This photo is of my cousin Marc (centre) with his brother Scott and mother, Marilynn. I have posted it before, but I am posting it again today for Denise and the rest of their family have been in my thoughts constantly over the past week. I have been taking time to sit, with a candle lit, drawing on all the strength and faith I can muster and sending it out for them - out to the healing powers that will help repair Mark's body and that will strengthen their spirits of the whole family through this difficult time. As I have done this I've constantly thought of my own Marc, who a little over a year ago was told that he had a cancerous tumour in his brain. We were told that it was a Grade 4 Glioblastoma Multi-forme, the worst case scenorio, and that only 3% of people diagnosed with this kind of tumour lived more than 12 months. I've thought about that terrible phone call from him, sitting in my office sobbing with Marc on the other end of the line crying as well. I've recalled the shock, the disbelief, and the pain of being distant from him. I felt Denise's pain when she had to wiat those terrible long days before she could travel to be with her Mark. I remember those days, preparing myself to travel to see Marc, my mixed feelings of desparate desire to be with him, to find strength and faith to bolster him. My fear that I would falter in my conviction that he would be well, that I would fail him. I remember the day he went into surgery, when they cut open his brain to remove this invasive growth. We had had been warned that there was always a risk that he would not wake up, or that he would wake up with brain damage. I was again far away, in Timor Leste - thinking of Marc constantly and calling for news. I remember going to see him after I got back, as he was recovering from surgery. I recall being afriad of his frailty, as he slurred his words and struggled to find his way through simple sentence. I was scared of the truth, that my vital, strong cousin was also frail and vulnerable. I felt my certainty that he would beat this cancer falter. I remembered those days, those fears, that intense desire to be strong and unfailing in my belief in Marc's healing. Those moments of weakness, the realisation that Marc also needed me to be with him in those moments. I've though of Denise going through so many similar moments and I have wished I coudl do more than simply send her my thoughts and prayers. I want to share the rest of our story - the year of growth, of learning with Marc about yoga and meditation, about the power of thoughts and of the love and support of a family. I want to share this photo of Marc and his mother and brother, one year later, alive and joyful and celebrating my sister's wedding. But more importantly, one year later Marc is wiser, stronger and in many ways more alive than ever before. And because he has allowed me to join him on this journey I am also more alive, with new knowledge, new insights and new beleif in the wonder and magic of love and faith. My Marc's challenge is far from over. He still must focus his energy on healing his body, on nourishing his spirit and his mind to be joined with his body on this mission. We have a long way to go. When I was home in New Zealand this winter Marc and his wife asked me to be godmother to their precious son Archie. Marc told me that he knew that if he was not around when Archie was growing up that he would be able to rely on my to teach Archie some of the values that Marc and I share. I was almost overcome with the feelings that this request, this honour stirred in me. They were a mix of humility and pride, of love and of fear, of anguish at the thought that Marc was preparing for the possibility of a future in which he was not here, and with the humble realisation that we should all know that there is such a possibility. We are all fragile, but only a few of us realise the full truth of that, people like Marc and many others whose blogs I read and take inspiration from. This realisation can change the way we live, it can make our lives small and fearful or it can lead us on to living fuller more courageous and more truthful lives. I love Marc for many, many reasons. One of those reasons is the new courage and truth that he has brough into my life through the pain of this past year. I wish this kind of courage and truth for Darlene, for Mark, for Denise and for their whole family. From what I already know of them I have fatih they will find it.