good life – by makenzie moore
Part of cultivating a good life is knowing that there are so many sweet moments in life despite the trials we face.
I am 15 years old. I have a fabulous family including my parents and two brothers. We love goofing off together and just talking. In my short 15 years of life, I have experienced so many things. On February 15th, 2006, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor in my brain stem. It’s about the size of your typical adult thumb. Since then I’ve had six surgeries, four of which were on my brain, and eight years of chemo. One surgery even led to me having to regain the strength to walk again. Despite all of these challenging times throughout my life, there have also been many sweet moments.
Through the Make-a-Wish Foundation, I was able to meet Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones books, who dedicated her book Dumb Bunny to me. I was able to meet and receive a blessing from the prophet of the LDS church, Thomas S. Monson, who is an excellent role model. I’ve made so many new friends, including the doctors and nurses at Phoenix Children’s Hospital. For several years I was able to go to Camp Rainbow through the hospital, which included many fun activities such as horseback riding, zip lining, and rock wall climbing which were made possible by generous donations. I am so grateful for all that I’ve been able to do, despite the fact it is because I have my tumor. Even though these were all fantastic experiences, they don’t compare to the great moments I’ve had on a daily basis.
Though going to the doctor isn’t fun, I am so grateful for modern medicine. There are many other sweet moments I experience everyday. I enjoy talking to my mom. I love it when my brothers show concern for me. I love to see amazing sunsets which make me feel loved and so blessed. I love food from my grandmas, eating, watching movies, being at home every day (my favorite place), walking, winning an UNO game, spending time with my family, shopping with friends and family, or just a kind word from someone. For me, sweet moments could even just be a piece of chocolate. I am grateful when I get to leave the hospital when I’ve had to stay and when other kids have to stay. I especially love receiving answers to prayers which puts me in awe every time.
There are so many blessings that fill our every day. If we are too focused on the negative, we will miss these seemingly small, sweet moments. It can be hard to see the sweet moments when our world seems to be falling apart. I love my life! I love who I am. I am grateful for the sweet moments that surround me everyday. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to write about cultivating a good life.
Note from Becky
Makenzie, you’ve left me speechless. I adore you, sweet girl – and I so appreciate your example of radiating positivity. Doesn’t this make us all feel like we really have nothing to complain about? I mean, really. Blessings are abundant, no matter what our life situation or what we’ve been through. Makenzie is living proof that this attitude is the essence of cultivating a good life and I am grateful to know her and her family since she was a little girl.
Read Makenzie’s story here.