Choose Happy


There are days when we choose to look at the world a little differently. Whether its a simple gesture from a stranger, the air smells different, or your typical traffic filled commute has transformed into wide open road. Those days are special. Why is it that every day cant feel that way when if we were to take a step back we would see that nothing has changed?

We make that change. We get to decide how we will look at the world every morning when we wake up. Choose happy. I wish it were that simple. Easier said than done…. or is it?

There are personal struggles that I can’t begin to know the extent of the heartache and pain. However, I do believe that no matter how extremely hard this life can be, there is so much good. The words “choose happy” have always lived inside of my heart, but only as of late have I felt more passionate to really live by them.

It would be ignorant of me to pretend as though its an easy task. With so many outside factors that each of us encounter on a day to day basis, it’s very easy to push happiness to the wayside and give up. I cant say I will be perfect at this, but I will say that I’m going to try. Each and everyday…

A man my age recently passed away after a long and tough fight against cancer. This man, although we never kept in touch after High school was a forced to be reckoned with even when I first met him in the 7th grade. If his towering stature was not enough, his personality was so large that without saying much he commanded the attention of anyone within earshot. As teenagers we got along immediately as I was enamored by his natural ability to make everything humorous and fun. At 13 years old, the last thing I wanted to do was take anything seriously. He was fun, really fun. Thinking of those days makes me smile. As we went through high school and years passed, Chris never lost that side to him. Even while enduring very hard and very painful days, his spirit was tough, courageous, and yes….hilarious.

Choose happy. A sentence only two words long, but yet one that carries such weight was a message that Chris began passing along. He wanted not only his wife and young son to live by these words, but really anyone who would listen. Now, it is his legacy.
Before he passed away I asked him if I could share some words he gave me shortly after knowing my son had been diagnosed with down syndrome and while he was also fighting a battle with cancer. The day after I spoke with him I shared these words in a previous blog post “New Diagnosis,New Year”. However, he said much more to me that I want to share as it encompasses his legacy. Not only that, but for selfish reasons I want to put his words in a place I can refer back to on the days I need them the most.
“You have things figured out friend. This world is about family, friends, and the Memories you make. Everything else is trivial and can be changed on a dime.  

This world is tough, but once you have it figured out, it is actually pretty easy. We can let situations crush us only if we let them, however if we allow people to stand united around us and help, we can hold much more “weight” collectively (plus you are short, so us tall people will carry your load for free. = )

Continue rocking on Helen. Continue making and posting all of those awesome Memories you make everyday with that beautiful, happy, gift to your family, baby boy of yours. Remember to take time for Mom and Dad…….you have to stay safe and sane to be able to give your all…..meaning don’t run on E forever, be sure and recharge mama. It’s counter intuitive, i know, but “wasting time” on yourself actually helps you deal with children better. You are your child’s guidance, so if you ever find yourself upset and stressed, remember that kids see that, so it’s time for you to recharge. 

Stay YOU Helen. Keep the love and laughs going and continue being the awesome mom and family structure you already are. That kid is so lucky to have you in his life, and the same is true of him being in yours. God did good on his pairing here!!! Stay in touch Mrs Garcia and pass my love and support around to your family. I’m here, even just as an ear to vent to or that annoying cancer guy with the always up beat attitude. Life is what you make it…and mines pretty fucking awesome!!!”

~Chris Pennewell

Thank you Chris for showing us all what really matters. Your larger than life personality and outlook on life will never be forgotten.

Here is a video I was shown during a conference. A good reminder that everyday is a gift. Gratitude


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