For the ones that matter...

I remember what it was like so many years ago when I felt that I lost everything.  It was the recession and we had lost our home, cars, money....and friends.  And in a little way, I was okay with that.  Losing those friends didn't break me.  I had moments when I was lonely, of course.  I strongly believe that as a woman I need other women in my life that will be my own personal village.  All those years ago, I didn't have that.  I had my husband and kids and we had uprooted everything to stay afloat and not drown.  We little mighty family and I got through that darkness and saw the light about four or five years later.

In that time, I filled my loneliness with writing.  When that wasn't enough anymore, I started to write this blog.  I found a community in blogging and to this day I still have a strong connection with the women I met through this blogging community. all that time, I missed having a home filled with my friends.  Hanging out at a bookstore or grabbing a drink with a girlfriend or just shopping around Target...I missed that.  And I don't care what anyone says but taking your phone with you and texting with online friends while doing these things is not the same thing.

Years passed and I got used to it.  Being on my own.  I had gained and lost friends but I was okay.  I didn't feel as though my life was less than.  I still had a way of communicating with other women.  This blog.  I would write my heart and soul into this place and instantly get responses.  I opened up my soul here and wrote about things I never thought I would.  I felt nestled in this community and taken care of.
Storyteller Necklace

Then, cancer.

This blogging community stepped the hell up.  Every step of the way I felt carried and prayed for.  I never once felt alone.  During those first days of diagnosis, I asked my husband to reach out to an old friend that I hadn't spoken to in years.  We had a falling out years before, but she was the first person I thought of when I heard I had cancer.  I wanted to see her, well, just in case I didn't make it.  She came back into my life and has stayed.  I am so thankful to her even when I haven't been at my best.

I survived because of my friends - on and off line.  People have come into my life for a reason or a season, but the ones who kept on have always been the only ones I need.

On August 23, 2016, I got my life-saving bone marrow transplant.  On that day I truly and genuinely believe I became a new person.  I gave myself permission to be who I was supposed to be all along.  I was apologetically putting myself first.  I became brave enough to say who I wanted in my life and who should be standing next to me. 

I chose you, my loveys.  I chose my husband and three kids.  I chose the friends who wanted to be a part of my life for a lifetime.

I also parted ways with people that had to be for a season.  It was difficult and painful in many ways, but I had to d what was best for me. 

So, thank you to those of you who stood by me.  To those that didn't or couldn't, I understand...

...being a survivor isn't for everyone.


Note:  The amazing, authentic, and always supportive, Lisa Leonard sent me the "storyteller necklace" as a reminder to never be afraid to tell my story...thank you, Lisa!