A new look can help transform your inner self. Ryleigh decided to try a new look and as a result she feels like she can take on the world — it renewed her spirit. She is excited about starting school (she has been away for almost 3 years!). Even though the remicade is not showing any positive results – in fact she is more fatigued and experiencing bleeding from her bowel along with intermittent pain – she is determined to go to school on Wednesday and be a typical grade 8 student. We are concerned about some swelling in her abdomen but keeping an eye on it until she has at least a couple of days of high school before we worry too much about it. Ryleigh’s energy and smile keep me focused on what is important – living each day as a gift. Trying to be the best person you can be and make the most of whatever situation you are in.
Children are amazing teachers and we can learn so much from them about resilience and stick-with-it-ness.
When Chloe was first admitted to hospital this summer she was in pain and scared about what was happening to her. Since then she has learned the art of mindfulness, embracing the good moments, and overcoming the times she is in pain or extremely fatigued. She learned about pacing and finding balance so that she would be able to keep her pain at a lower scale. Chloe took on this challenge with a positive attitude and amazing spirit. She refused to complain and worked hard with her medical team to improve her quality of life. I realize we are all facing pain, fatigue, and not knowing where our life will be tomorrow – it just varies in how extreme it is. However, if we learn the art of mindfulness as Chloe is learning we can embrace today and the moment we are in. I am trying to do this every day — what a teacher Chloe has been showing me the strength and determination to do the things she likes to do.
September is a grand time for us — we all love learning and look forward to the start of the school year. My family definitely respects life-long learning. Learning is not only about school – it is about taking the world in around you and learning from experiences that come your way. I have realized through my girls that learning and schooling is not set in stone. That it needs to be fluid with the events and experiences that are happening in their lives at this particular moment. Before all this, I would have been very concerned that Ryleigh had missed 3 years of formal schooling and Chloe did not fully complete Grade 9. But now, I am not worried – life is meant to be explored and if it takes more time I think that is even better. Learning happens best when your mind is not cluttered with stress, worry, fear, pain etc…..once that is gone then true learning and new neural pathways are developed. We venture into September ready to start again and live with gratitude, positive attitudes, and being curious about the world around us!