Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Endurance

Sophie's cancer is gone.

Every once in a while, a miracle.

After an intensive round of chemo, and other invasive medical procedures, they've slayed the leukemia dragon. They, because it's taken a whole lot of people, a whole lot of technology, experimentation, years of study, and devotion to saving lives. Family devotion, friend devotion, doctor and nurse devotion.

Devotion: a feeling of strong love or loyalty; the use of time, money, energy, etc, for a particular purpose; prayer, worship, or other religious activities don in private rather than in a religious service.

Yet, Sophie's protocol includes two and a half more years of enduring chemotherapy to keep the leukemia confused about settling back in her bones.

Since we are reading Sir Ernest Shakleton's story of Endurance, I've been thinking a tad bit more about enduring, and noticing endurance in others~~in the simplest ways. Today, endurance was epitomized by a Japanese foreign exchange student.

In Storytelling class, we are studying the short story genre. I introduced Ray Bradbury's The Veldt, and the students were captivated. I often walk around the room while reading; I've become proficient at keeping my place on the page and keeping my eye on students. I walked up next to the exchange student-- he was frantically trying to translate. The story was eight pages long, and at six pages he put his head on the desk.

I felt terrible. For a split second I just knew how he felt.

But today was a new day! After our class discussion, as I was gathering student copies, he asked if he could finish the story. Later, I walked past and his translator was set up and his copy of The Veldt was beautifully annotated in Japanese.

"I only have two pages left," he said.

I could have cried.

He was enduring to the end of the story.

Sophie's story. Shoya's story.