She actually has a first name and a middle name. She has red hair and a fiery attitude to match! I was first introduced to her through the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) almost 16 years ago.
She planted and watered my hopeful attitude. She is my model of optimism. She regularly struts her stuff down the catwalk of Hope. She has recovered from her own brain tumor, endured a second bout with another kind of cancer and still walks with the fashion sense of only the most hopeful. She is the model that wears the latest designs of Confidence, Strength, Humor, and Resilience. Light bulbs flash, she sways her hips from side to side, steps forward, shoots a smile of “I’ve got this” as she flips her hair over her shoulder. She turns around and brushes off the clamoring designers of Self-doubt and Worry.
My first telephone call with her was so many years ago. I do not remember the time or the day. I do not know how I introduced myself. I do not know exactly what she said to me. But I do know with 100% absolute certainty that she instilled an unbreakable sense of hope as I faced my dad’s very real battle with a Grade IV brain tumor (inoperable and fatal). I also know that her calm demeanor and sweet voice enabled me to think about that journey with an attitude, that no matter what the outcome, there was always a reason to hope. After my father died, she encouraged me to write – to journal my feelings and my emotions. With her encouragement and invitation, I was incredibly privileged to share my father’s pictures of life’s perspectives with a brain tumor support group. Ultimately, my father’s pictures were published with the ABTA which are still shared over a decade later.
My friend and cultivator of hope has a name. Her name is Resilient Strength. You see, in addition to her detours of dual cancer diagnoses, she also has her own hip struggles. She continues to smile, care for others and be hopeful. I’m sure, like all of us, she has her own down days, but manages to spritz on some Perfume by Positivity and get through her struggles. Her stereotypical red head attitude with that “can do” boldness will outlast most others as she takes Vitamin H, O, P and E daily.
She is the model of my optimism, the foundation of it and I hope that each of you can find your own Resilient Strength. Search your model out, shape your perspective with other's hope! Walk with confidence - let your perspective set the tone for your hip's success!