A Simple Cup of Joe…

15 05 2009

Translation: I Don't Speak Icelandic

Translation: I Don't Speak Icelandic

It was late May, 2006, and I was caught in early morning rush hour, bumper to bumper with dozens of other commuters, waiting for my turn at the expressway on-ramp. Traffic was at a standstill, and as I looked around, I noticed that the people in the cars around me were, well, unhappy. They were frowning, or shaking their fists at other drivers, or just plain bored. Not me. This was one of the happiest days of my life.

A little over two months before, I’d been diagnosed with breast cancer. The doctor told me at that time that I likely had less than five years. My husband and I — parents of a then six-month-old baby — lived in the shadow of that diagnosis until further test results showed that my cancer wasn’t as advanced as initially thought. Six weeks earlier, on Good Friday, I’d undergone a double mastectomy. I’d just finished going through in-vitro, so that I could freeze embryos for a future pregnancy. And the following week, I would start chemotherapy.

All this, and I was happier than anyone else around me, as far as I could see. In fact, I was beaming — I could hardly contain myself.

Why? The reason was really quite simple and yet profound, all at the same time. Because for the first time in nearly three months, I was doing something normal. I was on my way to work, to a client’s office, to finish a newsletter. I was caught in rush hour traffic, drinking my favorite coffee — Tim Horton’s — fixed my favorite way — double-double. All of it was so very ordinary. And that’s what made it so extraordinary.

Oprah says 50 is the new 30. I say ordinary is the new extraordinary.



3 responses

15 05 2009
Bob Adams

First I need to establish one fact–I’m a guy. And while that doesn’t disqualify me from commenting on a blog pertaining to women subjects, I feel like a guy who walked past the ladies room just as the door opened, and before I averted my eyes, got a glimpse inside. Oops!

And, I’m commenting on a blog started by a lady who I’ve never met…in person. But this IS a lady who I know through our common interest in investing and her writing skills, which are phenomenal. I can’t wait until we have the opportunity to meet eye-ball to eye-ball and give her a gentlemanly hug. She is a lady definitely worth knowing.

22 05 2009
Meghan Nugent

I just love this blog. You so remind me of Grandpa Charlie. You find the silver lining in everything and I so look up to you for it. Thanks for sharing these stories!!

22 05 2009
Amy Rauch Neilson

Thanks, Meg! No doubt about it, Charlie taught all of us how to live a happy and productive life!

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