“PLAN TO BE SURPRISED!”

One of my favorite endings to one of my favorite movies. Have you seen Dan In Real Life? I love it! What I love even more is the simple truth in this statement. If there is one thing I have learned for sure it’s that nothing is for sure (well almost nothing). Once you can realize this simple truth and look at life as an adventure full of surprises, you can learn to enjoy all of the twists and turns it has to offer. If you can’t embrace this truth you will find that life is full of let downs that don’t live up to your expectations.

I remember when Marc first mentioned leaving my beloved Indiana to move to Charlotte. WHAT? Life is grand where we are. Why on earth would we move? We are happy here. We have an amazing community. We love our school. We know where are kids will go to high school. It’s all planned out! We can’t move…

And here I sit in Charlotte. Life is grand. We are happy. We have an amazing community. We love our school. But now I hold it loosely because I know better than to rely on my plans.

You see, over the last few years I have learned some very important lessons. I have learned that I am not in control. I may often think I am, but in reality, at any minute of any day my life can change drastically. I have learned that no matter where I am I will be okay because I have both a heavenly father that loves me and friends and family around the globe that love me. I have learned that change (good and bad) is inevitable and that it is gift to help us find our strength and endurance. I have learned that relationships are everything. Like I always tell my kids “people are more important than things.” And as I navigate uncertainty, as I brace myself for the twists and turns of life, I know that what I can truly count on are the people in my life. I have learned that there is more good than evil. I have learned that worrying is a waste of time. I have learned that prayer is more than words. I have learned that each day is a new day. But most of all I have learned to enjoy the surprises of life.

So today I have great news to report. I am cancer free. I had a lumpectomy on December 22nd and the pathology shows clear margins (they got it all!). I met with the radiology oncologist today and I will be undergoing radiation in the coming weeks. My treatment will include 4 – 6 weeks of radiation and reduce my risk of reoccurrence by two-thirds. I need to heal from the lumpectomy so radiation will begin towards the end of January. And I feel completely overwhelmed by it all – in the best of ways. I feel incredibly humbled as so many others have walked this path before me and experienced such suffering and pain. I am thankful that this twist and turn has left me healthy and intact. And I am simply blown away by all of you who showed up for me, each of you held me up and cared for me and lit the dark path, and waited, and prayed and prayed and prayed.

And as the sun sets tonight I am truly thankful for this day. It has been full of hundreds of little surprises. And I know one thing for certain, tomorrow will be full of many more. And I keep walking along the wobbly tightrope of life. It’s uncertain, it’s exciting, it’s sometimes scary, but one thing is for certain… PLAN TO BE SURPRISED!

With deepest gratitude,
Heather

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