Pictures of the sunset on the last day of 2018 flooded my Facebook and text messages. From California through south Texas they came. It was a spectacular sight and seemed to last forever. I was so grateful to have that time to capture my own photo of it.
As I watched the red and orange colors finally fade away, for whatever reason thoughts of at least a dozen people ran through my mind. People who would not see this sunset, people I loved, and people who no longer walk this earth - some have been gone for 45 years. I was sad for the briefest of moments, thankful for those sweet memories.
In those moments, I was reminded of the magnificence of this world and filled with gratitude for the promise of a new day with every sunset.
That sunset also reminded me of one of my favorite stories about Dr. Dixie Melillo when she first started The Rose Breast Cancer Support Group in 1987. Dixie would end the meetings saying, “None of us knows how long we have on this Earth. This group has taught me that I need to appreciate every sunrise and every sunset.”
Every sunrise, every sunset.
From Pearland, Texas
Entering this New Year, I felt unusually hopeful and excited, mindful that no one’s days are guaranteed. Still, the work we do at The Rose attempts to give women just that –time to see another sunrise and sunset.
I know that is true for the 389 women we diagnosed last year; I know they share a new understanding of how precious each day can be. Life is so fragile and breast cancer brings challenges no one wants to face, insured or uninsured. When women come to The Rose, they are treated with utmost dignity by incredibly caring people. The most important part of our service is access to treatment. A diagnosis of breast cancer is difficult enough, but without any resources or insurance means fighting for life on every level.
We all deal with the demands of life that claim too much of our energy and time.
Perhaps Dr. Asbo’s resolution is one we should all adopt this year.
I know I’m going to try—if the sky allows. But even if it doesn’t, taking a moment to stop and say goodbye to the day can’t hurt. After all, it was a very good day, no matter the distractions, no matter the worries; it was another day of life granted.
Such a gift deserves a moment of my time.
CEO and Co-Founder of The Rose
*Acclaimed cultural historian, musician, writer and teacher, Dr. Kayleen Asbo calls herself a perpetual pilgrim. She is the Artistic Director and Resident Mythologist at Mythica Foundation, is an A frequent pre-concert lecturer at the Santa Rosa Symphony and on the Faculty at San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Annually, she leads Contemplative Cultural Pilgrimages in Europe.