“47”

It’s my birthday.

I was told I wouldn’t see this day… this age.

I’m not taking it for granted.

Yesterday started off beautifully, as a local police officer bought me breakfast. I got some hugs and it was a beautiful way to start the day.

My class all made me sweet homemade cards and I got hugs all day long. We sang in English, Spanish and polish, and my assistant brought in cupcakes. I even got some little trinkets and gifts and a teddy bear.

When some who have so little give you something , it means so much more. A new friend dropped off some beautiful bracelets. I even got a Starbucks gift card emailed to me.

I came home and got ready for a night out. Renowned pastry chef Claudia Fleming rereleased her book, and she is a talented dessert chef. She entered my world through Paula, and last night was a beautiful night to celebrate her accomplishments.

And yes, I ate every single bite of every single fancy dessert, and even got a take home box.

Life is for living.

Once again I spent the day shaking my head at the actions of some… and yes, shaking my head. I don’t understand what people are thinking. Period.

But it’s also always amazing to me how teachers are blasted all the time in social media at the actions of one or two, and the blood sport that occurs when some in the profession make horrible decisions and do horrible things.

Suddenly all teachers make too much money, shame on teachers who leave when their contractual time is over and they leave work when their day is done instead of staying late to please the angry mob, other teachers are named from past history and discussed in horrible terms by former students and can’t defend themselves by giving their side of the story.

All while so many teachers are working and giving 110%.

We wonder why there is a teacher shortage.

Watch the comments and what people write.

You’ll see inside their souls.

Remember that when they decide to run for BOE, and see if you really want someone who lives to tear apart other people on social media in charge of your children, or watch how they speak in public meetings and imagine them speaking to you and if you would want them addressing you when you have an issue.

I know I dont.

I want people who care about ALL children, and whose own lives reflect that.

I want people who walk the walk and not just talk the talk.

I want people who would rather help build people up over tearing people down.

I want people who know how to act like grown ups and have civil discussions to solve problems without stooping to insults and comments about physical appearance or googling people’s histories and writing them in private groups where people are banned.

I want decorum to make a comeback, and gentlemen to act like gentlemen, especially when disagreeing with women. It goes both ways too…

Once again I’m holding everyone in prayer.

It just doesn’t seem to stop lately.

I’m glad we no longer have arenas and throw people to the lions. I know exactly who would want front row seats.

Perhaps that’s what turning 47 brings when you’ve been given a terminal prognosis.

More grace.

More strength to speak up.

Today I’ll be heading to MetLife stadium for the cortaca game. I’m anxious as my hands and feet and mouth started bothering me yesterday and last night. It supposed to be very cold, so I’ll bundle up.

My parents have my kids, and they chose to sleep there last night as well as tonight. My parents have been there every single step for them, and my kids know how much they are loved. They are looking forward to a day of cuddle time and old English mysteries and tea. Knowing my kids are with my parents is a beautiful gift for my birthday in and of itself.

I saw an article last night about a successful liver transplant for someone with liver Mets. I almost cried.

I’m praying I live to see 48… 58… 68… 78.

If you look at statistics, it’s not likely.

But I’m a statistic of one.

And like Hans Solo said, “Never tell me the odds”.

I think about all I’ve learned and continue to learn through this cancer pilgrimage to healing.

I learned this year that God isn’t a vengeful god only found in a church, and that men holding bibles have no right to hijack Jesus.

I learned God is a loving and merciful God, and communion isn’t for the perfect.

I learned what family means.

I learned that “winning” doesn’t matter, and sometimes you stop playing the game because inner peace matters more than some imaginary hurtful score.

I learned that no matter how many times you tell your side of the story, some people don’t care or want to know the truth. So knowing the truth yourself is what matters most.

Knowing you matter… matters most.

I used to want things for my birthday.

Now I just want peace… and more birthdays.

I used to be afraid to cry to show weakness. Now I cry and knows it shows strength and healing.

I learned that “thank you” isn’t just a polite response, but also a powerful prayer.

I learned that no matter what you are facing, no matter how dark your day may look, there is always something to be thankful for.

Always.

I learned that angry people aren’t just jerks, but also hurt, because hurt people hurt others to feel better about themselves. So we pray for them to heal and be kind… and stop being jerks.

I learned that there are two types of people, those who stir the pot and criticize, and those too busy serving others to bother with the pot stirrers. Do you hit people with the spoon or serve others with the spoon?

Give me action people and kind people. Those are my people.

I learned that I’ll do anything to live, but keep joy at the forefront.

We don’t live at the expense of joy.

I learned how good it feels to raise money for research so not only will I be helped, but countless others. And I learned how generous this amazing community can be. Forget the angry people behind the keyboards and get out and meet the people actually doing good.

There are so many more than you think.

I learned my children continue to amaze me, and although I’m working through some really crappy cards in this game of life, I’ve got my four hearts in my hand.

My kids and rob.

I’ve learned how much marriage vows mean, and how important it is to choose someone who takes them seriously.

I’ve learned I can be bald, bloated, no eyelashes, nauseous, in pain everywhere, and rob can still make me feel beautiful.

I’ve learned how much I want to live a long life, and how precious every breath is.

So today…

I’m not asking for money for fundraisers in honor of my birthday. (Although ann fonfa and the annie Appleseed foundation, the stony brook foundation, Mederi center all are good places…).

Instead I’m asking that in honor of my birthday…

Be kind.

Breathe.

Take a minute and say “Thank you” for all of your blessings.

Hug someone… and make it a little longer.

Say a prayer for me and my wish to live to see more days.

Say a prayer for this town and district that I love, that the mean spirited people quiet down and the kind people step up to fix all of the issues and problems with grace and dignity for all.

Give love…

And BE love.

Here’s to forty more years…

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

5 thoughts on ““47”

  1. Happy birthday, Keri. You are such an amazing writer and amazing person. As someone who has (so far) beaten then odds for ovarian cancer, who was changed and became a better person because of my experience, who advocates and raises money for cancer research, who is the wife of a teacher, who is a parent, who believes all children deserve a good education, whose community has also gone through the ugliness that yours is now going through, who knows that peace and religion are in your heart and not always in a church, I relate so much to what you write. Wishing you many, many more birthdays and sending you and your family love.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Happy Belated Birthday Keri, and to many more! Your wise, kind and strong words each morning give me strength and hope for more birthdays of my own- please know what a powerful difference you make in so many other peoples lives. I am #strongerthancancer #fightlikeagirl

    Liked by 1 person

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