Remember these guys? I still wear this bracelet everyday of my life…as I am sure many of you out there still do. I always wonder if I will ever take it off for good. hmmm..interesting food for thought? haha but anyway…..I love how such a simple statement…”livestrong” can have so many different meanings for so many different people. Each of us has our own “story“…a reason for being the person we are… a reason for living the type of life we chose to live.
The reason I wear my Livestrong everyday is multi-fold. “Livestrong” reminds me to live everyday to its fullest…it reminds me to be the best person that I can possibly be….to take risks…take chances…push myself to the edge, do things I never thought possible, live in the present, be kind to everyone,etc.
But…as of recently…my livestrong bracelet has developed an even deeper meaning to me. It is a representation of my grandmom, who passed away this fall. I will never ever forget the last day I saw my grandmom. I came home for my fall break and my mom took me to the hospice to see her. My mom told me that my grandmom was not doing well and not to be surprised when I saw her. But no matter how much I prepared myself- I was not ready to see what I was faced with when I walked into her room. There was my grandmom in bed, unable to even open her eyes. I remember feeling as though my heart sank straight to the floor when I first saw her. I sat there, with a lump in my throat, holding in all of my emotions, acting like everything was okay. I joked with my mom, laughed, smiled etc. But every time my mom looked away from me I brushed tears away from my eyes.
My mom whispered into my grandmom’s ears…telling her that she loved her and that I was there to see her . She wet my grandmom’s lips and kept her comfortable. my grandmom could hear us, she knew we were there…she heard every word we said…she just couldnt respond. my mom then turned to me and asked if I wanted to say something to my grandmom’s ear…. and for the first time (ever?) I became completely vulnerable and let my true feelings show…I let out all of the tears I had been holding back for months and started to sob in my mom’s arms. I wasnt able to whisper anything into my grandmom’s ears. Sometimes I look back at that day and regret that I couldnt pull myself together enough to tell her how much I loved her. But I know she heard me in that room…she heard me tell my mom how much I loved her.
I hated seeing my grandmom like that. That wasnt my grandmom. My grandmom was hands down the strongest person I knew. and there she was in bed unable to even open her eyes to look at her own granddaughter. When I went home later that night I thought about what had happened that day. My grandmom fought cancer not once, but twice. When my mother was younger, my grandmom had cancer and was told she had almost no chance of living. but my grandmom beat the cancer. she went on to live a long, healthy, and active life. She was the policeman (or woman), the one teaching water aerobics to all the old ladies at the pool, dancing around at our family parties, organizing cruises, trips to europe, trips to nyc…you name it. Heck, she was more active than me! haha. When she got cancer for the second time when she was older (bladder cancer) she was able to fight it for 5 whole years. She maintained her peppy, active self right until the very end. She never once had a bad attitude…she truly lived her life to the fullest each and every day. that is a fact.
I miss her so so much. This summer will not be the same without her. My sister and I always had dinner with her down the shore…whether we went out, cooked at our house, or cooked at her house. I looked forward to those nights with my grandmom all of the time….and this summer all of that will be gone. I still cry from time to time when I think about how much I miss her….but it no longer tears of sadnesss…it’s more like tears of happiness/remembrance; I realize how much of an impact that she has made upon me. I will forever carry her active spirit/spunk/positive attiude with me whereever I go. and most importantly…I know she is looking down upon me…keeping me safe and directing me down the right path. I am grateful to have had my grandmom in my life.
Well there you have it…my story of why I wear my livestrong.
What is your story?
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