Love Does. That’s what one of my favorite authors, Bob Goff writes about. Living in the moment, each moment. And loving the people that are in those moments.
I am starting to view my life, really each day, as a series of moments. People may enter and may leave but they become a part of the patchwork that creates my life. And I become part of theirs as well. Each time someone enters, our lives are connecting, overlapping for that time. Every once in a while, if we are fortunate, we get to intersect during a defining moment in someone else’s life.
Last night I visited with a long-time friend from high school. We went out for dinner and afterwards ended at a local pub. In the restroom I noticed several young women wearing colorful wigs and prepping themselves at the mirror.
Curiosity being one of my defining characteristics I of course had to ask. They explained that their close friend recently got diagnosed with breast cancer. She would be starting chemotherapy treatment next week and she wanted to commemorate the start of it by throwing a “wig party” for all of her friends.
A tragedy defined by a party. A tragedy fought with a celebration.
A celebration of life, of a struggle, and of hope.
I had my camera with me so I offered to take a group shot and send it to them. That is if their friend was comfortable with it and wanted a way to remember the night. I walked out to join my companion and saw that the room was filled with a huge group of twenty somethings wearing wigs in all colors and shapes. It was a wondrous sight inside of an old cramped Irish pub.
A few minutes later I heard an announcement from the loudspeaker asking everyone in the party to group to one side of the room. As I stood on a chair to work as many as I could into the shot I was blown away by the sheer number. Look how many people adore this woman!
They whooped and shouted, arms thrown in the air and around her as I took the shot. And as the lens focused on their faces it became clear that this woman is telling an amazing story. An immense group of people all attracted to loving her. To supporting her as she chooses to look fear in the face and crack a big fat grin. This is life; the struggles, the pain, the fear, the unknown. But also it is the joy, the courage, the cherished moments, and 100 people standing around you to cheer you on.
This was one of her defining moments. And as I saw the sign simply titled “Gratitude” that they held next to her, I myself was grateful to be a character in this moment.
I climbed down from the chair and she rushed over to wrap her arms around me in a small bear hug. “You are an amazing person,” I declared into her tiny shoulder. And I knew from the people surrounding her that this was true.
As I walked out into the chilly night air I remembered the things in my life that I am thankful for; for my health, for friends and family, and for a warm place to lay my head. And also for this moment shared, where I was inspired once again to live well.
*I am dedicating this post to all of the women that have boldly faced fear with the courage that they did not know they had. That have struggled with illness, but were determined to laugh anyway. You are beautiful. You are strong. We admire you and send immense love your way.*