My Word for 2016 : LIVE

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Shannon's word for 2016

Laugh. Inspire. Vacation. Explore. Some of my favorite activities in life.

I’m not sure about you, but I’m glad to see 2015 put into that little box in my mind called The Past. 2015 is the year I truly grew up. I learned about love of family, real friendship, what lengths people will go for material things, and what life is really about. I faced death in a chaotic and beautiful way and realized what a miracle it is for each breath of this life we’re gifted with. I’ve cried and laughed, screamed and meditated. I’ve seen the best and the worst of people, and the best and worst of myself. I’ve experienced kindness from strangers and been let down by those I thought I could count on.

Life is a beautiful mess. An absolutely beautiful, stunning, fabulous, amazing mess.

No one is perfect. And I’ve learned I’m definitely no saint and not a martyr either. I’ve done my best in this life and have no regrets. Because every step I’ve taken has led me to right here. To right now. I’ve broken promises and I’ve had promises made to me broken. Yet I still managed to survive. I searched this country for answers, for a cure, for someone to fix me. And through those years of searching, it was just as in “The Alchemist”. I wasn’t ready to find the answers yet. I had to go on this journey alone only to find out the answer was right here all along.

And that’s one of the truths in life. When it comes your moment. No one can help you. No one can do it for you. You have to face all your fears yourself. You will have to face your mortality on your own.

Those years of my MRI’s watching this thing in my head slowly grow, and my visits to numerous hospitals to find some magic cure for my brain tumor, was just a distraction, a false feeling of control. I was enjoying life and taking things in stride, but no one saw the times I was alone, on my knees, either on the bathroom floor or in my closet just crying hysterically, asking that timeless question we all ask at a few points in our lives “why me?”

Why me, indeed. But after those moments of weakness, I would dry my tears, put on my big girl panties, and go back out into the world to enjoy the reality of knowing every little breath was precious. There is no price one can put on life. And time is something we can’t get more of. We cannot control how long or short we have here in this life.

And that’s when I began to see life through a different lens. It’s that lens that not everyone is fortunate enough to see through until later in their lives. I began to look back at what I’ve accomplished. What I failed at. What I finished and what was still incomplete. I always knew before the brain tumor that my life has been pretty darn spectacular. And filled with so much love. And as with all life, it ebbs and flows, keeping a balance. As good and wonderful as things can be, it in turn has its moments of the other end of the spectrum. I’ve been betrayed by those I trusted, and seen the ugly side of humans as well…..the greed, the jealousy, the selfishness. And it made my heart so sad as much as the beautiful made me happy.

Shannon brain surgery before

On July 16, 2015 is when I had that awakening moment of all moments. It was just before I was brought into the operating room for life saving brain surgery. I had been told the risks and that my time for waiting had run out. I had prepared myself for death. I had reviewed all those little moments in life, and what legacy, if any, I would leave behind. I was surrounded by loved ones from near and far. Prayers, good thoughts, and positive vibes were put out into the Universe in my name by friends and family all over this globe. I hugged my children one last time and then it was just myself and my husband for a brief moment. And I was okay. Until that last moment before the three to five hour surgery began. I was overcome with fear. I did not go gentle or graceful into what could be my last moment of consciousness. I felt this fight well up inside me from deep within my soul. And I began to sob “I’m not ready yet.”

I sobbed that same phrase over and over hysterically until they silenced my cries with anesthesia.

And just a short while later the surgeon called my family together. It had only been an hour and a half. My daughter began to cry thinking the worst had happened. Then the surgeon said the magic words “We removed the entire tumor. It was quite miraculous.”

In recovery I awoke in the ICU to see my loved ones. They came to visit in small groups, squeezing my hand, crying tears of joy. I was glad that was over. It was done. That fear had been faced. I had been given more time here.

Shannon Brain Surgery After

I guess I wasn’t ready to leave this life yet. I am not sure what will be next. Will I write about travel again? Will I create something totally different? Will I ever laugh completely open and free again? Will I find that little bit of sparkle that’s seemed to be dormant for so long? Will I be content to just be as I am? No matter what comes next, I’m glad I’m still here. And I’m ready to LIVE. Bring it on Sweet 2016!

Plans for 2016 #LookingForward #2ndlifeofshannon

A photo posted by @CajunMama (@shannonlane) on