The I in LIFE

Last week, I celebrated my one-year “cancerversary”, or what I now fondly call my “Life Day”.  The idea stemmed from a conversation with my therapist. I had mentioned that my one-year diagnosis day was coming up and she asked me if I was going to do anything with that day. I sat for a bit, pondering the thought of what that meant. Do I dare “celebrate” such a grim event in my life? But then I also thought, perhaps I could turn that day into a positive milestone instead of being sad and hide from it. And so the idea was born to own the day and use it as a time to reflect on the past year, how far I’ve come, how good I feel, and to be thankful that I am still here. My real birthday is in February and ironically enough, I spent it sick in bed. So this was a do-over, a re-birth day.

The preparations were in place for a fun-filled BBQ with all of our NY friends. I envisioned balloons, cake, plenty of food and drinks.  I thought about how the party would look and so I ordered balloons that spelled out the word LIFE, to of course commemorate that which we were celebrating. I thought they would be the focal point of the party and the best prop for photos on the roof. The day of the party came and I found a store nearby that could fill my balloons with helium. They were perfect. So home I went envisioning the complete look of my party.

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I was getting ready while Larry and some of his coworkers helped with the set up, including balloon decor. All was well until I got a text saying: “The wind is too strong. The E got blown away 😕”. No, not the E! I was disappointed but figured we could still salvage the vision with the LIF. Some friends then walked into the apartment and reported that the F had also flown away. “Noo…it’s been barely 10 minutes. I haven’t even gotten a photo with them!” I ran to the roof and indeed confirmed that only the L and I were there, barely hanging on. I got some tape and re-enforced the string, thinking that would be enough. As I stepped away to admire my work, a strong gust of wind took with it the letters L and I as well. “Nooooo!” A friend was able to run after the I and managed to catch it while the L drifted off into the blue sky. He handed it to me and in that moment, we couldn’t help but notice the irony that we managed to save the I in LIFE. I was left. LFE flew away, but I was still here.

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I was sad for a second, but Larry quickly reassured me that I still had the rest of the party left, with or without balloons. And not more than ten minutes later, another friend walked in with a huge bouquet of pink balloons that more than made up for the missing gold balloons.

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As the party carried on through the night, we ate, we drank, we laughed, we danced, we had fun. I even had a boobie-shaped cake baked especially for me!

And that pretty much summed up the past year: as much as I thought I had control over life, as much as I tried to manipulate situations to go my way, sometimes the wind blows things toward the direction they’re supposed to go. Perhaps it was a symbol that my past life flew away, but I am still here. Perhaps I had to go with the flow and trust that my big bouquet of pink balloons is just a lost gold balloon away. And that’s ok. I am ok. ❤️

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4 thoughts on “The I in LIFE

  1. This was beautiful, Andrea Maranan Guinto. You need to write a book girl! Lighting a candle for your Life Day from San Diego.

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