Months To Years Winter 2019 Months To Years Winter 2019 - Page 45

Letter to My Forgotten Heart By Sylvie Leotin When I finished radiation, I sank into grief, and became acutely aware of the fragility of life, and the human heart. It was clear that my body had suffered a great deal. But I also viscerally realized that my heart had been beaten up and terrified by cancer treatment. One night, I felt inspired to write a letter to my heart. Dear Heart, You and I have a lot of catching up to do. I thought I was invincible, Half a life of taking you for granted, Proud of my tolerance for pain. Of thinking you will always be there, Can you accept my apologies? Beating faithfully, through thick and thin. Can you let us start anew? You’ve been a loyal friend all my life A new friendship, a new path. And yet I’ve never thanked you. I will care for you, I had to get a life-threatening illness Make sure to give you rest. To pay attention to you at last, I will listen to your sorrows To realize that you are not eternal. When you cry at night and I silence you, All these years I assumed Mainly because I’m too afraid That you could take it all, To ask what’s ailing you. The blows, the stress, the grief, It was easier to soldier on. The overwork, the heartbreaks. That’s what we learn as children. How blind I was We get rewarded for being strong And how neglectful I was. And for letting our hearts down. Can you ever forgive me But now I know that real strength For my ignorance, for my neglect? Is to have the courage to pause, Life has been hard on you And listen to our hearts And I didn’t make it easier. With kind receptive awareness. Sylvie Leotin is a breast cancer survivor, entrepreneur, writer, and polymath. A gold-medal ballerina and computer scientist, she combines a broad multidisciplinary expertise, with a keen sensibility to the vicissitudes of the human condition. She writes a blog about her cancer journey and the pains, joys and mysteries of living this human life. You can follow her blog at www.sylvieleotin.com. 45