One of my role models for grace-filled living at the end of life was Gilda Radner. Her antics on Saturday Night Live were part of my late adolescence into early adulthood. Characters Emily Litella (“Never mind.”) and Roseanne Rosanadana (“It’s always something.”) were among my favorites. Little did I know that many years later, I would be working for an organization created after her death from cancer. Gilda’s Club is a non-residential community offering support for those diagnosed with cancer, as well as their families and friends. It was founded by Gilda’s husband Gene Wilder, her brother Michael Radner and her counselor Joanna Bull who I had the joy of meeting and interviewing when the signature red door Delaware Valley (PA) chapter opened. I have facilitated groups for them and clowned around as my character Feather who is a winged faerie.
Prior to her passing, Gilda wrote a book called “It’s Always Something” that was made into a tv movie. A passage that remains with me jumped out again after I saw this image on my friend and radio producer Shayne Traviss’ Facebook page.
““I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” -Gilda Radner
Change can be scary. It can also be exhilirating. One of the most oft heard concerns that have come from my clients over the years is fear of the future. “I don’t know what’s going to happen.” “What if things don’t work out?” “I don’t know what to do with my life.” To the first of those statements, I have said “The truth is, we don’t know moment to moment what will transpire, so I prefer to live as if it will be something that I would label positive.” To the second, I have shared “I have found that things work out for the Highest Good even if it feels sucky at the time.” and to the third, “Great! You have a whole lifetime to figure it out, start now. What lights you up from the inside and turns you into a human sparkler?”
There are some days when I wake up with trepidation and hestitation about what the day will bring and others anticipation. Although I may not be able to control my first thought upon opening my eyes, I certainly have the choice about those that follow. Even in the midst of the dark nights of the soul that I have faced, I have instinctively known that the sun would eventually peek through. I do take into account that I was raised to be optimistic and resilient, knowing that love would prevail over fear and darkness.
So, what if you could willingly embrace life on life’s terms, stand with head held high, arms outstretched welcoming what the day will bring?
www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACCcU0X0dW0 What The Day Brings-by Brad