Several years ago, there was a lady coming to my class in a turban. She was obviously going through chemo and covering up her hair loss and, I’m ashamed to say, I didn’t make an effort to have much conversation with her. It wasn’t that I was avoiding her, but I’m one of those people who never knows if you should ask about an obvious illness so you can be a source of support or ignore it completely so the person can feel like they’re still THEM and not a walking billboard for whatever they’re going through.
I am so thankful that my turban friend, Sara, has since become a true friend and one of the most glowing examples of hope and love in my life. Today she surprised me with a sweet card and a small cake to celebrate what she calls IGBOK Day (It’s Gonna Be OK). When she was diagnosed, her family surrounded her with this message of IGBOK and she believes it to be one of the most successful parts of her treatment. Now 4 years beyond her last chemo treatment, this day serves as a reminder of all the ways she’s been blessed and all of those who helped her get to where she is.
For someone who could easily spend her days asking, “Why me?”, Sara couldn’t be a more polar opposite of negativity. She’s actually thankful for her cancer and the way it opened her eyes to many things she was taking for granted. She found a gift where most people see a punishment. And now, her smile and bright light are a gift to all of those who are lucky to know her.
What struggles are you facing that are really gifts in disguise? If Sara could see past her cancer, what could you stand to see beyond today?