I Wanted to be Skinny at my Daughter’s Graduation.

The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. — Zephaniah 3:17


My daughter will be graduating from high school in 3 days.  An anxiety-filled  thought crossed my mind today, “I wanted to be skinny by her graduation day.”  After all, I will be seeing family and friends from all over the country. People I haven’t seen in ages. I want them to see how healthy I look, how much weight I have lost and how chic I look in that new dress I bought (in a bigger size than I had hoped.) But now the ceremony and party is just 3 days away and I haven’t lost a pound all year. I can’t believe it. What was I thinking?  Where did my New Year’s determination go?  I was so mad at myself….  for about 2 minutes. And then I realized what I really should have been telling myself all along — “I am thankful I am AT my daughter’s graduation!”  You see, my mom never made it to mine.  She passed away in February of my junior year from a series of strokes.  She never got to experience the sense of pride when her daughter came home with a cap and gown. My heart was full when I saw that look of pride on my daughter’s face last week. My mom never celebrated the last day of my high school classes when all requirements were completed. I felt the joy in my daughter’s voice when she received the flowers we had delivered just for her “job well done.” My mom didn’t get to help me plan a party or address the invitations to the commencement. I am loving every minute of planning, some of which we are doing together and some surprises I have planned.

A few years ago, things could have gone completely differently and I wouldn’t be here sharing in this special time with my daughter, Savannah. When I received my breast cancer diagnosis in 2010, my doctors weren’t really sure how advanced it was until they  performed surgery. In a brief afternoon of unconsciousness as I passed under the knife I also dodged a bullet — my cancer was detected early. I could expect a full recovery/remission. I would be around for my daughter’s graduation from high school. (Or at least breast cancer wouldn’t stop me.) Four years have passed since I got the incredible news that “the cancer hadn’t travelled to my lymph nodes.” And here I am. Preparing for the milestone that is my daughter’s graduation. Lord, forgive me for forgetting the blessing that is daily life and breath and health. Remind me that you are the One who has the power to save. You have numbered my days. Thank you for every precious moment. Especially the moments of celebration. Thank you that you take great delight in me and all Your children, quieting me when I fret. About being skinny or any other silly thing. And finally thank you, that you rejoice over me with singing — no matter what size I am wearing.


#momswithgrads #breastcancersurvivor #coffeeforyourheart #happytobealive #Godisgood






  1. jan I’m so happy you are cancer free today. I don’t know if you remember me and my husband Brian. I lost Brian to pancreatic cancer sept. 2012. It’s been a tough road since. Brian mentioned you often and wondered how you were. god bless Lindy


    1. HI, Lindy! Yes, of course I remember you! And of course I remember Brian and his courageous battle. I often think of you and wonder how you are doing? You know we should get together for a coffee — we were transferred back to San Diego County and are in Carlsbad now. I would love to see you.


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