Today is Mardi Gras, "Fat Tuesday." I never understood what Mardi Gras was all about until two years ago, when I spent two weeks in New Orleans. I've been in love ever since.
The purpose of the trip was to work with Nazarene Disaster Relief to help the people of New Orleans who were still re-building after the devastation of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. It's hard to believe that even two years after the storms blew threw that people would still need help, but it was as if the work had just begun.
I look back on this trip wish especially fond memories, as it was the last excursion I took while still blissfully ignorant of the tumor growing inside of me. I was able to work hard. I could walk around the city without concern of how much energy I would use while doing so. I even put braids in my hair- just for fun. And although I didn't lift my shirt to get any of my beads, (nor would I,) I could have, and it would just be seen as another reveller who's maybe had too much to drink.
If I were in New Orleans now and lifted my shirt now, how would people react? (Besides arrest me- it is illegal.) Would they gasp in disbelief? Would they stare? Would they feel pity for me?
These are the things I think about. I miss the care free days of life before cancer. I want to work hard again. I want to walk around a city or enjoy a parade and not worry about how tired I will be afterwards. I want to be able to braid my hair again. Someday I will. :)