In late May of this year, I got the call from my mom about my oldest sister, Robin. At the age of 49, she discovered she had Stage 3 Ovarian Cancer. Let's fast forward 11 weeks to last night... the same sister, threw herself an END OF CHEMO party. After 9 very successful, yet challenging and tiring rounds of chemotherapy, friends and family attended her "fried chicken and ice cream" party. By 7 PM, the house was full of caring friends, family, flowers, balloons, candles, laughter, selfies, toasts, tears and celebration.
As she stood to make her own toast thanking us all of for the help and love, and as she reluctantly let the tears fall, I realized how everyones' party looks a little different. In my mind, after chemo, I would probably fall asleep on the couch and that would be my party (and I probably couldn't fill a house full of people if I tried) but I have a feeling I would be missing something beautiful. My sister has celebrated, planned, designed, and created fabulous gatherings since the time we were old enough to play pretend "shop and party" in our rooms. She has a light that attracts others and she has naturally equipped herself with oodles of people ready to show up and honor her, help her, and support her when she needs it the most. Maybe I shouldn't be so comfortable or non adventurous when it comes to parties. Looking back, I can count numerous occasions where I have had amazing ideas and reasons to throw a party but after I planned it, sent the invites and bought the supplies, the doubt crept in, the insecurities came out that no one would come and before I even let myself shine, I cancelled the parties.
I am glad my sister still teaches me today to celebrate, to get confident, to throw some hands in the air and to have a party, for whatever reason, and to honor it, even if it may look a little different.
She is full of life, freedom, friends, and celebration... and cancer just has no room in her world! What does your party look like and what is keeping you from having one? My beautiful friends...find a reason to have one, however yours looks to you and... don't cancel it!