Bella had her first post-op appointment today. While in the waiting room, I found myself, like the fellow drones around me, reading a back issue of People magazine. I read a story about a celebrity who is in remission from cancer. Soon after her diagnosis, her mom passed away. One of her last conversations with her mom was one in which this celebrity relayed her fears about sharing her recent diagnosis with the public. Her mom’s response was this –
Let Your Beautiful Mess Become Your Message.
This celebrity took her mom’s advice and allowed the public into her battle with cancer, and as a result, it has had an impact on many.
What makes a person decide whether or not to share their life’s journey more publicly? In this day and age of social media, it can be a bit daunting to put it all out there. And there is also the other side of it, too. I mean, it is pretty easy these days to not only work tirelessly at keeping up that false yet fascinating image of oneself on social media, but one starts to actually believe it!
In our case, I have been pretty open about our family’s journey. It was the choice I (and Martin) made, and there have certainly been days I’ve regretted it. The reality is, when you put it all out there, you subject yourself and your family to scrutiny and judgment. And there are certainly some people out there who welcome the opportunity to further master those skills.
At Bella’s appointment today, her old casts were replaced with new ones. These ones sure look more fun – they are pink. And she even received booties with tread on them, as well as crutches, so by all outward appearances, we look like we are WELL on our way to complete healing and running our first half marathon!
The REALITY is, the appointment was awful.
We were all very discouraged to see new, heavier casts put on our precious Bella’s legs. My heart just broke as she cried out in pain, having her calves, heels, and feet put at a permanent 90 degree angle. I watched my daughter literally tremble uncontrollably in fear when they told us they wanted to pull out the stitches without any pain meds on board.
That’s the reality, folks.
It is not sugar-coated with rainbows and ponies to make the reader feel better, or to induce 100+ “likes”.
In the midst of our exhaustion, our loneliness, our frustration and rage over being grounded, our grief over seeing our Bella suffer time and time again – we have been absolutely submerged in love.
That last phrase above sounds like it was lifted right out of a Nicholas Sparks’ novel, but it is the truth.
Every day, we have received some type of love gift in the mail. Not to mention, numerous emails, texts, calls, etc. encouraging us and reminding us of the prayers being lifted on our behalf.
I am not exaggerating.
Every. Single. Day.
And my goodness – it is so unbelievably humbling. Really, REALLY humbling.
I much more comfortable being the giver than the recipient.
At the same time, what a GIFT it has been to our family to know that our village is linking arms with us! This gift has compelled me to pause and ask myself whether or not I am aware of the needs of those around me.
It has compelled me to desire to do more – to commune more with others so that I can be at the ready to respond when a need arises.
It has compelled me to examine how I spend my time and evaluate whether I have made allowances in my schedule to make myself available to someone in need.
I have chosen to share our journey with you.
it’s certainly not polished –
and it’s not remotely Lifetime T.V.-worthy.
But there is a message.