"Scar tissue is stronger than regular tissue. Realize the strength, move on."
This is my beautiful cousin Jackie. She [and her sister] is the closest thing I’ve had to having a sister of my own. We share the same birthday – just five years apart. As kids, I used to make her do ridiculous things, say inappropriate comments, and dress her up in crazy costumes. The costume one was my favorite. We made mud pies together at my grandma’s house, and rode bikes at the school across the street. It was great fun.
As adults we’ve had our adventures too. We’ve been to Vegas and The Big Apple and climbed to the top of the World Trade Center, when it was still intact, and she convinced me to climb a coastal cliff in order to see a most amazing cave. She is quite the adventurous girl. It’s just one of the things I love about her.
…and there are so many….like she has a heart of gold, she radiates positivity, she loves the elderly, she fights for kids with special needs, she went back to school to better herself, she sends my daughters stickers in the mail, she laughs at herself…there’s more, but she’s probably blushing already so I’ll stop. But you get the point, right? She’s awesome.
This summer Jackie was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and last week she underwent surgery to remove it. Putting it mildly, she’s had a bitch of a summer. Just today she posted the amazing picture and quote above. Wow. Reading and seeing that made me misty-eyed.
She gets it, you know? Sometimes life throws plain suckiness your way and at that point you have two choices: let it ruin you, or conquer it. I know that she has had her rock bottom moments of fear and anger – like any of us would – but, she’s conquering. I really admire her. I’d say she has spent the last few months REALLY living, but that would be an understatement. She’s pretty much spent her entire life doing that. She just loves life. She relishes each day and is always up for doing or seeing something cool - from a rainbow to Roman ruins.
There’s a lot of negativity in this world and it’s so easy for me to get caught up in it. Thank you, dear cousin, for reminding me that negativity is lame and not worth my time. You are an amazing example of strength and courage and the world is a better place because of you.