Sunday, August 5, 2012


When I was eighteen I thought I had the world figured out. I fancied my self a wise woman, when (really) most of my wisdom came from fortune cookies and sappy quotes I read on internet chain letters on AOL.
Boy, was I ever so wrong.
I thought I was brilliantly wise beyond my years when life slapped me on the face during the summer of 2009 when a doctor stood in front of me and told me I may have cancer, while acting as if he had just told me that I had an ingrown toenail. I spent that summer crying myself to sleep, worrying about what my babies' lives would be like without their momma, having nightmares about them watching me die, gushing obscene amounts of blood from between my legs, praying I wouldn't pass out until after Joe got home. God was very present in my life that year. I learned how incredibly fragile life is and how not a single second should ever be taken for granted. He also saved me from very painful chemotherapy treatments, because two days before my first scheduled chemo session, after two very humiliating procedures, the thing they called cancer was gone.
That entire ordeal taught me many life lessons, but still, I wasn't perfect. I continued to make mistakes.
It wasn't long before I was complaining about my life and passing judgement on situations that didn't pertain to me. I opened my mouth and gave everyone my two cents on anyone who wasn't living their life the way I thought they should. I let resentment take over and I spoke unkind words, indirectly hurting three lovely, innocent beings I so love, who got caught in the adult crossfire. I haven't seen them in nearly two years as a result.
Then, life kicks my arse yet again, when I realize the very same thing I once criticized others for is the same that is happening to me. I could sit here and spill the details but that would take all night ....and it's rated R.
Still, life lessons kept flowing my way.
Not long ago, just when I thought I had achieved a new level of inner peace, my five year old son starts having inexplicable seizures, all while I'm eight months pregnant. I thought I had seen scary before. Nope...watching your child twist and curl in ways you'd never seen before in the middle of the night is a WHOLE other dimension of scary.
By this point, I'm quite sure God is through handing me lemons, at least for the moment, but then the unthinkable happens... something I always thought only happened to others.

I love you, Ian.

I'm incredibly blessed to have some amazing people in my life who have offered their support, time and prayers during my toughest moments.

I recently found a notebook with a note to myself that said:

Don't worry about what others think. Don't dwell on your mistakes. Try to be a better you every day. Trust God. See the goodness in everything. Be compassionate. Be kind, even to those who have been unkind to you. Make your own path. Think before you speak. Enjoy the small things. Don't waste your tears on anything that's not worth it. Move forward, not backward. Don't be afraid to stand up for yourself. Don't expect anything from anyone. Don't worry about the religious, political or personal beliefs of others. Keep you promises. Life doesn't owe you anything. You want something, go get it. It's ok to get dissapointed, but don't get discouraged. Be you. Give love.

And I wrote that when I was sixteen.

Life has hit me, kicked me, slapped me, stomped on me, chewed me up and spit me out.....but I'm still here. I don't want to miss out on all the wonderful things life has in store because I feel the need to have a pity party.
Everyone goes through things. Every experiences emotional pain. Everyone has something someone said or did to them that left them marked for the rest of their lives. Don't allow those things to define your life. This life is yours. And you only get one.

Sadness is normal. Grief is normal. Anger is normal. Emotions make you human. What's not normal is to sit around, watching life pass you by, waiting for it to hand you all the things others have worked hard for. It's not normal to judge others when you should be focusing on your own faults. It's not okay to point out someone's flaws, in order to distract others from yours.

Lesson after lesson, I still don't know as much as I thought I did when I was eighteen. All I know is this is life is mine and I intend to make the most of it.

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