Note: Bryan Booth, a local man involved in the Murfreesboro theater scene, is recovering from serious oral cancer surgery that has made speaking and swallowing extremely challenging. Here is his interesting perspective on the disease that has affected his life so drastically:
There are so many things that I want to say to you, so many that I need to say. You have come into my life and altered it in the radical way that only those closest to a person can manage. You have forced me to reevaluate my life, my priorities, and my emotions. You have made me more self-aware; and for that, I thank you.
You have brought my family closer together. For many years now, we have been treading water; we have let the disagreements and ideological differences become the unspoken walls between us. We have let these walls close us off from each other and the tapestries of blood and time that will always unite us. Yet, with a single word, a single appearance, you have ground those walls to dust. There is a closeness, a reunion, that was wholly unexpected?and perhaps, on some level, feared?because of the honesty that it will force upon each of us. However, I now see us embracing that honesty, consequences and discomfort be damned. Life, as you have shown us so powerfully, is too short for anything but truth. So, cancer, for giving me my family back, I thank you.
You have shown me that it is acceptable to rely on others, that I am permitted to be weak in my own way and at my own time. You have given me the strength to depend upon those I love, and because I have finally taken that step, you have unlocked the door to show me what real love is. I can see it so much more clearly than I ever could before. You have given me the love of my life, and you have taught me to revel in her strength. For teaching me these early lessons in those parts of love I have always overlooked, I thank you.
You have shown me how many true friends I have. Over the past month, I have been awed and humbled by the amount of love and support that I have received from friends I have never even met. My relationships with those I have met have deepened, have sweetened, have strengthened into unbreakable bonds. I have seen parts of my friends that otherwise would have remained hidden until the next time of crisis. I have been overwhelmed by generosity and concern and kindness, and for this, I thank you.
You have strengthened my resolve and my commitment. You have honed my curiosity and my creativity. You have given me a very special set of tools; for these tools, I thank you.
With these tools, cancer, I will defeat you. The love, the creativity, the concern, the generosity, the resolve?I will ride them as a tide of healing against you. I have a purpose that I will not abandon. I have been the most fortunate recipient of such generosity that I will not abandon. I will bring the love of hundreds and thousands against you. And you will lose. You will fail. You will not claim me.
For all these things, and for the gifts you have yet to bring to my life, I thank you. Yet I warn you, the more you attempt to tighten your grip on my life, the more easily I will best you. My life is mine; it is not yours. Nor will it ever be.
Farewell, Cancer. I will be free of you, and, though I will bathe in the echoes of your passing for many years to come, you will not be missed.
? Bryan Booth, cancercanbiteme.wordpress.com
Can We Really Buy American?
The May 25 edition of The Tennessean has an article titled, “Buying only American could bring backlash.” The article goes on and on about the bad effects that would happen to the worldwide economy if Americans decide to buy American products only.
Who cares about the rest of the world? This is our economy, our country, our jobs and our families. Why should we even be worried about the rest of the world? We are not the care-takers of the world, neither should we be the policeman of the world! Already we are limited to what American products we can buy here, as there are very few American-made products that are totally American.
For example?the Memorial Day weekend celebration, honoring our military heroes, past and present, with American flags purchased and placed all over the country?hundreds of thousands of them, flags that have been made in Communist China. On June 14 we will celebrate Flag Day?once again with hundreds of thousands of American flags, made in China. Does that make any sense at all? On July 4 we will celebrate our Independence Day with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of fireworks?made in China by slaves. Does that make any sense at all?
Why should we continue to support countries that are our enemies, and Communist countries that employ slave labor and prisoners to make their products that are then shipped to the U.S. at inflated prices. Meanwhile the slaves live in squalor back in those countries.
A recent trip to the grocery store to buy ground beef for the holiday weekend reinforced my conviction of trying to buy American products; the trip left me angry and upset. Reading labels has become a habit for me; reading the label on the ground beef packages in the first store tells me that the beef is a “Product of the U.S., Mexico and Canada.” A visit with the manager informs me that they do not intend on ever stocking beef from the U.S. only. So on to the next store?same thing. The third store has their beef labeled “Product of U.S., Mexico, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.” How am I to know I am not buying ground up kangaroo or wallaby? Finally, in the fourth store, I found beef labeled “Product of the U.S.”
I will no longer apathetically just buy stuff. I will go out of my way to buy products made in the U.S. only, and I will search for and buy food products grown locally, and my voice will be loud and clear with displeasure against all that foreign-made cheap stuff that continues to flood our markets.
It is long past due for us Americans to get involved in the many issues that are threatening our American way of life and our very livelihood. We need to buy American, and think like Americans because if we don’t take a stand we will soon be living like those third world countries?in poverty and subjected to the global government and global economy which has plans to control the world.
? Leah Jaeger, River Oaks Drive, Murfreesboro
More Veggies at the Market
I was so happy about MTSU’s vegetable market until I got there at 3 p.m. and was told that there is such a huge line when they open at 1 p.m. that they sell out quickly.
I wish they would purchase produce from local gardeners so that everyone in that line could get locally grown organic produce because so much gasoline is used to produce food, transport it, flying planes that shower it with harmful chemicals . . . it’s sad!
When I learned of the huge amount of gasoline used I realized that every bite we take that isn’t locally grown is like a step up the ladder toward the earth’s destruction. A ladder we can destroy if everyone would grow sprouts in jars, grow vegetables in as many flower pots as possible, dig up their lawns and grow vegetables, limit car use, etc.
Even sadder is when our grandchildren are starving and wonder why we destroyed the earth and we tell them it is because we thought mowed lawns were pretty and watching TV was more fun than gardening.
The book titled “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” by Barbara Kingsolver is so awesome! The way she describes things is just hillarious. The facts she sprinkles in are shocking; many made me cry. Although it’s a little weird reading a book that makes one laugh one minute and cry the next, if you care about your health or this planet this book is simply a must read Her book “Small Wonder” is excellent, also.
“Animal, Vegetable, Miracle” tells how much gas we could save if every family in America would eat one locally grown meal per week.
This book is for people over 21 because it gives a bit too much details about turkeys.
I don’t care whether you print that word we call a “name” because I AM LOVE.
? Melanie Robinson