Like the Down of a Thistle

Last night I had some wicked crazy dreams, so much so that I woke up with a bunch of ideas for a blog topic. My head swimming, I tried to narrow one down as I checked into my Facebook to tap my social media vein. I scrolled through my feed, looking at cute baby pictures, laughing at my lawyer friend’s posts, which always crack me up, and suddenly stopped at a college friend’s status. She had chosen today to break her silence about her fight with breast cancer and asked for prayers and positive thoughts for both her and her family as they all struggle to support her through this difficult time. 

I was heartbroken. Could we really be old enough to have friends facing the fight of their lives? When I look at the statistics, we officially are within that spectrum, albeit at the lower end, of women who must be alert and aware of our body’s changes. Waiting until our 40-year mammogram is not enough. 

My friend’s confession was sobering, and I’ve been in a brooding mood all day. I’ve been thinking about my own mortality, and not in the “what if I got pummeled by a semi while trying to pass on the interstate” kind of way. No, I’ve been wondering if I’m really living life to its fullest, taking advantage of the short time we have here. I think a lot of people go through this at one time or another; I know it’s hit me a couple of times. 

When Jolie was about 15 months old, we were taking a springtime walk around the neighborhood. We pointed out different things on our walk, practicing her vocabulary, and generally taking in the scenery. At one point she stopped mid-stride and looked at a thistle.Thistle Instead of picking it or asking “wuss dat?” she bent over open-mouthed and placed the entire bulb inside her mouth. She released it intact, and gave me a big toothy grin and resumed walking. I laughed and thought to myself that I must remember that moment forever because in that instant she embodied that childlike amazement at the world around her. She wanted to look, feel, and taste all that life had to offer. 

As we face our daily struggles, whether they be as simple as just having a bad day or as grand as having to undergo chemotherapy, I think we should remind ourselves of the immense pleasures in the little things in life…the things that make our brief moments on this planet worth living. 

I pray for my friend who has many difficult days ahead of her, and I hope some of you might also send a few positive thoughts her way. I wish I had the perfect quote to close with, but I don’t today. I can only say treasure these moments, after all the seconds fly by like the down of a thistle. 

I love you all, some more than others.

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