This picture is very heart-warming to me. It's not the greatest picture in terms of photography, the light from the windows makes it too bright, but there's something about it that I am drawn to. Every person at this table is a survivor.
The little girl who has bravely battled cancer since she was 15-months-old, and two weeks ago walked down the aisle, a miracle in itself, to stand with her mother as she married a man who has brought a new level of love into their home; The woman who nursed her child through cancer and a relapse, years of being in and out of hospitals, and 12 months of not being able to leave her house to protect her daughter's weakened immune system and give her a fighting chance. And she succeeded. And then she lost her brother; The girl who has watched and lived with realities of cancer since she herself was way to small to deal with such things; The woman who gave birth to a 2 1/2 pound premature daughter at 30 weeks and had to leave the baby in the hosptial for the first months of her life. Seeing her baby in situations that no woman ever expects to see her newborn go through; The 3-year-old who who was born way too early by most standards, who fought to even eat in her first weeks of her life, who survived what many other preemies don't; The 4 and 7 year old who lost their father, the guy that walked into the house every day at 5 and lit up their lives. The man that took them places and played with them at night and gave them endless hugs and kisses and love. They are missing something so huge in their lives, yet still they laugh and love with all the fervor that two young children should possess; The man who went through a divorce and then a month later lost his brother and best friend, leaving him without the two people who he was closest to in the world. Yet he was brave and strong and when it was time to sink or swim, he chose to swim.
All of the people at this table are survivors. Any one of them could have given up and no one would have blamed them. They could have stopped getting out of bed. They could have disconnected from their lives. They could have turned to drugs. They could have stopped living. And not one of them did. If you see any one of them on any given day, you will see them smiling. They each possess deep pain and yet they still smile and see good in the world. They have all endured. They have all lost. They all keep living. They know it's their choice and they choose life. They are all remarkable people.
It reminds me of something I read recently:
".....the definition of courage is not the absence of fear. In fact, when you are in a courageous moment you're in a fearful moment - but it is proceeding despite the fact that you're afraid."
To me, this is a picture of courage. That is why I am drawn to it.