Sunday, August 1, 2010

Lessons Learned

Deryl says.......It has been a full week since I last blogged. It is disappointing because I would like to blog at least twice a week. But life can get in the way of what you want to do. Which is a great lesson I have learned this week. That life isn't just going to give you everything you want without you giving something back. You can wish for something to be so but for it to actually come into being you have to have an intention backed with a plan.
My daughter Heather was a great example of that this past week. She went to church camp, which is out of the ordinary for her. She typically doesn't like crowds and she doesn't like to be away from her mother right now. But she went and it was life changing for her. She came back with so much energy and passion. She intended to have a good time and to learn and she did exactly that. She came back a different person than she was.
Heather has been quite shy for awhile now but she wasn't always that way. When she was little she was a lot like her mother in that she felt her emotions deeply. If she was happy she was the happiest girl in the world. But if she was angry she was so over the top angry that it was difficult to deal with. She had these major temper tantrums that we tried to get her to stop having. So much so that I think at some point we made her feel as if she could not be herself or that her true self was bad. I am not saying we were bad parents. We were doing the best we could at the time and we wanted to do what was best but in retrospect I think we squelched the passion right out of her. Heather agrees with me because we have talked about it. She remembers being confident and able to talk to anyone and wishes she was more like that today. Well, she is closer to that now than before camp.
I think we all need to be a more like little children in some ways. Jesus said we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of God. Little children are authentic with their emotions. They have absolute faith in their beliefs even if they don't know why. They tell you what they want and don't leave you guessing. They believe anything is possible. Then as they grow up  parents, teachers, pastors, etc. teach them they need to be more realistic about life. That they cannot possibly do everything that they want.
I remember once someone asking a little girl what she wanted to be when she grew up. The little girl said she wanted to be a veterinarian and the president. As grown ups we think it is really cute and tell her she can be whatever she wants. But the older she gets we may begin to tell her she should focus on one thing because it is unrealistic that she would be able to do both. Then we night encourage her to be a veterinarian because that is a more realistic goal. I mean there has never been a woman president before. But what if someone had said something similar to Barack Obama. Regardless of your political viewpoint the fact that he was elected is a major milestone in American history because he is the first African-American president ever elected. Now that he has done it people we believe it can be done again. But I say why couldn't this little girl become a veterinarian and the president. Who are we to say she couldn't. Just because it has never been done before means nothing.
When we were little children we were completely free and innocent. As adults we should strive to be completely free with wisdom. That is what I want to help Heather and Rachel get back to. I know I took part in taking away their freedom to be themselves and I want to be a part of them getting that freedom back.
Almost all of what you have read in this blog both the good and the bad have been a result of a cancer diagnosis. I don't think Heather would have had the same experience at camp without her mothers cancer diagnosis. I don't think I would have the same vision to see what is really going on without my wife's cancer diagnosis. And I am looking forward to seeing the good that Rachel experiences as well.
Kelley's courage has inspired so many people. She didn't take the easy road. But the biggest inspiration has been for those of us who know her best and see her everyday.
I don't know if I have made any significant point in this post. I just see that everyone in our family has a larger perspective than before. A better perspective than before. Life is good and a gift from God. We have all let others steal our freedom to be our true selves and pursue our true desires on some level or in some area of our life. But once we are adults we have the power to change that. That is the path that we are on as a family. Discovering our true selves and our true passions and putting them into action. Our desire is to have a positive impact on the lives of others. This blog is one of the ways we hope to do this. It didn't start that way. Originally we just wanted to be able to update family and friends about Kelley's treatment but somehow it became something different and much, much better. We feel honored to be used in a way that is a blessing to others and hope that we can continue to be so as long as we possibly can.

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