Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Peace, Sharon

I went to a funeral for a colleague this morning. We both taught ESL at the library. I'd replaced her two and a half years ago when she decided she wanted to cut back on her hours. She ended up returning to the position after my aml diagnosis. Her name was Sharon. She was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor around the time of my transplant. We were both treated at Dana-Farber.

Sharon had one final lesson for us today, relayed through the priest who officiated at her funeral mass. Most of us who've looked death squarely in the eye understand what Sharon wanted us to take away from the sermon: live for today. Don't cram so much into your daily schedule that you fail to experience what truly matters. Get off the treadmill. Take time to listen to birdsong while sipping coffee in a garden with an old friend, talking about old times. Live in the now.

The priest made a reference to a song that illustrated Sharon's message, that communicated what she wanted us to take away from her life's end. He assured us that neither he nor Sharon had been hippies, but that they had been teenagers during the Woodstock era. He didn't mention that the tune was by Crosby, Stills & Nash, but I recognized the lyrics he quoted. They were from the song "Woodstock," whose chorus urges us to heed Sharon's wise advice.

We are stardust, we are golden
We are ten billion year old carbon
And we got to get ourselves back to the garden

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