Monday, February 7, 2011

funny that this word is where i find inspiration today.
as it's definition has not yet been understood in this house.
my kids suck at sharing.
i get it, it's hard.  but these are the ages,
where i EXHAUST myself most days trying to teach them the 
CONCEPT of sharing.
and usually give up by 5pm, because it seems to be in one ear and out the other
and sometimes as a mother, you have to know when to call the game 
and let them duke it out.
i'm not above that.:)
and although i have my OWN issues with sharing, 
sharing desserts, for instance.
sharing drinks.
especially my water glasses that are strewn about the house 
(you know, trying to drink more water,)
and i catch gracie slurping out of them,
spitting all her grossness back in to the cup.
i don't know why, but it ENRAGES me to no end.
i know, so silly.  but just one of those things,
where i say, 'for the love of GOD, can i just have ONE thing to myself?!
why ya' gotta' be drinkin' my water too?!'
i digress.
but i DO love to share something. . .
this goes back to the whole, 'i'm kind of a know-it-all-who-knows-nothing,'
but i DO love to share stories i hear.
i worry sometimes that this may come off a little 'debby-downer-ish,'
or super weird and creepy, 
because i know not everyone cares to hear about other peoples' tragedies,
shinanigans or mistakes.
but so be it. 
the perks of being my friend.:)
if i have a story that can protect someone else from making the same mistake?
i'll share.
for instance, if i hear a tragic story about someone i know,
or i do something COLOSSALY stupid myself, that could've potentially,
seriously hurt one of my children,
(ahem. . .like forgetting to buckle my 2-year-old in his car seat before heading down the highway at 70mph.  ugh. . .that still makes me nauseous just thinking about that mistake and the possible circumstances, had we gotten in to an accident,)
but again, i like to share this stuff with my friends and family,
things i hear, things i see, things i learn,
in an effort to protect,
to save them from repeating the same stupid thing.
educating, i guess.
this is one of the reasons i LOVE meeting new people and listening 
to others share their stories,
because you never know what kind of random tidbit you're going to pick up
or learn, that could potentially save you.
more importantly, your babies.
now, i will say, i don't (or no longer, at least,) go around LOOKING for safety,
for comfort in these stories, for the why's, the what if's, the, 'is this a sign?  that i was told this story?'
i can't do that anymore.  
but to be 'open,' so to speak, to the power of knowledge,
knowing it's got your back if you need it,
and may help YOU should you be presented with similar circumstances.
so this is a story of sharing, that i think about a lot.
every time we approach one of brian's post-chemo check-ups.
every time i'm told of someone else's suffering.
every time we have a beautiful, joy-filled day at home and am overwhelmed with gratitude and appreciation for the constant second chances we get to be better and live better each new day.
a story, a 'GOD thing,' that i feel saved us.
brian may say differently. 
coincidence, luck. . .
i think it was more than that.
one of our favorite babysitters was home for Thanksgiving last year,
coming to visit the babes of course, but to also relieve me for some much needed time away from the kids.
(ok.  pretty sure i was just going grocery shopping and the post office and the cleaners, but hey, in my world?  that's a frickin' vacation sans children.)
anyway, talking, catching up on college life for her,
me asking what was new, how's school, etc.
'oh, it's been good but i've been busy fundraising.'
'oh?  fundraising for what?'
'one of my best friends found out he has testicular cancer (late stages,)
and we're trying to raise money for his family.'
'wow.  19-years-old?  i guess i've never heard of someone so young getting testicular cancer.'
so, she proceeded to fill me in, how they found it (it had spread to his lungs at that point, bringing on pneumonia-type symptoms.)
an overdue trip to the doc revealed lungs full of SEVERAL tumors,
originating in the testicles.
so, i hear this story, SHARE it with brian that same night.
he's in awe.  'that sucks.  19, huh?  wow.'
but you know me, an encyclopedia full of dramatic and tragic and heart-breaking stories, empathically attached to each one, as if it were my own life. 
super annoying for brian, i'm sure.  so he pretends to listen, like a good husband and detaching himself as usual, which is lovely for him.
and fulfills me, because i think he genuinely cares and is interested.
we both win.:)
but this story sticks, for some reason.
and it hit home for us unlike other stories, because he's a 'johnny,' like brian.
but this is it, people.  just SHARING a story.  an everyday story,
about another life,
another person's suffering and stroke of bad luck.
that stuck with brian.
he couldn't get out of his head over the next week, he told me.
a story that prompted HIM to, well, check things out.
and found something.  
a pea-sized lump, that went undetected for God knows how long,
that COULD'VE gone undetected for
God knows how long,
but didn't, all because he heard A STORY.
random ramblings that were shared,
that sent us into this journey of cancer, treatment and praying every day we'd be spared, from what for so many, has meant imminent death or a slow, painful suffering.
within a week of hearing this story,
TWO more tumors were found, surgery was scheduled,
removal=cancer=treatment options.  
it happened so quickly, 
throwing us in to a whirlwind of amazement for literally,
stumbling across this randomly,
of trying to decide on the best options,
of gratitude, for finding it when he did,
of disbelief in the sharp turn our life just took,
and of course, trying to hold it together 
and not be all-consumed by the fear of what lie ahead.
and still, to my disbelief, we have arrived to today,
fairly unscathed. 
well, lacking 'lefty,' but cancer-free and full of more gratitude, 
respect and joy for life
and what the simplicity of just SHARING a story,
can do for another.
i have a hard time not feeling like we owe everything to our babysitter,
who i love regardless of the story she shared.
or just thanking GOD for keeping an eye out,
and sending us a big, fat, message through someone else.
can that really happen?
like a sign?
whatever you believe, however you think,
this was a blessing.  a 'God thing,' i believe.
or just accepting this 'situation,' this new story of ours,
as just one of those miraculous things that happened,
despite the challenges and pain that ensued,
for what could've been a hell of a lot worse.
and thinking almost daily, about this other story.
rob's story. 
who's battle with testicular cancer has been so much more difficult,
all the surgeries and rounds of chemo,
and he's still fighting.
but continues to be an inspiration and to whom, i ALSO,
feel like we owe something.
so, just share.  
despite shame, embarrassment, discomfort.
who cares.  throw it out there.
i'm not one to hide my feelings or deprive people of information that could help them.  this comes easy to me.
and that may be super annoying to some, 
but like i said, you just NEVER know how it may help someone.
how OUR story, brian's story, could inspire or save someone else.
paying it forward, in a way.  our life experiences though, not just kind deeds or words,
but forwarding on all that we learn in our personal journeys,
not matter how weird, creepy or morbid those stories may be or come off to others.
open up and share if someone needs encouragement, a more clear path,
another opinion or solution,
or simply an idea.
they could benefit from an experience in YOUR life.
you have nothing to lose, and they could have EVERYTHING to gain from it. 

{p.s.  even longer story short, we came to find out rob is actually a part of my extended family!  my mom's, cousins' son.  so weird.}  so, would we maybe have heard this story eventually from someone in my family?  maybe.  but we heard it when we did and are so grateful.  please forward this post on if you think it may benefit someone and encourage and push someone down a path of better health or at least becoming more PROACTIVE with their own health.  early detection is everything.

please say some prayers for rob, who is still waiting for his latest surgery results, where they removed several tumors from his lungs, that returned following many rounds of chemo.


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