Sharing my story with the world has put me in touch with some pretty wonderful people and it wasn’t until today that I decided to actually share what each experience has meant to me.
Last night I had the pleasure of meeting the chef and owner of my favorite little french restaurant, Bistro 1902. The night started off slow and quickly became busy with a flurry of people coming in to enjoy the delicious meals and wonderful atmosphere. This is the kind of restaurant that has the kind of food that makes you want to close your eyes with each bite to ensure you savor each moment.
The restaurant was short staffed that evening so we had the pleasure of being served by the chef himself. I recall asking where he was from and my eyes lit up when he replied, “Paris”.
It was only months ago that we had to cancel our trip to Paris due to my surgery and the fact that I had to use all of my vacation and sick time from work for my recovery. When I shared these details with him, he smiled and complimented my optimistic outlook on the whole experience. It was very sweet and nice to know that through it all, others can still see my efforts to find the positive in my journey.
The Chef later returned and said, “You know what? Since you had to cancel your vacation, I want to make the rest of your night extra special.” “I will speak to you in french for the rest of your meal and I will even be little rude to you”, he said with a smile. This made me laugh and as crazy as it sounds made me feel so special.
He later shared stories about his childhood memories of his mom teaching him, at the age of 13, how to make the delicious dessert I was enjoying that evening. The whole experience was really wonderful.
I guess in short what I’m trying to say is that, I know it can be hard to just randomly shed light on something so personal but in that moment, I was glad I did. I felt I had somehow turned a sensitive topic into something more positive. It was a reminder of where I was now compared to where I was before, and how much I wanted to never give up or stop living life the way I was living it in that moment.
You see, a wise woman once told me, “Cancer doesn’t define you”, and she was right. It’s my desire to never let it keep me down that determines my strength and who I really am.