Our conversation on the word “gift” will continue, but we wanted to look back at some of the comments and perspectives that have come in so far.
Our contributors speculated on whether cancer or aspects of cancer could be considered a “gift”. Megan C wrote “I typically think of a gift as something that is enjoyable and positive, rather than terrifying and painful” while Angela D agreed saying, “I would never consider cancer to be a gift” but followed up with “Never could I have known what I have meant to so many people. Perhaps this knowledge might be considered a gift.” In a comment on Angela’s post, Lori wrote: “You are a gift, Angela, not the disease or cancer but you and you would be regardless.”
Almost all of the posts had a theme of the “gift” being life itself, as Karen R wrote, “When I think of the “gift of life” that was given to me, I know that I will develop and gain strength from all my experiences…even with the pain I had to endure through each diagnosis, and all the struggles I’ve dealt with all my life, I still feel truly blessed.” Anne B had a similar reflection with “every day felt like a gift. I was very conscious of how lucky I was to be alive.”
Several explored that the most lasting “Gifts” are those which are not physical presents but as Don D put it, “True gifts come in the form of the intangible I think- love, friendship, and; more and more, life.” In a poem, William K also wrote of gifts:
“When they’re things,
They are passing,
When they’re thoughts,
They are forever.”
Others wrote of the gift of being given the chance to reflect, “this journey can seem like a gift as not many people have a real chance to deeply reflect on their life and the next life.” wrote Theresa M. Exploring their new understanding of time, M said, “Cancer has given me a chance to be smart enough to stop wasting time. To make the things that are important to me happen now. It gives me a sense of urgency that I really needed to get unstuck in different aspects of my life.”
Janice H wrote about the gift of the time to say goodbye with love, “he would exemplify his love for his family and friends during those precious last months…One of the best of these gifts was agreeing to marry me again on my birthday…having the opportunity to give and receive unconditional love cannot be taken for granted.”
As usual, we’ve also created a word cloud for this discussion, which allows us to see what the most common words from all the conversation about wish have been. Bigger words on the word cloud have been used most often, and smaller ones less often. (We filtered out the keywords “cancer” and “wish” from the cloud, since they were used so many times).