In early February I found myself in a position I thought I would never be in again, needing a reminder of what is important in life. After spending the afternoon with my friend Michelle, I sat down and wrote a note to all the women in my life.
To the women in my life…
I am sitting down to write this to all of you, fresh with emotion. I have just come back from a run. Today was not a typical run. Instead of it being about getting outside and getting exercise, it was about knowing that I am fortunate enough to do be able to do it.
I think I was also running a bit scared...
Today I spent part of my day with a friend that is fighting breast cancer that has spread to her liver. She has a one, three and five year old. She is an amazingly strong person who is pulling from every ounce of her body the will to keep fighting. I watched while she struggled to eat, threw up and then was so exhausted that all she could manage was to make it to her room to sleep. There was nothing I could do but just be there and although that should be enough it certainly didn't feel like it.
The reason I am writing this for all of you to read is that I’ve had conversations with many of you about the stress of family, jobs and life. It seems to me that a lot of us have been feeling overwhelmed lately. Not all the time but certainly at times. What I want to say to all of you is that right now, in this moment, I am so incredibly grateful for what I have. I want to keep this feeling so it is more than a moment. Sometimes I forget it. I may be hard on myself because I am not in the shape I want to be, stressed because my job feels like too much or frustrated because my child is not doing what I want him to do.
Stop. Breathe. Think.
Spending time with my friend today made me stop, think and appreciate that she would give anything to have enough energy play with her children, to feel good, and to be healthy. I lost my father and godmother to cancer and I thought I would never forget to be grateful for what I have. Today I was not only thinking of Michelle, but I was also thinking about the two of them, being reminded of what really matters.
As I stood on Grand Boulevard during my run with tears coming down my face, all I wanted to do was to hold my family close, to tell my friends how much they mean to me and to cut myself some slack. When it is our time I doubt any of us will ever wish we worked harder, looked better or stressed about things more. Instead, we will look back and wish we had spent more time with those we loved, had more fun, relaxed more and instead of being so hard on ourselves, that we love ourselves a little bit more!
I wrote this in hopes that we could all pause for a moment. We could think about Michelle, and other women that like her, who are fighting breast cancer at this very moment. Their stories of courage should remind us of what truly matters.
My friend Michelle inspires me. She is facing breast and liver cancer head on. She is looking at this not as a death sentence but as a life challenge. As she puts it, A LONG LIFE! I am entering Seek the Peak as a relay with my friend Jenell. Together we are showing our friend Michelle that this event is a small token of giving back to her all that she has given to us!
Love to all of you,