Love looks like leis and balloons

Six months ago, one of the most beautiful people I know shared one of the scariest stories I’d ever heard. The punchline was the hardest part to believe.

It might be cancer.

A week later, it was confirmed. Cancer.

Of all people, her. It didn’t make sense. A single mom who had endured so much heartbreak already. Why this? Why her?

But with her strength, grace, tears, vulnerability and an uncanny ability to laugh during the hard parts, we got to this week. The last week of chemo.

And it became apparent that this week was going to need a little more celebrating than we initially thought. So a plan went into motion.

Miraculously, three of her people were able to free up a weekday afternoon. We got in touch with the friend who was on driving duty. We talked to her sister to work out what this could look like.

With leis, tiaras, ridiculous glasses, flowers and balloons, we waited by the chemo bell. Actually, we hid behind a fish tank until she got to the chemo bell – we were a sight.


And the look on her face when she realized these ridiculous people were her people. That’s a look I will never forget.

She rang the chemo bell. The bell that indicates this part is over. This horrible chapter is closed. We cried and clapped and hugged and laughed and cried some more.

It was one of the most beautiful and meaningful moments of my life. And it almost didn’t exist.

I thought of so many reasons not to do this.

She just wants it over, she doesn’t want to make a big deal of it.

There are probably other people that could do it better.

We probably couldn’t pull it off anyway.

But then I remembered that choosing butterflies means choosing action. It means choosing to do the hard and potentially awkward thing. Choosing to willingly step into someone else’s pain.

So I put away all the reasons not to do it, and I did it – we did it. We chose action so she knew she was loved.

Because sometimes love looks like showing up in a hospital dressed in dollar store paraphernalia.

“That’s because love is never stationary. In the end, love doesn’t just keep thinking about it or keep planning for it. Simply put: love does.” – Bob Goff, Love Does


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1 Response to Love looks like leis and balloons

  1. Pingback: 2015 in five words | Choosing Butterflies

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