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Dear friends,

A friend once told me this story about her son.

She was lying in bed asleep one morning when her son bounced onto her bed, waking her up.

"Mommy, mommy," he chirped, "The sun is shining...the birds are singing...I'm hungry."

For a child, every day is about new experience and new knowledge. Every day is about the excitement of possibility. Every day is about being hungry--not just for food but for the new that each day brings with it.

Somehow, neither Jane nor I ever lost that child-like desire for the new. We counted any day wasted where we had not learned something new, experienced some new perspective. It was why teaching suited us both so well. Even if you had taught something a dozen times, teaching it to someone else made it different--it forced us to see everything we knew from a different angle. And it gave us both an excuse to read, to study, and to learn something new every day.

Jane played tennis every day in the summer. For two hours she and her sister would hit together in a local park. One day two women challenged them to play doubles against them. Jane and her sister lost the first three games of the first set.

Then Jane took her sister aside. "I know now what they are doing--what they like and what they don't like. They don't win another game." Jane had spent those three games studying and learning. Once she knew, they had no chance. She and her sister ran off the next six games, then smoked them in the second set.

Jane hated losing. I hate losing. It is what has made her death so hard for me to deal with. We learned all we could. We applied what we knew and what her doctors knew--and we still lost. Never mind the fact we didn't know enough--any of us--to win the battle. Losing gracefully simply never has been part of our make-up.

I realized this morning that part of what ails me these last weeks is that, while I have stuck to learning something new every day, I have found less of a child's joy in it. Part of it is the deadly seriousness of what I have put myself to learning. I learn less for its own sake and more for the deadly purpose of taking on this disease. Some will argue that is a good thing--that I have grown up at last.

But this work requires more than the recitation of factoids. It requires the mind of the child who sees the connections between disparate branches of knowledge--who delights in the connections not because they will provide new weapons--but simply because they are there to be discovered. In forcing myself to focus on how everything relates to this cancer I have stopped seeing the larger picture.

In ignoring my nature I have decreased my value and made myself more unhappy.

The sun is shining...the birds are singing--and I am, again, very hungry.



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Oh my goodness! This is just amazing! My love Michael died 12/18 after an unsuccessful lung transplant. Whenever I read or heard something related to 'getting on with it' or one can be happy even after this devastating event, I would just scream, I was so angry.

Then Charlie our little Irish Terrier got attacked by a neighbor dog 02/04, I will not go into what she went through and today she is healing beautifully-I could have not made it this far without her.

Sunday I flew to Boston to pick up a little 12 week old Irish Terrier Jack. We got home last night and Charlie is loving Jack and vice versa, and I cannot tell you how many times already today I get those goose bumps and I know my face is smiling.

AND I know, without a doubt that my Michael has orchestrated the whole puppy thing as it happened so crazy & so fast, way over the top, though. I just can hear him, "Sweetstuff, it is time to stop feeling so miserable. I know there will always be tears behind your eyes, and we laughed so very often, I want you to start doing that again, and this is the best way I know to help you right now!"

THANK YOU HARRY! The sun is shining...the birds are singing--and I am, again, very hungry.




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Oh Marge, what a treasure he is. So sweet and I know such therapy. My Bentley is a lifesaver to me...always there and when (not if) I cry...he is right there leaning against me. Good for you....



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Marge, I want to chime in, I am very happy that you acquired a new dog and they are adapting well to each other!

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Oh, Thank You all! I spent my first full day with little Jack and he is a wild man. I can just see Michael grinning & saying something like, "There you go sweetie, that little guy is going to love you and keep you very busy!" Miss Charlie just keeps looking at me like, "Did you know he is such a wild little guy?" I mean, it is racing across the hardwoods and losing traction and tumbling headlong into a chair, and without any hesitation, up and at 'em going in the opposite direction. And, I can't believe this one, little 12 week old Jack watches TV...all of a sudden skidding to a stop, at the same time spinning around and immediately focused on the TV screen...he is a crazy little nut!!

There is a lesson here...Jack & Charlie are being what they are supposed to be without stopping for any thing that could get in their way. They know one thing...how to be a dog, nothing else matters.

I have to give this little lesson some more thought, because something is getting in MY way.





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They are so adorable! I have one that's pretty wild too and he's over 100 lbs! I couldn't live without him.

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