Joy in Everyday Life NULL

My name is Drew. I just happen to be a female who, as my parent's 5th child, was the destined one to be named after a great uncle :)

I am 53 years old, married and the mother of an 18 year old daughter. I love the Lord, my family, friends, and am a free spirit. Four years ago following the deaths of my mother, my father-in-law, and my mother-in-law, it was my turn. I was diagnosed with cancer, but am pleased to say that now I am a cancer survivor. Although I cannot declare yet to be in total remission, I trust that I am.

Of all the things I have learned through this experience is that though I may have had cancer, it did not have me. I also learned that because of my wonderful widow's peak, wigs were hard to find so I chose to go head a la nude. My hair does not define who I am and neither did my lack thereof. I celebrated life as a photographer on the sidelines of local football games with my head decorated in school spirit by the high school art club. Also, my lack of hair gave me the delight of sharing with younger folks who would inevitably ask why I was hairless the necessity to tell all the adult females in their lives the importance of regular mammograms.

The point of this story is that a great amount of insight and inspiration derived from a not so great experience. I want to share what I have learned:

Treat each and every day, not like it is the last day of the rest of your life, but the last day of the rest of the lives of those around you. Say, every day, how much you appreciate each person with whom you come in contact, with love and honesty in case this is the last day you will ever see them.

Do not spend another minute running from your purpose in life. It has taken me all these years to realize a couple of things. One of which is my ability as a photographer. Because I see life differently than most, I tend to capture with my camera the beauty of our world in everyday ways.

Recognize your gifts. It took me a long time to recognize one of mine. Although my brother fondly referred to me as "magna vox" and I was told many times throughout life to "please control yourself"; I see now that the ability I have as a lay speaker, inspirational, and motivational speaker is a gift. It is not only a gift, but a passion as well.

Figure out how to use your gifts. I finally put together the pieces of the happenings, people, experiences, inspirations and talents and just recently (within the past month) have decided it was about time to share the fruits of my talents.

I started smilecat designs in an attempt to facilitate others to see the beauty in our world in everyday ways. In a time when negativity and the banal seem to abound, I definitely feel a calling to express otherwise. Through my photography and through inspirational speaking I know that I have reached many people.

Submitted by Anonymous


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