Last weekend I went to spend some quality time with my dear sister-friend Kendra. Kendra and got to know each other when we both lived in LA and became part of the best little Moms’ group together with the “The Beautiful” – Krissy, Christy, Tracy, Holly and Katie. That was 9 years ago and after that several of us re-located (but the bond is still strong). Kendra moved to Portland with her family and every year our families try to spend New Year’s together. This past December however, out of the blue, Kendra was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer. What, wait, Kendra!!!?? The most happy, healthy and fit lady I know. How could that even be????
Kendra knew something was wrong. But the doctors did not believe her. She is young and very healthy and doesn’t fit the picture. After talking with several doctors Kendra put her foot down and demanded a colonoscopy. And sure enough. There it was. An ugly disease. We were all in total chock.
Kendra has since undergone tough chemo treatments and on June 24 (on my visit) she graduated. My beautiful friend took that disease and mushed it at its core. And now it is all gone. Kendra is cancer free! With the best attitude and tons of great determination and some serious focus on herself and her body, she is now moving forward with a big smile on her face. Words can’t even describe how proud of her I am. This girl has my absolute fullest admiration. I love her to pieces.
We had the best weekend together. We laughed a lot and talked about everything under the sun. Of course a lot of conversations had to do with big life questions and about what really matters. It was a weekend of celebration, inspiration, and a big dose of reality.
“You have to be really kind to your body”, Kendra told me. As an accomplished physical therapist Kendra forced me to be more respectful of my body. One thing she noticed was my slouched back. I call it my “blog posture”. It is bad. I walk like a hunched over old lady nowadays. Kendra shared all kinds of tricks from the book on how to strengthen my back muscles and get the posture back but nothing really grabbed me until she showed me the airplane trick. And now, every morning, I put my arms straight out, tighten the muscles in the back (really tight) and make slow arm circles (1oo back and 100 forward like back strokes). I have already noticed a difference. I stand up straighter! I call it “Flying high with Kendra” and I think of her every morning and hear her telling me to take better care of myself and to count my blessings.
On my last day in Portland, Kendra and her family drove me to the train station. I don’t know if we had miscalculated the time or if it was all because of that Starbuck’s coffee I had to have before I got to the station but when we got there the train (My train!) was getting ready to leave. Not one single person was left on the platform, not a train staff member in sight, the whistle was blowing and the cars were starting to move. “What do I do!!?”, I scream. “Push the button!, Kendra’s husband Rick hollers, which I do and one door opens. While the train is moving, I reach for a long handle along the wall and swing myself up on the train. Rick gallops alongside the train and throws, with a might heave, my duffel bag in through the door opening where I am standing while Kendra runs even faster alongside the moving train. It was like a scene from a movie.
“You are brave!”, Kendra shouts. No, you are my dear friend. And this image will be forever etched in my memory of Kendra running fast in the sunshine on an empty train station platform with the wind blowing her hair and laughing hard all the way.
A few weeks ago my dear blog friend Michele with Hello Lovely Inc. asked me if she could interview me for her fabulous series An Inspired Life. At first I hesitated, I told her I am not not sure I have much to contribute. But she convinced me and today you can read our little conversation on her blog. I feel very honored.
Michele is another wonderful person in blog land who I feel so blessed to have met (and would love to meet in real life one day). Not only is she very talented, creative and inspirational (and an excellent writer). But she is also a very wise and calm person (and she is quite witty!). Her blog is nothing frou-frou. It is just genuine and lovely and I so enjoy visiting because of its great vibe. Her images are very inspirational (she has a great design eye) and I love how I feel very time I leave her blog — calm, inspired and very content.
The sun is shining and I am ready to celebrate a long and lovely weekend with family and friends. Happy 4th to all my American friends! Don’t forget to count all your many blessings.