At the end of the tunnel

Dear Sister,

Through them all, before, during, and afterwards there are always ways to find happiness. The light within the day that can shine bright and lift your spirits. The idea of finding happiness and joy amidst the last year and a half with cancer has been a roller coaster. None the less, you are surviving and you are here to tell the tale.

I recently watched, “The Lady in Number 6,” about the life of Alice Herz Sommer. She was undeniably inspiring but she also brought so much clarity forward for me. I feel like I am a rather cognizant person regarding my first world issues and “problems.” Watching this documentary helped remind me of ┬áthe importance of finding beauty within the mundane, the archaic, and the painful. Sitting and watching her speak amidst mountains of tissues and tea I felt really grateful. I was grateful for the calmness of my couch, the ability to sit and relax, and to have a home in which I can reside comfortably. I felt really grateful for my hubby and my kitty.

I know that this experience of living with three diagnosis of cancer and being a resilient survivor has tested your will time and time again. I can only imagine how you have felt. Through meditation and prayer I say daily, I’ve focused positive energy for you. I know that it has not been easy, any step of the way, but there are some positives amidst this vast trial. These are in no particular order….merely a flurry of thinking I am sharing and sticking with a “chai,” 18 number for you. “TO LIFE, TO LIFE, L’CHAIM!”

1. Friendships: You have made and strengthened the bond with some amazing humans in H.K. I cannot say how grateful I am for these people. I love and appreciate them all.

2. Family: Even though they may be far away, we’re always with you in spirit, every step of the way. I wear something you have given me every day. I say multiple prayers and think fondly of memories throughout the day. I know that we’ll make many more this next year.

3. Declan: His love, kindness, and his forthright commentary bring wisdom and joy on a daily basis.

4. Doug: Steadfast love and true of nature, thoughtful and full of humor with the quiet tenacity to challenge you when the timing is right.

5. Mervic: Considerate, helpful, and kind. Always anticipating one’s needs along the way.

6. Mom: Your avid researching advocate and love force from birth.

7. Dad: Humor filled and articulate, sharing and pulling for you all the way.

8. Sheli: The boundless sea of energy and will, forever and always will be your caring best friend from youth.

9. Health care professionals: Even though they may be humorless and scary at times, gratitude for the consistency in putting what they can do for you first and making things work throughout this last year especially.

10. Daily appreciations for life.

11. Small details in ones day that make you smile i.e. random bugs and plants at your school. ­čÖé

12. Building and regaining strength.  Showing gratitude towards what your body can still do and will do in the months that follow.

13. Hope for the future that is to come.

14. Amazing comic artwork drawn for a 30 day challenge!

15. Travels around Asia that would have never been experienced first hand if you hadn’t shown bravery to venture for change.

16. Challenging your creativity and wisdom with words and writing. Celebrating your work with colleagues near and far.

17. Celebrating life and finding daily celebrations in simple things: breaths to and from footsteps in and out of the door. Smiles on your student’s faces. Daily reminders that humans care for each other. Nature’s simplicity in a crazy urban hubbub of Hong Kong.

18. Finding spirituality and honoring your wisdom, your ability to learn and grow as a beautiful human regardless of circumstances that feed your daily surroundings, and ultimately love. Loving life, loving your family and friends, and loving those slow deep breaths that you can draw strength from.

In closing: I love you. You can do this, (I know that you know this), but sometimes… it’s nice to hear a cheerleader pepping it up for you! Right?! ­čśë ┬áSparkle on sister of mine, xoxoxoxoxoxo! ┬áHere’s some happy paws for you: