Mr. Spots, the kiddo, and I headed out for dinner Monday night. Once we arrived at one of my favorite restaurants, I started glancing around the parking lot to see if any of my friends were in on this dinner plan. Not seeing any familiar cars, I decided that Mr. Spots had not been lying, it was, indeed, just a special dinner for the 3 of us. The hostess even played along, "Party of 3, right this way!"
She led us into the party room where a group of my friends were patiently waiting! Surprise!
It was so nice to spend the evening with people who have supported me throughout this past year. Right before dinner was served, I received another surprise. My friend Rayna announced that there was someone who was very sad that she could not attend my party. Because this friend still wanted to help me celebrate, she had arranged for Rayna to order a bottle of champagne and give me a letter to read when receiving the champagne.
I was so lucky when melanoma introduced me to Anne a year ago.
She is one of a kind.
I received another special gift from another woman who has fought her own battle this year. I met this woman this past April before the benefit that local bands did for me here in Roanoke. She is a woman with a huge heart and a lot of love to give. She recently lost her husband due to a massive heart attack, but despite that, she continues to encourage others, offer love and support, and be the same beautiful woman that she has been since I was introduced to her. She inspires me. Alyse gave me this necklace that she has had for 40 years. It stands for good health. Alyse explained that she wants me to have it, keep it for 40 years, and give it to someone else who needs to be reminded that a healthy future awaits her.
Phew. She believes I am going to be here for 40 years to give the necklace to someone myself. Let me tell you, I had to struggle to keep the tears in check for that one!
After we celebrated with great food, delicious wine, and bubbly bubbly, it was time to head home. Since we had the kiddo, Mr. Spots headed home early so that he could get kiddo tucked into bed without rushing me away from my friends. (Have I mentioned he spoils me?) I thought the special night was over....
That was not the case, Rayna had one last surprise up her sleeve.......
Rayna had contacted some of my melanoma friends and asked them to write me a letter and then she put all of the letters into a scrapbook. Oh, waterworks...To know that some of my fellow warriors took time out of their very busy schedules to send me a letter of inspiration means so much to me. On the flip side, to have a friend who knows how important my molemates are to me means the world! I am, truly, a very blessed young lady.
I ended the night with one extra glass of wine, my guy next to my side, and reading my special book.
Melanoma, you have changed my life dramatically in this first year, but I have gained lifelong friends because of you. For that, I am, and I will always be, grateful.
One year cancerversary!