If you follow me, you know that last year I did this thing, this forty days of forty since I celebrated my fortieth birthday. I’m about a month away from forty-one, and I couldn’t begin to tell you the things that happened this year. There’s been so many. But when I reflect, I think the thing that strikes and stays with me most, would be the decision I made to shave my head. My sister Jennifer suggested it for cancer awareness. Initially, I thought — nah, maybe not. Until. We learned that my sister in law Lisa’s older sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly… my head of hair seemed pretty insignificant. August 1, 2013 — Jennifer and I shaved our heads. A move in solidarity as sisters and a move in solidarity as women.
So as the year winds down and the clock ticks ever closer to my birthday, my hair has grown back. Angie is still working on her cancer care, she’s kicking it’s ass. A close friend Ted’s wife Maria is doing her part to kick cancer’s ass also. I’m amazed by the strength of these women. How could you NOT be? Seriously? Here it is…your life on the line. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?
And… then there is Beth. My friend Mindi’s sister Beth had breast cancer. And for all of the fight that Beth had, cancer just seemed to have more. And that’s just messed up. Tomorrow we’ll be saying goodbye to Beth. I’ve been working very closely with the family to help in any small way that I can so that the people who are there will know that Beth fought like a girl, she gave everything she had to her family, her children, her students…her fight. Sometimes, life isn’t fair. Sometimes, it just sucks. Here’s the thing. I didn’t know Beth well, but here’s what I think. I think that Beth would insist that we continue on fighting like girls — giving all we have, championing our causes, being sisters, because we have these chromosomes that identify us as the “female” of our species, championing our causes because we all share the human condition.
So for an amazing year, I am grateful. I’ve learned from and shared some of life’s most beautiful moments. I believe I will be a better woman, wife, mother, sister…you get the idea for having done so. My heartfelt thank you to all who have shared this experience, whether you realize it or not — you’ve permanently shaped me.