Listening Lesson: Sometimes it hurts to stretch.

I have a good friend who is 6 years old. in 2017 he had a rotationplasty surgery (RP) secondary to a diagnosis of osteosarcoma, an aggressive form of bone cancer, which is how we met. (Leg buddies for life!) He’s about to have his second prosthetic leg finished (because he’s a growing boy!) and took it out to the park for a trial run last night.

While he got stronger, the hinges on his old leg at his “knee joint” bent 45 degrees rather than the full 90 degrees that mine and other full-grown RP amputees have built in. In his new leg, he was free to bend it as much as he liked per the doctor’s recommendations. He was strong enough to give it a try.

From the park, I got a phone call from his mom letting me know that he had taken a spill at the park and that it felt to him like his ankle had overextended so they just reached out for my opinion. That, while not true in the sense that it would be permanently hurt his ankle, was something that happened because he wasn’t used to how much room he had to move. It just stretched a bit farther than it had before. Though, that extra stretch is something that would have to happen eventually. In this case it just happened faster than he expected, and it hurt.


Life is like that. Sometimes we are unexpectedly forced to bend more than we thought we could, and feel like we’re broken after we have. That’s not true though. We might just be sore from the stretching and don’t need to be afraid. Usually, as it was in my friend’s case, we need to stretch to grow into what we will become, and we need to learn that even though it hurts now, it won’t hurt forever.

Lesson: Don’t be afraid of the stretch you haven’t felt before. The pain is for a moment but the lesson lasts a lifetime. 

…because love wins.

Listening lessons are once weekly posts developed by something heard or experienced in the week before. They offer insight are based in my belief that we need to listen much more than we do in a world full of so much being said. It’s simple. Listen more; learn more. 


Dear Me:

Dear Me,

You’ll be older one day. I’m writing from the future and you’re doing okay. Hold onto what you’ve got. Things are gonna change, but change is better than you thought.

Oh, and don’t keep people in your life who treat you like crap. And don’t lose sleep over them either. Never give up on the good that rests inside of you, and don’t believe the non-believers.

When life’s getting serious, just don’t take it so serious.

Your heart will mend.


…because love wins.

When it all looks different than it should.

Humans have a way of messing things up. Stick with me here.

I’m not saying that we’re all supposed to be perfect, or that we need to expect other people to be perfect, but I will say that when things tend to get really, really good, you’ll find people in one of two camps running there:

  1. The best hearts of gold.
  2. The egos that play the world like a violin.

I’m not aiming to be jaded here, but just want you to know that if you’ve loved something or someone with all your heart and someone else’s ego warped it all and took away the sparkle, you’re not alone.

They’ll be better days in the future and people will see the truth in the end. They always do. And, it’s time to be with better people. Not just people who want to make themselves look better. God only knows.

…because love wins.

Haven’t Seen It Yet

Have you been praying, and you still have no answer?
Have you been pouring out your heart for so many years?

Have you been hoping that things that would have changed by now?
Have you cried all the faith you have through so many tears?

Don’t forget the things that He has done before, and remember that He can do it all once more. It’s like the brightest sunrise waiting on the other side of the darkest night. Don’t ever lose hope; hold on. And believe that maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.

You’re closer than you think you are…only moments from the break of dawn. All his promises are up ahead. Maybe you just haven’t seen it yet.

…because love wins.

“I feel bad.”

It’s late and I should be sleeping, but there are just moments in life that ask to be written about.

Tonight was a Brighter Tomorrows night. Those who know me know this is my favorite night of life, every single time it happens. Those who don’t know me now know that it’s my favorite. Moving on.

We had 37 kids RSVP. That’s amazing to me. I don’t want kids to have cancer, but if they do have cancer, I do want them to come to Brighter Tomorrows to play games with us, to laugh with us, and to have summer camp with us once every month.

One conversation (among the many that are seriously the most inspirational things in life) tonight struck me and just keeps playing over and over again in my head. That’s why I am writing and not sleeping.

There is a 7 year old boy with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. I know most of his story because I’ve read it, met his family, talked with others who know him. But he doesn’t know that. He just thinks I know him for him. So we’re making some crafts and I mention that he still has his port accessed (most of the time kids don’t leave with a line in if they are just going for chemo) and I ask him why that is. He tells me that it’s for radiation and goes on to explain the burns that he has from it.

He rolls down the edge of his comfy pants, and I see the red line where that burn starts. I ask him casually if it hurts (because to him, cancer is casual and a part of life…I remember) and he says “Nope, not at all.” I’m sure at some points it does because his skin is all a deep, deep red and has a rough look to it, but he gave me the right now answer which is technically what I asked for. (Kids are amazing and I love them.) Then I go on to explain to him that I had cancer as well. I explain my leg and why I didn’t need any radiation and why he does but how we are similar. And then he listens and he and his brother start asking questions.

“Do you have a scar?”
“Yes, one here and here and here.”
“How did they hook it back on?”
“With a plate and screws.”
“So you have metal on you?”
“Well, sort of. Technically I have metal in me.”
“Does that hurt?”
“Nope, not at all, and it keeps my leg on there safely.”

We giggle.

He persists…

“Does it hurt to wear your leg?”
“Nope, it’s made just for me.”
“So your foot is just in there like that, huh?”
“Yes, just like you’re doing it!”
“Wait, so you lost your hair!?”
“I sure did.”

He stops.

“I feel so bad,” he says.

I tell him not to. He tells me he feels bad for me. I tell him I’m okay and everything is good and life is great. He insists that he feels bad for me.

Life is about perspective, my friends. Look without yourself.

…because love wins.

Every day is wedding day.

Today, I want to make mention of these people – who have stood by us in great times, bizarre times, and hard times. Who make us laugh, bring purpose to our lives, and who we could not be ourselves without. These are words for them:

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

-Elizabeth Kubler Ros

…because love wins.