Coping With Cancer: The Beauty of This Season

By Margaret Nyman

October 21, 2009

Nate is not a nature guy and doesn’t normally notice what’s going on outside his window. Today was an exception. Here in Michigan we had a summery day in late October with temps in the mid-70s and lots of sunshine. The day begged us to “come outside and play,” so the two of us decided to take a short ride. Although I’d planned to drive to our tiny town a mile away, as we were weaving through the subdivision Nate began commenting on the beauty of the colored leaves.

“Wow, look at that yellow one. And the red over there. Are the colors darker than usual this year?”

Instead of driving to town, we drove to a beach lookout with a wooden deck. Since no one was there, I drove right up to the planks so Nate had only four small steps from his car door to the railing. There was a bench on the deck drenched in sunlight, and a warm breeze was blowing off Lake Michigan.

“Could you tolerate that bench for a while?” I asked, hoping he could. And he nodded.

We sat quietly, taking in the beauty of the lake, the sand, waving dune grasses and endless fall color. Some people don’t like autumn, because colored leaves represent a process of dying, and they know bare trees will soon follow.

Our family’s reality is similar in that Nate is in the process of dying. Strangely, though, this season, much like autumn, has a spectacular beauty to it, and none of us wants to minimize that just because we know what season comes after this one. Continue reading