Cancer. And what a real hug feels like.

The last few weeks have been tough for my family. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. The news was a shock to all of us. It felt like someone hit me with a stun gun. I couldn’t react. I couldn’t believe it.

Yet the tests were in and it was confirmed. My family huddled together. One sister drove home from college. Another sister Skyped in from Peace Corps. I saw tears in the eyes of the men in my family.

I’m blessed that my family has always been close, but recently we have become closer on a new level.

I hugged my mom for the first time without quickly unwrapping my arms because “it was time” to release the hug. I hugged her and completely let my guard down. We held each other and cried together and I could not stop the flood of emotions.

I didn’t try to control my emotions. I didn’t try and maintain composure and be the “strong” one.

I feel so much love for her and I was able to express that without holding back…my heart wouldn’t let me close up or protect me. Thank god. The wall of bricks around my heart continues to come down.


I have horses to thank for that. They have taught me to allow my emotions to come up, flow through and be released.

To stop judging myself for what I’m feeling.

To ease up my self-imposed iron fist of control. To take risks when it comes to intimacy, autheniticty and vulnerablitiy.

They have taught me what it feels like to be in the moment. To stay present and not run for the hills, no matter how intense the emotions are.

To be grateful for today and not wait until tomorrow to give a real hug, open my heart and say “I love you, I’m sorry, I’m here for you.”

Mom just shared with us that if she plays cancer as hard as she plays her tennis match opponents, that cancer will have to lose.

She is beautifully resilient. I have much to learn from her.

I’m grateful for my brilliant, lovely, spunky, inspiring and courageous mom. I’m grateful for my family. I’m grateful for horses.

I’m grateful for my physical health. I’m grateful that my previous priorities have been seriously “checked.”

I’m grateful for the woman I am becoming. By staying present through tough times with an open heart.
Love and light,


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