Saturday, March 12, 2011

Letter to a Sister, A Thimble Full of Hope

Hello Jane Marie,

uh huh, a rollercoaster.  Hold on tight baby.  I am back in a white knuckle place myself. Here's what I can tell you, and need to remind myself of tonight.

Cancer sucks.  Cancer treatment sucks even more.  There is nothing good or nice or profound or redeeming about it.  Nuttin.

but something happened to me along the way.  My heart cracked wide open, I fell to my knees, I did not let my pride keep me from asking for help, and that's when they started to arrive.  All my Sisters.  All my Sisters.  I am now part of a club of the finest, toughest, most loving, fearless funny bitches on the planet.  I hate the cancer, but I'm glad I'm not alone, and these GIRLS ROCK.

In my sickness, other things in me are healing.  In this abyss, I found my greatest strength. and even without my hair and boobs and some days in my bed, my kids saw me greet each day with an open heart and gratitude and usually a joke or two.  We laughed at cancer, made jokes at its expense, all as a way of saying you will never get the best of us, no matter what happens.

I used my cancer as a teachable moment for my boys, one after the other after the other, and I know they learned how to seek balance and self comfort in the midst of grief and tragedy and disappointment.  They have had a front row seat to witness their Mom at her best and at her worst and at her best again.  My children have learned the power of resilience and love, and laughing your ass off in between all the crying.

This cancer crap has given me an opportunity to realize what was always true, my life has an expiration date, nothing is promised to any of us, every day is a gift, the good is for today, and most of what I once thought I could not live without, I never needed in the first place and I let it fall away.  I learned who loved me, and I did not call after those who walked away. I let them go.

I learned that we have no choice over the often cruel and random and chaotic pieces that life throws our way, but we can choose how we arrange and react to the pieces.  Crying and worry takes a lot more energy than laughing and loving.  Worry don't change a thing. Gratitude changes everything.  I'll take a thimble full of hope any day, over a ton of fear.

Whatever you focus on in your life becomes the focus of your life.

You have come to the right place on this message board.  Here among your Sisters.  Just keep going baby.  Expect the unexpected.  Lean into the wind.

and when it gets real scary, we'll be right here.

Your cancer is not the sum of you or your life.  Don't forget that.

Keep going.

I once wrote in my blog when talking about my Sisters, that some of us will make it, and some of us won't.  I don't know what list I'm on, and the last couple days have been dicey for me.  But no matter what happens to me, don't anybody ever say about me "she lost her battle to cancer."

Say this.

I want to love and laugh and sing and live the way that girl did, showing up for her life, every single day, even when the party was rained on. Even when.

Peace to you Jane Marie,

writergirl, that's me.  Nice to meet you.


Saskia said...

Thanks for your beautiful words...

BIG hug, Saskia :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your blog. I am a new "sister", and mildly freaked out. I just wanted to say hi, say a prayer for you, and hope this new "turbulence" passes without much upheaval.

writergirldreams said...

Hello Saskia! You come here so often, you might as well teach me Dutch! Please teach me how to say LOVE in dutch, and how to curse too.

Cheryl, I clicked on your name to say hello to you, but your profile is not enabled. I hope you come back and see this, I'd like to chat with you. Will you enable your blogger profile? Hugs back to you Sister.


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