Setting the Dial at 10
Today is a pretty epic day, but probably not in the way that you are thinking. No life changing, monumental opportunities or out of this world gifts from the universe, but rather a subtle milestone that has left me in a literal puddle of my own tears this morning. My children are celebrating their last day of school for the 21-22 school year. My headstrong daughter is finishing Middle School. My laid back, sports obsessed middle son is finishing elementary school. My coming into his own, cuddle bug youngest son has finally had a full year of in person learning (first year since preschool) and will be flying solo in his elementary building next year. I didn't really expect today to be so emotional for me, but I think back to when I was first diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer four and a half years ago, I really questioned if I would see my youngest go to Kindergarten, let alone finish first grade. My sweet daughter was nine at the time and thinking about High School for her seemed outrageous....and yet, here we are. I'm SO FREAKING grateful. Two weeks before this school year started, I had a major surgery and I even attended their Open House in the fall with two surgical drains tucked inside my oversized shirt. I had no idea at that time that this school year I would be facing not only the anticipated second surgery later that fall, but also a Stage 4 diagnosis, all the tests, biopsies and scans that accompany that, as well as, treatment, having to place my sweet mom in Memory Care and the scare of my middle son's broken arm/benign bone tumor. How in the hell am I still breathing? ha. I'm not really looking for sympathy here, but maybe a hug....and a huge ass vacation would be amazing!
In typical 'me' fashion, my overthinking, introspective brain is processing where we've been, what we endured and where we are going. As much as I'm going to miss my quiet mornings working in my home office with my slow jam tunes, incense burning aroma and espresso fix, I'm ready for their pantry raiding, shoes in the hallway and incessant bickering (ok, maybe not that last one, haha). I need to hit the reset button for all of us and find our stride that feels less like survival mode and more like thriving mode. I realize from my own experiences and the news making national headlines this week, that this time together is a gift. A gift that has been taken from so many, whether that is due to cancer, a brutal mass shooting or other tragedies. In the wake of this week's school shooting in Texas, I read somewhere that if you have a platform, any platform, it's time to use it and turn that dial up to 10 to let our voices of change be heard. My platform is probably on the small side, but mighty she is. I simply cannot fathom having gone through what we did this year to have my children not come home to me at the end of the day. As we all know, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. With that said, why in the hell are we still finding ourselves in this state of tragedy, especially at the expense of the people we should be working the hardest to protect. Enough is enough. I'm not saying we should take away anyone's right to bear arms, but there can and should be some parameters. I'm so tired of the constant discord in this country. Right, left....enough. Let's find the humane middle that secures the ability to live a life of peace and protection while enabling the freedoms that were the foundation for the mere existence of this country in the first place. When I was first diagnosed, the world was my escape from the hell I was facing. I took refuge in trips, concerts and "living" to keep me steadfast and hungry for more time on this planet. This year when I was diagnosed again, I had to work harder to more accurately define what I was fighting so hard to stick around for...obviously that reason was, and always has been the three little faces looking to me for love, guidance and security in this screwed up world. I certainly didn't feel like any of us would find that in the outside world, tragically. It had to come from within, from me, from us. I would like to think someday we (our country) can get back to a place where trusting and caring for one another is a core value. That seems to have been lost in the divisiveness that is who is right/wrong and worthy/unworthy of the sanctity of life. I think we all can do better, be better. Each and every single one of us.
In closing today, I just want to share a quote from a movie I saw last night. My seven year old accompanied me to see "Downton Abbey" last night. (I LOVED it by the way.) No, he wasn't really into it, but he knew I wanted to see it and he went for the popcorn. haha! Anyway, the matriarch of the family Lady Violet Crawley said, "That's life, Getting past the unexpected and perhaps learning from it". I infinitely believe that true wisdom and empathy comes at a price. I think personally and as a nation we have paid some pretty hefty dues. Learning and growing is a choice...I have made mine to rise above that which has tried to take me down. I hope as a nation we can do the same.
Thanks for sticking with me...my wings, your wings, our wings. Much Love-M
A little present brought to you by my British Boyfriend, James Bay (my friends are laughing because this is 100% what I refer to him as, haha!)
One Life-James Bay