For All The Warriors

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

This month, I had the incredible honor of delivering the keynote speeches at two Relay for Life events. I’m new to Relay and, honestly, I was blown away. I was blown away by the commitment and passion, and by the awe-inspiring expressions of love.

I just thought I’d share one of my speeches with you. Whether you’re a survivor, a caregiver, or someone who has been touched by cancer in some way, this one is for you. This one is for all the warriors…


I have to admit, I don’t really feel worthy to stand up here and speak. I don’t feel worthy because I can’t tell you anything you don’t already know about cancer, loss or survivorship. In fact, most all of you know significantly more about surviving than I do. So instead I’ll tell you something that all of us know too well: cancer sucks.

But the way I see it each of us…

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Go On, Love Each Other

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

It’s been at almost 10 years since we were all in a room together. It doesn’t matter. The years melt away and it’s just like it was. I flash back to memories of three little girls selling eggs on the street corner, riding horses up old dirt roads, and growing together on our familiies’ little rural farms.
Now here the three of us are again. This time, gathered around a hospital room, seated beside Taylor’s bed — which brings me back to other, rawer memories of IVs and latex gloves, bottles of pills and of the sickness that stole my dad.
Taylor is powerful and extraordinary, and she has that sparkle in her eyes that makes me hopeful that this too shall pass — but I am careful to also acknowledge the message within the mess. The message being that life is precious and life is fleeting.
My sweet friend…

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Even Pest Control

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

I always expected to miss my Dad. I expected to miss his “dad jokes” and his subsequent full-bellied laughs. I expected to miss seeing his name pop up on my phone and hearing his voice on the other end. I expected to miss his gourmet cooking and the contented look he got as he sang along to Bob Dylan. I expected to miss the feeling I got when he’d put his arms around me, kiss my head and whisper “I love you, Kiddo.” And I really expected to miss his incomparable way with words and his sage advice on life. Somehow, amid all my other expectations, there are some things I never expected to miss; things like…pest control. Yes, I really miss my Dad’s pest control skills.

This new way of missing my dad came to me just as I drifted off to sleep last night. I heard a faint, but unmistakeable, high-pitched buzzing. I…

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Wishing

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

One of my favorite people in the whole wide world is a 14-year-old-girl (let’s call her “L”). “L” makes me feel special. She tells me I’m pretty. She tells me she wishes she were “classically pretty”.  She tells me she wishes her teeth were whiter. She tells me she wishes her hair was longer. She tells me she wishes she was thinner.

When I was her age, I wished a lot too. When I was her age, I wished I was somebody else.

I wished I was somebody pretty. Somebody with thinner thighs, bigger boobs and longer hair. Somebody with clearer skin, whiter teeth and, preferably, blue eyes. I wished I was somebody with style. Somebody who wore size zero jeans and who could share clothes with friends. Somebody who won “best dressed” and never wore the same thing twice. I wished I was somebody who all the guys liked. Somebody who won homecoming queen and who was asked to the prom…

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From a Father to His Daughter

hannahjanenancarrow:

For my first Father’s Day without him…

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

An array of e-mails, a smorgasbord of commercials on every TV channel and radio station, a plethora of fancy cards and decorative balloons haunting each checkout line at the grocery store — all reminding me of Father’s Day. Reminders of it everywhere, and yet I’d never noticed them before —  why would I have?

I’d usually spend a full hour picking the perfect card, and several more hours hand-selecting songs for my annual Father’s Day CD (which my he always kept in the CD changer of his car for a full year or more). This year will be different. It will be my first Father’s Day without my dad — and it aches more than I anticipated.

Feeling nostalgic and a little lost in all the Father’s Day bustle, I thumbed through some old photo albums and boxes of keepsakes. Then I found it, tucked in the back of an old shoebox. A note from a father to…

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We are the Phoenix

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

In Greek mythology, the legend of the Phoenix tells of a bird that cyclically goes up in flames, only to be born again, more powerful and vibrant than before.  As wildfires burn violently in the hills, valleys, riverbeds and neighborhoods of San Diego, I envision the silhouette of the Phoenix, rising above the ash and ember, as a beacon of hope. We are the Phoenix.

We are the Phoenix, not only in that we will undoubtedly emerge from this fiery tribulation, but also in that we will emerge with a renewed sense of hope, gratitude, love, understanding, and strength. We are the Phoenix in that each time we go up in flames, amidst the sadness, terror, and ruin — together we are reborn.

Although the fires continue to burn, the Phoenix has already begun to rise from the flames. The Phoenix rises as dauntless emergency crews give themselves to protect and serve our community. The Phoenix rises as volunteers, journalists and…

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The Struggle

Originally posted on Hannah Jane Nancarrow:

I’ve had two great struggles in my life; The first was growing up feeling “un-beautiful”. From elementary school through college I struggled with my weight, I’d even go as far as to say I was the fat girl. I also had acne early on and it’s something I battle to this day. I don’t have to tell you that girls are mean…and I admit, until recently, I was no exception. Girls are especially cruel to one another, which can make high school a brutal time for anyone, especially a girl who’s ashamed of her body. Even though I worked hard to shed 60+ pounds since college and have outgrown the worst of my teenage skin troubles, weight and self-esteem issues will always be part of my journey. 

When I lost the weight I felt like I had won my battle, overcome my odds, passed my test. At 22, I felt…

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