Only kindness matters

Earth Sea SkyIn the end, only kindness matters – Jewel, Hands

Is there anything more peaceful and mesmerising than watching the waves break onto a deserted beach? Looking out to sea, the long swells of turquoise rise and fall as they move closer to the shore, until the ultimate rise where the wave forms, mountains of white foam running along the full length of the curving wave as it rushes towards the beach, then rolling, crashing and dissipating, water rushing back to do it all again and the sound fading away.  And then the sound builds to a crescendo again, the wave behind it building and crashing and dissipating. On and on, endless as time itself. It’s like breathing…. In….Out….In….Out…

I sit in a beautiful house along the Great Ocean Road, with its expansive windows in the bedroom, lounge room and balconies, and watch and listen to the waves roll in.  Each morning I lie in bed and gaze with peace and wonder at the view of earth, sea and sky before me and I am filled with gratitude yet again for the kindness of our friends who own this holiday house, Earth Sea Sky. It is term break school holidays and, although they could be renting the house out to tourists, they have given us the house for a few days as an ‘end of chemo’ treat.  My last cycle of chemo was not quite 2 weeks ago, so I’m still not feeling great and I guess the mental fuzz, bone and muscle aches and fatigue will linger for quite some time yet.  It has been a godsend to be able to escape the everyday demands and hide here in this gorgeous house at the beach, where I can rest and slob about and stare out to sea watching the waves roll in.  All thanks to our wonderful friends.

The time down here has allowed me to reflect on the kindness of so many people over the past 17 weeks of undergoing chemotherapy. Throughout the 17 weeks of chemo two friends came to our door 4 nights per week with a hot, just-cooked meal for the evening.  Both of these friends have their own families to look after, but two nights a week each, they would duck out from their home just on dinner – time in the middle of some often very wintry weather to bring us the most delicious and nourishing hot meals.  We are a family of 5, with three boys who eat like horses, so this has been no mean feat.  Between them, that is 68 meals (minus the 8 days we were in Queensland after the 2nd round of chemo) delivered to our door!! The kindness of these friends has been overwhelming and if I live to be 100, I will never forget what this has meant to our family and me.  I really feel like they’ve been through chemotherapy with me. On the nights when they didn’t cook for us there was always something in the freezer or dropped off by other friends; my husband or I have not had to cook a meal from scratch for months, and take-away meals have been a rare occurrence. And then there is our neighbour, in her 90’s, who most weekends has cooked one of those fantastic old fashioned desserts and delivered it to our house – bread and butter pudding, apple crumble, lemon pudding – something delicious to have on Sunday and Monday nights to accompany our delivered hot meals. How utterly amazing is that and how spoilt have we been! Ad-hoc, at any time of day or night, cakes and sweet things have magically appeared on our front door step, meals and hampers bearing treats have been delivered, along with flowers and notes with words of support. Then there are the friends who have happily picked up kids from aftercare and sporting activities, had them in their homes for a play or sleepover with their kids and transported them wherever they needed to be. The phone has rung often with friends and family or someone from the Pastoral Care Team at church ringing to check up on how we’re doing, along with many regular texts and emails from friends.  My husband has also been amazing and shown such kindness and patience towards me. There must be hundreds of cups of tea he’s brought to me over the past months, and always in one of my favourite mugs.  He’s taken me to, and stayed with me, for every round of chemotherapy and every appointment with oncologists, surgeons and physiotherapists. There was only one appointment where he could not change an important work commitment, and a close friend took me instead. I may have been the one having the toxic concoctions injected into my veins, but I have definitely not taken this chemotherapy journey alone. I picture myself sitting in the reclining chair in Day Chemo with a jam-packed room full of friends and family, standing behind me each bearing their gifts of kindness, giving me love, strength and support. I am so humbled by these gifts and, at the risk of sounding melodramatic, feel so unworthy.  I just don’t know how I can ever repay the depth of kindness shown to us.  I think all I can do is acknowledge and accept each act of kindness, express my gratitude and then look for opportunities where I too can show love, through kindness, to those around me.  Somehow it just doesn’t seem enough…..



About stemgir1

Scientist, mother, survivor of childhood cancer, diagnosed in 2013 with breast cancer. Lover of life.
This entry was posted in breast cancer, cancer, chemotherapy, healing, inspiration, life, respite and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Only kindness matters

  1. znjavid says:

    What a beautiful description of the breaking waves.. It must be wonderful to have such good friends and a beautiful family around you in this time of need. I hope you feel better soon. Best wishes, Zainab


  2. lmarieallen says:

    The view is so lovely…I’m jealous! You must be a very kind and generous person to inspire such devotion from friends and family.


  3. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Good Morning | Things I have learnt today

  4. I had a similar experience with friends delivering meals to us while I was undergoing chemo, it’s humbling and extraordinary in the extreme.


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