I’ve kept some things to myself these past few months. Not much, being a blogger and all, but a couple of amazing kindnesses that I clasped all to myself, waiting for the right moment to share. Only I’ve kept them too long, and I need to tell you about the amazing gifts that Jessica Rosenberg, @thedcmoms, and so many women across the internet have given me.
The first is a box, a beautiful box of wonderful words and thoughts and prayers and even little stories to make me laugh. It sits by the chair where I sit in the evening, talking with friends or my husband, and I pull a beautiful little pastel note out of it when I need a little cheering up. It was put together by Jessica Rosenberg and delivered by Leticia, but it is a gift from many, so many bloggers around the world, and I thank you.
The second is an honest-to-goodness army of little lego warriors, princesses of course, but strong, with weapons in each hand, and they stand guard beside my computer, cheering me on and fighting the cancer along with my little lego warrior that my son labeled the cancer fighter on that day that seems so long ago now. They are physical manefestations of friends, and their presence cheers me on like the badge on so many sites cheers me as well. They’re incredible gifts, and to those friends, I thank you too. I meant to write an amazing post about them and you and friendship, but my hands shake in the morning, and I rest after school pickup, and the stars never aligned and I’m sorry. But still they stand guard, weathering attacks of the giant preschooler and his sweeping arm, and coming with me to the oncologist and basically reminding me once again that I’m not alone.
I’m so lucky.
I have one other thing that I haven’t shared publicly, and that’s my 2011 mantra, the realization I came to (late) that after we die (as we all will, one day), all that remains is what we have created and how we have loved others. (In short, publications and people.) And so we best keep that in mind as we live, and do those two things to the best of our ability. It’s not the clean house that people will remember. It’s not the laundry that matters to the children. It’s not whether the floor was spotless and the toys tidy that will be recorded in the books of life, whatever they may be. And so I need to let go of those other things, and downgrade their importance to “acceptable” and not “perfect, in case a friend stops by or I go to the hospital unexpectedly,” and I need to relax a little. Enjoy my work more. Go out for dinner with friends. Have that playdate at the park. And relax about the house already.
I’ve posted my mantra up on the top toolbar to remind me.
The lego princesses are staring at me, asking to be called out by name, and so here they are. Their names are etched on the back of each so that I will always remember who is who, and know that you are fighting along with me. Thank you, C. Mom, (cheerleader and rock star, with pom poms and syringe), Jessica (Robin Hood with bow and arrow), Justice Stacey (Leia-like princess with sword and cape), Sue (coffee cup and flame thrower), Elaine (battle gear and “boomer”), Amy (grenade and big stick to beat the crap out of cancer), Jean (ponytail and giant club that makes her topple over if she’s not holding it just the right way), Mama Echo (business suit and spear), Kiam (also with bow and arrow), and Julie B (the redhead, who is so badass that she scares me a little). You are awesome. We are awesome. I will not give up.
Once upon a time, I thought that admitting my weaknesses and fears on the internet would make people think less of me, both here and in the professional world. I never foresaw the real effect of sharing this journey with you and encouraging you in your own struggles via your blogs and Facebook — together, we have all become stronger.