I don’t have a favorite flag. Rather, each flag I carry has brought me to tears at some point in the creation of it. In a sense, I think my favorite flag, if I had made one for me, would be for the hope that this experience would help me move past the “cancer of the soul” that has left me so lacking in the spirit compassion for so many years.

As I said in my application, cancer has rarely touched my life and only once did it require an emotional or physical demand as I served as a caregiver. Because I’ve had so little experience with it, I’ve often felt uncomfortable discussing the physical and emotional challenges of cancer victims and their caregivers.

Each of the flags I carry have forced me to do open the discussion of caregiving and survivorship in a way that, I hope, has opened my heart and spirit to the sufferings of others. They have opened a path of deeper communication with the people I have only known superficially.

You can read more from Mary on her blog at http://marycgottschalk.com.

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