This morning I received a voice memo file via text from my beautiful Michelle (this was super cool to me because I had no idea one could do this....). She acknowledged that she knew I was challenging myself to 31 days of thanks and she too was embarking on her own path of gratitude. She then went on to state she felt compelled to share with me the words she had written about why our friendship was important to her.
This brought tears to my eyes as I listened to her appreciation of my characteristics. I was not only feeling very moved by her sincerity, but also because this has been a very awakening year for Michelle and those lucky enough to be a part of her world.
I won't ever forget the phone call I received last November. She stated she had news to share and I excitedly stated that I loved news! To which she revealed that this wasn't super awesome. Her doctor had confirmed that the lump in her breast was cancer. My natural instinct was to try anything to make this feel better, keep the positive in my voice, send her a laugh or two. We spoke for about half an hour until she needed to get off the phone to make more phone calls. I cried a lot for my friend that night. I was scared for her, for her future. I was mad that someone who is always the first one to sign up to make the world more sparkly had to have this happen. That night I stopped believing in karma. I was tired of thinking about "what goes around, comes around" when someone so beautiful with such a huge heart and a caring soul would have to face the most unbiased disease known to mankind.
In the beginning of 2013, she held a head shaving party. It was a week before she began her chemo treatments and it was in honour of words of wisdom given to her--- and to all in attendance -- by her dad. Michelle had told her parents that she had cancer and it really sucked. Her dad replied that cancer absolutely sucked, but Michelle had to "un-suck it." More than 10 people shaved their heads that night, lots of tears ran down faces, lots of hugs and smiles were shared. And we all began our journey to walk beside Michelle as she began hers.
2013 was full of so many ups in this journey and a few downs. We all learned to appreciate each other a bit more. We all learned the importance of letting our loved ones know they are loved. We all learned to celebrate each chemo treatment with a song and a dance. Michelle is not the first person to face this, she won't be the last. Through her guidance we were all able to come together to tell cancer to go un-suck itself.
Michelle sent me a message this morning expressing her gratitude for me -- she stated she loved that I took charge and created a life I wanted to live. This last year she taught me so much about creating a life I want to live. Looking at the positive, looking at ways to embrace the hurdles, accepting help from friends, stepping back for a second to look at the drama being created and deciding if it was worth it,
On Sunday I walk with Michelle and her huge support network in a solitary union of telling cancer off at the CIBC run for the cure. I am so lucky to have such a beautiful person in my close network. Every day I am so very thankful that she is here to share with me the beauty of life.
Gratitude doesn't even express how I feel for this friendship.