She's a Brave Mess!
She walked into my life without warning December 2017. She had her story and I had mine. We found each other in unexpected circumstances. She was offering a service I had no responsible reason to enjoy given my current financial situation. And in our first encounter at my front door, I knew Chris the cleaning lady would bring more to my life than the sweet smell of lavender and a clean house. Chris was my new cleaning lady and soon to be warrior friend.
A colleague at work had shared with me that she had found this amazing new cleaning lady who was looking for cash during her chemo treatments which had resulted in her leaving her job. What a brave story I thought. I bet she is a resilient single mom like me was my immediate generalized response.
Boy was I right about that. With resilience that rocked the world.
Thinking I would be doing her a nice gesture by hiring her in her new survival mode to live during her treatments, I rationalized that I should take her on at least once. I would love to just treat myself to a full clean house prior to the holidays and all my children coming home.
Many visits later, I knew I couldn’t give up this treat to my own self-care, mental health and the emotional energy Chris brought to my life. This girl was amazing.
Hardworking and Reliable
Vulnerable and strong,
Determined and courageous.
Her energy fueled mine and she quickly became part of my tribe.
With a fight within her that inspired me, I became an on-the-fringe visitor to Chris’s life which was grounded in positivity, celebrating with her when the chemo treatments were over and with all the recurring visits that showed “all clear” in her recovery. She got engaged to the man who had supported her for years and they got a new puppy she adores. Chris’s positivity and strength were an inspiration to all of us who knew her, and I enlarged her new side hustle business circle with “this lady will bring more to your life than cleaning” mantra to several new clients in my neighborhood.
At her six-month routine follow up this past week, with all of her tribe eagerly ready to celebrate her next milestone, the unpredicted results were instead a slam of disappointment.
The cancer is back.
They found 3 large tumours in bladder.
They need blood work to see if it has gone elsewhere.
Let’s check this spot on her nose that we weren’t worried about before.
Surgery is scheduled a month away.
How can this be?
There really is no way to end this story today. Except to say this. Chris is angry and rightfully so. She has flipped the script with her resiliency and positivity since the day I met her. Today she said “Kim maybe you should write a story asking why I am cursed no matter what - like as if I am not meant to be fully happy, I don’t dwell on my stuff, and I won’t let this stop me. But if God wants to take me, I wish he would just take me and not keep stretching me to death emotionally”.
Despite what I have been brought up hearing, I have grown to believe that the phrase “everything happens for a reason” is unfounded. That is a relief to me today because this is just flat-out crappy. But this story won’t end here. I don’t know where or how it will end but it isn’t ending here because Chris will find the meaning in this. She will find something within her to oppose the fear she faces right now and figure out how to persist once again. Her tenacity is endless and she will show up to fight this as she has done before.
This is her story. Today. But Stay tuned. There has got to be meaning in this and this girl will find it. She was not meant to come this far to come this far.
This is the message to her tribe and a reminder for all of us: Be ready to be needed. Be ready to be there. Be ready to be moved. This girl has the fire and her greatness is about to move us all. Be ready to be inspired.