This week is a very special week; marking the 5th anniversary of Bell Day! My husband is now free and clear since his last chemo treatment. I would not have remembered the anniversary, if it wasn’t for my Facebook memories, but it was a celebration worth having. It has been over six years since he was first diagnosed with colon cancer, that had also spread to his lymph nodes, the surgery that followed and the subsequent treatment. He officially rang the boxing-ring-type-bell in the chemo suite of the hospital, five years ago this week and we are grateful that he has been perfectly healthy since.
Bell Day is a reminder that regular checkups, early detection and cancer screening is key. Bell Day is symbolic to us as a nudge to live each day on purpose. Bell Day represents hope and the fact that adversity can be overcome. Bell Day means that life is fleeting and going through it, without regular analysis and reflection, could cause us to waste precious and valuable time. Bell Day prompted me to journal and then decide that sharing messages, through writing, has been extremely rewarding to my soul and not writing, for the last several months, has created a void.
Reigniting a new column is what came to mind, this anniversary of Bell Day. It is also perfect timing since it is a holiday weekend and spring is in the air. I love this time of year, as it represents new beginnings, a clean slate and more sunshine, out of doors. This new column, “A Walk Through Life” will be published every Sunday, along with the link to a photo slideshow and archives of several years of articles from my previous “I Choose” and “This Rocky Life” columns. I am so excited!
The last time I wrote, I was headed to Newfoundland. I spent the better part of eight months back and forth, with five trips home, during that time and my husband making three trips out east. It was a whirlwind of adversity and activity and I have so much to catch up on. Since life is full of ups and downs, writing allows me the opportunity to vent my issues, discuss life as a journey, that we are all on together, as well as share the thousands of photographs I have taken along the way.
On Facebook alone, I have over 25,000 nature and travel photos. I think photography is an addiction; although a healthy one. Getting outside and snapping cellphone pics of nature, travel or anything that is interesting, unique or fun is what keeps me sane. Since I misplaced my camera, over a decade ago (losing hundreds of very significant photos), I now upload almost every photo that I take as soon as I have an Internet connection. This has become a habit, that I very much look forward to, and I am grateful when others enjoy them too.
I look forward to catching up on stories about the new twin grandchildren in my life, adding to the other two adorable grandsons I already had, the fact that I am now sporting a partial kidney, from surgery to remove a cancerous growth (which sent me into an even deeper analysis of my life), the six-bedroom house we bought and fixed up on the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland, where my beautiful daughter and her children are now living and the various roller coaster of experiences we have had along the way.
On this holiday weekend, I wish you time with your loved ones, fresh air, nature, fun activities, spiritual reflection, healing, replenishing and life-giving things that nurture you to step into the week ahead with more energy and hope. Spring means more sunlight, a greater opportunity to get outside, time to declutter, organize and do spring cleaning, refreshing your mind to a healthier perspective and, if you are like me, the chance to bite the ears off some hollow milk chocolate bunnies, with candies for eyes.
If anything painful is happening in your life right now, you especially need to take time for you. You deserve to rest your worry, if even for a little while, and ideally get outside. Hopefully the photos I take along my life journey will encourage you to feel daily gratitude, explore, adventure and get out and about, as well.