Friends and Illness
by Gallia Taranto
I have had, among other things, three bouts with cancer. I started pretty young with breast cancer.
Having a community of Friends has been valuable in my plight, as have different meditation practices.
When I see the situation of the world I feel very blessed to get medical help even though now, on Medicaid, the choices are sometimes limited.
The brief images of wars and terrorism on the web and especially the graphic pictures of the wounded provoke in me a gut reaction. I watch the news very sparingly.
The warmth of a community that held me in the Light while I was going on different treatments was invaluable. Friends understand my limitations—whether physical or even psychological—and most of the time we work around my capacity to help.
I am an integral part of the blessed community with all my issues and all my warts. Friends know how to embrace other Friends and often extend that to a sick society that also needs to heal from issues such as racism, sexual harassment, xenophobia, and injustice in general.
I am grateful to be part of a group that believes in peace, diplomacy, justice, and in sharing, too.
Friends have given me wings! They give me rides to meeting and at times to Powell House, too (and sometimes even to doctors’ appointments).
Scientists nowadays believe in the healing element of prayer and meditation and in the body-mind connection. In a more Buddhist sense illness is an eye-opener that teaches us about the value of life and how to accept impermanence and change, two truths we all encounter.