I’ll deviate a little from my usual recipes today. We’ll go straight to the ideas of the two (we’ve never done it before). Just go with it.
I have a few things that affect my heart and mind that I want to share with you.
But first, I want to tell you about someone.
Her name is Holly. She is an incredibly dear friend (think: spiritual sister friend type).
Throughout my blogging years blogging, I have never dedicated an entire post to a real live human being. Chocolate chip biscuits? Yeah. Friday random thoughts? Yeah. Special human beings? not much.
But today, I need your help. Holly needs your help.
This may not be the “help” you are thinking of, but if you have a minute, Stay with me for a story and then a request (spoiler alert: it has nothing to do with money).
Back story: I’ve known Holly for six years – since we moved from Minnesota to Idaho. She is brave. She is funny.
She is a seeker of truth and a fighter for justice. She is the wonderful mom of six very adorable children. She is constantly serving everyone around her. To know Holly to love her.
Amidst all of Holly’s grandeur, she was leading a challenging life. Not all of the details are mine to share, but suffice it to say her life has not been easy. Severe infertility, adoption, and countless (and I mean countless) surgeries for health issues related to colitis, work stress, the list goes on.
Most people don’t know a lot of this about Holly because she’s in that rare camp of: fiercely independent and non-complainant.
Seriously, if I didn’t like it that much, that would almost be annoying, because it’s just plain plain. This girl can fight through pain and struggle just like everyone else. (However, you still listen when I complain about pig escaping or my cookie burning).
About a year and a half ago, in addition to all the other challenges Holly faced in her life, after finding a seemingly innocent tumor, she was unexpectedly and devastatingly diagnosed with stage IV metastatic internal mucosal melanoma. This diagnosis came out of nowhere, and it goes without saying that it shook the world of their family.
The past 15 months have been filled with immunotherapy and radiation, trips to Mayo Clinic for consultations, more treatments, and untold pain, stress and anxiety.
(Not to mention six kids and all of their daily, busy, and often difficult emotional needs.)
Through it all, Holly remained one of the strongest warriors I had ever seen. She has successfully weathered the horrific therapeutic side effects that would easily fall out of us, and she literally took on the job of fighting cancer full time.
She didn’t lose hope once. She has kept a strong and steadfast belief in a loving God who knows her and has a plan for her.
Miraculously, 2020 granted Holly more than six months of rest, thanks to a combination of immunotherapy and holistic therapies (oh my God, I can tell some stories involving slippery elm porridge and tinctures here but I won’t), and the complete switch to sugar – a free diet And vegetarian.
Last month, things started to fall apart for Holly again. Sudden seizures, numerous ER trips, and a lot of pain revealed that the cancer had spread ferociously throughout Holly’s body and into her brain.
She no longer has the full function of the left side of her body and is in severe pain almost continuously.
And still. She continues to show more strength in her pinky finger than I do in my entire body and soul.
Today, I wanted to return the favor to Holly in some way. Sure, this can be easily done through Their GoFundMe page.
But I also wanted to do something else.
Holly has spent her entire life being strong for others and using her inner strength and God-given strength to overcome her biggest challenges, but now her body is failing her, and she is no longer able to do some of the things that you and her are. I am most likely taken for granted.
Fold the laundry.
Braid her daughter’s hair.
Walk around the building.
Fill the dishwasher.
Send a text message.
I don’t think it is healthy or constructive to compare the challenges. Hardship, stress and sadness are individual. It is holy. The difficult is difficult no matter what you are going through or dealing with.
But if you learn anything from Holly’s attitude, it is to seek good (even on very bad days), appreciate mundane matters, and Be grateful every day.
And this is where I need your help.
Would you do anything for me? For Holly? is yours?
Are you going to do something difficult today? Or this week? Something you’ve probably been procrastinating on?
It might not be difficult for anyone, but remember: It doesn’t matter. Your life is yours
- Maybe it’s getting off the sofa and finally running down that annoying mile even if you haven’t run in years.
- Or pick up the phone to call a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while.
- You might be Just grateful That you have the ability and motor skills to fold your laundry today.
- Or hugging your wife or child even if you (or they) feel unlovable.
- You might finally get rid of the three size jeans hiding in your closet and buy a pair of jeans that fit your amazing, capable body.
- Or saying a prayer for the first time in a long time (or never).
If you feel like sharing, would you leave a comment on this post? Even if you are not sure of you Box Do so now, write your plan in the comments and we will be strong together.
I’ll put myself on Holi’s bed and read all of your comments out loud. And let her know that there are people around the world who are inspired by her story and her strength.
Holly doesn’t like attention or being a burden or an annoyance to anyone (if you know her in real life, you know how true that is!), But she Do She feels as though her life has a purpose just as much as it has inspired others that they too can do difficult things and be stronger for her.
My Goals for BeStrongForHolli: Finally, I pass a virtual 30-minute cycling lesson without falling over, quitting smoking, and admitting that my body is strong and capable (and also give each of my kids three hugs for at least 8 seconds today – our house has been filled with conflict lately I need to be the push to change that). I love you, Holly.
Thank you for letting me get away from food today.
I’ll leave you with words One of Holi’s favorite songs:
And I don’t want to leave a legacy
I don’t care if they remember me
And me, I only have one life to live
I’ll let every second point to it
I have the best readers in the world. Thank you for being here and for all that you do to make this world a better place.