With abandon

The reunion program was wonderful – time for catching up with each other, checking out how all of us are aging (some beautifully and some not so – an outsider might not have guessed we were all in the 64-66 age bracket). I learned about another friend who is dying from cancer at the young age of 66 – the third from my circle of friends in less than a year.

His wife was there and gave me a glimpse of this strange land of being with someone you love who is dying; I can’t even begin to imagine this waiting for the moment of parting: one going to sleep forever and the other figuring out how to be single again. In America people around us are dying of old age or heart attacks – but here it seems to be cancer. Holland is among the 10 countries with the highest rates of cancer in the world (Denmark is first). Experts and activists are debating whether this is simply a question of better diagnostics, life style (smoking and drinking) or stuff that gets added to make the food we eat (dairy and meat products in particular) more profitable. It’s sad, either way with people dying when life should be at its best – with worries about money, children and careers no longer weighing us down.

A voice/singing coach led us through a magnificent singing workshop that made me want to take him back to Boston and help us sing together at MSH and get some joy back at work. It is amazing what singing together does for your spirit. Of course my singing with total abandon didn’t help my vocal cords which are still recovering from two bouts of laryngitis.

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