When the memoir, Mommy, Why Do You Have Two Birthdays?, was first published I was thrilled to share it with friends, family and colleagues. I couldn’t get the book in people’s hands fast enough. When the book was finally in the hands of many of our friends and family, I waited. I anxiously awaited feedback or a comment, anything that confirmed it was a success. As I (impatiently) waited, I realized a few things:
#1 People are busy and need to find the time to read a book.
#2 Because people are busy, it can take a while for them to read a book.
#3 I needed to be patient and let it naturally unfold.
Once the feedback started to trickle in, I knew it was a success! It was what I hoped for:
- “I couldn’t put it down.”
- “I cried throughout the entire book.”
- “I don’t want to finish it, because I am afraid.” (My comment back, “Finish it be brave! You know the ending. It is a happy ending!” My friend finished it.)
- My husband “and I have lived through the same experience!!!! It is as though you are reading my thoughts!! Thank you again!!!!!!”
- “Thank you for sharing your deepest feelings and vulnerabilities.”
- “I’d like to buy copies for my friends and clients.”
- “Holy Crap I knew Pam was a fighter and the BEST woman for you, but I can’t believe the journey she endured.”
Comment #4 above was from a friend, who was kind enough to share a private chapter from her life about her husband’s triumph over a similar diagnosis. When I spoke about this with her daughter, she made a comment that was very empowering and profound; “When he was diagnosed and underwent the treatments, he always said ‘This is not my disease.’”
He never owned it. He had a knowing that it wasn’t his and he did not intend on keeping it. My wife and this man have a deep inner knowing, a strength, that most people probably do not realize resides deep within each of us.
Upon hearing his comment about the dis-ease not being his, I immediately thought of the Buddhist saying; “If someone offers you a gift and you refuse to accept it, to whom does it belong?”
His body had cancer, but he did not accept it as his. My wife, Pam, did not accept it as her dis-ease, either. They both triumphed!
The next time a negative comment, bad decision, poor diagnosis or awful feeling is “offered to you” remember it is not yours, if “you refuse to accept it.”
My gift to you is love, light and happiness!