Sunday, March 30, 2014

No matter what happens today, I'll be OK..

A few months ago, I was introduced to the brave & inspiring story of Heather Von St. James, and a few clicks later I was watching this video, trying not to let my kids see me cry. "In 2005, at the age of 36, and only three months after giving birth to [her] beautiful daughter Lily Rose, [she] was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma." She was given just 15 months to live.

Now, I'm no math major, (or English either apparently) but even I can calculate that difference in my head. She has SURVIVED much longer than than her prognosis ..8 years to be EXACT! She had her lung removed and "was more afraid than [she'd] ever been". Her sister nicknamed the surgery LungLeavin' Day and now they celebrate it. Every year on February 2nd, for the anniversary of her surgery, friends and family gather to write their fears on plates and smash them into a bonfire! It is about facing your fears, and letting them go.


In keeping with the true fashion of my household, I'm late! Although I didn't learn about Heather's AMAZING story until AFTER February 2nd, I had wanted to celebrate by the end of February. I don't have a calendar nearby, but I'm pretty sure it is NOW it is almost APRIL! But, when has being late EVER stopped me before???? In fact, I may have missed LungLeavin' Day, but now I am right on time for Asbestos Awareness Week.  
I guess good things DO come to those who wait..

So, during our dinnertime family meeting, I told the kids this story of hope. We had a wonderful (age appropriate) conversation about acknowledging, facing, and conquering fear. With hope, the odds don't matter!

I asked them what some of their fears are, understanding that my babies are still little. At 2 & 4 years old, fears look different from Mommies' & Daddies'. As adults, our fears are usually psychological or spiritual; whereas kids fears are more psychical. You know, things they can see, or touch, or run from. On paper plates, I wrote down what they told me and drew pictures, depicting what they said, since neither one of them can read yet. Then Hunnie & I wrote ours too!


We explained that we don't want to make decisions for our lives based on fear, and that we will NOT let it control us.
Their faces lit up when I told them we were going to rip up the fears AND the plates they were written on!


This portion required very little instruction, besides "wait for Mommie"..

..it was like they had done it before!
Why are kids SO good at destroying things?????

My biggest fear is something that I think about constantly, even though I know I have NO control over it. I want to protect my children from EVERYTHING bad that could happen to them. I know that this isn't realistic, but I don't want them to make all the same mistakes I did. Even though looking back, I wouldn't change a thing about the poor choices I made because they have ALL led me to where & who I am today, I would rather my babies not learn the hard way. So, for today, I will let it go and know that God is in control!

Hunnie joined in the fun in his own special way, and of course the kids were quick to follow his lead.

And for my family, ripping them up wasn't enough, there was also some stomping involved.
We still have fears. We still get scared. We don't always write them down on plates to rip them up, although BabyGirl keeps asking "I rip 'em up my plates?", but now they know that EVERYONE has fears and we can talk them thru without letting them consume us.


April 1 - 7 is Asbestos Awareness Week

Please join me in spreading hope and be a voice for the victims.

 What can you do?


You can find Heather Von St. James on Facebook, Twitter, or through The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance


You can support Heather by sharing her video, and blog


You can also donate to Heather's fundraising page for






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◌◌From awareness grows hope.◌◌

 ◌◌Each voice could save a life.◌◌