Former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley once made a commercial in which he proclaimed that he was not a role model.
I can appreciate that. Especially, where cancer is concerned. If you’re a regular reader of my blog or just know me, you know my wife died of cancer almost nine years ago.
Now when I hear of someone, whether it is a friend or even a friend or relative of a friend, I always feel like I should reach out. That I should provide some words of comfort and hope.
But I’m always hesitant to do that. People with cancer don’t need to hear from me. They need to hear from people who have survived cancer. They need stories of inspiration. Stories of hope and overcoming such a terrible disease.
But I’m not hope. I’m reality. I represent that other thing that can happen. I’m sure when those with cancer see me, they can’t help but think about that. To think about what could happen to them.
So I hesitate when common courtesy would suggest that I provide a comforting word. I withdraw when the situation really calls for reaching out.
But then I think, maybe I’m not supposed to be an inspiration to those who have cancer. Instead, maybe I’m supposed to provide hope to those who have lost a loved one to cancer.
And if others can draw even a small amount of comfort from seeing my life, from seeing me go on, then that provides a small amount of hope to me.