For those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know summer really starts for me when we head to Michigan.
Jay and I grew up in Michigan. I was never more than a couple miles from Lake Michigan my entire life until careers took us on adventures in Europe, Alabama and Kentucky. We made a promise to each other when we moved that we’d have summers in Michigan. And, we have. Each year our children experience the same joys of Michigan that we did growing up – fishing, sailing, body surfing, dune climbing and much more. We treasure time with family and friends who are like family. It feeds my soul. It has come to feed all our souls. My blog posts reflecting on summers of 2017, I was there and 2016, Here Goes are examples of this.
After my metastatic diagnosis in 2014 it was time in Michigan that brought me back to life. Where I found my laugh and wrote “We’ll always have this summer.” What a blessing that we’ve had 4 summers together in spite of this disease… experiences many families don’t get.
So now, as we drive north, five summers since my MBC diagnosis, I am eager to see what this summer holds. It’s moments like this that cause me to pause and reflect. A friend of mine was recently wearing a workout shirt that said “Don’t look back” on the front and “You’re not going there” on the back. “Huh,” I said as I read it. I couldn’t help but think how important “looking back” is to me. Memories are sacred. Not knowing what the future holds – I work hard to “create memories” for our children. To teach them lessons that will plant a seed of compassion, confidence, adventure. Reflection makes me smile. It also reminds me how strong I am and how much we have endured. I know I can’t go back… but, I don’t want to forget. This blog is a perfect place for me to capture these feelings. (And, I’m grateful others enjoy it too!)
Speaking of time, I’ve been getting after my health lately – working out with a trainer, running and yoga. While I’ve loved the feeling of getting back to the active lifestyle that nourishes me… my femur isn’t so sure. So, I’m starting this summer with the reminder that I need to take it easy. It was last summer when I developed this stress fracture… so my morning runs to the pier might be more like walk/runs. I’ll take it easy with my work out group (I’ll cheer you on in the hill repeats…) I’m thinking swimming is going to be my go to – luckily I know where to find a lake. In perspective, I am MOST of all GRATEFUL for this chance for our family to unplug and be together in a place we love, with people we love. When we left Michigan last summer I didn’t know if we’d be back the following summer or how I would feel. Here i am! A little broken… but here.
For all of us, the world is a different place than it was last year. None of us are the same. As a nation we appear more caught up in division than unity, sadness seems to permeate our country. Families torn apart, senseless shootings, uncontrolled drug addiction and extreme weather. And, what’s up with Fortnite? My kids are obsessed.
Through it all – I am reminded how fortunate we are for time. Time to laugh, connect with people we love, to breath deeply and live. While we look ahead and we look back – what we really have, fully and completely is this time right here. May we find a way to be content, grateful and live as fully as possible in this moment.
Here we go… Bring on summer!