When I look around me I see the houses dotting the shoreline- symbols of affluence and wealth - metaphors for the lives within them. Then I observe an old woman with her granddaughter, pushing her in a swing, the child glowing with pride at being able to swing higher each time and the grandmother joyful at having the strength to provide the child the needed momentum. Slowing, I scan all the small happenings around me- the vender with his truck selling hotdogs and the man pulling his boat out of the water. Simply living unnoticed without many to say they had. Then the answer of why I was deep in thought hit me.
You see I'd just been through surgery for Thyroid cancer. It left me unable to even do the things that were unnoticed by anyone. I began to see my success as being able to eat- being able to talk louder- to be able to take off the tape on my scar and to be able not to receive chemotherapy.
But it wasn't this that made this day a beautiful pictures of happiness- it was the fact that all these people- whether owning homes on a lake or vending hotdogs or pushing a child in the park were doing and living. They were living their own lives without measurement- unnoticed by the world, not followed or liked by anyone. Somehow, in the simplicity- untouched by social media- they were the bigger successes because the measurement of their life was simply the moment they were living in. And, that sums up what I've taken from this journey with cancer- to quiet life and to sit back and enjoy the moment. To make sure to see the world around me not through a lens of comparison but through a realization that these small moments contribute to our stories and to spend less time looking to be approved or validated for them- to simply be.
By Melinda Cochrane