Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month

The Todd Tree is Thriving

February 16th would have been my middle brother Todd's 52d birthday. To commemorate his birthday and celebrate his life, I planted an acorn from a Seeds of Life kit. The kit was provided with great compassion by my colleagues at Armed Forces Services Corporation (AFSC).

On Easter, I published a photo of the first glimpse of the seedling poking up through the soil and moss. The accompanying text featured a timely quote from Mark Nepo's Book of Awakening.

Ninety days after Todd's birthday, in the middle of Brain Tumor Awareness Month, I took the above photo. This shows that--since first peeking above the ground on Easter--Todd's tree is thriving. The framed photo of Todd is his memorial brochure. He seems to appreciate his seedling's progress.

I do not understand cancer. I cannot bring my brother back. The mysteries of life and death are beyond my comprehension. I cannot explain why the spark of life left my brother in the middle of his extraordinary life. I do not understand how the spark of life was ignited in that little acorn, the seed from a far away red oak tree.

Like the acorn, I am planted in dark despair and buried in cold uncertainty. In the midst of eternal emptiness, some mysterious spark speaks to me. Do the best I can with what I have where I am.

I can:

  • honor my brother's memory. 
  • nurture the seedling that is now a living memorial, and someday plant it in the forest near my home. 
  • surrender my ego-driven desire to know and understand, and accept some things on faith. The seed cracks open without understanding why.
  • show compassion to others in the fight--patients, caregivers, and family
  • trust science and support those working to find a cure. 


May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month. You can join the fight to find a cure for brain tumors:

  • promote awareness about brain tumors; 
  • help fund brain tumor research; and 
  • reach out to patients and caregivers who are in the fight.