My eldest budding goddess, who has just barely crossed over the threshold of adulthood, has once again impressed me with her “old soul” wisdom. She recently sent me a text of what she labeled “the world’s most accurate watch” followed by a picture of the timepiece pictured above. She insisted she had to have one and my heart smiled knowing that she is learning a life-altering lesson at the tender age of twenty-one. A lesson most people aren’t aware they need to learn and most die without ever comprehending it’s gifts.
See, Juliana’s best friend, Katie, was diagnosed with leukemia about three months ago; a diagnosis that rocked everyone’s world. No one ever expects a cancer diagnosis, especially for a vibrant, beautiful twenty-one year old college student. But there are no words to describe how that one freaking word, that freaking C-word, changes lives. It’s life-sucking and life-generating all at the same time.
If anything can pull you into the present moment, it’s a cancer diagnosis.
Cancer doesn’t allow you to spend time contemplating the future. It will surely make you crazy if you linger in the past trying to answer the “whys.” It forces you to surrender to the moment and be present.
The reality is that so many of us traipse blindly through life worrying about our next appointment, our next milestone and our next accomplishment. As parents of infants we can’t wait until our child crawls, then walks, then talks….all the time missing out on the delicious moment at hand, even if it requires stain remover!
I made a choice when my girls were little to do my best to be present at every stage. Every potty-training moment, every birthday party, every dance recital. I didn’t want to have any regrets; I didn’t want to feel like I lost a moment or gave a moment away.
Believe me, there were so-called “moments” that felt like “forevers,” but I am grateful for every colicky, teary-eyed, poop stained moment. I am grateful for the “I hate you moms,” the “leave me alones” and of course the “I love yous.”
So after much thought I decided I needed one of those special watches too. Not because I don’t try to practice presence, but because I wanted a reminder to stop worrying about the “time” and to breathe in the moment.
Now when someone asks me for the time I show them my watch and just smile and say “NOW!”
PS…I don’t feel remotely qualified to share Katie’s journey with you. She is strong, courageous and a gifted writer. You can read more about her story here at Cancer is Stupid. Her raw honesty and endless compassion will move your soul.
PSS…If you want to purchase your own perfectly accurate time piece, visit Steal Back Time for a wide assortment of “keeping it real” gifts.