Live a life well loved.

Writing usually brings me immense joy, but the past couple months – I found it hard to sit down and just do it.  I think that’s because I put the idea of “writing a book” into the universe and suddenly writing became intimidating.  (Isn’t it crazy how that happens?)

I look at it as I do most things in my (hopeful) life.  Does this bring me joy?  If so, yes!  If not, no thank you.   Though some things like laundry and paying bills sneak through.   Today – however, I made myself just sit down and write.  And, it feels good!

Our family spent the last 5 weeks on our summer hiatus in Michigan.  Each year since the boys were babes we have escaped the southern heat to return “home” to Michigan.  This is where I found myself after my MBC diagnosis in 2014 and where I return each year to rejuvenate in body, mind and spirit.  This summer was amazing – every day an adventure of wave jumping, swimming, boating, fishing, running, laughing, & simply being free!!  Usually with 2-5 boys and dear friends & family who share my love of this special place and wild escapades.

On this perfect evening on Lake Michigan, 11 – 71 years of age – all up on skis.

In years past I kept a gratitude journal – writing down the activities of each day so as not to forget the awesomeness (and to help the boys remember how fun I am).   This year, however, I just lived.  I took thousands of pictures to capture the summer – but I didn’t worry about the written documentation.  Though I can barely remember the details of all our fun – it was freeing.

That’s where I am in life, too.  Living fully and intentionally in each day.  Not worrying as much about the documentation – or capturing it for future remembering… just living!   Hoping the moments sink deep into our children’s souls so that these experiences shape them. They shape me.

I am a sunset chaser.  I simply can’t stand not seeing a sunset when we are in Michigan.  I plan each day around the “golden hour” and taking in the magic of the sun sinking into Lake Michigan.  If you haven’t seen a Lake Michigan sunset – you must!  One night I had to swim in the setting sun.  The water was freezing, but the rush of diving into the chilling water is one of my favorite feelings.   I feel so alive as I tingle from head to toe and burst through the surface with a huge gasp… and usually scream.

I also rallied daring women and a couple fearless children to swim with me at midnight as a storm brewed out in the lake.  Though maybe not the safest idea… it was invigorating to dive into the pitch black as the sky lit up with distant lightning.  The white foam of the waves crashing against our pounding hearts.  I held my son’s hand and said “Feel it?  We are so alive!”

I am reminded that loving life is what it’s all about.   Instead of being sad that this chapter is already behind us – I am grateful it happened.  I don’t know what the next chapter holds, but I lived fully in this one.  I am one of the lucky ones.  Daily, I hold friends in my heart who are spending summer getting rods in their legs to strengthen breaking bones, starting new chemo and enduring full brain radiation.   I don’t know when this will be my reality. I don’t know if the cancer is lessoning in my lungs or spreading to other parts of my body. This I know:

There is no greater story than a life well loved. 

However you can – love each moment, love your people, love the opportunities for connection, for learning and to feel alive.

Live a great story-

Go jump in the lake!

9 replies
  1. Mary Trotter
    Mary Trotter says:

    I live in Michigan and loved your post. In June I was diagnosed with MBC in my lung and right leg. Trying to live with joy and a positive attitude- hope to be here to watch my 7 beautiful grandchildren as long as possible. I want to live a life of grace and it looks like you are a wonderful role- model.

    • Lara MacGregor
      Lara MacGregor says:

      oh Mary, thank you for your kind words. Living life with intention and grace in the face of MBC is hard. I’m glad my words help you see a path toward this. Take it one day at a time and cherish the special moments with your grandchildren. We don’t know what the future holds, but we know we have today!

  2. Joyce Rademacher
    Joyce Rademacher says:

    You went to school with my son and daughter-in-law. You have really got it together. You are an inspiration to all who know you personally or have just read your story. I pray that you can just keep on keeping on . Enjoy those epic sunsets !!!

  3. Camden
    Camden says:

    Thank you for reminding me not to dwell on the negative, like taking away electronics and the candy store from my 11 years old in what should have been a memorable time ending soccer camp. Thank you for reminding me that we got to spend time together as I drove him everyday, even stayed in a hotel a couple night bc the drive was so long. Thank you for reminding me how special it is that he made new friends. Thank you for reminding me me to look at life being grateful for all the moments! Thank you and God bless you.


    • Lara MacGregor
      Lara MacGregor says:

      It’s about finding joy wherever we are. Looks like you’ve done that! I’m glad we could help you remember how precious even the frustrating days are! We know- Screen time monitoring is an especially hard time to see it… 🙂


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