Could ringing a bell connect the world? Does sound have a way of doing that or is it the person ringing it and the reason behind why he is ringing it that connects us?
We wait for those feelings where we feel connected to the world. Those feelings stand out in our minds because they don’t happen all that often. When it does, it can be life changing. A feeling that people feel as if it were their own. It’s something that stays with you your whole life. It pops back into your head as needed, maybe in a time of need or just to remember to be grateful for your life.
There is this phenomenon that occurs when you face a life threatening situation. You begin to notice every small thing around you. Your awareness of your own life comes into full focus. What you thought was boring before becomes treasured. What was mundane is now extraordinary and magnificent. Something so normal such as sleeping in your own bed every night as opposed to an alternative like sleeping in a hospital room is eye opening. The perspective of walking around freely without the restrictions of being attached to an IV bag is liberating. Your hugs, both given and received are warmer, more meaningful and just a few seconds longer because you appreciate not being attached to an array of tubes. Even the ability to have hair and eyebrows becomes something you’re thankful for.
Almost seven years into a brain tumor diagnosis you would think a family wouldn’t have much to celebrate. You might even think we’d be exhausted by now. Truth is, we’ve come to understand so much more about life and our truths as we live it. Our life has become more focused and through it’s lens we see so much more beauty.
When a traumatic event occurs we hypothetically “hold our breathe,” waiting for the event to be over so we can breathe normally again. Ironically, breathing is the only thing we can do from birth and throughout our lives that is unconscious. Yet, an event can hold us up in so many ways, where we stop seeing how to live and we turn our focus on the problem and hopefully ideas to solve it or make it better. Without realizing it, many of us default to focusing on “the problem” which is a harder path to take. Why? Because what you focus on becomes more. If instead you were to turn your attention to quality of life, how you want to live from this day forward and actually live it, everything changes. The event or circumstance that had you “holding your breath” in the first place no longer has a hold on you.
People think that if things end sooner than later then the pain will end quickly as well. It’s an unconscious defense mechanism. For those of us that have already experienced “the end” that comes with a great loss, that pain never really stops does it? It may turn into something else, but the love you have for another human being such as a child, parent, sibling, spouse etc. is always there. What if instead of wishing something was over quickly, we walked with them on their journey? What if on this walk we just allowed them to simply feel our presence? There is great empowerment when you feel supported. You don’t feel alone anymore. It can make you feel unstoppable.
The beauty of opening our hearts and allowing yourself to intertwine with others is that you accept a sense of vulnerability. You accept to take a front-row seat to their journey and all that it entails. In exchange you gain the chance to drink-in those once-in-a-lifetime moments of utter joy and bliss. Those moments of elation that you witness as an onlooker are only there if you’ve made the gamble to walk with them on THEIR journey. Although your seat could make you witness to some pain, you will embody their victories. Their triumphs will become yours.
The more we open up to the world, the more everyone around us opens up to us. It is reciprocity in it’s simplest of forms. We learn of people’s stories, their hardships and their conquests. They become part of who we are and we’re better able to navigate our own journey because of it. We celebrate people around us, for who they are and what they contribute because that is what we yearn for. Roads walked that are accompanied with an umbrella of love and support are those well-traveled.
Jimmy is 6 years old. He exemplifies those epic moments on a daily basis. He has changed our entire world and made it a magnificent and fascinating place to live. Our story has not the usual beginning, middle and end. We don’t need an “end,” to be able to breathe. Our message has become “how to live” despite circumstances around us. Our mission is to simply, celebrate life. Jimmy is the lens through which we view the party, providing focus.
We’ve figured out that if we laugh every day, focus on who we WANT to be and HOW we want to impact the people around us we create a positive environment for our children. Instead of worrying about factors out of our control, we consciously try to spread hope, and give love, instead of worrying about something we can’t change. Jimmy and Lily both notice and embody the best versions of us and the positivity that we manifest. We don’t have to tell Jimmy that he NEEDS to be okay or be happy, he just IS.
The video below shows Jimmy within one of those moment’s that we value beyond belief. It has over 160,000 views as I write this story. By watching and sharing in this joyous moment, people have decided to open up their hearts and to be part of our story. Our victory of ringing a bell signifies the ending of a year of chemotherapy (hopefully the last one ever)!!!!
Our victory now becomes yours. Welcome to the family.
Can a bell connect the world? I think it just did.
Follow Jimmy’s journey with us on Facebook, “I’m praying for Jimmy Spagnolo.”