— Winston Churchill
I have always sought inspiration through true life stories. I guess I never thought it would come from my life partner.
Those who know me and see me every day will tell you that over the past year I’ve lost over 10 pounds, ran over 1200 miles last year and can run a 5k faster than I did 20+ years ago when I was in highschool and college. That might seem trivial to those who exercise daily, but ever since I’ve graduated from high school I never had the drive for long periods of time to work out religiously and take care of myself. Why now? How do you find that kind of drive?
Last year when my wife was diagnosed with breast cancer I was down, but my wife told me to make sure I kept running. The week after she was diagnosed I remember watching Forrest Gump with my children and there is this scene where his love, Jenny tells him, “If you ever get in trouble, don’t try and be brave. Just run.” There is a scene where Forrest doesn’t know what to do and starts running. I’ve been doing the same, although I ran with purpose. My wife is my inspiration.
We all get inspired by bigger than life stories. The pilot who saved 155 people by landing his plane in the Hudson, the new President who is breaking many barriers, the man who risked his life to save an unconscious mom and her two toddlers from a burning home, etc. Sometimes we see movies like the first one I ever saw called “Brian’s Song” that had cancer involved and get inspired for the moment or for a period of time.
But when we live with someone who inspires you on a daily basis it changes you. My wife has to take pills every day, get shots once a month and every day think that there still might be a cancer in her body that might come back to haunt her. Yet every day, she kisses me, makes breakfast, smiles and goes about her work. All those pills, shots and everyday worries are not something she shares with me unless I ask. I don’t ask because I want her to feel like life is as normal as can be as that is the way she wants to live it every once in a while. She wants to put away that she is a Cancer Survivor. She doesn’t want to be treated like she’s handicapped. How can you not be inspired when the person who shares a bed with you every night does so with smile on her face. She’s had two surgeries and is staring a third in the face, yet she is wanting to bring it on. She’s had 14 hours of anaesthesia in less than 6 months. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have those hours missing from my memory.
The other night she caught me staring at her sleeping before I went to bed. I wanted to soak in her peacefulness, her beauty and my appreciation for her to still be with me and our children. She asked me if anything was wrong and I just smiled and she gave me that knowing kiss that all wives will give when they know you appreciate them. It’s the same kiss you get when you stand before all your friends and family the day you get married and state your love for each other.
Today I am off away on business again. Away from my family. It hurts to be away knowing my wife is still not 100% yet, but she’d not want it any other way. Tonight I had a chance to visit the Santa Monica Boardwalk (see photo). I told my business partner (no offense) that I wished it was my wife with me instead. She deserved this sunset on this beautiful evening more than I did.