Hope Springs


Every time we go to Lyon our life takes a turn.  At the hospital, where each and every patient has cancer, all is orderly, purposeful.  People get cancer, nothing unusual about it.  We shouldn’t think we’re special, it’s happening to everyone there, that’s hospital logic.  Out on the street, people paint trees to match the graffitti on the walls.  Nothing ususual there either.  That too has its own kind of order, its own implacable logic. 

Cancer is redecorating our life in France, but not in colors that match our hopes and dreams. 


We go up there on the train, the 200 mile an hour train.  It’s fast, smooth, and nearly silent.  On the walls of the train cars are pictures of little cell phones, eyes closed, slumbering peacefully.  It’s been a long time since I slept as well as those little phones.


We emerge from the train station and breathe deeply, readying ourselves for the news of the day.  We’re still waking up, remembering who we are and why we’re there.


We dive down into the underground Metro, where sometimes the doors slam on us, and since the train has no driver there’s no one to help.  It sounds like a metaphor, but that’s how it actually is some days.  Other days it just feels like that.


It’s hard to see where you’re going when you’re on cancer’s slippery slope, when your body lets you down and you can’t wake up from that dream of falling.  When the door slams on you.


We fight for balance in our lives.  Time to breathe, time to sing, time to make Thanksgiving shopping lists, time to scream into the pillow, time to clean the cat box, time for a shivering no sweater can calm, time for a crossword puzzle, time for a glass of wine, two glasses, time to wait and wait and wait and see what the doctors will say next.


You just don’t know where you’ll end up when you fall through cancer’s trap door.  Today we’re off to Lyon again, off to see the wizard.  There must be a magic wand somewhere and we’re looking for it, whether it’s in Lyon, or Barcelona, or London, or Seattle.  Hope springs.

Explore posts in the same categories: At Home In France


You can comment below, or link to this permanent URL from your own site.

16 Comments on “Hope Springs”

  1. Karen K. Says:

    My thoughts are full, my words are so empty. If only I knew how to make a magic wand, I would send it to you.

  2. Wendy Says:

    here’s hoping for a bit of magic

  3. Lori Says:

    Your blog puts so much good karma into the world. I hope that it comes back to you tenfold while you go through this. Been there, best wishes.

  4. Best wishes to you both from us all …………see you Sunday !!!

  5. Nan Says:

    I also wish I could wave a wand. I so enjoy your blog and pictures. Just want you to know that I’m saying a prayer for both of you. Keep hoping and fighting.

  6. Lauren Says:

    My hope is springing for you too.

    I love that picture of Shel!

  7. Nancy Says:

    I love the photo of Shel, and the metaphor of your photos and words. My prayers and wishes are with you both. May the warmth and charm you give us, every day, rebound to you.

  8. Nancy Says:

    I love the photo of Shel, and the metaphor of your photos and words. My prayers and wishes are with you both. May the warmth and charm you give us, every day, rebound to you.

  9. Debra Lane Says:

    May you both find what you are looking for. Sending good thoughts your way.

  10. Stephanie Says:


    Charles and I will raise a toast/blessing/prayer for you and Shel when we join our friends for our tradtional non-turkey Thanksgiving.
    I hope the wizard has something to offer you that will bring comfort.
    That picture of Shel sure is a keeper!
    I was really moved (yes I’m a sap) by this from the comics this am. I hope you don’t mind if I share it with you?

  11. Chicken Soup for the Soul.

  12. Eden Says:

    Just hoping with you…

    That is without doubt my favorite picture of Shel yet!

  13. Just beautiful Abra. I wish I had a magic wand for Shel and my father who is battling Alzheimers.

  14. Wolfgang Says:

    Stand up and fight !
    forget about the tiredness,
    forget about the strain,
    forget about the pain,
    forget about the despair,
    forget about the frustration
    forget about the fear.
    strive to live
    and you will live!

  15. Tamara Says:

    Thinking of you both, thankful for the good parts, hugs for the difficult parts. Keep up the spirit.

  16. Fabre Sanders Says:

    Abra – I don’t know if you remember me from PCN, but I just wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed reading your blog this past year, and also that my thoughts and prayers are with you and Shel through this journey. Even though we have never met, I am thankful to have crossed paths with you and to see life even for a minute through your eyes.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: