I am just getting ready to go for lunch with two incredible women that I picked up at an event in Calgary this fall. The event was BRA Day (Breast Reconstruction Awareness), and each of these women were from my home town, had a genetic predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer like me, and were willing to meet up for tea once home and share their stories, experience with their mastectomies, and research they had completed. These women are brave, compassionate, supportive and so caring. One in particular (Jen you know who you are) was my constant companion in this journey, checking in pretty well daily to see how I was doing. From a complete stranger to a trusted confidant almost overnight, what a gift! Imagine what can happen when we drop our insecurities and actually allow ourselves to be vulnerable enough to connect with strangers in the room.
What does that have to do with my Celebration of Life theme today? We are going for lunch today to celebrate my completion of chemotherapy…an ongoing theme in my life these days.
Today is yet another day that I am “suffering” from permagrin. No, I did not “get lucky” last night, nor did I win the lottery, nor has my debt and daily challenges suddenly disappeared. I did’t find a way to dine on nothing but chocolate, cake & ice cream calorie free.
I am alive!
I had Conan convince me to go for a walk this morning and have the ability to do that. I got a tonne of fresh air and sunshine yesterday, complete with sunscreen and appropriate attire and fresh clean water at my fingertips to keep me safe from those rays. I am just plain alive. WOW!!! So simple, but so, so amazing.
And suddenly a few moments ago, as I am thinking about the post-chemo celebration kegger I am planning, inviting those that have been consistently by my side through this journey, I realized, I am planning my own Celebration of Life! What a gift! I am choosing to celebrate life with those I love, those who love me, and I get to be here to enjoy it! Why do we wait until the ones we love pass away to celebrate their life? Why do we have to “talk behind their back” about how great they were, what they meant to us, what we learned from them, how we wish we would have spent more time together, and laugh over one of their embarrassing stories together knowing that if they were beside us they would be both embellishing, denying and laughing right along with us! Don’t get me wrong, I am not looking for a soapbox for folks to jump up on at the kegger to tell me “how do I love thee, let me count the ways”, but I am EXTREMELY excited to be able to celebrate life with these people!
And so, as summer approaches and roads are a little less treacherous to be traveled, I wish you the opportunity to celebrate life with those you love as well…. whatever that looks like for you!
With more love & appreciation imaginable,