and hate make declarations of passion, while words like life and death convey a coming certainty. Every word can be broken down into a simple combination of letters, strung together to create a sound. Then, one word, on any given day, can change everything. Cancer.

Did you feel that? Chances are, you felt the gravity of that word.

For years that word has echoed around you, playing its benign song in and around your world, always giving just enough space not to invade your comfort. Then one day it comes barreling out of a black tunnel aimed at you. With a savage howl it hits you, pierces through you, and leaves you crumbled in its wake.

His name was John. Cancer took him.

One day the word Cancer took center stage, with only a short performance in mind. Three weeks later the word funeral replaced it, the show was over. Cancer is a greedy word, and it wasn’t done yet.

John’s younger brother was Josh. Cancer took him too. This time Cancer stuck around for more performances, granted a few encores, and when it had the audience on their feet, the curtain came down hard.

When the fog lifted, two brothers were gone. Swallowed by the blackness of the word Cancer.

Then I saw it. Like the ripple left in the water after it has been touched. Like a scent in the air that lingers. Like warmth of a hug long after its embrace. LOVE.

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Love is the greatest of words. Love covers, cleanses, heals, refreshes, inspires, and comforts. When the dark of the world succeeds in defeating the flesh, love comes to light the way out. Love endures beyond the grave, beyond the pain, beyond the loss. Love has this power even when we don’t realize it.thCA9289YC

It may not be possible to remove the fear and suffering from words like Cancer, but we can choose to give more life to words that lift and strengthen us.

Consider the power of your words. How do you speak to the ones you love? What words in your life have you given power to destroy you or others? Could you take back that power and use it to encourage? Could you cover more darkness with the light of love? We shoulder the responsibility of our words. We are individually responsible for our usage of these simple words. Your words will define you and remain long after you are gone. Your words will be your legacy. Be wise in using them.

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8 thoughts on “The Other “C” Word

  1. This is beautiful I love it. My mother had cancer and it was a very scary situation. It served as a reminder that life is precious. Of course once she was in remission for awhile it was easy to forget, but this was a perfect reminder.

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  2. I lost my only sister to ALL leukemia in 1961, and my father to colon cancer in 1986. In 1993 my mom was diagnosed with lung cancer and given 16 months to live. By the end of 1993 she was cancer free, and that lasted until summer 2000. When her cancer came back, my mom fought it like a demon. She cheated death twice, and lived until August 2005. If I learned nothing else from all that, I learned how important it is to tell those you love how you feel, at every conceivable opportunity. I loved your post!

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    • Thank you so much for taking the time to share that! I’m so sorry for your loss. My son, who was 10 at the time John died (John was his best friend) said this to me and it stuck “I’m not gonna be sad for John mom, he’s happy now, so I’ll be happy too”. That’s what I hope to always be strong enough to remember.

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      • My sister died exactly six weeks before her 5th birthday. One day in the weeks before she died, she asked our mom, “mum, am I going to die?” My mom hemmed and hawed, trying to say she didn’t know. My sister interrupted her, saying, “no mum, I AM going to die. But I don’t want you to be sad, because I’ll be with Jesus.” My parents had “Asleep in Jesus” inscribed on her headstone. I was only 3 at the time, but my mom said nothing took the crushed look off my face until they said she wasn’t in pain, and wasn’t sick any longer. Your son had the right idea!

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