on Hope

My facebook status today:

Dad’s last day of kicking cancer’s ass is today…the final radiation treatment. So proud of his outlook on life: full of strength and positivity. Will be celebrating with him at the lake in a few days. I’m having a “Life is great” moment!

As I pressed enter on the keyboard, my phone rang. I didn’t have to look at the number. I intuitively knew it was my Dad calling from the road as he travelled the last of the daily trips into Edmonton for radiation. Rather than the customary “Hello”, I answered the phone with  “Congratulations on your last treatment.” He replied “Yes, it’s the last one!”

And then we talked about the series of bad storms in our area, his work schedule to get ready to go to the lake, and where everyone was going to park their trailers at the lake lot.  It’s tricky planning for 4 trailers, a couple of boats, and numerous vehicles that accompany our large family at the lake. “We will make it work!” he chimed in.

As we talked about normal everyday life events, my mind wandered to the phone call we had just months earlier when Dad learned he had cancer.  Many questions and the great unknown was dropped onto his lap….and now, cancer has become a part of life. We talk about Radiation appointments like we talk about the weather.

For a brief moment, a single question invaded my mind: What about tomorrow? I pushed tomorrow out, because Dad needs today.  We all need today. The last of the radiation.  It’s a day of celebration.

This past Christmas we gathered together to celebrate Dad’s recent surgery to remove the cancerous prostate, and now in a week we’ll gather together for our yearly family lake vacation and celebrate the end of the radiation treatments. We will huddle around a roaring campfire and talk over one another with fits of laughter sprinkled throughout.

So today marks a celebration of strength for my Dad. cancer can’t take that from him. There will be no room in my mind to worry about tomorrow.  That would be giving power over to the disease. We have today. Thank you God for today!

We as a family have been given a gift.  We have HOPE and we have come together in love and support.  I have to admit a fact that I’ve been avoiding for years.  My Father and I didn’t have the strongest of relationships in the past.  The hectic pace of life took over and we didn’t talk as often as I wanted. There was always somewhere to be, or some pressing matter of greater importance to attend to.

I have to tell you my friends what I’ve learned throughout this year:

~Family is everything.

~Time is precious.

~There isn’t a right time to say “I love you.”  I no longer say good-bye at the end of a conversation with Dad. We end our talks with “I love you.”

~Today is a gift.

~Happiness is a choice.

~Positivity is a choice.

~Forgiveness is a choice.

~Hope reins supreme.

~And a quote I read the other day that is blunt, but so true: “If you keep one foot in the past and one foot in the future… you’re probably pissing all over today.” ~ author unknown

Yesterday is just that…yesterday. It’s done and it’s in the past. There’s no point in worrying about tomorrow, because we have no control over tomorrow.  But guess what my friends, we have the gift of today.

The next time you are spending time with your family and the little annoyances of life take over…the kids are arguing, your vacation isn’t going as planned, the truck breaks down, the mosquitos are eating you alive, etc. ~ Just smile and shake it off. It’s not important. It’s just part of the adventure that is life!

The true joy of life lives within love and a heart full of gratitude.  I often say Life is Good; however, today I say Life is Great. Sometimes one just has to be reminded that it’s within our control whether we allow the beauty that is life to take over and permeate our soul.

From my grateful and happy heart to yours,

Christine 🙂