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Silver Lining ...Journal

Posted by benbeatscancer@gmail.com on July 12, 2020 at 8:20 PM

This weekend was a crazy mix of joy, excitement and exhaustion. Just before Ben was diagnosed, I met Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino online. She's an incredible person in so many ways. We became friends fast! Right away, we started talking every day, sharing business ideas and supporting one another's goals and dreams. As COVid and closures surrounded both of us, we started writing together.


She was there when we got the news about Ben. I was there when her four sons were sent home from college. We've never met, but bonded in a incredibly special way, at an incredibly hard time. She's changed my life and we both tell each other how much the impact is mutual. We can't wait to meet. One day. (She even sent me 60 copies of her book, Percolate: Let Your Best Self Filter Through to use as gifts at my Ladies Day events. It's a wonderful book about personal growth with heart-felt anecdotes about life, hurdles, and change. There are coffee metaphors throughout (which I love) and it was unbelievable to me to get a box of books sent to me. Who would do this?! Well, she would.)


So, this weekend, we launched a journal. We wrote, created and designed it together: Best Ever You: 52 Weeks to your Bravest, Boldest You. We did a Facebook event to launch it THIS weekend. We did giveaways, fun polls and shared photos of our work. It should have been three days of partying and there's a small slice of me that WAS celebrating for sure!


But it was mixed my with current reality, too. Cancer, COVid, exhaustion and isolation at home.


Friday night, I was not interested and Elizabeth captained the ship. Ben and I cancelled our visit with the physical therapist, I cancelled my deck-visit with a neighbour and we had the curtains drawn by 6:30pm. We were tired - and content to be locked away from the world that night.


Saturday, I felt a bit better and started to allow myself to get excited. I logged on and posted...but no videos or selfies. I created a few photos with graphics, but the world did not know I was in pajamas, on the bed across from Ben, barely functioning.


Sunday, it started to feel real. I scrolled social media, and seeing friendly names chime in and get excited for me gave me energy. I got dressed and posted a video. I am so excited about this journal. This project and partnership. I can't believe I have had the creative energy to do it...this year.


And, at the same time, I know this journal project has saved me. It's been a focus outside of cancer, outside of Ben. It's kept my mind busy, engaged and excited. It's been a light in my days-  something to drive me- gently- forward.


Elizabeth has been the strong, loving, perfect partner for me during this project. Deadlines were not a word in our vocabulary and even when I would tell her, 'Let me have that to you by Tuesday'... if there were hospital visits, sleepless nights, emotional days... or just no reason at all... just days when I simply could not push forward, she understood.


This journal was done with baby steps and love. With a new friendship that feels like it has a depth of years to it. In only six months, I know we will be in each others lives forever.


I can't wait to do more projects, work on future events and, of course, go for a coffee together.

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