I recently heard a quote that really resonated with me:

Life is not waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain.

I love the way this is stated, and it’s one of those life lessons that I really want you to understand.  Your life is never going to be perfect.  There will always be something that is not quite right, sometimes worse than others.  You can’t just tell yourself that “things will be better when…”, or I’ll get on with my life after….”  Live Now – regardless of what’s going on in your life.

Besides, dancing in the rain can be a lot of fun.

Kissing in the rain is pretty awesome too – but, you’ll wait another 20 years to find that out.  Right?

As I”m writing this letter I’m sitting in a big hospital recliner as the chemo drips into me.  It’s not my favorite way to spend an afternoon, I’d rather not have to deal with this at all.  But it’s not all that bad either.  It’s nowhere near as bad as my imagination made it out to be back when I was diagnosed.  It’s interesting how the imagination tends to run towards best case and worst case scenarios, and spends very little time in the middle ground where most of reality exists.

An imagination is a wonderful thing – and I hope you develop yours and put it to good use.  It is also a power that can be abused; be sure to use this power for good and not evil.  Let your imagination run free as you are generating new ideas, but when it comes time to applying these ideas to real world applications, then it’s time to do some research. And by research, I don’t mean disregard everything that doesn’t support your point of view.  Seriously.  If you come across evidence that disproves your theory, chase it down.  Do not ignore it.  It is so important to educate yourself on the whole issue; failing to do so will damage your credibility.  And lets face it, there will be times in your life when your credibility is all you have to offer.  Take good care of it.


Sorry about that, sometimes I get on my soapbox and prattle on about things not one else really wants to discuss.  But then that’s why I have a blog.

You had your first overnight stay away from us this month.  Daddy and I went camping with friends and you stayed with Grandma for two nights.  That must have been a lot of fun for you.  I’m sure Grandma enjoyed it as well. Grandma is awesome and all, but still, three days and two nights away from you wasn’t easy.  You, on the other hand, seemed to think it was pretty cool.  Good for you.

I love that you are so adaptable.  I keep hearing that kids need routine and they need things to be the same all the time, but that doesn’t seem to be the case with you, my little adventurous one.  Adaptability is another one of those life skills that will take you places, and make your life a lot more interesting, fun, and easier too. The adaptability makes it easier for us to travel with you, which means more adventures for you, too.

We spent this past weekend in Bellingham, and we had a wonderful time.  Your adaptability makes it so easy for us to travel with you.  You love and adventure, and so do we.

You love to dance and you get to bouncing and swinging around whenever you hear music. Tonight you figured out that you could make yourself dizzy by spinning in circles.  You spent the longest time spinning and giggling and falling down, then getting up and doing it over again.

You are learning so much every day and your vocabulary is just exploding.  You can say all different parts of the body: Eye, nose, ear, toes, foot, belly.  You know one and two.  You are getting better about using the sign for thank you when we give you things. You love to give hugs and kisses, and you warn us that we are going to get a kiss by announcing it first.  And you are so loving and sweet to your dolls and stuffed animals.  You give them hugs and kisses, and rock them and sing and talk to them. You try to share your cookies and water with them too.  You are becoming such a sweet little girl.

You bring so much joy to our lives.  Being your mother makes me want to be a better person.  You inspire me.

I love you.


Read more Letters to Gem.

Judy Schwartz Haley


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