Thursday, January 2, 2014

No More Excuses, Just Effort

I know I have been gone for a bit.  I have been overwhelmed with life and  health and school and holidays and I have had a very hard time just FINDING something that I wanted to write about.  One of my dear FFW friends even called me out on it - "Is Trina EVER going to blog again?!?"  And I was apathetic in my answer, at best. I just didn't have anything to say.  Which is kinda hard to believe when you think of it.

And here, I am motivated to get the world to listen to me, if for no other reasons than prayers are needed. 

Facebook does wonderful things.  It allows new friends to connect over common ground and old friends to bridge the gap that the years have suddenly put between us.

I can't find the box that has these pictures in them.  I wish I
could for this post.
8th grade graduation - we were so cool.
A few years ago a middle school friend found me and through stalking her lists, I made more connections, a few of us worked together to bring others into the scene.  I went to a different high school than everyone else did.  Rehearsals and tournaments and performances and auditions and practices and homework made it insane and I lost track of so many of them.  We found each other through the miracle of modern social media and we said, we all need to get together.  

And that was a few years ago.

We  are scattered.  From Salt Lake City to blocks away from where we all went to school.  We are married and divorced and single and dating and parents and not.  We are just as diverse as we  were all those years ago when we were tight rolling our frosted jeans.

And now  we are  losing one of our one.  We are not yet into our 40s.  We have had one beat off breast cancer bravely and  beautifully.  We have had a scare or two.  And now one of us is in hospice because cancer sucks.  He got his diagnosis - a diffuse astrocytoma, fibrillary type, WHO grade II - in 2009 and bounced back amazingly.  But, a year and half ago, it came back.  He and his beautiful family have brought strength and love and inspiration every step of the way, to this dreadful journey. 
Such a beautiful family - courtesy of Anna Pocaro Photography
and Heal Courageously 
The holidays are over and he has been in the hospital since the day after Christmas.  And he will he never go home.  He has been moved to hospice.
courtesy of Anna Pocaro Photography
and Heal Courageously
We're not even 40, yet.  We have not had those over the hill parties where we share stories about how kids these days don't know what it was like and share all the lovely tales of all the Aqua Net in the bathroom and the amazing bus ride to DC that we all shared in 7th grade.  

So, here is the moral of my tale.  (Every good story has one, ya know.)  Tomorrow is  not guaranteed - so many of us have firefighters in our lives, we know that.  But that applies to everyone.  No one makes friends and thinks, "Hmmm, which one of us won't be here long?  I'll hang out with them."  We just don't work that way.  We never think it, that tragic moment when horrible news is given, will be here and yet, here it is. Whether it be cancer or a tragic accident, tomorrow is not promised.  So, instead, no more excuses.  Have that BBQ with childhood friends that has been talked about for all these years.  Celebrate your birthday with all your loved ones, no matter how many candles are on that cake - you're still here to blow them out.  Get together with all those co-workers that you bonded with in the beginning of your career.  Grab that cup of coffee, easier to apologize for being late to a previous engagement than wishing you had just taken the time to get together.  Call, email, send cards, have lunch.  Excuses will always be there.  There will always be something that comes up.  Figure it out.  We will not always be here.  Our kids will grow and  leave the nest.  Our loved one will not always be here. Fact of  life.  Some sooner, some later.  None worth the risk.

Now to take my own pontification to heart.  

The beautiful pictures of Mark, Jenny and their beautiful crew are from one of "us".  Anna Pocaro Photography did an amazing shoot when she came home last summer.  After surviving breast cancer not too long ago, she has begun to work with Heal Courageously, a non-profit focused on reaching out to the families and those affected by major illnesses.   Anna is definitely an angel among us.  She lives on the other side of the country and was home last summer to take these pictures.  I wish I had taken the time to meet up with her and her lovely family - but I let the excuses win.  No reminiscing over the Duran Duran concert or the slumber parties in the basement or going through the drive-through with our limo for our EIGHTH grade graduation, because I let life get in the way.  All I can do is shake my head and move on from here.

The true inspiration for today came as I was  reading a blog post about how  Mark and his family came out to the blogger's show and how moved she was  by that small gesture. They came to her opening even though they had so much already on their plates. It is a good piece, but nothing that would really be on my radar...until her last two sentences.
 In fact, each time you order a coffee this week and the barista asks you for your name, tell them that your name is Mark. Each time that a barista writes Mark on the side of yet another paper cup, it will be a prayer, and together all of our souls will spin like wheels and together, we will make room for miracles.
How simple and fast and easy is that?  No excuses, just effort.  And that was simple kick in the butt I needed to get back to my blog. Also a good excuse to send some prayers and good juju Mark's way.  Miracles happen everyday, whether we acknowledge them or not.  Buy your coffee and your lattes and put his name on that cup.  Starbucks might be confused, but they will get over it.  

And here's my New Year's Resolution - No More Excuses, Just Effort.  I know I can't be everything to everyone and every where every time.  BUT, I can make the effort - to play instead  of folding laundry, to have a cup of coffee, even if it is only f or an hour, to read one more book, to get the families together, to smile and make it happen - instead of going through the list of all the things I still have to do.

That list will always be there, but will they.

Peace, love and healing for 2014.  When they ask for your name - Mark.  And send your thoughts his way.
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