Monday, August 31, 2009

Fighting the good fight

Happy Birthday Steven!
Yesterday was Steven's birthday. I love that he is always older than me. We had a nice weekend celebration with just the four of us. Happy Birthday Mr. Man! The above cupcakes are from Cold Stone Creamery. Part ice cream, part cake, 100% fabulous. I would totally recommend them. There are two left in the freezer. I think I may need a cupcake intervention by the afternoon.

On Saturday night Steve and I watched the tribute to Edward Kennedy on CNN. Wow what a life. Such accomplishments and such tragedy. I really didn't know too much about Senator Kennedy other than the obvious. Democrat, Massachusetts senator for many terms, advocate for civil rights and health care, he had some issues with alcohol, he was brother to John and Robert Kennedy and he had a brain tumor. I did start to take more interest in him after the news of cancer was revealed. We learned of his brain cancer not too long after Ellie was diagnosed. I recall Dr. Gajjar commenting and saying that even though this was a tragedy for Kennedy (I think he knew there was nothing medically that could be done to cure him) it would probably be a good thing for those suffering with brain cancer. He said more money would now likely be spent on research at the federal level. I hope that is true. There is such little government funding for brain cancer and pediatric cancer as well. But that is a topic for another day...

The Kennedy documentary we watched was so impressive. A great tribute to his life. Edward Kennedy was a man just trying to make a difference. He was flawed, he wasn't perfect and he knew it, he made amends and he kept going and kept trying. That's all any of us can really do. I did not know he had a son with bone cancer. His eldest son, Ted jr, had his leg amputated when he was 11. He survived his cancer and his father was his biggest advocate constantly telling him he could do things like other kids and that he should always be proud of his journey. That's exactly the philosophy we have with Ellie. We are so proud of her. I think the most important thing you can do in life is to see the positive, the miracle, the good. It's so very easy to go the other way. In fact I believe our society pushes us to be negative, to be self absorbed and we aren't cool if we don't trash talk someone and pick apart every little repugnant thing we can. I guess it's suppose to make us feel better about ourselves if we can find someone that we think is worse off. I admit I have been an active member of that train ride at times in the past and made adverse comments about things that really are not a benefit to any purpose or anyone. It's a struggle at times to stay focused on the positive but I can see the changes in me and my attitude over the last 16 months have changed for the better. I have fallen off the wagon a time or two but at least now I am aware of it. I do find myself reevaluating and refocusing all the time and I am in the process of dropping some bad influences that are present. After going through our journey and having this new outlook for the gifts we have been given, there are certain things and people that I just don't want to deal with anymore. Change is sometimes hard but I really feel that personal struggles and challenges makes you more genuine, more effective and happier. Senator Kennedy faced these types of challenges as well and he ignored the naysayers, he tried to argue his point passionately and he never stopped trying to reach his goals. Never give up I guess is the moral of the story. Stay true, stay positive and you'll get through those tragedies and challenges and be better off for it. Thank you Senator Kennedy for your years of service and for holding your family together during the hard times and for dealing eloquently with your cancer.