Ever been part of one of those gloomy, dreary rainy days when everything has seemed to dull. The clouds, the landscape, the water, the buildings have all started to blend into each other, mocking the idea of a bright, sunny day. And just as you think they could never look the way they did the day before, the clouds part ever so slightly in one area, not a lot, but just enough that a few of the sun's rays poke through. And as you say to yourself, "Oh, wow! The sun is till out", you follow the sun beam to the opposite side of the clouded sky and something unthought of happens. The beam fires through droplet of water and rain, splitting their light spectrum and colours appear in the sky. Softly at first and very soon a bold, brilliant, and awesome rainbow arcs the sky. And as you look at its wonder your mouth even opens for a moment with pure awe of it's beauty amongst the muted tones in the sky.
So am I going to reference the tired cliche that every cloud has a silver lining? Or that there's always good in a bad situation? Yes and no.
I'm not going to say cancer is a blessing to anyone. But it has helped lives as well and destroy them. Cancer help lives? She's off her rocker, one might say, but it's true. Ask a cancer patient (after they're out of the hot spot of newly diagnosed and treatment finalized), and I'm sure they'll start talking about all the friends they've made through support groups like Pink Panthers through BCANS and Retreat through YACC. They'll start talking about how they started doing things they had put off until after they went through the trials of having cancer and said, no more waiting!
It's not that cancer hasn't taken anyone too soon in their life, either. There's lots of loss when dealing with it. Some lose pieces of themselves, mentally, spiritually, and physically. And some lose their life all together. For them, we mourn their passing so quickly and tragically, but we honour their life with remembering them for their personality, strength, and vulnerability, not their cancer.
We will shed tears at the loss. That is our rain. The darkness. That is the clouds. Our world is more drab and dulled with them gone. We come to feel surrounded in the despair of the "evil cancer" and as we get lost in it's "evil cloud" we can easily forget that there is still good out there. At least until a little ray of light comes through.
The light can be the smile on your child's face. The laughter filling your heart when you're with friends. The embrace of your spouse or loved one. The realization that you just accomplished something you never thought you could. You then step back and see your rainbow. Your promise that life does go on. Your promise that you are not alone.
If you know your Bible stories, you know how they say the rainbow came to Noah as a message. It was God's promise that he would never flood the Earth again they way he had then. And whether you are spiritual or not, the rainbow has always been seen as a sign of good and hope. The storm is over. The light has returned. The world is at peace once more. I look at it and see a promise that we are not alone. We never were. We have our rays of light in our life, and whether we have a small rainbow from it or a full circle that encompasses the sky, it is our reminder of our love and accomplishments.
We can do it. We can survive. We will survive!