Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy 89th birthday!

I just got off the phone with my Grandmother who just turned 89 years old today. When she picked up the phone to say hello, the voice on the other end sounded very sleepy. I was tempted to just hang up for fear that she was just about to find out who the inconsiderate culprit was who was calling her up at 9 pm on a Wednesday night. It turns out that she had just gotten in bed, but had not fallen asleep yet. We had a nice talk about family, our health, and reaching milestones. There was no hiding the joy and excitement in her voice about reaching her 89th birthday. She even said that she never thought she would live to be so old!

As I think about the new year ahead of me and the upcoming scans, surgery, and many follow-ups with doctors, I think about the kind of people that cancer affects. Cancer can strike at any age, person, gender, and race. It is not an old person's disease. Young beautiful children get cancer. Smart intelligent young college students get cancer. Youthful looking mothers and fathers get cancer. Those getting on in years get cancer. And yes, the elderly get cancer too. Cancer does not discriminate.

Do I let everything paralyze me with fear, so that I can't live a full life? That would be easy to do since I have developed a number of anxieties over the years, and have faced cancer twice in my life. But the answer is no. We mustn't allow anything to stand in our way of a good life. But I am fairly certain that we should all give ourselves a big huge break! Nobody got to 89 years old without taking it a day at a time.

I am so grateful for my flaws, things that scare me at times, trials I have faced, trials I am facing, and trials I have yet to face, as well as all of the joys, laughter, and happiness this life has given to me. Want to know why? Because it means I'm still alive! I may not live to be as old as my Grandmother, but I'll live as long as God is willing. Meanwhile, I think I may still call people at 9 pm if the thought crosses my mind and it is their birthday, no matter how old they are! We shouldn't ever let kind deeds go undone, or withhold generous thoughts.


Joyce said...

Oh Sharolyn, you are my favorite. Seriously. You have such a beautiful outlook on life.

And cancer certainly does not discriminate. My mom had it. My dad had it and lived. We thought my little brother could have had a malignant tumor on his femur, but he's still around, thank heavens.

Sharolyn Gabbitas said...

Joyce.'re a favorite of mine. Just don't see you around anymore. Maybe that's my fault! :) Glad to hear about your brother. Both parents! That is pretty much not fair. Your family has learned a lot.