Have you ever met someone that made you want to be a better person? Not in the change the world kind of way. But in the change your own world kind of way?
Susan Niebur has done that for me. I don't know Susan, although she lives in the same town and goes to the same Church (OK-I haven't gone to Church since Will's Christening but if I did it would be the same Church). But last night, I joined the hundredes or thousands or maybe more individuals that she has shared her life with.
Susan is a professionally accomplished mom of two young boys (4&6) who has been battling inflammatory breast cancer which has metastasized to her bones. The disease is taking it's toll - and, well - the story is still being written. Her story (her life) really hit too close to home (literally and figuratively).
Susan writes about the disease, the bad and the ugly on her blog Toddler Planet. She sheds light on the gruesome struggle she has and is facing. But she also writes about the moments, the every day moments. The little moments that bring joy to a life that others might only see as tragic. She writes about raising two young boys. She writes about her hopes and dreams and the fears that she may never get to live those dreams. She faces her mortality with grace and courage that I could only wish to have one day.
Susan is another reason I so hate this disease. It is not fair. It doesn't care that Susan has two baby boys. Two boys not much older than mine. It doesn't care that she is brilliant and has contributed to the body of scientific research. It doesn't care that she is a friend to many, a mom to two and a wife to one. It doesn't care that her words are a gift that she has generously and gracefully shared with us all. Breast Cancer just doesn't care.
Her blog left me emotionally drained. It broke my heart and touched my soul.
As I read blog post after blog post last night I realized that I may be tired because Will won't sleep, and I may be frustrated because Sam won't eat a damn thing I make him for dinner, and I may be unhappy with my current job, and I may be uninspired by what I planned to make for dinner, and I may feel like there aren't enough hours in the day BUT tomorrow that could all be taken away. Would I rather remember the exhaustion and frustration or would I rather remember the unexpected hug from Sam or the wave from Will, or seeing the two of them develop the bonds of brotherhood, or celebrating small moments over a bottle of champagne with Matt.
Last night Susan taught me that in the end it's the little moments that get you through the day. It's the little moments that make tomorrow worth fighting for. It's the little moments that are the difference between tragedy and grace.