Today I am sooooooooo thankful and exciting that her video has gone viral
. Someone told me that they saw the video on The Today Show. I saw a link to it on The Huffington Post. My husband said he thinks she will be on the Ellen show soon - won't it be great to see them dancing together? I am so thankful that she is showing the world that kanswer and a double mastectomy are not a death sentence. They don't have to steal our joy and our desire to dance. We don't have to enter the operating room or the boardroom or the classroom or the bedroom or any room in a state of terror and shame. I hope to meet her someday and, more than that, I hope to dance with her someday.
I am grateful for this moment. This breath. This day. Right here. Right now.
I am grateful that I kept returning to "this moment" when I was in Spain. Four weeks ago today, I left for that trip - four weeks already!!!
I remember arriving at the airport, getting through security, and sitting down in one of the many rocking chairs at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. I pulled out my phone and called my dear friend, Lisa. She told me: "Turn off your brain and feed your soul." That became one of my mantras on the journey.
Whenever I felt myself float forward into the future with fear or worry, I pulled my thoughts back to "this moment." And very often, I would pull out my camera and take a photo of "this moment."
Here are a few of those moments.
On the airplane, flying from Charlotte to Miami.
"I am happy. I am healthy.
I am on my way. I am right here."
Following Alvaro from his school to a koi and turtle pond.
"I am here, in Madrid, with Eduardo, Alvaro, and Jaime."
The next day, at Harina, a lovely little restaurant, with Leticia,
Alvaro and Jaime's mom, my dear friend, I remembered: "be here, Gail."
She was looking at baked goods in the display case.
I was looking at the table and the folks around us.
"I am here. I am so very grateful."
Later that same day, Leticia and I stopped for tea at
a luxurious and beautiful hotel in Madrid.
"I am here, sipping this tea, with my friend."
In the car with Jorge, Elena, and Irene, after dinner near La Plaza Mayor in Madrid.
A blurry photo, a crystal clear memory of deep contentment.
"I am back in Madrid, with friends, a full tummy, and an overflowing heart."
On the train between Madrid and Valladolid.
With my backpack on my back, proud of how lightly I travel.
Amazed at how large and bright the train bathroom was.
"I am here, on the train, so happy to be on my way to see Antonio."
In Valladolid later that same day, out for a solo walk.
Two nuns walked past.
"I am here, waiting to meet up with my dear friend for an afternoon adventure."
The following morning, I discovered a cafe that became my breakfast place
for all three mornings I was in Valladolid.
Toast with olive oil and tomato sauce, tea of exotic fruits,
and my pocket-sized Moleskine journal.
"I am here, hungry, and happy beyond description."
Walking in the Cañon de Rio Lobos.
Such beauty, such majesty, such peace, such quietness -
except where the men were cutting down diseased trees.
"I am here, with Toño, walking, talking,
and I cannot stop smiling."
Behind a church that was more than 750 years old.
Perhaps even 1,000 years old.
"I am here, we are here, God is here."
In the car in Castilla y Leon, the central plains of Spain.
Although they say that the rain in Spain falls mainly on the plain,
it didn't rain at all while I was there.
The sun shone. The clouds rolled through. And the windmills spun.
"I am here, in the car, listening to the jokes, the stories,
and the deep wisdom of my beloved soul-friend."
Thanks be to God.
My soul was fed on this trip in ways I could never have anticipated.
Thank you, Lisa, for planting that phrase in my head,
in my heart,
and most importantly, in my soul.