As a mom with kids who are old enough to understand what’s going on around them, I’ve often wondered how this journey through breast cancer will shape them over time. We’ve had countless discussions and I imagine there will be many more as my girls process what happened from different vantage points over the years.
Careful and purposeful work went into absorbing the gifts that were presented along the way. One of my deepest desires was to keep myself open, to allow for the possibility of growth and wisdom, to make note of the signposts meant to teach me something positive that I could take from all of this.
Teaching children to see and adopt those concepts and skills is another matter entirely, and I became more aware of it at every turn.
A few weeks ago, my 13-year old made a poster. It’s sort of a crest from her perspective about who we are as a family. When I saw it a wave of relief washed over me, and my heart soared to unimaginable heights. I share it with you now as a sign of hope, of joy, of victory.
I also thought it would be a great way to end this blog.
“Resilient” and “victorious” run the length of the design, but the center is written in Latin (because my teen is crazy cool). The translation follows:
Non emim supereant at victoribus. We are not Survivors, but Victors.
The meaning of these words is distinctly different. We’ve talked about how those definitions can drastically change perspective… and perspective can change the way you see and experience the world around you.
Sed quomodo imperium cogitare sentire, agere et vivere.We control how we think, feel, act and live.
Resilience is a must. We know stuff happens in life, both good and bad. How we respond to it is what makes a great life or a mediocre one, and the choice is all ours.
Nos sunt creatores. We are creators.
We have been given that gift by God, in his own image, to use to create joy in our lives. Nothing more. We were not put here to be negative or create negativity or suffering, but to master the art of moving beyond negative emotion to choose abundant, joyful experiences. It’s our one job.
All limitations we experience are self-imposed. Not one of them is created by anyone else but us. So, limitations can be lifted, simply by our desire to do so. This experience has changed my life in countless ways… and I feel limitless.
I live differently, think differently, parent differently. Even professionally, I see there is something else I must do because there are things that matter more to me now than anything I was doing before. I passionately believe in making personalized medicine a reality so patients can have access to custom approaches that will provide true healing–no more one-size-fits-all or guess work. Anything I do professionally needs to move that goal forward. I also hope I can help other Moms talk to kids about cancer in a way that’s useful and productive, to teach them to laugh, to re-frame, and to know that they are master creators of their own life path. The thought of this new passion, this new work, feels SO DAMN GOOD. It’s like flying.
With all my heart,
For a full archive of Heathere’s journey visit: http://heatheresjournal.tumblr.com/archive