Hands cupped below Polaroid-style illustrations of flowers, the night sky and two people enjoying ice cream

The Miracle Lens

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein

The sheer fact that I have lived nearly ten years with metastatic breast cancer is a miracle. I don't use the term miracle in a spiritual, although many associates it with such- I use it just as good ol' Webster defined it:

a surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws

Defying the odds

I have defied the odds every single day I have lived. Every one of those days- even my hard ones- has been a miracle. I have a lens to view life in ways many others cannot or will never possess. This lens has shown me my morality and what I will lose when I die. I can either dwell on what I will lose or soak up every single millisecond of what I experience. I decided a long time ago that I would see the miracle of every day. If you're wondering how I was able to start seeing the marvels of my broken, tattered life- it was honestly one of the easiest things on thisjourney.

Living in wonder

At first, after my diagnosis, I started by telling my kids yes a lot more. Not to anything crazy, but too small, inconsequential things. Yes, we can stop and smell the flowers. Yes, we can eat ice cream before dinner. Yes, we can play outside when it is raining. Watching their awe and wonder made me see more.

The flowers we must have passed a hundred times before without notice took on a new meaning. They grew from dirt on nothing but sunshine and rain. Orange and yellow are carefully mixed on each silky petal as if painted by hand. It took my breath away.

Once my eyes were opened to living in wonder, I started journaling about these moments on social media, miracle moments if you will. The way the water breaks at my feet in the ocean. The clouds hovering above my daughter pitching her first softball game. The long, wet eyelashes on my young son whom I helped out of the tub for the last time. The way my daughter's smile widened when she told me a boy liked her for the first time.

Unequivocal miracles. I shared, not so much for others, but because I want my family will be able to look back at my miracle moments one day, and hopefully see life through the same lens.

Miracle moments

And those really hard days. The days when I hate cancer so much I could scream. The days I drive home from appointments in tears. The ones where I think "I can't possibly do this anymore" . . . I look back through the days I timestamped a miracle moment and remember that life is still good.

I let my dog out every night before bed. And when I am waiting for that old girl to make her way back up to the back door, I find myself staring at the dark night sky in amazement. Winter skies are a brilliant dark navy blue, sprinkled with bright stars and a moon whiter than snow. That sky bewilders me in beauty.

And when I am gone, maybe you will read this, and it will remind you to look to the sky. When you do, you'll revere in the artistry and think of me. There is where you will find a miracle moment for the day. The moment when you will recognize that even though life is tough, a miracle is always waiting to be seen.

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