A good friend has cancer.  It’s pretty damn serious.  He’s had several rounds of radiation.  He just started chemo (again).  They can’t seem to kill it.  Those treatment regimes are crushing him.  He might not last the year.  His family is doing all they can to support him and stay positive.

An old family friend has cancer.  The doctors told him there is nothing they can do for him.  He was moved from ICU to hospice yesterday.  His family is holding vigil.  He’s had a good and full life.  Great family, great human.  It still sucks.

A co-worker has some undisclosed illness — dollar to a dime, it’s some sort of cancer.   His wife is staying upbeat, but the future is uncertain.  Really hope he can bounce back.

An old classmate posted recently he’s battling cancer too.  He had surgery two weeks ago to remove the malignant tissue.   Chemo will likely be on the docket soon as a next phase of treatment.  Seems he’s got a good support network founded on his wife and adult daughter.

What does it all come down to?  The science of disease and medical treatment, the art of finding the right blend to kill the cancer, the support of family and friends as everyone struggles in one way or another — physically, emotionally, to cope and stay in the fight — and FAITH.

Like faith needs a doubt, like a freeway out, we all need love to hold us together, and persevere.   For whom the bell tolls?  It tolls for each of us in due time.  We cannot know the hour or the day, so we best be ready.

The Bell Tolls,

Be Ready.

The Queen of Hearts

Tenniel-Alice-in-WonderlandI’m reading Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland to my daughter right now.  First full length novel for her, and first time reading the work on my side.  I had no idea.

I knew the basic story of course, and the characters.  But I didn’t know the story was so old (first published in 1865 — EIGHTEEN SIXTY FIVE).  And I didn’t know the style of writing ol’ Lewis Carroll employed.  Wow.  Gotta pay attention, that’s for sure.

But my favorite part, aside from the story itself, is fact that my daughter read this classic passage over and over again, until she memorized it.

“The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts, All on a summer’s day; The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts, And took them quite away!”

My daughter was still reciting that this morning at breakfast.

Reading is FUN.  Stories are FUN.  The magic is undeniable.   I’m reminded of a catch-phrase I heard growing up:  “Reading is Fundamental”.

It sure is.

And when you do it with kids?