So many of us need to slow down, step back and find the beauty around us. We need to appreciate the good things, smell the roses, smile, laugh... go for a walk. I'm guilty far too often of letting the little hard times consume me a bit too much. I let people's negativity effect me more than I should allow. I let too many beautiful moments go by without giving them enough recognition.
I want to tell you about a friend of mine. Someone who has really made me open my eyes. She's an amazing 30-something year old mom. She has a wonderful husband and 3 young, beautiful children. She's the kind of mom I should try to be more like. She encourages her kids to play in the dirt, jump in the mud, play with bugs and just be out in the sunshine and fresh air as much as possible. She's easy going, loving and fun. She is kind and doesn't judge people. She appreciates peoples differences and doesn't criticize. She's simple and beautiful. She is also battling advanced stages of an aggressive form of breast cancer. She had a double mastectomy and recently started the long road of chemo and treatment. She shaved her head in preparation of losing her hair and posted a picture of herself. I love her confidence. Even on the days that she is feeling terrible because of the chemo, she's still taking her children to the park, playing with them and doing everything she can. Despite the fact that she's facing something so hard, she's still amazing. She inspires me.
Her and I haven't known each other since childhood or anything. I met her almost 8 years ago, through her now husband who is friends with my husband and was stationed on the same submarine. Her and her husband were dating then. She's the kind of person that it feels good to be around because she is always smiling and always appears happy. We had a fun thanksgiving with them. She visited me in the hospital when I had my second son. We talked on the phone often during that time. We lost touch but I thought about her and her husband a lot and wondered how they were doing. We reconnected a few years ago and I was so excited to see the family they had made. She was pregnant for their third child by then. I remembered how much she wanted to be a mom and was so happy to see them as parents. They are such awesome parents.
While she inspires me, my heart breaks for her and her family. She is so strong, but I know it still has to be hard. I try to imagine how she might feel or how her husband must be hurting for her. It's so unfair for such wonderful people to have to deal with something so difficult. I wish I could fix it all for them. I think about their family every single day. I don't know the right things to say. I don't know if there are even right things to say. I hope I've done a good enough job of making them feel like I'm here for them as much as I can be, living so far away.
I need to appreciate the little things more. I need to cut more of the negative out of my life. I need to have more fun with my children. I need to smile more. I think a lot of us need to do these things. We need to find the beauty in life. We have no excuse. I have no excuse.
I love you, Michelle.