Monday, December 20, 2010

All I want for Christmas...

So for anyone who has known me a long time, let me start with an apology.  I am that person who always tortured people by not really telling them what I wanted whenever it was time for gift giving, like Christmas or my birthday.   I wanted them to figure it out.  Did they know me well enough to buy just the right gift?  Did they have the stamina to look in multiple stores to find something.  I always felt that if I pointed them to the exact gift- what fun was there in that?  OK- so for anyone who has just recently met me, I understand that you are thrilled that you were never a part of this crazy psycho mentality!  If you are feeling bad for my husband, you probably should- he took the brunt of the craziness.

So what I have realized is that I created a story in my head about people shopping for me.  I could have pointed them in the direction of the gift that I really wanted and been just as happy.  This year, I am a very contented, grateful, happy person.  I am thrilled with the direction that my life has taken and the path that was set out for me.  I am happy that people are willing to reach out and share their stories with me.  I am grateful to have such an awesome family.  I am lucky to get the chance to hug the people that I love this year at Christmas. 

The irony then is that there is not really anything tangible that I want this year.  The only things that I want are more time with the people that I love; more resources to do the work for Little Pink Houses of Hope; more opportunities to grow and learn.  I can't even imagine the idea of wanting an actual gift for myself this year.  So yes, the people with whom I have maliciously played this game are now wondering if I mean it or just playing a new game.  

Little Pink Houses of Hope has made my life so busy!  But every bit of it has enriched my life in ways that I never imagined.   I cherish the simple things in life now.   So in an attempt to turn over a new leaf for my dear husband, I have to reconcile my old ways with my new found non-gift giving outlook and at least come up with something.  So I think I have found the perfect gift as I watched a little girl color a picture for me this weekend (thanks Tatum) and was overcome with her joy.  The simple pleasurable task of coloring!  That is what I want this year- a coloring book!  How about that for easy- and don't worry- I have already told Terry!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

In Honor of the FIGHT!

The day after I found out I had cancer and the same day that I dreamed the idea of Little Pink Houses of Hope I had to tell my son I had cancer.  But what very few people have heard is the story of Jake's response.  The majority of his response will remain private as a memory that only our family ever needs to remember and hold onto as we continue this journey.  But there is a touching story that I was unfortunately reminded of today with the passing of Elizabeth Edwards. 

When we told Jake that I had cancer, the one thing that we decided was that we were going to go through this battle together as a family- a team- we would all need each other to get through it.  And of course, we were going to fight (a word used then, that I no longer like to use).  During the course of the week I had all of the fears that you can imagine- the most important and scary was that I would die before I would ever have a chance to see my beautiful son grow up. 

 Throughout the week, I took time to read Elizabeth Edwards' book Resilience that described her own journey through cancer and what her family went through.  Her words struck a cord in my heart and the more that I read, the more strength, determination, and focus I got that I could survive- because surviving was about living.  After many tears and wonderful insights, I got to the final page.  When I turned the last page in huge red letters, Jake had written the word FIGHT - I love you MOM in big letters.  This simple 5 letter message from my dear son, who was probably just as scared of losing me as I was of losing him, is the word that carried me through some dark times when chemotherapy seemed too hard. 

And so today, my heart goes out to the family of Elizabeth Edwards- to her children who watched their mom FIGHT and win.  She won because she lived!  There are so many people who have lost people that they love to the terrible disease of breast cancer as well as many other types of cancer.  It is not the number of years that you have but how you spend each day.  Live each day to the fullest and celebrate the life that you are living!