This has been an unexpectedly challenging year for the Staton family. No patient anticipates a devastating diagnosis from one’s doctor, and no parent can ever be prepared for that phone call from their child saying, “I’ve got cancer.”
The earthshaking developments of the last six months, which came ripe with opportunities to wallow in despair and negativity, have instead fostered for me an increased awareness of wonderful blessings that have revealed themselves during this journey--some surprising, others obvious, and a few hidden in plain sight.
So in the spirit that defines the holiday season here’s what I am most thankful for:
While I am pretty diligent about exercise and diet, our daughter’s battle with cancer has given me newfound appreciation for my own excellent health and the well-being of the rest of the family.
How wonderful that I have three families to cherish--my immediate family with four beautiful grandchildren, my family of close friends at home in Cuenca, and my global network of International Living associates. All add such richness to my life.
I am pleased that Cynthia and I have created a lifestyle that allowed her to be at our daughter’s side within days of the diagnosis, and for us to be able assist our loving family as long as we are needed.
It’s impossible to describe how proud I am that Adrian, upon learning that she would immediately be undergoing a debilitating chemotherapy regimen, said, “Well, then I’m going to be the best chemo patient ever,” and then proceeded to do exactly that.
I am encouraged that through the combination of early detection, an excellent medical team, aggressive treatment, and positive intention by everyone that Adrian’s prognosis is extremely optimistic.
I am blown away by the incredible kindness and generosity of so many individuals who have sent cards and flowers--opened their homes for playdates--picked up from school and driven Adrian to appointments--donated money, meals, and supplies. Some are our friends from Ecuador, classmates from high school that I haven’t seen in years, even total strangers. The basic goodness of people that we have experienced firsthand literally brings tears of joy to my eyes.
Most of all I am eternally grateful for the incredible woman with whom I have had the privilege of sharing almost my whole life. Cynthia is the unwavering rock of our family. Her boundless energy and indomitable spirit are truly inspirational, and by her very presence she makes everyone, especially me, better.
Above our picture on this blog I write, “Life is good!! Be happy!!” After almost seven decades on the planet I thought I knew what that meant. The events of 2016 have expanded my understanding of these words to both a higher and deeper level than I imagined possible.
This is what I know--live with love and kindness in your heart and you will never experience regret. Be grateful for every moment, for each one is unique and precious. And take time to be thankful for everything in your life. Life truly is good!