This past weekend we all focused on gratitude. A feeling hard for many facing advanced disease or crippled by fear. A feeling I searched for in the midst of panic just two years ago. Now, as I approach the holidays in a healthy, strong body I am overwhelmed with gratitude. I wouldn’t have dreamed I would have so much time to truly “be me” after my metastatic breast cancer diagnosis. But, here I am- healthy and living life to the fullest. It is hard to share this happiness when I know so many with this disease who are not doing well. I watch family after family crumble as they face a future without a mother, sister or friend. For a long time I was afraid to celebrate my health for fear of making the fall back into sickness harder. Holding this joy back in compassionate consideration of friends whose bodies are not healthy and for whom these experiences aren’t possible. You see, I am in a slim percentage of patients with this disease whose body is holding strong against the cancer… for now.
And so, for now, we celebrate and give thanks! Because I don’t ever want to look back on these healthy times with regret. I want to live each day in the fullest, most positive, meaningful, biggest way I can.
So…this past weekend – in typical Team Mac fashion. We gave thanks for friendship, family and birthdays! Starting with a 40th birthday party for a dear friend in Louisville, An exciting day of football on Sat with our Alabama framily (Roll Tide!). Followed by a surprise trip to New York City, planned entirely by my amazing husband, Jay, to celebrate by 39th birthday! Team Mac took on the Big Apple – Museum of Modern Art, Nike Town, Times Square, Today Show, Ice skating in Rockefeller Center, Walking the high line, Chelsea Market, 5th Avenue, carriage ride in Central Park, great meals, subway rides, Lion King on Broadway, football in Central Park, Top of Rockefeller Tower and so much more! Walking hand in hand with each of my boys, sitting on the floor of the MOMA with Bennett on my lap staring at water lillies, watching the sunset behind the skyline as we played football, walking and walking and walking and the boys being so excited. So many precious shiny golden moments of joy to add to our memories together!
Then, flying to Michigan to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with family at Jay’s parents cabin! The snow fell as we snuggled together by candlelight telling stories, playing cards and listening to cousin laughter. Sledding, champagne, hiking, horseback riding, euchre, delicious meals, art projects, saunas, cozy warm mornings sipping tea by the fire and talking. More shiny gold memories….
I’m glad to say we’ve always lived our life this way – big adventurous fun. But, now that time is even more precious, we do it even more. Four states in a week. I love this happy, healthy time together as a family. I want it to last forever. At least I know the shiny golden memories are tucked away in our hearts. forever.
Don’t wait to make these memories with those you love. And when you find yourself in the middle of one of those shiny gold moments – pause and give thanks. Tuck it away and hold it tight in your heart.
These are the moments we live for.