We Chose the Story, and Riding Black Beauty

While on a walk through the woods yesterday, I was listening to a podcast with Gary Zhukov and Oprah. He said something that I had heard before, and it hit me again.

He said our souls chose this life story.

That every soul chooses their life story.

We chose the life that will better the greater good.

At first, I was like, “Suck it, Gary. Because this cancer sucks.”

But then I tried to be all higher energy and enlightened as I listened to Oprah and Gary, and thought really hard. Without a doubt, I have become a better person, wife, mother, teacher. I appreciate every moment. I’ve become so much more open with my feelings and people know exactly how I feel. I say “I love you”, a lot more. The kindness that surrounds me is amazing. I was looking for tips on a used teepee yesterday for my classroom, and someone went and bought a new one.

I wanted some new games and toys and centers, made a grant, and it was fulfilled in a week. My husband rob wanted to raise money for Metavivor for his birthday and set a goal of $200 and he is well over $2,000. In two days. We went and got bikes, and the man that owned the bike story threw in water bottle holders, water bottles and gave us a little discount when he talked to us. I went to a medium and she told me that my blood will heal many in seven years. I’m holding her to it, as she was right about many other things. Maybe my soul chose this life to help cure cancer, or help others learn to live with cancer. Maybe that’s not even my life purpose, and there is something else I’m supposed to do. My next act after we did a cure. Because my whole life I thought my purpose was to teach children and that was it.

But then I thought about children. Children with cancer, children who have been killed, children who barely get to live their life and then die.

He said we all choose this life.

Even children.

They are the most enlightened souls.

Their souls chose their family and their story, and their families chose the story as well. We run in soul packs. We all choose different stories each time we come back, but we always stay together. I found it comforting to think that we keep coming back to each other. I’ll never understand why death so young needs to be part of a greater good, but I’ve seen some families turn tragedies into moments where they help countless others, either by educating or making organizations to raise awareness or funds.

My friend Darla did that when her beautiful daughter Kait was hit by a car and passed away. She formed “Kaits Angels”, and they have raised money every year to help others. They are having a yard sale in September and I just found out they made me a recipient of funds they raise. I found out from a reporter who called me for an interview. It’s always hard and humbling to accept help. But I’m grateful, and love Darla… and Kait. The beauty and kindness that continues to spread from her tragedy is awe inspiring.

I didnt explain it here as well as Gary did, or as Greg Braden did in the movie “Heal”. So listen to the latest Oprah super soul Sunday podcast or read “The Seat of the Soul”. But I choose to believe them, because this is too hard to take without thinking there is a purpose or a reason. So I choose to think my soul saw the whole story planned out and said, “OK, God. It’s going to be hard, but those children and that husband… that mom and dad and family… those friends… they will help me get through it. And look at all the people that will help me. It will be a hard journey but I’ll be surrounded by love and kindness most of the time.”

And Jesus said, “Yes. And when it gets too hard, I ‘ll carry you. You can talk to me anytime and I’ll be there. I’ll see you when you come back home. We will all be waiting. And it will be quick as a flash. Listen for my whispers and signs and I’ll keep guiding you.”

Isn’t that a better way to think?

Grief is so hard.

Pain hurts.

But we can turn our faces and minds, hard as it may be sometimes, and choose our beliefs and look up.

Fill our minds with the good thoughts.

Manifest the good things happening and raise our energy to make our lives and everyone around us easier and better.

More light and love and positivity.

May today bring good energy and peace to everyone.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

PS. I walked two miles in the woods in the morning and rode miles on my new bike last night. The most I’ve ever ridden a bike. I named her “Black Beauty “. It will take a while to get used to riding, so if you see a wobbly woman with a white helmet on, make way!

Xoxo

Keri

He Has my Back

I woke up and said, “I’m going to do a 5K”.

Rob looked at me and said, “Seriously?”

Then he asked if I wanted him to go.

Lately , I always want him near me, as for some reason mini panic attacks have been more frequent, mixed in with trying to manifest complete and total healing forever.

Whenever I say how scared I am, or I hope I’ll be here next year, he always says to not be scared, Jesus has me, and I’ll be here for Years… with complete confidence.

So we went to the race and Quinn decided all by himself to race as well. When the race started, Quinn ran ahead and rob and I kept a slow pace. He stayed by my side the whole time.

It was hard, as the lotion on my feet made it difficult to walk fast, but I finished. Madison and Morgan ran and met us at the finish line.

Despite it all, I am blessed.

We came home and Rob taught Quinn how to ride a bike. Yes, ten years old is late. But he didn’t have a good bike and we’ve been a little busy. He used all of his Target gift cards from his birthday and bought the bike. The joy on his face was so great when he finally did it. It inspired the girls to want to ride, so rob got out his old bikes from college. The tires blew, so we went to country cycle but it was closed. The kids didn’t want to wait so we went to the bike shop on Main Street.

Well, we got two tires, four helmets, and rob and I each got a bike. Walking has been tough on my feet, and biking outside should be easier on them, especially after teaching on my feet all day. Thank you Muriel and Peg, as your party got us our bikes.

Rob is big on supporting local mom and pop stores, especially downtown. The men were very helpful, and one of them noticed our shirts. Turns out, his wife was just diagnosed with stage four breast cancer.

This is why God had us in that store on the day we were wearing our “cancer” shirts. Doctors gave his wife a poor prognosis, and we told him my original prognosis. He was shocked, and said if I wasn’t wearing the shirt he would have had no idea.

(You never know what someone is going through, appearances hide everything, so be kind to everyone).

On the way home, Rob told me he did a thing.

A huge thing.

See, he never ever posts on Facebook. He just keeps track of me as sometimes it’s hard to tell him everything, so he reads it. His birthday is this Thursday.

He told me that for his birthday, he figured out how to do a Facebook fundraiser for Metavivor.

Because all he wants for his birthday is for me to live.

He donated $333 to kick it off.

I cried all the way home from the bike store.

In one day he has raised over $1,000 for metavivor. Only 2-5% of all the pink October crap goes to stage four research. Stage four is the only stage that kills. Early prevention is good, but 30% of previous early stage ends up stage four. The early stage people done look at stage four people because they are scary to even think about. Stage four is the pink elephant in the room everyone wants to go away. They write off stage four because they die so quickly.

Not anymore.

The average is 2-3 years after diagnosis. Some women are living four or five years. I’ve found some who have live eight…ten…fifteen.

But they are the unicorns, the outliers.

I’m not going to say they are the lucky ones, because they’ve been on treatment every day, and it’s not easy.

So for his birthday, my husband wants my life to be longer.

If that isn’t the “Husband of the Year” gift wish, I don’t know what is.

We’ve had ups and downs like every married couple, but even in the depths of despair, we hold each other. We stand by each other and behind each other.

And hopefully, we will do so for another forty years.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

The Healing at the Lake

I went to my sister’s cabin in New Hampshire for two days this week. It’s right on Lake Winnipesaukee, and I …was…nervous.

I was going away without rob and Maddie, as they both had to work. It was just me, Morgan and Quinn, along with my dad and nephew. I dont like being away from rob as he helps me stay grounded in this new life, but I was with family, so I knew I would be ok.

I was also nervous because I’d been warned no WiFi, it’s cooking over a fire, just like camping but there are cabins. I’m a girl who needs to have warm showers, dries my hair with a blow dryer, and have a special diet.

But i didn’t think about what was there, because i didn’t have any frame of reference.

I had heard from my mom and dad and sister that it was heavenly, but until you experience it… you just don’t know.

You have to take a boat to get to the island, and there are no cars. It’s just woods and forest surrounded by a lake that is crystal clear. As we pulled up, Jill’s girls came running to the boat. We call them the “Sprites”, and they are like little fairies always running around. You can build fairy houses using pine cones, bark, pine needles and leaves or moss. Everywhere i looked there were fairy houses. It was perfect and magical.

My sisters husband Jake is a master at

Cooking over a fire. The meals we ate were amazing, and it made you slow down and appreciate the effort in making the food. You have to make a fire, wait for it to get hot, cook the food just right, use different sections of the pan for vegetables and for meat. So impressive.

Although they have a working shower, we bathed in the lake. There is something about shampooing your hair in fresh cold lake water. I felt baptized and clean.

I kept my socks on because of the chemo and skin peeling, but I swam more than I have all summer. It felt great. At one point my sister took a picture of me floating in the water. I was praying to Jesus to let me come back for years to come.

We took a hike through the woods and I called it my Forrest bath. There is research that being outside in the woods is healing. I believe it. We headed toward a place called “Pirates Cove”, and as we approached the kids came running that there were naked people on the big rock. I guess some take Forrest bathing literally. The naked people heard the gaggle of kids and quickly got dressed and left, while we all laughed and giggled.

Then?

We all jumped off this huge rock.

It was just like a rock we used to jump off of at my Nan and Pops lake house in Greenwood lake. I knew i would regret it if i didn’t jump. So i carefully climbed up the rocks to the big one, had a whole cheering section, held my

Nose and my breath and jumped.

I couldn’t believe I did it and was so glad I did.

I also went canoeing, and it was peaceful. I paddled our into the lake and had a good cry by myself, and prayed some more.

Then I came back to shore and got Quinn and we paddled and floated along together, just holding hands and saying we love each other.

Nighttime was interesting. We were all in separate cabins, and I had to put on sneakers, grab a flashlight, and walk outside to another cabin for the bathroom. As someone who is up multiple times a night, it was a process. But i got to see the moon over the lake and hear the night sounds and waves gently hitting the shore.

I spent time on the edge of their dock a lot, watching the sunrise on my last day, or sipping coffee with Jill during mandatory rest time.

I cried a lot with her, and she promised to bring my kids back as long as they want. We had to leave quickly in the morning as storms were approaching, and as i hugged and cried when we said goodbye, I prayed to be here next summer and would bring rob and Maddie. Rob would love it, as would Maddie.

Pulling away in the boat and seeing Julia’s sad face broke my heart. My three nieces all snuggled me, and it was wonderful. I miss when my kids were little.

The time away reinforced my feelings on being outside. I plan on going outside more in kindergarten. I also want to assign life skills homework instead of pen and paper. Wash the dishes one night, set the table, help cook a meal, make your bed, help with the laundry, rake some leaves. I also want to assign a yearlong assignment of 100 hours of play. Outside play, not sports, but in the woods, on the beach, in the backyard. We will see how it goes.

But being outside in nature soothed my soul and healed me even more. My blood pressure was 109/78 when i got to the hospital the next day, even after they accessed my port.

I had quite a week, and ended with a quick impromptu birthday for Quinn. He kept saying names right up to four hours before the party. He had fun, and I’m glad he has such nice friends.

Maddie finally finished work, and she has one week of summer. I feel for her, as she went to the rotc camp right after school ended then worked all summer. Add on AP assignments which have been all summer long…

I’m going to make sure we have a family day or two this week. Then school begins the following week and it’s back to the races.

But I’ll be sure to find some trees to hug when I get stressed.

May I continue to heal and be able to go back to the lake for years to come.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

The Healing at the Lake

I went to my sister’s cabin in New Hampshire for two days this week. It’s right on Lake Winnipesaukee, and I …was…nervous.

I was going away without rob and Maddie, as they both had to work. It was just me, Morgan and Quinn, along with my dad and nephew. I dont like being away from rob as he helps me stay grounded in this new life, but I was with family, so I knew I would be ok.

I was also nervous because I’d been warned no WiFi, it’s cooking over a fire, just like camping but there are cabins. I’m a girl who needs to have warm showers, dries my hair with a blow dryer, and have a special diet.

But i didn’t think about what was there, because i didn’t have any frame of reference.

I had heard from my mom and dad and sister that it was heavenly, but until you experience it… you just don’t know.

You have to take a boat to get to the island, and there are no cars. It’s just woods and forest surrounded by a lake that is crystal clear. As we pulled up, Jill’s girls came running to the boat. We call them the “Sprites”, and they are like little fairies always running around. You can build fairy houses using pine cones, bark, pine needles and leaves or moss. Everywhere i looked there were fairy houses. It was perfect and magical.

My sisters husband Jake is a master at

Cooking over a fire. The meals we ate were amazing, and it made you slow down and appreciate the effort in making the food. You have to make a fire, wait for it to get hot, cook the food just right, use different sections of the pan for vegetables and for meat. So impressive.

Although they have a working shower, we bathed in the lake. There is something about shampooing your hair in fresh cold lake water. I felt baptized and clean.

I kept my socks on because of the chemo and skin peeling, but I swam more than I have all summer. It felt great. At one point my sister took a picture of me floating in the water. I was praying to Jesus to let me come back for years to come.

We took a hike through the woods and I called it my Forrest bath. There is research that being outside in the woods is healing. I believe it. We headed toward a place called “Pirates Cove”, and as we approached the kids came running that there were naked people on the big rock. I guess some take Forrest bathing literally. The naked people heard the gaggle of kids and quickly got dressed and left, while we all laughed and giggled.

Then?

We all jumped off this huge rock.

It was just like a rock we used to jump off of at my Nan and Pops lake house in Greenwood lake. I knew i would regret it if i didn’t jump. So i carefully climbed up the rocks to the big one, had a whole cheering section, held my

Nose and my breath and jumped.

I couldn’t believe I did it and was so glad I did.

I also went canoeing, and it was peaceful. I paddled our into the lake and had a good cry by myself, and prayed some more.

Then I came back to shore and got Quinn and we paddled and floated along together, just holding hands and saying we love each other.

Nighttime was interesting. We were all in separate cabins, and I had to put on sneakers, grab a flashlight, and walk outside to another cabin for the bathroom. As someone who is up multiple times a night, it was a process. But i got to see the moon over the lake and hear the night sounds and waves gently hitting the shore.

I spent time on the edge of their dock a lot, watching the sunrise on my last day, or sipping coffee with Jill during mandatory rest time.

I cried a lot with her, and she promised to bring my kids back as long as they want. We had to leave quickly in the morning as storms were approaching, and as i hugged and cried when we said goodbye, I prayed to be here next summer and would bring rob and Maddie. Rob would love it, as would Maddie.

Pulling away in the boat and seeing Julia’s sad face broke my heart. My three nieces all snuggled me, and it was wonderful. I miss when my kids were little.

The time away reinforced my feelings on being outside. I plan on going outside more in kindergarten. I also want to assign life skills homework instead of pen and paper. Wash the dishes one night, set the table, help cook a meal, make your bed, help with the laundry, rake some leaves. I also want to assign a yearlong assignment of 100 hours of play. Outside play, not sports, but in the woods, on the beach, in the backyard. We will see how it goes.

But being outside in nature soothed my soul and healed me even more. My blood pressure was 109/78 when i got to the hospital the next day, even after they accessed my port.

I had quite a week, and ended with a quick impromptu birthday for Quinn. He kept saying names right up to four hours before the party. He had fun, and I’m glad he has such nice friends.

Maddie finally finished work, and she has one week of summer. I feel for her, as she went to the rotc camp right after school ended then worked all summer. Add on AP assignments which have been all summer long…

I’m going to make sure we have a family day or two this week. Then school begins the following week and it’s back to the races.

But I’ll be sure to find some trees to hug when I get stressed.

May I continue to heal and be able to go back to the lake for years to come.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

A teaching visit

Yesterdays appointment went well.

I pumped my arms up and down a whole bunch before they accessed the port, and it worked. The blood came right out of the tube sticking out of my chest first try, and it was the quickest I’ve ever been accessed, labs, port flushed and then left.

I got right in on time to my appointment. Dr Stopeck walked in with a very young man who looked nervous, and explained he is a new fellow and would I mind him staying and learning. I think she likes bringing them all

In to see me. We spent the first five or ten minutes or so talking about our kids, and she laughed when she saw robs shirt, as she had remarked last visit that he always wears shirts with his name on them. He always comes from work so it’s his business shirts and yesterday he wore a shirt in my honor. We also talked about restaurants, and work ethic. She loves to work and will even sneak in to work on weekends.

Lesson number one for the new doctor in the room was relationship building.

Then she looked at my feet, and even with the skin peeling and open blisters, they look much better than most. She asked if Donnie Yance has gotten back to me about a clinical trial for the lotion, so I guess she is really impressed.

Lesson number two for the new doctor was being open to collaboration.

She also looked at my leg, and said she thinks the spot on my leg is the xeloda taking care of any sun damage I’ve previously had. She said that all of the spots and skin coming off my body with dryness and everything is like a free chemical peel. I remarked how I have the best tan of my life and have rarely been outside this summer. When people remark on my tan, I say it’s the one side effect of chemo I don’t mind. Better to be tan than yellow. We both laughed.

Lesson number three for the new doctor was some patients can find silver linings even in the darkest of clouds.

My liver panel and tumor markers didn’t come in, but my CBC panel looked good, so she started the physical exam. I asked if I have the PIK3CA mutation as the day the before i researched and saw the FDA just approved a new targeted therapy. I don’t have that mutation, just three other really crappy ones. Hopefully research will continue and I’ll have more targeted therapies down the road instead of just chemotherapy. The young doctor looked surprised and I explained I’m a kindergarten teacher by day and cancer researcher all night. He said “Obviously “. We remarked how my nipple is no longer looking like it’s sucked in to the breast, and she explained the tumor was sucking it and pulling it inwards. I told the young doctor I am always open to other women looking and feeling the breast with the tumors so they know what cancer can look like. She measured the tumor and thinks it’s a little smaller. She also couldn’t feel my liver which is a good thing.

Then she asked if the new doctor could examine me and i said yes. The poor kid looked so nervous, maybe because rob was next to me with a shirt declaring his love. I’ve never been palpated so much in my life. He was very thorough and I talked him through the breast with the tumor along with my doctor. He tried to measure as well, then went looking for my lymph node. I told him the best way to find it, as did my doctor. It’s still quite large under my armpit, which isn’t good. Hopefully it will start to shrink soon. We discussed how the breast has at times felt hotter than the other but not as much as before.

Lesson number four for the new doctor was how to do a physical exam on a woman whose husband is literally two feet away.

Then we talked some more. I told the young man I’m taking Chinese herbs, supplements from Donnie and his Mederi method of healing, reiki, reflexology, yoga, faith. I’m still teaching and gearing up for another year. How Dr Stopeck gave me hope when the others gave me a timeline. Dr Stopeck said that’s what she loves about me, that I’m willing to try new and different things. We told him the initial prognosis of weeks or months and I am coming up on three years this November, and Dr Stopeck said ,”Three years, and look at her. She looks great.” I told him i found research that said the longer you live each year, your percentage goes up for longer survival. She said it’s true because then you get a chance at new therapies.

We discussed the petscan and the tumor markers will tell us when to schedule it. We said goodbye and I shook the young mans hand. He thanked me for helping him, and i told him he had soft hands, which was nice.

Lesson number five for the new doctor was you can learn from your patients.

Above all, he saw how we are a team. We listen to each other and have a great relationship. That’s the most important lesson.

In other news…

The metastatic world yesterday was furious at the Susan G Komen foundation. A football college coach’s wife passed yesterday from stage four. Susan G Komen decoded to use her death to say they will help breast cancer even more and early detection is the key

We call bullshit.

They only state the five years bullshit statistic. They never state the sixth year.

If you were stage one and “cured”, but become metastatic at year seven, your not included in their data. Your death won’t count.

Think about that.

Early detection is good, but ALL the money needs to go to research for stage four now.

Every damn penny.

Don’t run for the Tatas. Don’t wear shirts for save the boobies. Don’t get sucked into the pinktober crap.

None of that helps those dying of stage four.

Shame on Susan G Komen.

(Phew. Got that out)

We left and got Quinn his birthday gifts at the mall. He is past the toy stage, and wanted a new Boy Scout watch and a hammock to hang between trees. We don’t have trees in our backyard but we will figure it out.

He had a good birthday, went sailing, got texts from my sister and brothers, and we went out to eat at Cowfish. We left and got him ice cream, he opened his presents and went to bed happy with his new hammock.

Today he will have some friends over to celebrate.

I had some bouts of crying yesterday, but I’ve gotten really good at a good quick sob fest and a minute later pulling myself together and smiling. I am doing my best to stop thinking about the finish line. The finish line is for the ego. The journey is for the soul.

I start cycle four of chemo today. We still don’t have the numbers in hand, but I got an email that Dr Stopeck was happy, and the CEA dropped from 50 to 45. Tending down is a good thing. Donnie also has agreed to a clinical trial, and the discussion between these two great minds will be set up in a few weeks hopefully.

Thank you all for your wishes for Quinn. He knows exactly who loves him.

Today may this new cycle of chemo go easy on me and my body begin to tolerate it more as it attacks the cancer.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Eleven

Our Quinn is eleven today.

Birthdays have become so bittersweet for me.

I remember on the night I came home from Sloan after I was told I was metastatic, I came home in a shock. Rob and I snuggled Quinn as we tucked him in bed as tears came down my face with the silent scream look, praying to see him turn nine.

The statistics were in my head, and the “Only 20% make it five years” kept playing in my head, along with the words the oncologist had just said of only weeks or months, maybe a year or two.

“But I have children….”

I thought about writing letters for every birthday for my kids, their graduations, their weddings, when they have children. But I chose to not go down that path, believing instead that I will be a statistic of one, and that somehow science and Jesus will pull through for me.

Quinn’s childhood memories will always be of mommy having cancer. Kids have vague memories of before seven years old. My hope is that he simply remembers mom took a lot of pills, drank some herbs, wore some cool Wigs, and was a great mom. That instead of the enormous grief I’ve carried, he remembers the enduring love I’ve shown.

I know I am biased, but he really is the greatest kid. He is a gentle soul, follows rules, and loves his sisters and dog. He isn’t a rough and tumble boy, so no football or lacrosse teams, which seem to be the way most kids find their friends for hangouts. But this year he found tennis, he loves golf, and by the generosity of some amazing moms, he learned to sail. Tennis, golf and sailing are sports he can do his whole life, and my greatest hope is to see him teach these skills to his own children.

He loves to read now, and the only thing he asked for from our latest trip away was books from a bookstore. God bless his teachers, as they have loved him fiercely through the past few years, being a mom to him and a teacher. I knew I had the best backup with my staff at my school. Everyone looked out for him, and on hospital days for me, he got extra love from other staff. He is going to the next step up school, and the staff there will love him just as well.

My sister invited us up to her cabin on a lake, which will be a different post another day. But it was magical. I took Quinn out on the canoe with me and we just breathed and held hands. We told each other how much we love each other, and I cried quietly as I paddled him around. I love my children so much it actually hurts sometimes.

He still loves to snuggle, and can somehow tell when I am going to get a hot flash. There is a buzzing energy around around me, he says, “Mom, you’re going to get a hot flash”, and then suddenly I’m shallow breathing and sweating. He will move away for a minute, then come back.

He always comes back for more.

There a saying somewhere that children will break your heart by the simple act of growing up. It’s so true.

Yet I know how blessed I am as there are families who have lost that by their children passing away too young. I have come to know several families in the past few years, and I cant imagine that grief. I think we are all in a similar place, at times wishing to go back to the past when all was well and everyone was happy and healthy. I know that ache. I send them all love every day.

Quinn became a Boy Scout this year, and has blossomed. He took his first communion in the woods at Camp Yawgoog, and I didnt mind at all. Quinn will always remember that moment, and I know Jesus was with him. He went to church a lot at Boy Scout camp, probably more so for the extra patch, but I’m soProud he went.

He slept at my parents house last night. I am up and getting ready for the hospital, as today is port flush, labs, possible injection and oncologist visit. My doctor will see the picture of me jumping off a rock in pirates cove and think I’m nuts, but in a good way. I’m praying the tumor markers drop drastically, as it was very little last time, and this will depend on when the next pet scan will be. Regular people mark their life by years with birthdays… I mark it in three month intervals lately.

This is the second time my parents had my kids for one of their birthdays. Morgan’s birthday almost three years ago was when I was at Sloan getting the spinal biopsy that told us it was stage four. Today I am missing waking up Quinn on his eleventh birthday. I missed Morgan’s eleventh birthday wake up snuggles as well.

But I keep telling myself I’ll be here for many more snuggles for years to come.

So, happy birthday, my sweet Quinn.

We are so proud of the young man you are becoming. Always stay kind, follow the rules and stand up for what’s right, and if rules are wrong, change them. Know we always love you, as does Jesus.

You’re never alone. Ever.

A piece of my heart is with you always.

Being mom to you and your sisters is my greatest joy.

I will keep doing whatever I need to to be here for all of this great beautiful love I have for you and your sisters that is endless.

May today’s visits and procedures go smoothly and I get a gift on your birthday of good news.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Happy birthday, my sweet boy.

Mommy loves you to the moon and back a million times, and more than all the grains of sand in the world.

What will You Do with your One Wild and Precious Life?

I’m going to be off the grid for the next three days.

This will be my last post for a while.

My boy is home from scout camp and he is a stronger boy for it.

Something I’ve been working on is the grief I’ve felt every second of every day over this diagnosis.

It’s like you have this shelf, and a big huge tome has taken up all the space and it’s all you see all…day…long.

But as I’ve lived longer than I’ve been told I would by two world renowned cancer hospitals….

The big cancer grief tome has gotten smaller, and I’ve been writing my own stories.

Making room for joy and hope.

Every day I get to choose my story.

The poem by Mary Oliver comes to mind…

Today, what will you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

Today, I breathe in the air and soak up the sun and put my feet in the water and thank God for this wild and precious life.

“Who made the world?

Who made the swan, and the black bear?

Who made the grasshopper?

This grasshopper, I mean–

the one who has flung herself out of the grass,

the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,

who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down —

who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.

Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.

Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

With your one wild and precious life?”

Today, live your best life.

It’s the only one we get.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri