National Day of Encouragement is observed annually on September 12. This day is dedicated to uplifting people around us and making a positive impact. National Day of Encouragement was intended for all of us to do something to offer encouragement to those around us, whether it is someone at work or in our personal lives.
Make deliberate acts of encouragement. Offering reassurance and inspiration to people around you. You can high five someone, tell someone “great job” if they deserve it, contact a family member or a friend you haven’t talked to for a while, help your friends along if they need it. And don’t forget to smile because a sincere smile is one of the most encouraging things in the world.
We drove to the city under gloomy gathering black clouds after getting a distressed call from Donna, Margaret’s mom. The weather could not have been more appropriate for our day…
“The news isn’t good. The doctor just came in. He said I have an aggressive cancer. And that chemo won’t even work on it. Not that I want chemo. Oh god. It just gets worse and worse.“
As we travelled toward the hospital where Donna has been a morphine-loving cheerful patient for four days, since Tuesday, when we rushed her to the ER with terrible upper right quadrant abdominal pain that turns out to be caused by either the huge tumor in her lung or the tumors in her liver (just discovered, though we didn’t know this as we drove), we tried our damndest to attribute our sense of blind panic to our dear matriarch’s misunderstanding of something a doctor had said, perhaps…
No such luck. Our fourth “hospital day!” as we call our 6-10 hour vigils by her side , gave us the worst possible news. Stage four lung cancer . 6 months to a year and a half to live.
She took it well. “How are you?” we said as we came in her room , having been told about the liver cancer.
“Ha, how do you think I am doing? I am going to die!”
What do you say to that? It’s true. But probably no time soon, seeing how insanely conscious and vital she is now.
She taught us today how to assimilate the knowledge of one’s impending death.
Tomorrow I want to try to encourage the hell out of her to make the best of the time she has left.
This might even increase the time she has left…
And the dark sky? It exploded its nourishing rain, and then some!
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.