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Today I Say Thank You

by Liz KennishCaregiver, Hodgkin’s lymphomaDecember 16, 2019View more posts from Liz Kennish

Dear Cancer,

I assume you get a lot of hate mail, I know I don’t often hear your praises, but today I’m here to thank you. I know it must feel like I haven’t noticed all you’ve done for me, like a parent who is seldom thanked for all they do, your existence in my life is so second nature I’ve not stopped long enough to acknowledge you much. I guess that’s not true I acknowledge you often, I don’t thank you though, so here goes….

I’ll start at the beginning, thank you for taking my mother when I was just a child, for with her here I would never have the relationships with my siblings that I do. They are my rocks, my safe landing places, my world. We’ve been through everything together and it would have been easy for us to rely on her to keep us safe but instead we became unbreakable together. That gift is one I could never forget so thank you.

With that gift came the next, a father who tried to always remind us to live in the moment. He always seemed to give to others even when it felt we had so little. Even now as an adult his little mantra of “God will provide” rings in my ears when I feel the stress of life creeping in. For the gift of his easy spirit I thank you.

The next time you came into my life I was an adult married with two small boys. Thank you for slowing my husband down. He was working so hard to provide an amazing life for us he was barely able to join us in it. You knew just how to take care of that. With one easy swoop you slowed him down and reminded him that our two small boys would be men before we knew it and he almost missed it! It’s amazing how you always show up just in time. Every time we fall back in to our “easy” life your recurrences ground us so quickly. You remind us that no one is promised tomorrow and just how precious each day together is. This thanks is easy for me to give because you’ve reminded us just how special our today’s are.

This next one may be the hardest thanks to give. As much as I would love for my boys to still just be boys you’ve turned them in to young men. Faster than I could you taught them empathy, compassion and a strength unlike any other. Where carefree joy used to live there is now a knowing in their eyes. The pain a mother tries to shelter her child from can be seen within them. I’d love to hate you for it, but they will be better men because it is there, so today I say thank you.

With all the things in my life that I have because of you my last thought is always the same….”What else could you possibly have to teach me?” If you could be done now, I would say Thank You!



Love from the kennish family


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