November Gratitude: Celebration of Life

Some months ago I sat in the cancer center receiving an iron infusion, and sitting adjacent to me was a sweet woman I had met the week before. She was receiving her chemo, wearing her hat, and generally bringing a cheerfulness to a very cheerless environment. With her was a younger woman, wearing her scarf and making everyone laugh with her vivacity. I assumed they were friends walking through chemo together.

As the nurses pulled the curtain around the older woman to finish getting her ready to go home for the day, the younger one came over to me and asked about the book I was reading (two actually… can I ever go anywhere with just one?!). I sat with my books and journals and told her about the book review I was working on for my blog. We started chatting and she shared how she was there with her mother.

That vivacity? It was oozing from the heart of a woman who was overseas in Spain when her mom shaved her head, so she shaved hers, too, in solidarity. I wanted to cry right there, because I know how special that must have been. Because I saw the love between the two, a bond beyond blood relationship and into friendship.

We chatted some more, shared blog addresses and facebook information, then two weeks later we were going for coffee and a friendship formed. A friendship, that in Steph’s words, is “not going away any time soon”. We’ve shared many moments together since then, sipping blueberry coffee and encouraging each other in our daily walk.

Last month my friends, Tim & Sasha of Rothwell Photography, asked if I and any of my friends would be interested in a promotional photo shoot to celebrate life and to encourage others in this cancer battle. It was a beautiful and humbling experience to be celebrated in such a way. Steph and her mom, Kathy, were there, too. (I so wish my friend, Kim, could have made it, too.)

So, y’all, meet my friends. See Steph’s vivacity for yourself (yes, I’ve used vivacity three times in this post, and I’m okay with that). See the obvious love they have.

And see the glory of God through the beautiful work of Rothwell Photography, read our stories, and praise God with us for all He’s done.

I’m so thankful for my life, for the lives of my family, for the lives of Steph and Kathy, and for the way the Rothwells chose to celebrate us.

Once again, I’ll quote Steph:

“I encourage you: be thankful for those around you. And not just throughout the holidays, when everyone seems suddenly be grateful for one another. Start today. Go make a pound cake with your mom. Go dance and make peanut butter balls. Watch silly Christmas classics because SHE wants to. And above all else…recognize that it is God that gave you life to begin with. Live it for Him…”

Gratitude overflows.

(To see their post, click on the blue highlights above or click here: A Celebration of Life)

2 responses to “November Gratitude: Celebration of Life”

  1. Beautiful story and gorgeous photos! Makes me want to do a photo shoot with my family…it’s been three years since we’ve had one. 😦


  2. Angie……those pics are so incredibly beautiful…made me tear up to look at you looking so lovely and seeing you with your Brian and your kids alive and loving each other so much. There is such beauty in that – thanks for sharing.


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