"once you choose hope, anything is possible"

Saturday, March 29, 2014

100 Happy Days

While I was filling out a job application the other day I had to answer a series of 50 questions on a scale of 1-5. One of the questions I came to was "would your coworkers describe you as someone who is always happy?" and it definitely made me think for a minute. Once upon a time my answer would have been an obvious yes, 5, completely agree. This time though I had to really stop and think about whether or not I still gave off the happy go lucky, smiling persona I used to have 100% of the time. And that upset me more than it should. I used to pride myself on always smiling and in turn making others smile, and I can't confidently say 100% that I still do that all the time. 

As always, God has a way of sending me a sign exactly when I need it and as I was spending my lazy saturday checking all my forms of social media, I came across a friend posting with #100happydays. I followed her links and came across the 100 happy days challenge. And naturally I immediately fell in love with the idea. It is a challenge set up to get you to think about something that makes you happy every single day for 100 days in a row and either send it in privately or share it with others through social media. I adore the idea of trying to come up with something that makes me smile every single day, and taking 5 minutes out of a busy day to make sure I have time to reflect on things that still make me happy.

So as of today I will be joining that 100 Happy Days challenge and encourage those who are having a hard time getting through the day lately to join me. I will be posting through my instagram (kelshau) and am sure I will be blogging about the process as well. In the end I still do consider myself a happy person. Maybe a little more grown up, and definitely a lot less naive, but still happy. Sometimes its a little bit harder to get through the day, but I know I am still incredibly blessed with the life I have and the people I am spending it with. Today I will start the challenge with a picture of the happiest part of my life, my family. I miss them terribly most of the time, but their phone calls, snap chats, and my countdown until the next time we are reunited make me happier than anything in this world., 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

my new grasp on hope

Over the past three years you have all heard about how cancer has come into my life and changed pretty much everything about it. Between losing Anna, other classmates, and seeing people I love also lose their family and friends; cancer has left a permanent stamp on my life and bruise on my heart. Three years ago I learned what “the call” was, and then I got it, again and again. This year my “call” was different. This year instead of knowing the pain of someone you love having cancer firsthand, I got to know it all secondhand. This year instead of trying to convince myself that everything was going to be okay, I had to listen to my best friend lose faith and admit to me that he didn't think his mom was going to make it My best friend, and my rock, lost his mom to cancer and my hatred for this disease rose to heights I never thought it could. I didn’t know it was possible to feel someone else’s heart break until this year, but I also didn’t truly understand the importance of hope until this year. Today, while I would do anything to take away the first lesson, I know my life is better because I learned the second.

The American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life has been a huge source of hope and strength for me since coming to college. My participation in it every year is typically the highlight of my semester and brings me so much joy. This year I had the huge honor of being elected to their executive planning committee. Not only do I get to experience the hope and joy of Relay For Life on the night of the event, but I also got to experience it all year round. I have had the chance to meet some of the most incredible people, those battling, those who’ve survived, and those who’ve lost. I used to think that hope was about wishing for the best, holding on to the promise of tomorrow. This year I learned that hope is more than that. It’s about not only holding on to the promise of tomorrow, but doing something today to make sure that tomorrow happens. With my new grasp on the concept of hope I was able to hold my best friend’s hand as he buried his mom. I was able to wipe his tears and still have faith in the fact that one day cancer won’t take so many lives. One day there really will be a world with less cancer, and more birthdays.

Today the number of people I know who lost their lives to cancer far exceeds the number of people I know who have survived it. Today I still miss Anna and my other loved ones. I still wear her bracelet and my heart still skips a beat when the clock flashes 12:12 or I hear her favorite song. Today I still have bad days where hope is hard to come by. Today cancer still sucks. But today I can finally see the bigger picture. Cancer may have taken my friends from this world, but there are still so many fighting and countless survivors. Cancer hasn't won, the hope and healing that the American Cancer Society provides every single day is proof of that. But the American Cancer Society can’t continue that hope and healing without the help of others. This year I will be participating in Relay For Life as a committee member and a team leader.  I will walk in memory of all the angels in heaven that I am blessed to have watching over me. Please consider giving back to the American Cancer Society in any way you can, whether that be a prayer for those we’ve lost and those still fighting, or a contribution to my fundraising goal. Together with the American Cancer Society we can hold on to the hope of a better tomorrow, and start working towards that today.