Imperfections Bring the Light Among Those Affected By Cancer


Sometimes the imperfections in life can bring an unexpected beauty. A famous mystery author explores this idea.

I have used the books written by Louise Penny, a famous Canadian author of mysteries, several times in my articles. I am a huge fan of her work. What is unusual, however, is she does not use stories represented by violence and shocking scenes. Rather, the main character, chief inspector Armand Gamache, solves his cases by delving into the mind and exploring what causes the murderer to be desperate enough to kill. Penny also does a lot of research and has interesting historical backgrounds on various subjects.

Her fantastic descriptions add even more appeal to her readers. In the novel, “The Beautiful Mystery,” the murder happens to one of the brothers in a monastery. No one other than the monks were allowed to enter the cloistered building for centuries, until the murder happened. Gamache and his staff entered tentatively, and were amazed how beautiful the chapel was. This was in sharp contrast to the plain clothes and simple lives of the men who lived there. Gamache noted that the chapel was colorful because of light coming into high windows. The glass through which the light entered was old and imperfect, but it was the imperfections that caused the beauty. The chief inspector reflected that the daylight refracted by the imperfect glass was broken into red, purple and yellow. Taken apart, they were separate colors. Together, the imperfections made the glow “giddy” and brilliant. By the same token, the monks were known for their amazing music. The individual voices blended into a choir known all over the world.

Cancer is exactly like that. We each are imperfect and our bodies have undergone mutilating surgeries, radiation and chemo attacking our cells. We feel fatigued, tired and worn out. However, the survivors I know are shining and beautiful. They cherish life, they appreciate what they have, and there is often a spirituality that cannot be defined but is present Many patients with cancer reach out to help others, despite not feeling well most of the time.

When all of us join together, we become a force to be reckoned with. Witness what happened when Susan Komen’s sister began a foundation that brought in over $257 million last year in public support and revenue to fight breast cancer. Look at the budget for St. Jude’s, which is over $2 million so that no child is turned away or parent charged for care. Children have a fighting chance to be well. People all over the world have come together to make this all happen.

Individually, we may be broken, but we are beautiful together. We become like a chorus and burst into song. We need to continue to hold hands, donate and support each other in the mission to find treatments and cures for all cancers. How beautiful is that — I have no words!

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