52 Lists, Week 5 // List What You Are Grateful For

Yesterday was a hard day.  My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.  I usually don't post something personal on my blog right after it has happened.  I try to wait a few weeks till after the event so I have time to reflect and contemplate.  But I just feel like I need to share this.  It is the biggest thing happening in my life in this moment and of course is the biggest inspiration as to why I chose this week's list prompt:  "List What You are Grateful For."  These lists are becoming something really important and special for me each week.  My current experiences are what inspire each week's prompt and I believe that sometimes, being honest, raw, and in the moment can inspire the greatest growth within oneself.  These lists are definitely pushing me to be very vulnerable.  And pushing myself in that way each week is making me feel more empowered and thankful each day for and because of my online community.
When something heavy hits us like cancer within the family, it's human nature to zoom in on that hardship.  I was quiet and contemplative all day yesterday and I think I'll be feeling a bit heavy all week.  But as I've grown older, I've come to see difficult experiences as opportunity to recognize the beauty amidst pain and all that we should be thankful for within a hard experience.  My mom has breast cancer.  This is a truth I cannot avoid.  But I have the opportunity to see within it all that I should be and am grateful for.
My dad's mom, the one and only grandma I ever knew, had breast cancer around the same age as my mom.  And I have many vivid memories of her talking about her experience.  She was very comedic and frank about it all and for that I am SO grateful.  Because of her, dialoguing about breast cancer has become very normal in my life.  And it feels like less of a scary thing because of my grandma's thoughts on her experience.  She lived until her late 80s and never had any complications with cancer after her first experience which gives me so much comfort knowing now that my mom has breast cancer.  My mom will be ok.  I believe it and I have seen it to be true for so many women with breast cancer.  And whatever choices she must now make, everyone in my family will be with her to support her.  Seeing a few of my friends' mothers battle with various cancers, some still living today and some sadly having passed away, I know that each one of us has something to be grateful for within our family's hardships dealing with cancer.  I am grateful that I have seen how gracefully and powerfully my friends' families have dealt with cancer.  I am grateful that my mom and dad have an amazing community surrounding them.  I am grateful for love and family and comfort.  I am grateful for so many things and am most especially thankful & grateful during a period of life that could cause heartache.  Gratefulness harnesses so much power.  And I feel it all.  I have much to be grateful for.

Wow, it's crazy getting to look back on this week one year ago.  It was one of the most powerful weeks of my life that transformed my year ahead like I couldn't have imagined.  I can say most certainly that what I am most grateful for right now is that my mom is alive.  It's been a year since her diagnosis and she is still finishing up hormone therapy, but she is well.  She is as spunky as ever, her hair has grown back, her heart is more joyful and at peace than I have ever seen it in my entire life, and she is super psyched about Zumba haha.  My dad is taking her on a celebratory cruise very soon for her accomplishment of powering through cancer treatments all year.  And after their cruise, they are going to stay on the island of Moorea for a week, my namesake!  If you didn't know already, Moorea is an island in Tahiti and I named myself after it when I was 9!  How have I not written a whole blog post about that yet?
Anyway, this year my list of gratefulness can be kept pretty short I think.  There is SO MUCH for me to be grateful for.  But the most important ones are that my mom is alive, and through her battle of facing cancer, we healed our relationship.  That was no simple feat.  We have a dark and painful history.  But when faced with the fact that my mom could die sooner than I had ever expected, I was able to over come the pains of the past to instead enjoy what I have in the present.  Whether I have my momma for only a few more days or years and years to come, I at least know that our hearts are mended, I do truthfully feel her love now, and I in turn love her with all my being.  That love is one that is forever enduring, and that is something to be eternally grateful for.  I love you my momma.

Let's be grateful this week.  I know many of you may be going through something very hard right now.  This is life, difficult things happen that we cannot prevent.  No life is perfectly breezy.  But you always, ALWAYS, have the choice to make great and good things happen even amidst your hardest events.  You have power in your own life to bring light and love during hard times.  And it all starts with gratefulness.  Write down all that you should be & are grateful for.  Use this list of gratefulness to show you why you should find power in your experiences, be they happy or sad.  Your strength is just as powerful coming out of something easy or something hard.  And what you do with your experiences can bring greatness.

Download and print out Week 4's list above or write out your list however you may like.  Then leave a link to your Week 5 list in the comments so we can all check out each others lists!  If you post your list on Instagram, Twitter, or Pinterest, use the hashtag: #52lists and be sure to include @mooreaseal so I can be sure to come say hello :)  Happy listing!

You're welcome to join in the 52 Lists project at anytime.  Visit the 52 Lists page to check out all the lists!


bp said...

Begin forwarded message:

From: bp
Date: February 11, 2014 at 5:16:18 AM GMT+8
To: BP
Subject: Mooreaseal

Hi there! I was just contemplating today whether I should start writing about my mom and the illness our family is facing with her, but I just don't know if it's time for me to do that. Reading this post however, makes me feel less alone and more grateful. I am so happy to know that your mom & your family are doing so well. Acknowledging the good that can come out of this is what I am trying to focus more on. Thanks for sharing this. Maybe if i share my similar experience too it will also help others. Take care!!!

Miriam Schulman said...

I love making these lists... I got the book, LIst Yourself, but it is more fun when you can share the lists with others so thanks for organizing ( I am grateful.) My blog post is here: http://schulmanart.blogspot.com/2014/02/make-gratitude-list.html

Chelsea said...

Love this idea. So cool.

Jaclyn Danette said...

So happy to hear that your mom is doing well!

Karyn said...

Here is my blog post....I was a little behind (I missed weeks 3 & 4) so this post also contains them as well...http://chojnickikorner.blogspot.com/2014/02/week-3-being-proud-week-4-current.html

Bakary said...

Week five // http://bakarycafe.co.uk/?p=2536

Hannah B. said...

Here's my linkup:

What a great way to make yourself feel happier--to remember how much you're blessed! :)

Lee Currie said...

Here is my link: http://thelinarstudio.typepad.com/embracelife/2014/02/list-05-grateful.html

Liz Agosto said...

I love doing my weekly list. http://myyearofjoy.blogspot.com/2014/02/52-lists-things-i-am-grateful-for.html

Jessica Whalen said...

So late to this list thanks to no computer, but here's week 5. Week 6 will come this weekend to get us all caught up (and because they each deserve their own post)!


Simone said...

Had to catch up with two weeks worth as I was abroad last week! Week 4 and 5 are now posted - yippee!