nor do the children of men as a whole experience it.
Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.
Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits
in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.
– Helen Keller
As most of you know, my mom has cancer. This week we found out that the cancer has spread. This news is unbearable. Impossible. There are few things in my life that I would consider more personally tragic. My mom is not only my role-model but she is one of my best friends.
So what do I do? How do I cope? I do what I have always done, I turn to my mom for guidance. I watch her and realize that we all feel anger and fear and sadness. The key is, we can’t let it paralyze us. We can’t let these emotions stop us from living our lives or let them take over the time we have together. Because no matter what, it won’t change a thing.
You know what this is called? This is called courage. Courage is the ability to feel fear, acknowledge it, but then push through it. The fear is still there but you consciously DECIDE to go on despite it. This experience has shown me that I have never truly needed courage before.
Wonderful, thoughtful people say things to me like “you are so strong” or “the way you are dealing with this is inspiring”. I am no different from anyone else. The difference is that I, and my whole family, have made a conscious choice to be courageous because the alternative is too awful. Feeling the pain but enjoying my mom and my family and celebrating what we have is far more comforting than wallowing in self-pity and running in fear. But the truth is it is harder. It is a conscious effort all of the time. The emotions are overwhelming. I am constantly fighting my instinct to bolt or to fall apart or to lash out and, the truth is, often I am not brave. Sometimes I succumb to the pain.
The great gift my mom has given me and my sisters and many other people she has touched is the gift to live life consciously. To be aware of the opportunities life hands us, to realize the impact every interaction with another person brings, to accept what life offers and make the best of every damn second.
My life up until now has been building the foundation for what I am facing. This is the ultimate test of sorts. Was I listening? Was I taking heed? Do I have the strength to face this head on with courage? The answer is YES. I must and I want to. Because this is what my mother taught me. This is how I honour her and everything she means to me. I am so proud to be her daughter and so proud to carry on her legacy of love, self-respect, and courage.