“Don’t forget to think, laugh and cry everyday.”
(note, wrote this on the way down to LA this morning).
Those famous words from Jim Valvano came to mind as I watched Oprah’s episode with Christina Applegate and breast cancer last night. I cried not just for our situation, not just for Christina, but for all people suffering from any kind of cancer.
Today as I make (made) one of my day-long trips down to Hollywood for business, I just find myself wrapped in thought and emotion. This is a trip I was supposed to make weeks ago, but everyone delayed the meeting mostly because I couldn’t make it because of my wife’s surgery. Short plane rides, showers and bathroom stalls are just some of those places where time stands still and all my emotions come flooding in. Sitting on a plane and just starting to cry is a weird thing. I think of those times with my dad in the hospital, then my mom in the hospital and now with my wife’s visits to the hospital and think how lucky I am to still have two of those three people left in my life.
This morning was the first day I ever recall walking as a family to school. You see it on TV where the family unit of four walks to school together down a tree-lined street. We held hands said hello to other kids and parents we met. It felt so normal. We kissed our kids, sending them off with a hearty “Take care of your body” and my wife and I walked back to our car holding hands. We never hold hands. Is this the new us? I don’t know if we can do that forever, but it sure felt nice.
Although I’ll be back tonight, I am still concerned for my wife, wanting to make sure she is okay. She promised that she’d take it easy as long as I made sure to immerse myself back in my work and stop worrying just a little. I can try that. I reminded her that I just have a whole new appreciation for how much it means for her to still be with me.
One of the movies showing on the plane in October is “The Bucket List” starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. It’s about two guys with terminal cancer who have a list of things to do before they “kick the bucket”. We wanted to see that movie before she was diagnosed. I think we need a good laugh now and will watch it this weekend. We might also find it inspiring.
Yes, definitely doing a little laughing, thinking and crying today. It does feel good to let those emotions out. It feels real human. The words my wife took from Oprah’s show with Christina Applegate were those words that Melissa Etheridge gave her, “This is a blessing and you now can live your life the way you want to” or something like that. Well blessing isn’t really the right word here. A wake up call? Maybe that is it. We had definitely started doing that and my wife was onboard with that mentality, but we had forgotten it. She told me this morning before I left, ” I need to put the past behind and start living.”