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.
My real life club makes me fall over sometimes too.
I like your mantra. The words you have put down for everyone are so important. And I’ve said it before but the love letter you write to your children in this space is worth more than gold. As for people? Well, you have us in spades.
Awesome. And that means you won’t notice the messy playroom this afternoon, right? 🙂
what Stimey said. and thank you, for the mantra. it hit me at my core.
Me too. I don’t know where it came from. I was just sitting at the computer one morning, psyching myself up for the day, and there it was.
for me, because you spoke it on the stairs at the LOC, under all those testaments to words and knowledge, it will forever be the meaning of that building and that afternoon. xo. 🙂
Publications and people. Plus the changes we make in the world along the way.
Oooh! Good edit! Thank you!!!
Love your mantra. Well worth remembering.
“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 love this. Participating in your novena and the experience I had there kick-started my spiritual life to a whole new level. I have you (and your church friends) to thank for that.
You are a wise and wonderful warrior.
I may just have to print out your mantra and tape it to the holiday card of your family that sits on my bulletin board. I look at the image every day, and it reminds me of inner strength and goodness. xo
I spent the last year “trying to not let perfect be the enemy of good”. I like your mantra as well.
Susan, your blog post today reminds me of one my my favorite quotes, by singer/musician/storyteller Bill Harley:
“If you spend all your time cleaning your desk, you’ll just have a clean desk. That’s not enough.”
Happy Yuri’s Night!
At the end of the day, what is most important is- who is in your life, not what is in your life. Susan, your attitude and inner strength are a wonderful model for all of us.
It was such a joy to see you on Saturday. And I want to borrow that mantra.
“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 remember your blog back then. Just the opposite happened. By shining a light on those weaknesses and fears you appear not only stronger in my eyes, but make me feel stronger too.
Your words–and willingness to share them with beautiful honesty–develop a richer view of women/moms who live in our time.
So very true, about what people will remember about us. I long ago gave up keeping a spotless house. Now I go for “livable.” 🙂
I am so glad that the box that Leticia and I dreamed up brings you smiles at the end of the day. It makes me smile to think of that.
I love your mantra. They’re words I live by every day. 🙂 (And yes, my house is a mess. Oddly my friends never notice.)
Your post is aptly titled “Gifts” because the wisdom that you reveal as you share your inner thoughts with us is truly a gift to each of your readers. Thank you! I think of you often, and you inspire me. God bless you and your your family. My prayers are with all of you, and I love your warrior princesses!!!
I agree ( and I am saying this to myself ) : Enough with the house, already! I wholeheartedly agree! I have started NOT picking up when I know that people are coming over so that they know the real state of how we LIVE (and boy do we live, and love, and cook, and school, and play) in our household of 6. That way, I can be more calm and gracious when people pop over, and I really like it when they do….can’t say that I don’t cringe every now and again when the doorbell rings unexpectedly…I still have progress to make!
I love the idea of a mantra, especially a meaningful one like yours. As for the badass Lego princesses…I love this. My own “audience,” lined up on my bathroom vanity, includes Princess Leia, the Iron Giant and Shakti 🙂
Your blog is a wonderful gift to us who read it 🙂 I’m so glad that it has turned out to be so for you too!