Happy Valentine's Day everybody! What comes to mind when you think of Valentine's Day may be the cliche roses, chocolates, balloons, etc., but not only is this day a symbolism for romantic love, but love in general. When we go through tough times, we realize the importance of loyal, unconditionally loving people in our lives. These people may be family, friends, or even strangers doing acts of kindness out of love. There were a lot of people that stood by me during my experience with cancer, and I truly realized the value of love throughout this. My dad showed his by praying relentlessly for my health, and by being an extra hard-worker to support for my family when I was diagnosed at the same time that my mom lost her job. Although he worked night shifts he would struggle to stay awake to spend time with me when he got home in the mornings. I've always cherished all the amazing things my mother has done for me and her beautiful essence as a person, but I grew extremely close to her in my cancer experience. She was there literally every step of this journey with me. Every transfusion, every lumbar puncture, every tear, every rejoice she was right there with me, supporting me, caring for me, and soothing me. I don't think I would have made it without her! My siblings were also faithfully by my side. Going to get me treats that I would crave, watching TV with me, sleeping next to me downstairs so that I wouldn't be alone (I was too weak to walk up the stairs to my old bedroom), and when I would wake up in the middle of the night from horrible nightmares they would be there to sooth me and talk me through things. I also got lucky to have amazing friends by my side who would send me cookies, keep in touch by facebook or texting, understand when I wouldn't be up to seeing visitors but patiently, and eagerly, waiting for me to be able to chill again without pushing my limitations. Through cancer I have also been able to see the goodness of the humanity in general. Anonymous donors bought me Christmas gifts one year, as well as an optometrist who randomly bought me a laptop after our first meeting so that I would have one in college, NCCS for allowing my attendance to the University of Georgia to be possible through their scholarship, NCCF for providing counseling and camp, Candlelighters, etc.
Needless to say I am truly blessed by all of the amazing faithful people that surround me and the new additions that have come along since then! On this day do not only think of love in the romantic sense, but of all the people that love you through the good times and the bad, the ones that you have known your whole life and the faceless strangers that perform kind acts all across the world. Cherish your loved ones and make every moment count.
Happy Valentine's Day!