I’ve been thinking a lot about how many people I feel the need to say thank you to, and how many kind and thoughtful acts I’m so grateful for. Sometimes that’s overwhelming, as overwhelming as this entire journey has been. I can’t possibly list each and every single individual and I don’t want to even try to do that because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by leaving them out. I’m not quite sure that I have the words yet to say thank you adequately or to possibly explain how much each and every thoughtful message, gift, card, word and so much more I have received has really meant.
Every bunch of flowers brightened up my home and made me smile just a little bit more. I love fresh flowers and always thought if I was rich it would be the first thing I would do — have fresh flowers in my home all the time.
Every single card and note is a treasure. I’ve saved them all. We don’t do that much anymore — hand write notes to friends. The cards and notes warm my heart. I’ve saved each one.
I can’t even begin to list the gifts. The coloring books were great company when I needed to just sit and check out. And the comfy pajamas, wool socks, blankets, magazines, books, bracelets and more … each and every one is a reminder that for just one minute, maybe more, there was a lot of love in people’s hearts.
Friends, both new and old, dedicated their races to me. Some gave me their finisher medals. I treasure them as much, maybe even more, than my own. Cancer put most of my race schedule on hold for 2017. The events I did participate in were that much more special, and it was because of the support of family and friends that they happened.
All those things that made life for Bryan and for me a bit easier — meals, walking Brody, meeting me or even just offering to meet me for swims, bikes, runs, organizing Club events when I couldn’t make it, rides to New York, lunches.
There were the big things — like parties and vacations with special friends and with family. and there were the small things, like words spoken from the heart.
So many moments that come back to me when I’m alone with my thoughts, that’s when I cry. But not because I’m sad. Because I feel blessed. And I feel loved. And I know that I’m a better person because of all of this. And now I understand what I’ve heard other people say in connection with life-changing events in their lives — I wouldn’t change any of it.
The more I think about it the more I remember. And these are things that I will always remember. And it all comes back to a lesson I’ve talked about before, something I learned in a conversation with Sister Madonna Buder. I have my gift from God, which is the ability to help and inspire others. It’s my obligation to do what I can with this gift, to share with others who are going through this journey with cancer. I’ve learned a lot and continue to learn on a daily basis. I wish no one had cancer ever again but I’m thankful that friends and acquaintances feel they can reach out to me for advice, resources or just an ear to listen.