After yoga, my teacher and I were chatting her super cute super short new haircut. She commented on my newish do—I told her how my hair totally changed (for the better) after having kids. She mentioned, off-hand, that hers changed after she had cancer. Cancer. CANCER. Wow. That moved the conversation to an entirely new level. She had leukemia when she was 20, went through chemo, full body radiation and a bone marrow transplant. This woman I've known for a couple of years, who is open and ditzy and powerful and loving had gone through mind-boggling pain and fear to get to this place of acceptance. She told me how she healed her body, how she discovered yoga in the hospital, that the treatment caused menopause (she whispered this). About how grateful she is for her body, how certain music brings back memories of nausea in the hospital, about how much she appreciates life, her life, the lives of those she loves.
Now I understand why she radiates joy, why she calls her boyfriend her beloved, why she seems so much more present than almost anyone I know.
I was also struck by how little we know about most of the people in our lives. And how each and every one of us has such profound experiences and stories to tell that could touch or enlighten others going through similar things, but most often those stories rarely get told.