Yesterday I was sorting through the mail and found an envelope from the imaging center where I had my mammogram done last week. I open it up and read the results … “NORMAL.”
I started crying. There was no reason to suspect I had breast cancer. No one in my family has ever had breast cancer. Every results in the past has been “normal.” Logically I know they would have called if the results were anything but normal. Still I’m crying.
I’m crying for all the women in my life who received a different result.
And I’m crying in gratitude for these six letters… NORMAL.
In the past I didn’t give my “normal” results much thought. I took “NORMAL” for granted. I don’t do that anymore.
This is “light” side of pain.
We often talk about the shadow side of things but don’t examine the opposite effect … the good things that come from the difficulty we (and our loved ones) face.
The bad stuff sucks. I won’t pretend it doesn’t. But life is monumentally sweeter because of it.
I watch some of my colleagues, untouched by what has touched me, scramble with launches, marketing and sales, pursuing success as if it is the ultimate golden ring. Missing the moments that will save their heart later on – when someone is gone or someone is grown.
I don’t try to take these moments from them – the pursuit of success is fun. The time to “know better” will come.
I know better.
We each get to “know better” with every pain or upheaval. It keeps us from taking life for granted.
Last year I didn’t know enough to stop and drink in that “NORMAL” reading. It took three more friends getting a different result to finally treat it with the reflection and appreciation I have today. I wish my friends could have had this “NORMAL” result. I’d happily trade my newfound appreciation for that cup to have passed even one of them. But since that isn’t possible I won’t waste what I’ve been given.
And so I’m passing it onto you now.
Today your life will be filled with so many sweet moments. Don’t trade them for whatever stress, whatever task is on your mind.
Look into someone’s eyes that you love and really see them. Breathe in fresh air. Drink fresh water. Receive your big, beautiful life as it is right now. One day in the future you will think back and remember those eyes, that air, this moment and be grateful you paused.