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Recent Family Visit From Mexico

A few years ago, my half-sister, niece, and great-niece visited me from Mexico. I was so happy because I hadn’t seen them in over 20 years and had never met my great-niece.

I’ve always told myself I need to go see them because it isn’t easy for them to come here. But I never did.

My half-siblings are much older than me, so going there is challenging. I would try to go to them, especially after my diagnosis, but was never able to.

Instead, I decided to travel more and see the world as much as possible. But when they came, I knew I needed to try to make it to Mexico at least once a year and visit with them. My sister being here brought me so much joy and peace.

I thought I would never see her again, so I made sure to spend every second of that week with her. We would stay up late and talk, wake up early, and have more talks over coffee. We would sit outside in my yard, talk more, and spend as much time with each other as possible.

She wanted to know how I was doing and what was going on with this awful disease I had. I made sure to explain to her all the details about living with lung cancer.

She was so impressed and thankful that I was still here. She told me, “You are a true fighter. Never stop fighting." She was also very impressed with all the advocacy work I’ve done with lung cancer.

More so, I’ve done a few in Spanish; she told me I’m very proud of you and that she brags about me to other family members and friends in Mexico. I knew that all my work was making a difference in our lung cancer community.

Meeting my great-niece for the first time was such a blessing. I never thought I would ever meet her, but so thankful I did.

She’s learning English, so while here, we all made sure to speak to her in English so she could practice. I was so impressed with her desire to learn English, and now she’s in Canada and has enrolled in school to learn more.

I was hoping she would come here by me and go to Purdue University or Indiana University, but she chose Canada. It’s okay. I now have a place to go to in Canada!  

I make sure to keep in touch with my niece and great-niece through Facebook, WhatsApp, and Messenger. But with my sister, we call each other instead.

I made a promise that while I was still living, I would make it to Mexico and go visit my family. I haven’t made my way there yet, but this year, 2024, I’m going to make it happen no matter what.

Living with lung cancer makes us prioritize, but I’m lacking that when it comes to my family in Mexico. I travel so much that I keep putting it off, but I need to change that.

We honestly don’t know when our exit date will be. We don’t know how long we have, and putting things off is not smart; well, at least for me, it isn’t.

So, whatever it is that you want or need to do but haven’t DO IT! Don’t put it off any longer.

Some may find this difficult to accept or perceive it as overly critical, but the reality is that we all have a limited amount of time on this earth. It's unfortunate, but it's important to pursue your dreams when you can.

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