I wanted to get the activities up first, then get the mushy sappy part up separately. Ready for part 2? The holidays always make me feel reflective, so I have a hundred posts swimming around in my head. I'll have to get them out little by little. A few things I want to share:

This adorable young lady, Brooklyn, is the daughter of one of the women in my aerobics class. Her mom came up to me last week and said her daughter has been reading back on the blog and wanted to meet Brinley. We arranged for them to meet, and Brinley was very excited. When they met she had hand-made several hair bows and written her a personal letter. She is 13 years old. At 13 years old, I did NOT have that kind of compassion. She reminded me of everything that is good in the world. As I saw her compassion for a little girl she didn't know who had gone through some hard stuff, I realized that I don't know how smart she is. I don't know how athletic she is. I don't know what her GPA is or how well she reads or does math. If she represents the future of humanity, I don't care about any of that stuff. I know we will be in good hands because compassion is what makes us strong. All that other stuff is just.....stuff. It comes after compassion for each other. Thank you Brooklyn for showing me what is good and right and wonderful in the future generation.

Another thing that has happened....we cut the "chemo curls". Brinley has not even had a trim (besides bangs) since her hair started growing back in. She had these adorable ringlets, but only at the very end of her hair. As much as I loved them, they were getting straggly, and it was time to say goodbye to them. I had to make an event out of it, because I will miss those chemo curls. She didn't have them before cancer. There is still a little curl left though, I was happy about that. And it looks much healthier!

And then...we celebrated a new year. For us, it was different than the normal celebration of a new year. We have been handed a new life. A second chance to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. We've seen the ugly, now we get to see the lovely part of life. And some kind of magical thing has happened. Things look better. I guess something about staring at the ugly for so long makes the beautiful more noticable. I think that is what Heavenly Father intended when he gave us this life. To experience agony that would help us see and appreciate true joy. I am thankful for that. And I wouldn't take any of this back if I could. To take it back would be to go back to who I was before this. I would have to give so much of who I am now back to take away this trial. Watching your child suffer is agonizing, but if I were given the choice, I wouldn't change it. These things make us who we are. I gained a piece of myself during this, one more piece in my journey. And many more to come I'm sure. And so did Brinley. She will always know she endured this. She will always know what she went through. It will be a piece of her, but not all of her. I won't give cancer that satisfaction. She beat it, and she will move on from it. She will move on, and it will not define her, but it will be a piece of her.

This year starts in a happy place for us. I am well aware of those around me who are starting this year in a difficult place. I have several friends in and out of the cancer community who are staring a very grueling year in the face. My heart aches for you because I know what that feels like. For two years in a row my New Years Resolution looked like this:

To survive the year.

I actually wrote that on paper. I knew if I put anything else on that list I would fail. And at the end of each of those years, I looked at my resolution and smiled. Because there I was, alive. This year, I made different resolutions. However, I will not work one bit harder to achieve them than I did on that resolution to survive the year. I am just in a different place, and my hard work can be directed elsewhere. Some years, we need to just survive.

January 1, 2011 I woke up and ran 4 miles, the longest I have ever run in my life. Pathetic for most people, yes. Awesome for a hating-on-running-my-whole-life-ME!!! Ah, I do believe I forgot to mention I met my weight loss goal of 24 pounds when Brinley finished treatment. I have since lost 5 more (Christmas treats KILL ME) and am within 10 lbs of my overall goal.

I hope no matter where you are 2011 will bring you some good. There is always good to be found. And for us, BRING ON 2011!!!


vicky said...

Thanks for sharing and I couldn't agree more!

Susi said...

It's going to be a great year!! and way to go on running 4 miles!!! Go Krisin! You deserve it :)

Sole said...

Well said Kristin! And 4 miles is AWESOME!! Congrats on your weightloss... you're making me look pathetic lol

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all of your sharing and your inspiring posts♥♥We have learned so much along your journey too......:)if you hadn't shared we wouldn't have been given the choice learning opportunities that came from your trials..THANK YOU for making the 'chemo curl cutting" an event!! xoxoxoxo Love & many many hugs xoxoxooxox

Amanda said...

What a beautiful and honest post. Happy New Year to you! I think I will take "survive" for now and I will run with that.

ps, I can't even run 1 mile, GO YOU!