I used to think the whole life is “about learning to dance in the rain” thing was just a really great sentiment for a refrigerator magnet. I mean, come on… look at it:
Then, on April 1, 2016 it rained. No, it poured. Literally and metaphorically. On April 1, 2016 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. And somehow, at 32 years old, I found myself actually, really dancing in the rain for the very first time.
It was a lot less cursive and pastel… but still equally poignant.
Facebook-approved, true story, proof below…
Before reading any further you need to know a few things about me:
- I am not a dancer (that’s always been my sister’s territory, even the electric slide trips me up)
- With only a few exceptions, my self-conscious self always talked me out of such “Tom-Foolery” as randomly dancing in public…
- If I did ever dance it would not have been in public (let alone on my front porch!)
Yet, here I was… dancing..on my front porch in the rain. You can’t see my face because:
- I was dancing, publicly and still in denial of that, and
- I was bawling, just like you would expect from a mother, terrified that this super-new-found fancy for dance parties was limited and
- My diagnosis was not yet “facebook official” (heck, I think at that point only like 10 people in the world knew) and there was NO way I was going to be able to explain the terrible ugly cry-dance combination…
But, my face isn’t what’s important here anyways.
Look at the sheer joy on the girls’ faces. This was moments after we had just picked these crazy, wonderful little monkeys up from school. They had no idea that just hours before their mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer and that their mom and dad had spent the day randomly bursting into tears.
Nope. To them, this was going down in their books as one of the best moments ever. I mean it had rained all day and their non-dancing mom was suddenly ok with – nay, encouraging – not just jumping but dancing in the rain… and was actually joining in on the fun? Is there much more a kid could ask for?
Over the days that followed I must have looked at this picture a million times. And I admit that I probably cried more than I smiled. But at some point, that changed: we started having more and more dance parties, videos of my terrible lack of dancing talent were even (willingly) posted to Facebook…and at some point I was able to look back at this picture with a gratitude so extreme I can’t even begin to fully explain it because – whether I knew it at the time or not – April 1, 2016 was the day I truly learned how to dance in the rain.
And I really get it now. Even on the darkest of days, there’s good to be found. In the weeks that followed we fully embraced that fact, branding it as #bettereveryday in our daily conversations and ultimately making it our mantra for my journey.
Today we share that mantra, #bettereveryday, with cancer patients – and those closest to them – from coast to coast as a reminder that no matter their challenge, there are a million good things in life, a million reasons to get better every day.
As we look to the future – with the help of some of the friends we’ve met along the way – you can look to this blog for additional stories, support, resources and inspiration through this blog.
We hope you’ll follow along, enjoy our stories and take a moment to share your feedback and your own comments and stories below or on our Facebook (@bettereverydaypage) or Instagram (@bettereverydayinsta) pages.
Wishing you all the joy promised by those beautiful refrigerator magnets – and a life that gets #bettereveryday-