Last week, as I was taking down our Christmas tree (yes, it’s late, I know), I was pulling down one of our keepsake ornaments that we’ve had for a while. These keepsake ornaments are from places we have traveled or mementos of milestones and special occasions. One of these ornaments is Santa and a reindeer riding top down in a convertible (see photos).
I paused, both when we put the ornament on the tree and when I took it off. When we pulled the ornament out of the box to decorate the tree, I paused with indecision trying to determine if we should put the “broken” ornament on the tree because I had neither the time nor the handy resources to fix it.
But, as the symbolism smacked me in my face, I knew I had to put it on the tree. As a triple negative breast cancer survivor (one who had a bilateral mastectomy the week before Christmas 2008) and a child who lost her mother to breast cancer (in early December 1990) the meaning behind this broken ornament was so important. My mother, a three time breast cancer patient, was an inspiration who soaked in the beauty of each day all while managing her 12 year breast cancer fight. I’ve been broken while facing breast cancer including losing my mother to this disease, being physically broken by all of the surgeries that I’ve had fighting breast cancer and by the emotional and physical brokenness that can accompany breast cancer as you ask “why me”. But in my brokenness, I’ve worked to move on and get what’s good in life.
So, it brought a tear to my eye to see Santa and his passenger reindeer moving on, bumper hanging, convertible top down and seemingly drinking in life. It reminded me, even if you’re broken, keep moving on, keep living life to the fullest and do it until the wheels, bumpers and doors fall off. And if they do, get out and walk or run the rest of the way. Enjoy every breath of life you can. Be unstoppable.
Melanie A. Nix – coloring outside of the lines in my new normal