To Make a Donation to the 2016 team
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Go All In
~Mary Frances Firth (Nov. 10, 1975-Feb. 7, 2011)
One of the lessons Mary felt she learned throughout living with cancer was the incredible importance of family and friends. A truer friend could not be found, and those bonds were only enhanced throughout the many ups and downs she experienced beginning with her diagnosis. In response to the words of Lance Armstrong "So if there is a purpose to the suffering that is cancer, I think it must be this: it's meant to improve us" Mary wrote that what she thought was to be improved was the relationships she had with her family and friends. That was her silver lining, as it has been for all of us, even when finding anything shiny seems impossible. Mary fully recognized that life was about loving each other as best as you can...no conditions, no lies, no wavering. To her, you went all in. And the reward of that wager was knowing the genuine love of so many people.
We shouldn't need a reminder, especially one that comes from the loss of a young, vibrant, beautiful girl like Mary, but quite honestly, we do. It's easy to lose sight and put focus on other things, to forget the people that shouldn't be forgotten, to get wrapped up in ourselves and our lives. Our relationships...with our family and our friends...are what truly matter. Every single day. We need to remember what is important, and to get out of our own way and to recognize the people in our lives that matter. It's work to maintain, but that doesn't mean it's hard....it's friendship!
That's what I've thought about all day today, and have been witness to in many ways today. True friendship and genuine hearts. Our family, today and every day, is surrounded in friendships that have stood through hardship and weathered the storms. Certainly not all come out intact when all is said and done, but it allows for some clarity to see who is most meaningful in your life, and to foster and build those relationships.
One of the gifts I feel most fortunate to have received is the friendships that I now have that began with Mary, Molly, or John. Many of their friends are now my friends, and having these wonderful and kind people in my life is such a welcome treat. Our mutual care for another brought us closer, and I thank you to you all for staying in our lives. Your messages, your cards, your notes, and for remembering birthdays and days like today bring comfort and peace.
I am lucky beyond words to have strong friendships with my husband, my parents and my sister, my unwavering cousins, aunts, and uncles, and my extended in-law family. "Family" and "friends" are not always synonymous so I am grateful every day for the rewards I reap from each and every one of you. We've held each other up, and will continue to do so...dancing and laughing with each other through it all.
I am so grateful for my friends, to all of you who have picked up and carried the heaviest part of the friendship the past few years when I couldn't do it. Daffodils, balloons, coffee, text messages, hugs, emails, meals, walks, and the many, many, many other ways you have lifted my spirits....I am lucky to know such kindness in my life.
So, let today serve as a reminder. Build relationships. Share love. Keep promises. Go all in.
Full moon dancing tonight.
Be good. Be strong.