Rebecca is battling breast cancer. She posted a thirty-day challenge for October, a pink-ribbon challenge for Hopetober. I plan to use the series as writing prompts. Next month is Movember, so it is a fitting challenge for both sides of the house.

I am sitting on the porch watching and listening to the gully-washer rolling through, even getting some droplets blown in on me. It is a beautiful day.

Acceptance is like that. I can try to ignore the rain or pretend that it isn't there, but that will not change anything. The rain simply is. I can't make it not be. What I can do is decide what I am going to do with the fact that it is raining. I can sit and mope, I can do something inside, I can go for a walk or I can sit on the porch and enjoy it. But if the are upwind windows open, It would behoove me to go close them.

Accepting cancer or other life-threatening situation, either for myself or for another, takes something of the same. Denying Shirlee's cancer or wishing I would wish it away would have accomplished nothing. Nor, for myself, can I deny the possibility of cancer or hip trouble or whatever. Saying, "it's probably nothing" does not make it so.

Acceptance works two ways. I have to accept the fact that rain or cancer simply is, but I do not need to accept the rain or cancer as defining my future or who I am. There are choices to be made.

That's where the courage comes in. It isn't so much the courage to face that cancer as it is the courage to face a future that includes or might include cancer and which may or may not include me or my sister-in-law or my friend. It may simply be the courage to face with hope a future which I can affect but not control. How will I live? Am I determined to live until I die, whether the time be long or short? Courage is not the absence of fear; it is deciding to keep on keeping on in spite of my fear.

So help me God.