The Gift of Living Well

candles

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.

Voltaire

Last year on this very date I sat in a room … a room with a view, in fact.   Sitting 9 floors above the hustle and bustle of city life, instead of celebrating my birthday with a view from a hotel suite, my view was in a chemo suite at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.  Bald and weary, I sat with an IV drip—on my 7th week of chemotherapy.  I clearly remember thinking:  Wow, how is it that I’ve complained about birthdays … while only dancing into my 30s … and now I’m not so sure I’ll live to see 40.

So though I don’t typically like to toot my own birthday horn—if getting through this past year has taught me anything, it’s that I cannot afford to be casual or glib about birthdays ever again.

So my birthday wish this year when I blow out those candles tonight will be all about a prayer to live well … seizing each day … moment to moment … hour to hour.

Thank you, God, for giving me the gift of life.  Forgive me for all times I’ve squandered precious moments and opportunities to live it well.

Today I celebrate the gift of life.  I’m alive.  Thank God.

Nicole

21 thoughts on “The Gift of Living Well

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! I knew it was coming up, along with an anniversary! Your sentiments are ones that we all need to live by. I am so grateful that you are celebrating another birthday, and to MANY MORE!!! Love you so much.

    Cathy

  2. Happy Birthday Nicole and I wish the most wonderful, peaceful, and fulfilling years to come. No more talk about you not being here…you are winning and you WILL make it through. Remember the rear view mirror. Xxoo. Lauren

    1. Lauren,

      You are always such an amazing source of encouragement … I’m beyond blessed to have you in my life. Yes, rearview mirror indeed! Though fear can be crippling at times, the one thing that this disease can never take away is the ability to love and be loved.

      XOXO Nicole

  3. Well said and well done! You now understand the real meaning of ‘happy’ in those two words. I’m happy for you, girl! Enjoy this fresh new year.

  4. Nicole, John said it all ..You surely are a gift to us.! Having your light shine through whenever I’m near you, fills me w/ admiration & awe at how graceful you’ve been through this scary & difficult journey. Its helped give me the strength to get through many miner struggles along the way. You have many birthdays ahead ,& make every day a celebration of your strength & many gifts .You are so loved & blessed..Sending prayers & love always,Aunt Vicki

    1. Aunt Vicky,

      Loads of love and prayers coming your way … always remember, as I remind myself: sometimes the most beautiful pieces of seaglass are found along the rocky coast. Thinking of you and thank you as always for your beautiful words of love and encouragement. ~ Nicole

  5. Guess I’m really late to this birthday “party” – sorry about that. It’s certainly true that cancer changes how we view our own birthdays. Cancer pretty much changes how we view just about everything. Happy birthday wishes coming your way! Better late than never, right?

    1. Awwww … thank you, Nancy!

      I’ve never been much of a birthday girl — but this year is indeed different. Thank you for your support and encouragement…it always means so much! ❤

      XOXO Nicole

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