Some of the bravest people I know are all on the fourth floor. It is a hub of much activity with many coming and going, they are there to see their oncologist or receive their treatments. What I find most interesting as I sit and look about the room is that not only are they brave but also incredibly courageous and strong. Courageous in the Webster’s dictionary defines it as a mental or moral strength to venture, persevere and withstand danger and fear through the hardest and most difficult of circumstances. There is this unspoken but strongly felt energy, solidarity and purposefulness amongst everyone there, staff and doctors included. Often times the wait is long, this is not a drive thru process, it is in fact real life and real people, so patience,understanding and civility is required and appreciated. I see children, parents, siblings, spouses and friends battling and fighting this disease together and sadly some sitting and battling it alone. Masks are worn and necessary to protect from infection but they do not hide eyes looking around for connection, warmth and hope from each other. This community on the fourth floor is never a club anyone wants to join, but once you find yourself part of the team you can bet you will never be the same again. The fourth floor exposes our humanness, our mortality, our deepest dependence on one another, our need of hope, faith and that even when there is no explanation or certainty to believe in a God that will still show up and be alongside us in our suffering with unconditional love, unexplainable peace and perfect comfort. Praying today for all of those who find themselves on a fourth floor somewhere or in some way. I pray first that you know it is ok not to be ok, God understands that. I pray you know how courageous and brave you are, for true courage is not the absence of fear or anxiety it is simply doing the best you can with what you have been given. Lastly, I pray you feel and realize how beautiful and loved you are, not in a physical sense that is ever fading and temporary but in the deepest, truest most meaningful soul way that says; YouMatter and your life matters too.

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