Friday, November 7, 2008

Big Girls Don't Cry (but they should)

All things considered, it has been a quiet week. You know- treatment, shots, side effects- just the normal stuff these days. We are working towards Dan's recovery slowly. Positive attitudes are in check, and we're doing just fine!

Sunday we'll be leaving for a speech Dan will be giving to a team of scientists at a pharmaceutical company in Indianpolis. I've been fortunate to edit Dan's speeches, and have watched them on tape, but haven't been able to see him in person. Until now! Although the real reason I am going is to be Dan's back-up on the outside chance he loses his voice again or isn't feeling up to delivering the speech himself.

I have to admit, I am nervous about having to step in for him. This is weird- I've never been nervous in front of an audience. I've given many speeches and even taught multiple day seminars before, always enjoying being on the stage. Before, my only concern was losing my place or not being able to answer a question. Now, I am worried I may end up a puddle on the floor!

I've written before about my tears, which come almost daily. In the beginning, it was more about being scared or angry or helpless. Now, they are more about being moved- by kindness, by little joys, by HOPE and well, a lot by love. So, getting a little teary these days isn't really so bad at all. It's almost a goal. One that I remembered from the the first person I ever "knew" with cancer was Jim Valvano, the NC State basketball coach whose image is flashed every March during the NCAA basketball tournament. You know the one- he is running around the court after an improbable last second victory, just looking for someone to hug.

Ten years after that victory, Jimmy V delivered a speech at the ESPYs as he was at the end of his cancer battle. You know the one- the one that ends "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."

When you get chance Google that speech and watch it on Youtube. You'll find that Coach V left us with an even better lesson earlier on in his talk.

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And Number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day. That's a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special.”

The first two- laughing & thinking- are pretty straightforward for me. Having my emotions moved to tears every day in a POSITIVE way has been one of the biggest lessons for me. You should try it- just let it go. You'll be surprised how good you'll feel afterwards. And having things in your life that are so special that they make you emotional, and being able to experience those emotions as they come to you... it's not such a bad thing.

So, if I get the honor of reading Dan's words for him, and those tears come, it won't be something to be embarassed of for me. Just another successful day of thinking, laughing & crying.


Anonymous said...

Meg -

That is one of my favorite speeches of all time and it delivers a great message. I hope you two realize what a fantastic message you've been spreading yourselves. From all indications it is only the beginning. Enjoy Indy. Have Dan wear his Steelers jersey.



hughesd2000 said...

I love that speech and also love your post. Reminds us all to let those emotions come to the surface and experience them often. Sometimes I find myself holding back tears of joy (i.e. like when they show a little kid being surprised by their mom or dad returning from Iraq or Afghanistan on the Today show)and maybe next time I will just let them go. I try to keep it in check in front of the kiddos, but they could learn a lot from showing those emotions regularly!! Hopefully Dan will feel great and give that speech, but if not I know that you will be one heck of a back up. Have a great trip!

Kalisa Owens said...

Well, if a good day is filled with laughing, thinking and crying; you have helped with one of them today. I am always moved by you two and the strong team you have built together. This post especially moved me to tears...I am just so happy you have each other. Take care of each other and have a wonderful trip.