This summer was the best summer of my life! Sydney, Olivia and I packed our car on July 12th and started driving across the country. We had a few “must see” places and the rest was planned as we went along. I learned more than I thought I would ever learn while on our 3 week journey across the United States.
I learned that:
The top 5 red meat producing states are Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Nebraska and South Dakota.
The states that harvest the most corn are Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana.
Lists are not all that important.
People in the south are more friendly than those in Massachusetts.
There are more people like Papou (my dad) than one would think.
Just because my phone doesn’t ring for 3 days, it doesn’t mean it’s broken. It means I am on vacation!
My girls and I truly do have a magical relationship. (We already knew this. The trip only confirmed our truth.)
Of course there were many more lessons along the way. The most important thing I learned was how to float. As soon as we started driving through the Grand Canyon, I was sobbing. I couldn’t tell you why. I was just overcome with emotions. I never realized until that moment how much I was clinging to life; gripping onto what I thought would work. My tears told me there is a better way. Let go. I continued to cry at every turn, each site more awe-inspiring than the one before. The next day I woke up at 4:30am and drove to Arches Park to watch the sunrise. I brought my journal and I couldn’t write. I was mesmerized by the view. We craved water. We needed to swim. It was hot. We headed to Glenn Canyon. I watched Olivia floating on her back and said, “How do you do that? My legs always drop.” She coached me. She coached Sydney. At first, I found myself trying. If you have ever taken a yoga class from me, you know how I encourage not trying.
Once I got myself up, I held for a few breaths to make sure my legs wouldn’t sink. And then I let go. Silence. My ears were covered and I heard nothing. I closed my eyes and found myself floating...effortlessly. And I thought to myself, “This is how I want to feel every moment of my life. This is what life can be like. This is the letting go that I have always dreamed of.
Two weeks later we were home and busy getting Olivia ready to move to LA. Emotions were high. Tears were shed. Sydney and I were wondering what we would do with all the quiet that was about to take over the house. Olivia’s flight left on August 11th. I was diagnosed with breast cancer on August 12th. I instantly went back to that feeling of floating. My mantra became, “Float. Let go. Float. Let go. Float.” And it was easy. I brought my mind back to the Grand Canyon. I remember looking at it and thinking, “Man had nothing to do with this and look at all this wonder!” My faith in something bigger than myself was strengthened. I was fearless. To some it might look like denial. Some people told me I have a great attitude and that I am so strong. In my opinion, I simply learned how to float. No gripping. No trying.
Since we arrived home, I haven't stop writing about my experience. Words are hitting the paper faster than ever. I don’t want to forget a thing. More importantly, I don’t want to forget how I felt. The sights were breathtaking for sure. What happened to my spirit while we were there has forever changed my life. I learned how to float just in time.
* I started a new full-time job on September 13th and had a lumpectomy on September 21st. I feel lighter than ever. My friend, Nikki, said it best after surgery: “They surgically removed your past.” (the past that had me gripping, always wanting to be in control.)I am currently awaiting the information I need to make an educated decision regarding next steps.You can be sure that whatever decision I make will be in perfect alignment with my body, mind and spirit. As of today, 50 days after my diagnosis, not one ounce of fear has entered my mind. I am too busy floating.