Christ in Winter: Reflections on Faith & Life for the Years of Winter--TRUE CLICHES [T, 7-31-18]
Jean Cramer-Heuerman and I were friendly colleagues before we went through cancer together, but sharing the cancer experience made us fully into friends, not just like-minded colleagues, even though I was fifteen years older. During the time we were both in cancer treatments, we’d sit in the back of the room during committee meetings of our denominational conference and compare notes.
One day, she said, “You know, all the clichés are true.”
That was highly credible, coming from Jean, for she and I were always the cynics, the ones who laughed at clichés and shouted out for more substance.
She died much too young, a long time ago. When she did, the bishop asked me to spend time with her church staff and congregation to help them work through their grief. He knew I could do that, because I shared that grief. I still miss Jean, and sometimes I run through the list of clichés we decided were most true. They make me feel like we are together again, at the back of the room, laughing at cancer behind our hands, hoping for healing in our hearts.
Here are the true clichés that appealed to us most:
It’s never too late to have a happy childhood
Today is the first day of the rest of your life
No day is over if it makes a memory.
John Robert McFarland