"Though it is hard to explain, my life is better than I ever thought it would be. Albeit shorter."

Una Vida Mejor

Una Vida Mejor. In Spanish it means “a better life”. The phrase resonated so deeply in me that I had it tattooed on my body. To me it meant that my future was bright. That I was anticipating years of joy. I had it tattooed on me after I met Kelly. As I was nearing the end of my college years. I was on the verge of being fulfilled. I had set goals for myself that were coming to fruition. My children were all doing well. My ex- husband was sober. I attended church regularly. I was sunny and optimistic. That was 4 years ago.

A better life from the one I had had growing up. Or the one I had had when I was in my 20′s. And I am not one to sit around and dwell on the past or portray myself as a victim, I merely recognized that I was entering into a better life. I looked at those words on my arm today. They are written on my left arm which is swollen with edema. They are stretched out and distorted. My better life has become odd, twisted, and unrecognizable from how it once looked.

Being diagnosed with cancer that is terminal has made me rethink and retool what I once used to define a better life. My life does not include growing old, a better life must take place in the here and now. Only what I can attain today not what I hope for tomorrow. My better life can not include one without illness or medical intervention for if it did I would be very disappointed. My better life today is not the one I had planned but it is still very good. I finished college. And although I never got to “use” my degree it helped me become a more intelligent and articulate person. And I married Kelly. The man that shown so brightly in my life 4 years ago. He still shines brightly although sometimes I want to punch his lights out. He is still part of my better life. As is Clay. A better thing I did not know I wanted or needed until he was here. And my children are all healthy and relatively well adjusted. They are smart and kind with a good sense of humor. They make my life better everyday. And Tony is still sober and that makes all our lives better.

And though it is hard to explain my life is better than I ever thought it would be. Albeit shorter. And while there are times when I walk in sadness most of the time I am still very joyful about my life. In the here and now it is good. I am surrounded by more friendship, love, compassion, and understanding than any I have known throughout my life. And I know that this path, this life, just as it is, is perfect. It is not the better life I wanted it is the one God gave me.