Bridge: A Blog Post

by Jemal Yarbrough

As I look at the beautiful picture done by my best friend Jemal, I realize how lucky I am to have the people I have in my life.  Sure, there were some days when I felt as if I was besieged and just taken advantage of, yet the reality was that no one did anything out of the ordinary.  It’s just that my perception of life has made question some basic things in my life such who are my friends?  I put so much importance in being liked that I forgot that no one can make you bad about yourself without your consent.

I realize now that I was unhappy with myself, and for that the only changed that was needed on my ability to deal with it.  Work has transformed into something I want to expand on, going out on new things a passion, working out so I can get the body I want a habit that I am unwilling to compromise for anyone.  I am now also around people who enable me my good habits rather than regret my past and my new decisions in life.  There are some in my life who are so unhappy with themselves that nothing I say or do can change that.  You know what, that’s their problem not mine.

I cannot change anyone except for myself, and until I do I will constantly be worried or annoyed about things that do not matter.  There are some near me in need of severe guidance but it’s not my job to fix them.  As hard as that is sometimes to recognize, I now know that I can only be there if needed or asked.  I was overly involved or affected by others and their habits when in fact the real culprit was my frustration with my failures or inability to get things done.  I can only be a bridge if people choose to use me as that tool.  I cannot force them to do things that they are unwilling or incapable of doing.  Does that mean I don’t care?  No, just that I no longer will interfere.  Just like the beautiful bridge, I will be here for the crossing when asked. 🙂

Cancer, Myself, Preeti

Almost There

by Jemal Yarbrough

The mural next to these words marks a strong contrast to the real world facing me outside: grey, dreary, drizzling enough so even the dog doesn’t want to go around and sniff aimlessly. Just paid all the bills and miraculously have exactly 11 cents to my name, well to our names to be precise, so I have plenty to frown about, but I am not.  In fact, seems nothing can get me down.

The heart is light, can’t stop smiling, and looking forward to the week ahead. It’s funny how certain things don’t matter as much when so much has happened.  Friends who you cared about deeply barely a bleep, strangers who you ignored now dear acquaintances, but you know over all, that you matter a lot to many out there, and that’s enough.   Each one in our lives contributed the way they could, or better yet the way they were meant to.  This was our battle, and they were just the small break shops that give you water and food so you have the strength to keep going.  Blaming those for not running with you was not only realistic but completely unfair.  True, the damage is done but I know my friends, they will bounce back since those who know me well know that I hold no ill will.  More like, it was a cry for help but I managed to push some away and for that I will always be sorry.  The choice to continue is really up to them because although I am sorry, I am not going to be a slave to regret for the rest of my life.

I finished my first short story in years, and while I am tempted to share it here, I know it still needs to be tightened up more.  Who knew in the whirling days of chemo and radiation, an idea would be born. On this dreary day, my heart shines, smiling at the thought of her being almost done.  Nothing else matters really.  All the old accusations, decisions, bad thoughts, put away to stand clear for the finish line.  Who knew that in a matter of weeks, we will put this saga behind us and while the results are not 100%, they are good enough for me. Can/t worry about what’s not there or has not happened.  Actually, that’s not true. It is 1005 over in a week, and what will come next, I cannot worry about.  For now, I have her to love fully, full-time, and always. Also  my dear friends and family who are always there.  We are almost there, thank you for coming along this bumpy ride.  Hope I didn’t scar you too much. 🙂