When I first found out I had cancer, I took my daughter shopping. We ventured into Roots – which we don’t often do as I am quite, well, frugal. I fell in love with a sweater which I was hesitant to buy – but my daughter convinced me to. From that point on that sweater came to be known as my warrior sweater. I would keep me warm and cozy as I fought through cancer.
Shortly after I bought it – I washed it – and it ended up in the dryer. Of course it shrank. That was that. I was devastated on two fronts: it was expensive and I couldn’t wear it anymore. Unbeknownst to me – my daughter wrote Roots and explained my story to them – in that it had come to be known as my warrior jacket. She negotiated a replacement out of it and presented my “new and improved” sweater to me wearing a very proud smile.
I wore that jacket to chemo often. It was very warm. It did bring me comfort and strength. Finally, with the advent of spring, the sweater was hung up for what ended up being a “long time” as spring quickly ushered in hot summer days.
It was only this morning, now that I had time to observe chores that needed to be done for fall cleaning, that I noticed that sweater hung on the back of my bedroom door. It had been there all summer, but never worn. It was simply too hot. And I was no longer in chemo-therapy. My hospital fighting mode was over. I was/ am in remission. Like the sweater, the cancer was also put on a hook and disappeared out of site, but unlike the sweater, I am hoping to never see cancer again.
That sweater reminds me of all the hopes and dreams that my family and I had worn this winter when my life was “on the hook”. It reminds of the love we shared and continue to share today. It reminds me that there are so many with kind hearts, who are quick to come help with meals, cards, quilts… It reminds me that we all have to put faith in something – that to fight a good battle there has to be some symbol or belief of strength beyond our own selves. There were no healing powers in the sweater, this I know. There were, however, healing powers in the love that surrounded that sweater.
The sweater may be hung on the door – but it is far from forgotten. It stands as a reminder to always fight, to never be afraid to have faith, and to count your blessings.