I like to believe that we are the director of our own lives, but it seems that meaning pops up in the most unique ways to remind us of our direction, and sometimes to deliver a lesson to set us off in a different direction.
I received a call from my Mom yesterday bearing bad news. A close family friend was diagnosed with cancer and given a 3 month death sentence. My Mom, distraught, went on to explain that this good friend had late stage cancer of the bladder that had spread to other organs, resulting in a terminal diagnosis. He had symptoms over the last year or so, but begged them off for some unknown reason.
Why did this hit home for me? Well, my Dad has also been diagnosed with bladder cancer. A year ago. At first, it was graded as a low-grade tumor, and removed. He then had subsequent treatments designed to "kill" the cancer cells that could still be hanging around in his bladder.
My Dad had another biopsy a few weeks ago, and, unfortunately the cells were still there. Not really a good outcome, but, the cancer is confined to his bladder. He still has many options.
My Mom and Dad's friend did not know about my Dad's illness until yesterday. Essentially, they were both suffering from the same type cancer, at very different stages.... they just didn't know it.
My Dad is a businessman, he is the strongest person I know (mentally and physically). He did not want many people to know of his cancer. He didn't want to open up and talk about what he fears most. He was crushed to hear about his friend's prognosis. More crushed that his reality collided with another... a friend. But strangely, he now has someone to talk to, and who undoubtably needs him too.
When I called my Mom today to check up on them, she said Dad was going to see Charles.
Is it coincidence? Possibly. Or perhaps a lesson that can only be shared with a loved one who has walked in your shoes. Cherish each day, surround yourself with friends and family. Listen and share.
And by all means, be open to the unexplainable and trust in the purpose it delivers.