There have been many times over the past few years that have reminded me to cherish life, but none more powerful than this past month.
The Relay for Life was this past Friday, and I’m still recovering from it! What a night it was full of tears, strength, pride and most importantly HOPE. Also a night of snow in June!
I tried to keep my GPS pedometer on for the entire night but my phone kept running out of batteries; however, it did record 20 KMs of walking! Thank you for supporting our team with your donations and well wishes. You can see images from the event on my photography blog by clicking HERE.
Back to perspective….The Relay for Life, and all the people who I’ve met there, have changed my life. They’ve made such a profound impact on my heart. Despite the snow and rain, the tone of the night was one of strength and hope. Every person there who donned a yellow shirt wore it with pride…they are cancer survivors. They did not walk that first lap with sorrow or sadness, they walked it with huge smiles, exuding the true joy of life with each step.
It brings me back to what the gentleman said to me as we were in the waiting room of the Cross Cancer Clinic last week. As I sympathized with him over his cancer diagnosis, he said with a small grin “What’s a person to do? You just have to deal with it and make the most of it.” He exuded positivity. It poured out of him with every word and gesture. He knows what it means to cherish life. He respects life.
We spend far too much time complaining my friends. We complain when it’s too cold, when it’s snowing, when it’s raining, and then we complain when it’s too hot. But then you meet someone that has nothing to complain about because he’s fighting for his life. He wakes up each day and is thankful for it. He appreciates the gift that is life.
Yesterday, I was editing the photos from the Relay for Life. My kids broke out into an argument upstairs and I was growing more annoyed by the second. Minutes later, I received news from a dear friend that a mutual friend of ours learned that very morning that her young son had Leukemia. Heart-breaking perspective my friends. I pray for her and her son in the days to come. That they will find strength and peace through the support they receive, and that he will start his healing today. And I will hug my kids tighter because life is a gift.
The whole point of what I’ve learned this past month isn’t that I want to say in bed with depression. It isn’t that I should be knocked down by life’s harsh blows. It’s that I need to live the best life possible, and to give my kids the best life possible. My Dad returns from his daily Radiation treatment, jumps in his tractor, and feeds his cows. He carries on with a smile and a kind word to all who know him (and even those who don’t!) I can’t explain to you how proud of him I truly am.
All around me things look differently. The mundane items I’ve walked by a hundred times, all of sudden have meaning. They tell a story of true life…the love that lives within the every day.
My daughter’s flip-flops, still full of grass, that she literally walked out of to go inside from the afternoon’s backyard play session…
The pansies that bloomed (despite the snow) that remind me of my Grandma Perkins. Pansies always make me smile when I take the time to appreciate them. They are so intricate and delicate yet hardy and strong (just like my Granny)…
And then I made my kids go outside to get a photo taken on this day when I appreciate them so much.
Lucas and Tessa haven’t grown out of the hugging stage, I hope they never do. Lukey has always been a little care taker of Tess, and of anyone younger than he is. If you come over with a baby, guaranteed he will ask to hold him/her.
My son Ty was bitten by a dog a few years ago on the side of his nose (I should clarify it wasn’t our dog pictured here! ha ha). I hoped this scar wouldn’t bother him. Quite the opposite is true, he thinks it makes him “look tough”. He tells his buddies he was attacked by a cougar. 😉 I love the confidence he displays through his actions.
It’s a beautiful life. Life is too short to carry anger, grudges, or to waste time worrying about what you could have or should have. Live in the now, in the spectacular present. There is so much to be thankful for.
I remember back when I was a little girl, I dreamed of the day I had my own house, my own career, my own children. How disappointing it would be to tell the little girl of my youth that I didn’t understand how lucky I am, that I didn’t truly give life the respect it deserves.
Life is meant to be lived with Joy. Slow down, take it all in. Soak up the love. Take some holidays, enjoy a walk in the park, give more than you take. Life is busy…yes it is, but sometimes you just have to MAKE the time for what’s truly important.
From my heart to yours,