During Camp Kesem BYU-ID inaugural camp August 2014 I spent the week at the family cabin in Lowman. TJ did not want to go, he was angry also, and wanted to stay home and blow stuff up in World of Tanks. I told him he did not have a choice about attending. He did have a choice in the amount of fun he had. It was a healing and transformative week for both of us.
My Uncle Pat has installed high speed wifi at the cabin. I both love it and hate it. Communication tools connected to the internet are another love hate relationship. Last year a Survivor Sister was in the final stages of her cancer journey. It was hard to see the pain of those close to her, it was healing to see the outpouring of love and support.
August 2014 I was still very angry about my situation. I was sure that someone else owed me something for my pain and suffering. That TJ deserved more because I could not provide for him, that cancer had ripped him off too. A lot has changed in 12 months. I am done with most of the anger and fear of my journey. I still have some tough stuff to work through, forgiveness to ask for, forgiveness to be extended. I do understand now that, I am owed nothing for my path, my journey. All of it even the deeply nasty stuff is a gift. A gift that is my choice what to do with it, how to feel about it, my decision to dislike it or love it.
August 2015 I have received information that another Survivor Sister is near the end of her journey. It sucks. Cancer Sucks, death of a young wife, mother, scout mom sucks. None of it is fair or right or ok or good. I am angry that another family, another child is denied experiences because of cancer. I am sad for the memories and moment she will miss with her family. I am mad that cancer stops to many vibrant souls for becoming old men and women. Everyone should have the opportunity to become a joyous or grumpy old person.
I know that when I arrive at Camp Kesem this year I will not become a crying, crazy hot mess of a mom and embarrass my son. This year I am not angry, and fearful. This year I am more grateful, more peaceful, more joyous, more ready for a laugh and a joke. So excited to see my young man and hear of his adventures of Camp Kesem. To thank the gracious men and women from BYU-Id that have generously given so much of their time, talents and money to make this transformative week happen for some very brave young people.
In the last 48 years I have learned and forgotten many things but this perspective that I have learned in the last 365 days may be the most transformative.
It is my path and my choice. I chose joy and freedom. Freedom is never inexpensive or easy. I know there will be times that I will forget that love and gratitude come first. I will respond to those I love the most without compassion or empathy. I know that there will be sad days and happy days. I will choose cherish each day, even the hard ones because in truth and love. They are all a gift.