I’ve told this story a thousand times but only over the last 3.5 years. Can you imagine that just 4 years ago I was going through each day making a living but forgot that I should be making a life. I did what any person does that has never been reminded they may not be here tomorrow. Go to work, make a meal, drive the kids here and there, clean the house, pay the bills, do the laundry, sleep and then do it all over again.
Once in a while you’re blessed with a wake up call that takes you on an unplanned journey but is one of the best trips you will ever travel. When the doctor said “You Have Breast Cancer” my first thought was WTH are you talking about. I’m not even 40 and I have to much crap to do to deal with all this. What kind of people will my kids turn out to be without me as their mother? Why did God do this to me? How can we pay all these bills that will start piling in. All the common fears of anyone told they have Cancer.
After it all settled in and we had a plan of attack… literally, I realized that I had so many things I wanted to do but never found the time. I shoulda, coulda, woulda done so much if I realized that time was short. Maybe by the grace of God I would pull through this and use this gift of time for something good. Perfect Plan! I also knew that I needed to make memories with my kids each day and not wait until tomorrow, next month, next year, when they drive, when they finish school, get married, have kids yada, yada, yada.
While enjoying the effects of surgery without reconstruction, chemo, radiation, IV herceptin, trials and all the other things that remind you everyday that you may die I created a BASKET LIST. This list had all the things I wanted to do with my family, how I could help others, what I had always wanted to do and what ideas could I actually accomplish. I wanted to create as many memories as our our little brains could store.
In the last 3.5 years with support of my family we have done so much and have tons to be grateful for. All are were on my Basket List just not exactly what I thought. Things I’ve done since cancer include finishing chemo (yeah), growing a House Cleaning and Errand Service company called Maids on the Run, traveled far and near, participated in two cancer clinical trials, started a network of cleaning companies that provide free cleanings to families that have kids diagnosed with a life threatening illness called Cleaning with a Meaning, invented a kitchen storage container that holds open gallon size storage bags to store leftovers and mix and freeze meals with ease called The Bag Holder, wrote two children’s books about an elf named Merryam. Santa’s Secret Elf inspired when my then 5 year old told Santa he wanted to me to be better and the second Merryam’s Elfun Adventures that shares the spirit of Christmas all year long. I think of what a wonderful world this would be if we were kind and generous everyday not just one month. All of these things would still be an idea if God had not blessed me with cancer.
This stupid disease opened my eyes to be a better person, mom and community member. I crave to help others like never before. I see things differently and hope to have compassion for those around me and in need. I know my kids have learned that no matter the age or the problem you can get through it with God by your side and when the struggle fades you will see that your journey is better than you imagined it could be. Now let me be clear, I would prefer not to be blessed with cancer again but in the event that I am I do know there are so many things that I will learn.
There are many things not completed on my Basket List and I pray that I have time to get it all done. Teach my children that if they think it, they can do it, get reconstruction on my non existent boobs, grow a maids franchise that will serve families all over the country and support my family. Pay off the wonderful hospitals that took care of me, continue to help families that have been diagnosed with a crummy life threatening illness, write many more books with Merryam and hope that she becomes a positive character for children that reminds them we are to Love Thy Neighbor everyday. I want Merryam to become the first Faith filled lead female character for Christmas and all celebrations. Her message is about being kind and generous to everyone each day and that is the best gift of all. Finally, I want to remember that whatever God has planned I did the best I could to be a faithful servant.
All this was done since 2009 and I just wonder what else I could have done or become if I had a wake up call a lot earlier. What a grateful mom I am and can’t wait to see what else comes my way. Lemon, Limes or cake make each day great! We have gotten media attention for all of the things I’ve done and can you belive I dropped out of college because I could not pass speech class. Too afraid of what others would say or think and the staring at me was terrifying. If I knew then what I know now is the saying that describes my life the most. I forgot that God had my back and I could do anything with Him, never will I forget again.
What’s on your BASKET LIST?
Author comments are in a darker gray color for you to easily identify the posts author in the comments