Every year during this time my family has watched the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” and every year I tear up at the end when all the people come in to help. I know you’re familiar with the premis of the stoy but as a reminder, George wonders what it would be like had he never been born. Do you ever wonder that same question? I think being a wife and mom, we sometimes feel unappreciated; we care for the husband and kids, we taxi them around, we make them meals, and some of us even throw a job outside the home into the mix. It is in those moments that I sometimes wonder, what if I couldn’t do any of it. In the hospital after my first surgery for my cancer, my doctor told me that my prognosis was bad and he was not confident in my future. In the moments alone, I wondered what my family’s life would be like without me. Believe it or not I started getting angry at my husband just thinking about what he wasn’t going to do for the kids, no driving, no lunch making, no dance class, etc…can you believe it? I was thinking that? I also wondered what my kids’ life (who were 5,7, and 10 at the time) would be like without a mother. It was so sad and overwhelming I had to stop my thoughts in their tracks and turn them around for the positive immediately. From then, the cancer has come back a few times and every single time I fight those same thoughts. During this same time and even now, I have had my own ‘Wonderful Life’ moments. So many people from my past and present sent cards and made meals, one old friend who I hadn’t seen in at least ten years even offered to fly here to just sit with me. I was again overwhelmed.
So, like in the movie, our lives matter. As a mom to younger kids they’re need for us is apparent; but as they grow and get more independent, they’re need seems to lessen, but they still need us (trust me, I’m 40+ and I may not say it all the time but I still need my mom and I’m fortunate to have her close by). On the other side, I was stunned by the people who reached out to me during those difficult times. We may not know who or when we impact someone’s life, but we get a new chance with every interaction. I’ve said this before, but every single interaction we have daily leaves some type of impact or impression, wouldn’t it be great if it was a positive one? You never know, so watch your words and actions because they are powerful and people remember.