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  • Love is the answer, particularly in the hardest of times

  • Last Thursday I sat with my friend, DJ. I'd planned to spend the whole day at her house, so I brought a sack lunch and a bag full of old movies, enough for a satisfying movie fest.
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  • Last Thursday I sat with my friend, DJ. I'd planned to spend the whole day at her house, so I brought a sack lunch and a bag full of old movies, enough for a satisfying movie fest.
    I knew she enjoyed them, as did I. My plan was to make her smile or even laugh, if it didn't hurt too much.
    Her recovery up until then had been amazing considering that just one month prior, her body had endured the equivalent of five surgeries in one fell swoop. This was necessary to try to eliminate an insidious cancer that had sneaked in and taken us all by shock and surprise with the extent of its destruction. It came like a thief in the night, robbing her temporarily of her sense of security, but unable to touch the two things that were most important to her — faith and hope.
    DJ's doctor strung three words together, creating a lifeline. She told her to repeat and remember, "This is treatable." But dealing with disease doesn't come naturally, and fear and doubt are often our default positions, especially in the dark of night.
    I wanted to take away all her pain and fear, but I was powerless to do anything but sit and listen, which she assured me was important.
    She said, "Faith has hands and feet. That's what my friends have shown me."
    This week, many churches reference a week of passion, a week that begins with Palm Sunday, a day of high spirits and false expectations in many ways, yet ends with a triumph of love in the hearts and minds of believers.
    Whatever we choose to believe, it's the perfect time of year to reflect on how much we need one another when the going gets rough. We were made to extend grace within community.
    A couple of days after my visit with DJ, my friend Lynn and I returned to visit, sing with gusto the theme song from Rawhide (Deej loves old westerns), and walk with her and her dog-buddy, Cheyenne.
    It's times like these when I know I'll never be completely happy unless everyone else is too. Maybe that's just a tiny particle of what it means to share in the suffering of the bigger passion.
    This season, I'll enjoy my fair share of See's dark chocolate Easter eggs and reflect on our family tradition of Paas-dyed eggs and how I never could get mine blue enough to suit me. I'll pull my chair up to a table laden with ham and potatoes au gratin. And for love's sake, I'll try to cut people more slack and be less judgmental. We're all in this together. Just don't go cutting me off on Highway 62, and we'll get along fine.
    I'll sign off with a few lyrics from one of my favorite songs, "Love is the Answer," written by Todd Rundgren and recorded by England Dan and John Ford Coley. This one's for you, Deej.
    Light of the world, shine on me
    Love is the answer.
    Shine on us all,
    Set us free.
    Love is the answer.
    And when you feel afraid
    (Love one another)
    When you've lost your way
    (Love one another)
    And when you're all alone
    (Love one another)
    And when you're far from home
    (Love one another)
    And when you're down and out
    (Love one another)
    And when your hopes run out
    (Love one another)
    Peggy Dover is a freelance writer who works from a 1900 farmhouse in Eagle Point. Reach her at pcdover@hotmail.com.
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