>Celebrating Life


The finished product.

Yesterday was the 4 week anniversary of my having completed radiation.  What better way to celebrate than by marking an item of my Life Celebration list?

As you know I’ve written up a Life Celebration List (I’m sure you remember my aversion to calling it a Bucket List) of things I’ve always wanted to do but put off for one reason or another.

Some people, Joel Osteen is one I think, say that you should look for the positive in what comes your way. While finding something positive about having been diagnosed with cancer is an extremely difficult thing to do (even the most positive upbeat person would have difficulty making lemonade/lemon pie with those lemons) there are three positives that come quickly to mind.

First, I found out just how much I am loved.  My sense of self worth is not always what it should be, but the love and support of all my family and friends over the last several months have made me see things differently.

Second, I’ve come to the conclusion that while it is ok to be afraid (life is scary),  it’s not ok to let fear rule your life. Sometimes, fear is just a bully that you have to stand up to – sometimes just standing up to your fear is enough to make it go away.  I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m a Texas sized wimp, but my goal is to stand up to that bully and keep going. Many of the things on my Life Celebration List are things that I always wanted to do, but was too afraid or too convinced that I just couldn’t do them. I’m not going to lie to you.  There are things on the list, that I’m not too sure I can accomplish – but I’m going to try anyway.

Third, I have a better appreciation for life.  Oh, don’t start calling me Pollyanna. I know life is not easy. For  many people life is very hard.  Despite all of the whining I’ve done about the negative things that have happened,  I am very well aware that my life is very good. Still, it is not easy to see around the negative things, but if you spend too much time dwelling on them, you give them more importance.  I don’t want the negatives in my life to take precedence over the positives.   I don’t want to miss my blessings because I got too caught up with my burdens.

All pontificating aside, let’s talk about the tattoo – the first thing on my list.  I’m sure that my friends from my college, high school, and early Army wife days might be a little astonished.  The words tattoo and Beverly were not something I ever thought you would find in the same sentence.  I was raised to believe that ladies did not get tattoos. Of course the person who pounded that into my young brain, drank like a fish, smoked like a chimney, cussed like a sailor, and couldn’t find the word fidelity in the dictionary with a road map.  She was, perhaps, not the best person to define what a lady does and does not do.  And then there was that whole needle thing.  I guess that’s one more thing you can chalk up to the cancer treatment – a better tolerance for needles.  Oh, I still break out in a cold sweat when I see one, but the urge to scream is not quite as great.

It HURT – well it stung very badly. And it’s not an experience I want to repeat.  I’ve been told that I picked one of the more sensitive spots to get a tattoo.  But really, the ankle was the only spot. I wanted a spot where I could easily show it off and easily cover it up.  I don’t know if I will have many more opportunities to wear strapless ball gowns, but just in case I do, I don’t want any tattoos peaking out of the necklines.

This was the picture I downloaded for the artist to work from.

It’s BIG – much bigger than I thought it would be. It’s much bigger than the one in the photo I downloaded as a sample.   Or maybe my foot is just smaller than I thought. One thing I know,  unlike Meg in Little Women, I do not have an attractive foot.  Yikes, the pictures of my foot are almost as scary as the needle.

Of course, I wouldn’t have been able to do this if Tony hadn’t held my hand (and if I hadn’t had a book to read). On the other hand I might not have even considered getting one if it hadn’t been for Tony. It took almost 20 years and a cancer diagnoses to convince me to even consider it.  I hope I didn’t embarrass him by being too wimpy.

Getting ready. Do I look worried?

The tattoo artis was awesome. 

It’s been a long rambling post. But what I hope you will take away from it is this – regardless of what’s going on in your life – take time to Celebrate Life.  It’s much better than the alternative.

On to the next thing on the list – hiking Pike’s Peak or learning to ride a motorcycle, shoot a gun, ballroom dance – you get the idea.  So, how do you celebrate life?


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Jo
    May 27, 2011 @ 12:39:21

    >Hey!…I'm here!…I wanted to follow but your followers are not visible,I will be back as soon as blogger.com gets the mess clean.I'm visiting from Truimp and Tears.My prayers: In JESUS name,I pray Jesus will wrap his arms around you and your family and friends and hold you tight,with love and strength.You are a beautiful lady!..andtuff-as-a-lightr'ed knot(ole southern sayin')have you ever heard that saying before?…I like the "book" tattoo!I've been reading past post,your bucket list(dreams) are amazing,can't wait to see the photo's of you climbing Pikes Peak!WHOOHOO!! That is going to be so exciting,wish I was going with you!love & hugs my friend,~JOLazyonLoblolly


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