Thought for today:
"Today I enter hospital again to receive my sixth month of chemo treatment on the drug drip. I dearly hope that after the completion of this current six-month course of treatment, I am given some time in remission before I need to restart the process as there is no way of knowing whether it will be months or years.
I will not pretend that the past month has been anything other than a difficult month to get through. There have been occasions when my positive spirit has been truly tested and though it emerged marginally greater than my body capacity to sustain the side effects of the treatment without bringing to mind the presence of doubt, on a few occasions I found my lips framing the word, 'enough'.
All of my life I have prided myself on being positive in thought and hopeful in spirit, and yet, I cannot deny that even the power of positive thought is only capable of stretching as far as truth itself will allow it to travel. I know that to take it a few steps farther than its factual comfort zone is merely to deceive oneself. Positive thinking was never designed to deny the presence of real feeling, fear or doubt. Instead its purpose is to reject futile defeatism where any semblance of hope still exist. It is the best of companions to carry the body on through the most difficult of days, along with the support of faith, family and friends.
During my worse days over the past month, I have been ever mindful of all the blessings that life has bestowed upon me. Fate has never left me wanting and my destiny has taken me through times that defy the courage of all secret cowards and the reason of all mankind. Often I have thought upon the struggle of others; my grandparents and my parents alike, and to do so has brought marvelment to my mind and has enabled me to maintain a proper sense of proportion.
My mind cannot escape the memory of my dear mother to seven children spitting up blood when she was little more than in her mid forties and then quickly disguising its presence with a morning smile as my siblings arrived downstairs to get their breakfast served as she sang out some Irish song from the kitchen that was invariably out of tune.
Nor will I ever forget my father's return home from a twelve-hour hard-day's work down the pit or in the foundry, wracked with weary bones that ached so much that he chose to wash and go straight to bed early and prepare his body's strength for tomorrow's working day rarther than eat his evening meal. Whatever degree of 'rest' or 'food' was required to physically carry on, he was invariably too tired to exercise the luxury of choice.
I recall an elderly neighbour and good friend to the family who had lived through the bombing of the Second World War in London once telling me of a woman in the same street to her whose house and earthly possessions had been reduced to rubble in one of the nightly bombing raids. The bombing also killed one of her children and family pet dog. During the following morning, my elderly friend said that her bereaved neighbour could be seen searching through the ruins of her house in an effort to retrieve whatever she could; particularly a framed image of her child who'd died in the bombing. My friend said, 'The poor woman was overcome with grief and loss. I even started to believe that if she found her doorstep in the rubble that it wouldn't have been beyond her grief to get out the Donkey stone and wash it down for future visitors, as her mind had taken a holiday from the cruel reality of the hour.'
There are so many incidents and experiences that tempt our minds to take a holiday from the cruel reality of the hour; too many personal accounts to testify to the strength and fortitude of the human spirit of which all of you will no doubt know about, but I challenge you to think of one where a negative belief will ever produce a positive outcome. The mental planting of negative seed will never produce positive growth. Not even the magic of miracles is capable of bringing such about and some would believe that it is even beyond the gift of God.
Yes it's true that during the past month my mind has too often recalled the pain felt by my parents and endured by many others in the past, but such recall has only made me stronger and has replenished my bucket of hope.The very last image that I will ever hold of my parents will be wrapped in postive remembrance. It will be a picture of my mother's infectious smile and my father's steadfast courage to live on another day with the hope of a better tomorrow yet to come." William Forde: September 4th, 2014