In my early twenties, I had a ring that said “free.” Free is a word that has had significance for a while: its a word that I feel God gave me, it’s direction on how to live, it’s an attitude, it’s a name.
For a time, I gravitated towards quotes, inscriptions, and verses that had the word free in it. The weightlessness and spirit of the word encouraged and invigorated me. As I gained footing and purpose as an independent adult, I worked to live “free”: to be myself, to shake off expectations and junk that wasn’t true to who I wanted to be. There was nothing magical or dramatic, but it was something that helped me focus on what is important. I think it is one of the many footholds that allowed me to become the strong, healthy woman I am today. I did struggle to find my ground with self esteem and self image: part of that was learning to be free.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped thinking about it. I lost the ring; my brain moved on to meditate on other things.
Days after my diagnosis, a friend called out the “free” in me. I had shared with her that I have no promises: it was the beginning of the thoughts that lead to the realization that all I can do is Do Today Well.
This friend, who remembered a conversation we had, probably in the wee hours of the night when we were young and philosophical and awake suggested that I think about being free once again.
It’s not a promise, I have no guarantee, but I do feel it is one more reason to hope. And hope and faith matter a great deal to me as I navigate this course.
I pray to be cancer free. As I am free.