Thursday, November 13, 2014

one year

today marks one year.  one year since my diagnosis.  one year since the day that changed me.  changed us.  changed my thoughts, my character, my attitude.  i'm still so much the same person, but i feel adjusted.

i thought for a while about one word that best summed up this past year.  overwhelming.  emotional.  roller coaster.  heartbreaking.  family.  unexpected.  blessed.  it has been all of that for certain, but the one word that kept coming back to me was amazed.  how amazed i have been by the happenings of this last year.  amazed that my push to take my thyroid nodule out would turn into cancer.  amazed that i found strength to be away from my girls for 18 whole days.  amazed that our family had to endure even more heartache with my sister's cancer diagnosis.  amazed that michael and i found inner willpower and fight to train through 4 months of running to complete a half-marathon.  amazed that i actually finished a half, which i never thought i ever wanted to do.  and most significantly, amazed by the overwhelming and continuous outpouring of love, supports and beautiful gifts of friends, family and strangers.

i have 2 stories that have touched me so greatly this past year, and i want to share them.

over the summer, i was asked to meet an instructor at my daughters' swim school before one of our classes.  i've never met this instructor before, but we were linked through our swim coach, maggie.  she started following my story through maggie, through my photos on instagram, through here on this blog space.  we walked in the doors that afternoon and right up to meet kate.  kate was a young 20-something who was leaving for california that week, to be a nurse in the navy.  before she left, she wanted to give me something she had been working on since march, several months before.  what she handed to me and what she said still brings me to tears.  a beautiful quilt in pink, turquoise and purple, the colors of thyroid cancer, was given so lovingly to me and she told me how she felt touched by my story and wanted to do something for me.  i couldn't tell her thank you enough.  i was so in awe of this beautiful, young girl and the thoughtfulness that she possessed for me, a stranger whom she had never known.  so kate, thank you.  i look at that quilt daily, as we use it to warm us on a chilly day, or when we lay it out for a picnic, and i am ever reminded of your kind-hearted gesture and all the love you put into it.  it truly is amazing.

the second story happened just this week.  i am currently enrolled in a 4-week online photo class, something i have wanted to do for the past 4 years, but just never found the time or extra money to do, as the classes are definitely an investment of both.  but i turned 35 this year, and mentioned to michael that the one thing i wanted for my birthday was to take a class.  and it happened.  and i am loving it.  at the beginning, we share our story with the others in the class, and somehow, it came up about never being the perfect time to take a class, that our life is crazy busy, that the random thing i wanted to share about me was that i completed a half-marathon and i beat thyroid cancer.  odd to bring up now that i think about it, but it was fate.  a couple weeks into class, i received a personal message from a fellow classmate who lives in california.  she told me that she has 2 young daughters as well, and was touched by my story and was gifting me another photography class.  i sat there in tears reading her words, merry christmas from a random stranger.  kathleen, thank you from the bottom of my heart.  you'll never know how much that gift amazed me.

my eyes have opened.  my senses awakened.  i am learning to live my life as fully as i can.  yes, there are habits i'd like to break, things i'd care to change, but i'm human and i am not perfect.  i don't strive to be.  i strive to be enough.  i strive to be a patient, nurturing and forgiving mom, a loving and supportive wife, a listening and dependable friend, a hard-working and educated therapist, a random stranger who puts good into the world.  it's a balance.  i can't be all these things every day.  but i try.

last night, i returned to my favorite local studio for yoga after a brief hiatus.  my teacher never fails to utter words in each and every class that strike a chord within me and seem to be exactly appropriate and what i need to hear on that day.  she always tells us to forgive yourself when you fall out of balance.  to go a little bit further in the posture than you think you can.  to bring your mind back to where you are at that moment when it begins to wander.  and at the very end, to give your body a squeeze and love it exactly where it is.  i think i've learned to do so much more of all of that since last year.  to forgive.  to push myself.  to focus.  to love me.  last night, she then asked us to think of one empowering word or phrase, one positive to defeat all the negative.  and immediately it popped into my head.

i am enough.

thank you to my beautiful friend, laura, once again for these awesome family photos.
photos of harper + crosby individually shot by me. :)

1 comment:

Kellie said...

Beautiful post by a beautiful woman...both inside and out!!