Christmas came early today.
As I finished up work this afternoon with Debbie and Rob they handed me two beautifully wrapped gifts.
As I tore off the wrapping paper and broke into the cardboard box I grinned from ear to ear. A new mug! I need a new mug! I broke my prized mug just a few weeks ago and I need a new mug!
The mug was inscribed with the word “Sunshine” on a bright red background. “What a great wake-up-to-the-day mug,” I thought. “Especially since I’m drinking hot water these days and no more coffee.”
Then I opened the next box. It was another mug and upon it was a word that brought tears to my eyes.
To understand why I have to take you back in time. To a woman who just a few years ago was a shattered soul. (If you’ve already heard this story, well, tough, I’m going to tell you again.)
My life crumbled in a big smelly heap of goo in just a matter of months. I lost my husband, job, worldly possessions and home in a matter of six months. Just. Like. That.
It was crushing.
I woke up one day and found myself crushed. Me. The over achiever, the do everything, strive to no end, make it happen captain, was slapped with a crushing reality — I was literally lost and didn’t know how it happened.
I had lost so many things before, my mortality to teenage cancer, and my mother’s life to breast cancer, but this time was different — this one left me broken.
Through it all my friends raised my spirits and chipped in to help mend my chipped soul. They saved me in so many ways. And, then, one day my dear friend Jenn sent me a note that changed everything.
She said, I know you will get through this because you are made of “steel and sunshine.”
And it was on that day that I realized words are medicine.
Jenn gave me something to hang on to, a vision I could hold in my heart. I knew deep down inside I needed to be strong but I longed for the light at the end of the tunnel.
There’s something so terrifying about not knowing how long the tunnel will be, wondering how much further you must go before reaching that light.
But, in the most simple and powerful way, her words allowed me to believe in myself again. It was a reminder that I had what I needed to shine my own light. To find my own strength again.
And what a journey it has been.
What I didn’t know then, but do know now, is just how bright that light could shine once I reached the other side.
And, that I was never alone. We never really are alone.
Even in the depths of sorrow, the darkness of pain, I had friends and angels, and loving spirits who were with me all along — holding my hand and my heart, feeding my body and my soul.
On the other side, I am much wiser, stronger, forgiving and loving than ever before.
And, now my cup runneth over, with two cups to drink from.
One of steel and one of sunshine.
That’s a dose of sweet medicine if you ask me.