There were so many moments of gratitude for me on Thursday. I can honestly say Thursday was the first day, in nearly a year, that I felt like myself again.
Before my cancer diagnosis I would cook 3 to 4 meals per week. This involved loud, booty shaking music being played, dance parties in the kitchen with my kids, “hip-bumping” with my boy and singing off key (loud and proud) with my daughter.
Dinners aren’t just sit-down family meals in our home. They’re a chance to laugh, play, share and bring my family closer together.
I’ve been so exhausted since treatment began that moments like these became scarce. I was still preparing meals, but not as frequently as before. And we surely weren’t dancing around the kitchen, as often, either.
Yesterday, though, was different. I couldn’t have asked for a better day. My children were so well behaved. Not only were they behaving for me but they were getting along with each-other as well. Which, if you’re a parent of multiples, you can totally appreciate.
Thursday night I cooked up some organic steak tips with garlic, onions and teriyaki sauce. Organic sweet corn and lemon-infused, Sicily-inspired, whole grain, non-GMO brown rice. (Sorry if I offend the vegetarians out there but yes I do enjoy steak and poultry. It’s always grass-fed, humanely-raised, organic beef that my son and I eat. My daughter is a born vegetarian and won’t touch the stuff.)
I brought my Mac in the kitchen and turned on my iTunes playlist. The song “Wobble” came on and my son came running into the kitchen to dance with me. He bumped his hip into mine, trying to see if he was strong enough yet to unground my feet with his motions. (The answer to that is “Nope, sorry little man, not even close!”)
My daughter was doing her own little dance; popping her hip out to one side while spinning in circles at the same time. My son’s face was overtaken by the infamous “duck face,” followed by ear to ear grins and self-confident head nods.
Once I finished cooking, and dancing, my son helped me set up the dinner table. “Mangia, mangia!” I told them as we all sat down once I fixed us our plates. We three, musketeers, me and my babes. My daughter raised her fork, giggled, then repeated, “Mangia, mangia!” The three of us held hands, as I said a prayer of gratitude; for the food we were about to eat, for the blessings of family, for allowing us to share in that moment. Oh, and my eight-year-old son? He gave thanks for there not being a zombie apocalypse 🙂