Six years ago I did not wake with a smile on my face. As my alarm sounded at 3:30 AM, I wasn’t really waking at all; I had never completely fallen asleep. No one in my house had really slept-slept that night, only half-slept. The 3:30 bell was the official reminder that the day was real, there was business to take care of, and that business involved prayers, surgeons, and eventually a blessing in the form of pathology reports confirming that the cancer cells within my right breast had been eradicated.
The smile on my face when I awoke yesterday morning already knew the peace within—the peace someone knows without thinking, the peace when you remain still, silent, go within, and feel your pulse radiate the unspoken words: All Is Well, All Is Well. This is the kind of peace that feels a 6-year cancer-free anniversary before it completely registers on a cognitive level.
I gently opened my eyes, the smile already beginning to fade from my lips as it moved downward, tucking itself inside my heart. And there my smile remained, for the rest of the day—through my morning Pilates sessions, through helping my son with his homework, through laundry and paying bills, through having friends over for dinner. My smile remained in my heart, not prepared to return to my lips—not in the form of words, at least.
No, I did not utter a word to acknowledge this special marker to anyone. I couldn’t—I was having a private love affair with myself. Continue Reading