Christmas Came Early

It is the day before Christmas Eve.  It is quiet.  I’m alone thinking.

I am sitting in my office overlooking the corridors of Central Mall watching shoppers hustle to purchase last minute gifts.  Most people don’t look very happy.  

Inside my heart, I’m smiling.  The best Christmas gift for me arrived earlier this month when I watched my twenty-seven year old daughter champion a fear.   The fear of public speaking.

Amanda was asked to introduce me, her Mother, to an audience of global Novartis leaders at an international breast cancer symposium in San Antonio, Texas.  Together, we were invited to share the real story of what it is like to fight cancer. 

We have different stories. 

Mine is about the physical and mental fight.  Plus, how I use humor, helping others and public speaking to keep purpose and joy in my life.  I shared my faith and my biggest fear which is the fear of hurting people I love as they are forced to take a front row seat and watch my cancer reality progress.  That fact tears my heart apart.

Amanda’s speech left me breathless.  My daughter stood so gracefully and spoke like a professionally trained public speaker.  It was one of my proudest moments as her mother.

Just a few hours before it was time to gather in the green room, we were alone primping and preparing for our “on the big stage” speeches.  During that time, the fear of public speaking started creeping in on her.  I told her, “You can do this and when you do, you will know that you have conquered a fear.  It will give you the best feeling, one that you will never forget so that the next time you have a fear of any kind, you will have this experience to remind you that you can do it.” 

She did it!  Fear did not steal her voice.  The speech was beautiful and so moving. There wasn’t a dry eye in the place.  In fact, she did so well that we are being booked for another speech in January!

Amanda delivered my Christmas gift early this year.   She let me know that my life has positively impacted her life and that we aren’t finished teaching each other life lessons and making memories.  

She also reminded me that I too can conquer fear even if it means letting people love me and ultimately suffering the cost of caring.  After all, wasn’t Christ born to give a similar gift to human kind?  Isn’t the real meaning of Christmas centered on hope and love?   Love isn’t always easy.  Sometimes it means having to sacrifice.  But to have love and be able to give love, now that is the best gift of all. 

Thank you Amanda for your love, support and beautifully spoken words.  You are my year around Christmas gift.

Merry Christmas

Tick Tock

Five Star: 
Average: 5 (11 votes)

Comments

You both are such and

You both are such and inspiration and I am so blessed to have you in my life. Love you dearly and Merry Christmas.

Inspirational

Patricia...you continue to be such an inspiration to so many people. I pray that you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

Inspiration

Patricia, have a Merry Christmas and I pray that you have many, many more.

wonderful post!

Hi Patricia! What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. I was a bit amazed as read along, for in just a few paragraphs, you managed to make your way down the corridor every life takes in its journey from birth to death, opening one door after another as you skipped along. Let's see, you opened the doors to such fundamental concepts as fear, courage, suffering, caring, thinking, happiness, faith, sacrifice, humor, love, giving, receiving, teaching, learning, hope, success, conquering....did I miss anything? No matter. There's plenty here to work with. :) I do greatly appreciate your opening all these doors Patricia (personally, I would prefer we took all of them off their hinges and repurposed them). Perhaps I'll return and dig around in some of the rooms you've exposed and see what I can find.
Hi Patricia! What a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story. I was a bit amazed as read along, for in just a few paragraphs, you managed to make your way down the corridor every life takes in its journey from birth to death, opening one door after another as you skipped along. Let's see, you opened the doors to such fundamental concepts as fear, courage, suffering, caring, thinking, happiness, faith, sacrifice, humor, love, giving, receiving, teaching, learning, hope, success, conquering....did I miss anything? No matter. There's plenty here to work with. :) I do greatly appreciate your opening all these doors Patricia ...>> Read the entire comment.

The door to suffering

Since I last visited your blog Patricia I have had my attention on a particular door that you opened up while writing your blog. This is the door labelled 'suffering.' And I suspect that the reason my attention locked onto suffering is because it is so inclusive of many negative perceptions. Suffering is one of those words that is really a broad encompassing concept. We suffer in so many, many ways don't we? Certainly, we suffer in all manner of gruesome physical body pain both internal and external. But, where I think we suffer the most, and the most intensely, is in our many divisions and subdivisions of emotional pain. For example: we suffer in and/or through a feeling of lack, worry, frustration, loneliness, betrayal, guilt, regret, anxiety, boredom, hate, resentment, hostility, revenge, fear, terror,sacrifice, numbness, grief, sympathy, empathy, despair, hopelessness, and apathy. We even suffer through our caring in that we care how our suffering is causing others to also suffer. The instant we take hold of a human body and begin to identify as being physical form, we begin to learn about suffering. It seems every person, institution, organization and government that we come into contact with from birth on, is, either overtly or covertly, doing their best to install a suffering program(s) onto our hard drive. Consequently, a wide diversity of suffering software can be found to be a component on practically every belief system we have. Actually, it would be more accurate to say 'every' belief system we have but I'm not going to be that absolute about it. In any event, a person would be extremely hard pressed to find another person that did not believe that suffering was inherent to being human. BUT...what if all the stories about suffering being a integral part of human existence were not true? In fact, what if everything you have ever heard about suffering was a lie? "But", you say, "I have personally experienced suffering and have observed others suffering. It was real!" My reply to you..."Of course it was! Your experience will always reflect back to you what you believe. If you believe that suffering is a part of life then it will most definitely be a part of your experience. So, here's what I believe. I believe that suffering is not natural and it is not inherent to being human. Instead, I believe that 'well being' is natural and inherent to being human. Indeed, I believe that well being is who we really are in our essence. The idea of suffering is an aberration of thought. IF (I'm using the big IF) a person can consider, just the possibility, that the idea of suffering being inherent to being human is an erroneous concept and can simultaneously, at least try, believing that a condition of constant well being is what is really our natural state, the physical experience cannot help but to begin reflecting this profound adjustment in belief.
Since I last visited your blog Patricia I have had my attention on a particular door that you opened up while writing your blog. This is the door labelled 'suffering.' And I suspect that the reason my attention locked onto suffering is because it is so inclusive of many negative perceptions. Suffering is one of those words that is really a broad encompassing concept. We suffer in so many, many ways don't we? Certainly, we suffer in all manner of gruesome physical body pain both internal and external. But, where I think we suffer the most, and the most intensely, is in our many divisions and subdivisions of emotional pain. For example: we suffer ...>> Read the entire comment.

Add new comment

Refresh Type the characters you see in this picture.
Type the characters you see in the picture; if you can't read them, submit the form and a new image will be generated. Not case sensitive.  Switch to audio verification.