Every Step Is For You

Cancer sucks.  It took the life of my friend, Linda, who had become a second mother to me since I’d moved back to Florida in 2006.  Linda was a great balance for my overzealous nature and chatterbox tendencies.  She was an immensely good listener.  She laughed alot.  She had a knack for making me feel lighter, and enabled me to take myself less seriously, a monumental task since I am an OCD, record-setting deep thinker.  Ah.  I can hear her laugh at that comment in my mind.

Anyway, I needed her friendship.  Her calm, natural optimism quieted my roaring fears and doubts.  She was a completely nonjudgemental sounding board for my intense and constant ramblings about my worries and struggles.  We spoke by phone everyday on my way home from work and saw each other at least monthly at local Buddhist discussion meetings (both members of SGI-USA Buddhist lay organization:  www.sgi-usa.org).

The day after she died from the cancer that was discovered in December and took her life the following February, I still clearly feel the punch in my gut that choked me as I drove home from work and passed through the route where we’d had countless phone conversations.  For weeks, I sobbed every time I drove by that point of my route.  I finally changed my route.  The overwhelming void where once we’d engaged in long dialogues was too much for me to absorb.

Eventually, I composed poetry and music to vent some of my grief.  I suppose I am still in that process.  I doubt anyone really ever is completely finished with grieving a loss.  But I have learned to keep moving forward.  Linda, in her joyous optimism, would applaud that.

The song on this page is one I wrote to honor Linda.  Later, I introduced it to my elementary student chorus, who sang it for our local Relay For Life opening ceremonies in the spring of each year.  I taught my students that these words and this music helps people who have or are facing deadly cancer deal with the magnitude of having to lose life or a loved one.  I told them we must sing this song with great sincerity, to honor those brave people.  My students responded with profoundly pure hearts, their voices rang clear with their determined love.  It was therapeutic for them, their families, the audience, and myself, as most of us had gone through or were experiencing this battle with illness firsthand.

There is healing in numbers. There is comfort knowing we are not alone in this struggle.  And every step we take together and as individuals is one toward contributing honor to those who’ve fought the battle.  Every step we take forward is one toward uncovering what is meaningful about this grueling process.  May we never stop walking…

Music & Lyrics by Jenny L. Hodgins © 2011

Hearing dreaded words of diagnosis ringing out in your darkest hour

On your own you’ve faced the demon of a sickness raging to devour

Pulling courage from your heart—you have pushed bey ond extreme

Let us rise up here beside you now—Hold your hand and be your team…

Every Step Is For You

Every breath for your cause

Everything that we do–We do just because

We fight for your survival! We fight for your dreams!

We walk for your honor—And we know what that means!

Every Step Is For You

Every moment within—is a battle we all know is one we must win!

You have suffered enough in one lifetime, enduring agony and pain

But no matter what you’ve been through, your dignity will always remain…

Pulling courage from your heart—you have pushed beyond extreme

Let us rise up here beside you now—Hold your hand and be your team…

Every Step Is For You

Every breath for your cause

Everything that we do–We do just because

We fight for your survival! We fight for your dreams!

We walk for your honor—And we know what that means!

Every Step Is For You

Every moment within—is a battle we all know is one we must win!

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