On the auspicious and final day of radiation treatment, I left the treacherous terrain behind me and settled onto the road back to the rest of my life. Leaning on my husband’s strength, we walked at a slow pace to the car. He opened the door for me as he always did since the day we met. He checked to be sure my seat belt was secure, kissed my cheek and gently closed the door so as not to add to the cacophony endured during treatment.
For those few silent seconds as he walked around the car, I let the enormity of the moment wash over me, soaking in the realization of the milestone attained: I survived the treatments. Whether or not I had won the battle, remained to be seen.
When I smiled over at him, I noticed we weren’t taking the regular route home. In as few words as possible…
(Here is the YouTube link to Part 4 Keynote Speaker Soundbite, also embedded below)
…I asked, Where’re you going?”
“We are going to celebrate!” he replied excitedly.
Using my hoarse radiated voice, like a delicate instrument stripped of its melody, I struggled with the notes but emphatically said, “Take me home.”
“No,” he persisted . “Your whole life you’ve dreamed of driving a convertible. Today, your dream will come true. Pick the color and I’ll take you home.” I had no energy to argue!
He pulled into a Mercedes dealership and eagerly showed me the car he had been researching for weeks. “It’s the safest on the market. It has rollover bars, a soft roof that matches the color of the car…” he went on about the features, but I couldn’t handle more than picking a color. I chose green. The sign of rebirth, of new beginnings.
Back in the car heading home, he suggested we order a personalized license plate. I didn’t have to think long about what I wanted it to read. A broadway tune from Fiddler on the Roof instantly came to mind: To Life. Yes, that is what this car represents, life in all its forms.It took me years to get used to driving around in such a fancy car. My husband would have liked it for himself, but he gave it to me. This gesture laid bare all the emotion he held in his heart. Over the years, I grew so naturally comfortable in that car, every time I got in, it was like greeting an old friend wondering what adventure we would go on next. As I began to fully accept the fact the treatment worked, this car became a symbol of my triumph. It almost became part of my identity. To Life!
As a Motivational Speaker and Master Storyteller, I’m always looking for new opportunities to share my inspirational messages.Your suggestions are welcome! This is Part 4 of 9 in my soundbite series from a keynote presentation in Brighton, UK.
Catch up and view past posts:
Part 1: Music Delivers Joy
Part 2: Owning My Scars
Part 3: Hair Complex
Part 5 coming soon!
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