What is Lung Leavin’ Day, you ask? I’ll tell you what it is in a minute. But first, I have this to say: I generally like to find the humor in, well, everything. But there are some things that, really, cannot be made fun of. Unless it has happened to you, it’s not your place. Particularly, if this “thing” is something serious.
There is only one part of this story that I find funny, and when I say “funny,” I don’t mean ha-ha funny. Less than 48 hours ago, I was perusing the internet. You know. What I always do. Looking for inspiration. Looking for other bloggers to connect with. Looking for ways to better my writing. When I came across a link someone had shared on Facebook.
I think what made me “click” was because of this word: mesothelioma. Is this personal for me? No. But a few years back a good friend of ours lost his dad to this exact disease. I remember the anguish his family felt from losing such a good man, a devoted father, a loving grandfather. They felt cheated. It seemed so senseless. He was a seemingly healthy person. Why did this happen? Because of a decision he made as a young man during one summer. One summer. He took a job at Johns Mansville. A manufacturer that produces asbestos-containing products.
When I clicked on this link, I was impressed with the site and the message it sent. I got to the very bottom of the page. Where I had to choose one out of three plates in which I had to write a fear on and then “throw” into the fire. So, I clicked on a plate, and then sat there for a minute. Thinking. And thinking. What was I going to write? I’ve never had cancer or anything that I was truly, deathly afraid of. Besides, what fear of mine could be worse than having cancer come back? So, I left the site. Because I didn’t feel worthy. But my mind kept going back to it.
So, here’s where it gets “funny.” I have an email account that I created just for my momfeld stuff. For some reason, I suppose because of the whole peri-menopause thing going on or just because I probably have adult ADD, I forget to check it. I hadn’t checked it in a week or more. I finally remembered today. There was an email from a woman. The one with the plate site. Asking if I would tell her story. Talk about Lung Leavin’ Day. I felt honored and more than happy to do it.
This brave woman lost a lung to this disease on February 2, 2006. Mere months after giving birth to her child. When you go to her site, you can read her story and how she got this disease. It’s amazing. Every year, on the second of February, Heather gathers together with her closest friends and family for Lung Leavin’ Day. Where they throw their fears into a bon fire. What better way to rid yourself of all that you are fearful of? All that could be holding you back?
After I thought about it for a while, I realized that my fear can be anything. Fear of public speaking. Fear of heights. Fear of writing a book. Whatever the fear, it’s your fear. It doesn’t matter how big or small. So, please do me a favor. And yourself. Because it’s important. And hell, it feels good. Go to her site (which is really creative and cool) and write your fear on a plate. Then go ahead and smash it into the fire. It will feel good. I promise. Because I went back there and wrote a fear and smashed that plate. So I know. It felt good. And I’m doing it again. On February 2nd.
This disease is a killer. Heather beat the odds. Honor her and all who have suffered from or succumbed to this disease. Click on the plate. You won’t regret it. Oh, and spread the word. Thank you.