My friend Cassie was diagnosed with a form of bone cancer in February. Since then, she and her family have been living through what most would describe as hell. But you wouldn’t know it from speaking with them — they are dealing with a brutal treatment regime one day at a time, and finding moments of joy where ever they can. Just recently, she shared how her and her mother are supporting each other:
Our motto together has become “If we don’t laugh, we’ll cry, so let’s laugh instead.”
This approach to life — to choose the shared joy of laughter — is also articulated beautifully in this piece, titled Joan of Arc, by Kelle Hampton. Kelle has a young daughter with Down Syndrome and her writing expresses anger with those who want to dismiss the good, and instead push her face in the bad.
It’s not that she doesn’t acknowledge the bad:
Here’s the thing–this person is completely right in the fact that it’s going to get worse–more hardship, far more difficult challenges [...].
You think I don’t know what’s ahead? You think I don’t have moments where I put myself there–ten years from now, thirty years from now, fifty years from now? You know what statistics say? I know damn well it’s a hard, hard road and there will be tears. But I trudge forward. Like Joan of freaking Arc, and I embrace the challenges and choose to be happy. Knock me down, Waves. I’ll get back up.
It’s just that she is working really, really damn hard to focus on all the reasons she has to be happy. In fact, I’m sure that “working hard” and even “really damn hard” are embarrassingly inadequate means of describing how people face the very difficult challenges that life throws around. And I know there must be days when it is utterly overwhelming.
So this video is for all of you that are trying hard to choose joy, but might just be having a bad day and need an extra injection of inspiration. From Cassie, to all you.