It’s been raining today. Cold, windy rain. As I walked each boy into his respective school this morning, the other parents and I all grumbled good-naturedly to each other: “Yuck,” “Cold,” “Gotta love springtime in Cleveland.” And then I got in the car and caught a snippet on NPR about the documentary Music by Prudence. You know, the one whose Oscar win had its own Kanye West-Taylor Swift moment only this time with unknowns? So this young woman Prudence, whose severe physical disability rendered her an outcast in her African village, abandoned by her family, told the interviewer that the name of their band was an African word for “Rain.” And I thought, “Oh, of course. Here are these disabled youngsters, with no place in society and no home and no future, and they’ve named their band after something that symbolizes sadness and despair, the very opposite of the ray of sunshine representing hope and joy and all things good.”

But then she went on to say that in a dry land like Zimbabwe, rain is considered a blessing. Rain itself represents hope and joy and all things good.  And these young people making beautiful music, when no one thought them capable of anything, much less something so positive, is like the rain that feeds the thirsty land.

Well, wow, now that’s a new way of looking at things. Talk about perspective.

Cancer is like that too. I would prefer we live without it (just as I’m still partial to sunny days) but it does have a way of making us feel fortunate, of making us recognize all that’s good in our lives. Saturday’s walk was just one example. To have so many people come out in the almost painfully cold wind and walk with us is just one small gift that cancer has given us. It wasn’t exactly a sea of red since the weather forced many of us (myself included) to cover up our red t-shirts with purple windbreakers or grey fleeces or blue sweatshirts. But nearly one fifth of the people there were there for Austin.  I stood outside the line of walkers at the beginning to show him how far back his group went and he smiled and nodded from beneath the blanket we’d wrapped him in, because he got it. He knows people love him. We can all feel it.

So, it rains today. But our flowers will grow. And the sun will shine tomorrow.

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