Of course – before we rang the bell – I had to say a few words to the people who have supported my family and I throughout this journey! You know me. It was a beautiful day – and a beautiful gathering. Photos will follow – I promise. (Technical difficulties)
“A colleague of mine explained to me once that the one thing that I taught her was the undeniable power of community. She was referring to me teaching.
Over the past eight months, I have been a student and cancer has been my teacher. And as a student, I have come to understand that cancer taught me the undeniable power of community. You are all part of that community.
You have supported, encouraged, and inspired my family and I.
You have cooked, cleaned, brought books, and made quilts – for my family and I.
You have written, phoned, texted, and face-booked me to let me know you were there – for my family and I.
You have cried with us, laughed with us, and guided us.
You have poked me with needles, poisoned me, and through these efforts and professionalism, you have ultimately saved my life – for my family and I.
You – my nurses, my colleagues, my friends -some who I have know for many years, my cousin, and my family have given me a new life.
I am now in “remission”. I was looking for “cancer-free”. But that cannot be. And that’s okay – because of cancer I have reconnected with all of you. I have discovered the power of friendship and that you all took care of me when the going got rough.
A friend of mine looked up the meaning of remission. It comes from the Latin word: Remissio – meaning freedom. And with my new freedom, comes great responsibility – I have a responsibility to live – for you and for those who could not including Stan and Floyd Sinton, Ward Charlebois and those in our lives who we have all lost to this disease. I promise you I will try to do my best to live out my days in gratitude, faith, and love.
To my children: Benjamin, Katya, and David – you were my greatest inspiration. You were with me all the while through the tears, laughter, trials, and tribulations. You are strong, good people and I am proud of you. I need to live for you!
To my husband – My rock. You made a promise to me nearly 24 years ago, and that was to love me in sickness and in health. You kept your promise. You were with me through 8 chemos, surgery, through long nights and long struggles with depression. You listened, you loved, and you supported me. I made the right choice in a husband. To say thank-you is a grossly under-stated thing to do. Let me suffice it to say, “I love you.”
And on that note – It is time for the bell. Since I was not alone in this journey I would like Kevin, Kayta, and David, and by face-time, Ben to join me. This bell is for me – and it is for you. It is also dedicated in the memory of Stan and Floyd Sinton.
One – two – three…..”