Tomorrow I will celebrate my 41st birthday. Just typing that sentence makes me emotional. I can not believe that I am alive for another birthday. A feeling of overwhelming blessing and humbleness blankets me to think God thought it good to give me life for another year.
Last year, I spent time watching the sunrise over the mountains. This was the first time I had ever purposely set my alarm to wake and watch the sunrise from complete darkness. It was such a peaceful and meaningful time with God and His creation that I plan to make that part of my birthday celebration every year. My alarm is already set for tomorrow morning.
I think watching that sunrise opened my eyes to the beauty that has surrounded me all my life. I have a new-found love of sunsets and clouds. It isn’t unusual to find me standing at a band competition surrounded by people and equipment, yet I’m looking up. I’ve been asked many times, “What are you looking at?”. It is quickly becoming a family joke because I will frequently stop in the middle of a parking lot or ask my hubby to pull over on the side of the road just so I can photograph a sunset or cloud formations.
The past year has brought many answered prayers and happy times in my life.
I celebrated my 20th wedding anniversary with my high school sweetheart
I have seen my daughter graduate high school and college
My son achieved his dream of becoming drum major for his marching band.
I’ve had many wonderful opportunities like becoming part of Focused on a Cure’s Survivor’s Exhibit
Being featured in the local newspaper to bring awareness and hope to other survivors
And being featured by Good Morning America for a health blog on ABCnews website
But along with all the happy times and opportunities, life also comes with sadness. I spent a large portion of the year with my friend Jeannie. She was in her 60’s and had struggled with cancer since she was in her late teens. She was there the first day of my chemo to encourage and pray for me. She was such an inspiration of strength, humor and being able to see the world as good even through difficulty. Sadly, Jeannie transitioned from living here to living in heaven in August of this year.
I will never forget her. She has left me a legacy of feeding the hummingbirds; which I know she sends to me since I’ve never had a hummingbird at my house until her passing.
I have learned a lot about myself this past year. Some people say it is because of my age and some say it is because of the journey through cancer diagnosis and treatments, but whether it’s one or both of those reason, I know more about myself and what I want in my life and for my life. There comes a clear focus on what is important and sometimes those things and people that you thought would be in your life are no longer there. I recently watched a documentary titled, “Mondays at Racine”. It followed several breast cancer patients and their struggles with hair loss and body changes. One of the ladies said, “I recommend surrounding yourself with people who love you. And when you have people who don’t love you or they can’t stay by your side, you do what my daughter says, ‘Keep it moving, mommy’. And that’s what I do.” Those words sum up the lessons I’ve learned this year. I keep it moving and keep my focus on the people and activities that I love and enjoy!
I’m looking forward to another year of adventures. I wish you and your family love, peace, finding who you are and what you love. But most of all I wish you happiness and beauty in the everyday things of life!