Standing on the Other Side

hope lodge dinner.jpg

Transition isn't just making the change.  It's making the change long enough for your head and your heart to catch up and be there too.  

I have been finished with my breast cancer treatments for one year this week.   I've spent a lot of time in limbo this past year.  Last night a dear friend and I hosted a dinner at American Cancer Society's Hope Lodge in Boston, MA. I wasn't sure what to expect.  I mean, I knew exactly what to expect as far as setup and what the guests there would appreciate.  I lived at this facility for six weeks while undergoing radiation treatments at Mass General.   As a guest of the lodge, one of my favorite parts of these dinners was meeting the other guests.  It also felt more festive and happy than preparing your own meals and eating alone.  With this in mind, we started this evening off with "Mock-tails”, cheese and crackers.  One of the guests commented on the plastic wine glasses and she thanked us for making them feel special.  Some of the guests were so moved when they found out that I had spent time at Hope Lodge that they declared they would do the same when they finished their treatments!  It’s amazing when you actually get to see how the process works.  We impacted these lives and inspired them to impact even more lives.  It is a rare opportunity to see it in action, but I believe kindness is always contagious.   

The part I wasn’t so sure of was how my emotions would react to walking into Hope Lodge.  I didn't feel ready to leave when I did a year ago.  I wasn't ready to tackle the world and I missed the comfort and warmth that the people I met inside those walls offered.   The faces had changed but the feeling of hope, understanding and kindness will always  remain.  My wish is that they all continue to share those virtues on the outside as well. It was an honor to be with these people. They filled my heart so completely and I realized that I do not have to part with that experience.  There is always a place for it and every time I give I also receive.   

Closure as defined by Merriam Webster's dictionary is "a feeling that a bad experience (such as a divorce or the death of a family member) has ended and that you can start to live again in a calm and normal way". I never thought much about closure but I did more than serve a nice meal to a bunch of beautiful souls fighting a tough battle, I also got closure.  I was standing on the other side of the table and it felt like that's where I belonged!

With Love, 

Tosha

My Hope Lodge Interview with CBS http://boston.cbslocal.com/2015/05/22/robi-on-the-road-cancer-patients-home-away-from-home/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter