"What About Your Friends & Gratefulness"
On Jan. 25th I'll be 37 years old. For some reason our culture encourages a person to deny their age or at least cling to the idea of being forever 21. The irony is that you have the option to either get old or die. I have been thankful for every birthday but this time around I am more grateful than I have ever been to have the chance to be here. Lately I've had the feeling that time is standing still and I look around and I am grateful for the small things. I'm challenging myself to be more aware and to be fully present. I am thankful to breathe in fresh air whenever I go for a walk, I am thankful for the random hugs from my son, I am thankful for time spent with my mother, I am thankful for the extra care and dedication shown to me by my boyfriend, and I'm thankful to my friends and family for always showing up and reminding me that I am never alone.
I can remember the vision I had for the photo shoot featuring the picture that I've posted in the beginning of this blog entry. I had just finished my very first chemotherapy treatment and I was in recovery. I could barely put my thoughts together but I called my cousin Billie and let her know my vision and she helped me to execute it. I'm so glad that I followed my heart and pushed myself to get this vision from my head into existence. When I look back on these photos they speak so much love and support to me. Each one of these ladies are connected to me. Some by blood but everyone by the heart. There are others not pictured that I've leaned on as well. I have had moments where I could barely stand and my friends have helped me. I have had moments where I could barely eat and these women have gone out of their way to make sure that I was fed.
All of these moments combined have made me want to be a better friend. In the same way that they are literally and figuratively holding me up, how can I do the same for them? Cancer is not and should not be the only reason to be there for a friend. If either one of them are having a bad day, how can I listen more? If there is a situation that requires a face to face instead of over the phone, how fast can I get there? We all have enough going on in our lives to keep us occupied but every now and again we should hold our heads up above our own clouds to see our friends. I know that self care is important but there is also value in thinking of and caring for the needs of someone else. It centers you and reminds you that things are not only happening to you.
I have a long way to go in my journey with Breast Cancer (I will provide an update in a later blog), but I know that I wouldn't have made it this far without having a heart of gratefulness and amazing friends and family!
I hope 2019 is off to a good start for you!
Here is the link to my "1 in 8" story...feel free to share: