“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”   Marcel Proust

Thanksgiving is arguably the time of year when families are most able to gather. Conversations revolve around what we’ve been up to over the past twelve months.  Topics include vocations, recent weddings, homes purchased or sold, babies born and about to be born, new girlfriends or boyfriends, and the ubiquitous sports. The sharing of memories inevitably becomes part of every discussion whether when first gathering, over the meal, or in the belt loosening aftermath as we wage war against the nap inducing power of Tryptophan.

I am not even going to inquire about how many of those family memories include someone who is no longer with them. If anybody is interested in why the question doesn’t have to be asked it is because the answer is so self- evident, every single one. The reason is because, by definition, a memory is something remembered from the past; a recollection. It is virtually impossible to exclude a grandparent, mother or father, spouse, close friend, or tragically a child (I’ve known far too many cases) from any conversation about the past.

In the vast majority of cases we remember things that evoke laughter, tears, smiles, and sadness. Sadness, to state the obvious, is due to their absence from the table and even more powerfully our everyday lives. I have known families who place an empty chair at the table for a year or more as a tribute to their loved one. This sharing of stories and all the emotions they evoke, particularly with people we love, does act to relieve our stress, anxiety, and even our sense of loss. The knowledge that we are not alone in desiring the deceased to be back in our lives gives us the comfort that family is there to provide.

The last statistical year (2016) recorded nearly 1.7 million new cancer diagnoses and close to 600,000 deaths. How many of the Thanksgiving gatherings may have still included the absent family member if there was a place to offer them hope and encouragement in the face of this scourge called Terminal Cancer.  Cord of 3 Strands has been in existence for two years. There is now more than anecdotal evidence that not only are we enriching the time people have left but, by providing that hope and encouragement, have seen our people actually beat their prognosis and extend their lives beyond expectations.

If you have a loved one who has heard the words no one ought to have to hear, “You have Cancer”, please consider contacting Cord of 3 Strands. There is never ever a fee expected from the friends (i.e. people with Cancer) who come to us for assistance and advice.

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