This is one of my favorite pictures of my boys. 5 years ago, on a still day at the lake they were just fishing. The reflection on the water makes it look like they are surrounded by clouds. I feel like this is my oldest son’s version of heaven. This picture came up on my Facebook memories and I got kind of emotional. An unexpected flood of emotions… making my eyes well up. They are so innocent here. This was before my cancer diagnosis. This was before their uncle’s farm accident (he miraculously survived). This was before their loved ones were ill. So much has changed. Part of me wants to reach into this picture & hug those little boys. I wish I could protect them from the heartache. I wish I could see that sweet “carefree” look in their eyes.
But I can’t do that… & part of me doesn’t want to. All of those scary things taught us something. As crummy as it was to tell my kids that I had cancer, it brought us closer together. It taught us how to ask for help. It allowed us some quiet time. It changed my perception of life in general. Their uncle’s farm accident taught us how to pray intentionally. It taught us how to let others hold us when we feel like we are falling apart. It showed us that miracles are real and they do happen. Their loved one’s illness taught us that health is important. It taught us to listen to our bodies, to love and respect these vessels that we have been entrusted with. It made me even more aware that life is short & we should take the trips!
Yes, part of me would like to wave my magic wand and keep them from the pain. But, those painful moments make us realize how sweet life is. Cancer happened for me, not to me. I was asked shortly after radiation, “So, has cancer changed you?” Yes. Yes, it did. I didn’t fully realize it at that moment, but I will never be the same… and not in a bad way. I will always try to make it to my kids’ events. I will honor and listen to my body. I will hug more. I will take the trip. I will sit and pet my cat. I will practice meditation & prayer. I will enjoy the life I have. I will give to others. I will show up for them when they don’t know what to do next. I will know that silence is ok, just being there means a lot.
None of us are promised a “tomorrow,” but I will do my best to live my life to the fullest. When my time comes, I hope to end up in a place like this picture… more beautiful than I can ever imagine. I really do wish you peace on your journey of enough. Peace is a powerful thing. Learning to sit in silence and absorb all of the good around you is good for the soul.