|This is Hope, Planted December 2011|
The following was written in December and posted in her personal blog. You will find a link at the end of this post.
Gretchen's words..."We are home now after nine wonderful days in Mexico – celebrating Christmas and spending quality time with my family. It was great to get away from the holiday madness and re-center. It’s amazing how much peace is found in sunshine, waves and sand! I had plenty of time for my family and quiet walks on the beach alone for reflection and prayer. What a beautiful escape and respite between surgery and the next step in treatment, radiation. It was hard to leave and get back to reality!"
“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It’s always our self we find in the sea.” ~e.e. cummings
"One of the highlights of the trip for all of us was ziplining over the rainforest canopy. It was terrifying climbing the first set of stairs up the side of a tree but before I had time to think about it our guide smiled and gave me a push, “Bye, bye, Señora!” and I was screaming over the jungle! Altogether there were 12 ziplines, all connected. We arrived at the end of each, breathless and grinning, climbed another tree platform and took off again. It was such a metaphor of life – the climb can be terrifying and challenging, but the ride is unexpectedly exhilarating and the view is unbelievable if you take time to stop being afraid and notice."
”When your vision fills up with the greatness of God, you become fearless.” – Kevin Miller
"The happy bonus at the end of the day was the opportunity to plant a palm tree seed. I love the idea of leaving a place better than we found it and planting a tree in the rainforest after an amazing day was so fulfilling. Not only that, we each got to name the future tree we planted - I named mine HOPE."
I sent a note to the owners and managers of the zipline company (Selvatica Adventure Kingdom) to compliment the staff, thank them for a wonderful day and explain why planting a seed was meaningful to me. They replied, in part, “That’s awesome!!! You are in our thoughts and our prayers and we are sending you all the positive energy the jungle can muster. PS – Hope is alive and growing by the second!”
"Radiation starts next week. January 4th I go for a practice run and start treatments on the 5th. I’ll go five days a week for four weeks. The next step is genetic testing and counseling – I’m taking it one day at a time and crossing each bridge as I get to it!"
Planting a seed after an adventure of a lifetime may seem to some like just a small gesture, but for some it means the world. The contact and friendships that have been made because of this small gesture surpasses the ends of the universe.
Gretchen has had a courageous fight against breast cancer and currently winning that fight. If you or someone you know needs an encouraging friend leave a comment and contact info on her blog.
Just Grateful is the link to Gretchen's blog.
We love you G and just know that your family south of the boarder will always keep you in our hearts that beat united.
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