By Roslyn Franken.
My name is Roslyn Franken. I was born to a mother who survived the concentration camps of Nazi Germany and a father who survived the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, Japan, as a prisoner of war. The only thing they said kept them going was their hope and courage to face each new day with a renewed determination to never give up. This attitude was their choice.
When diagnosed with cancer at age 57, my mother told the doctor, “Hitler didn’t get me, my cancer won’t get me.” Doctors gave her two years to live. She died 21 years later. Her cancer came back five times over those years and each time she’d bounce back and defy the odds. With all that she had already suffered in her lifetime, she could have easily played the victim, but once again she chose to ‘never give up’.
When I was diagnosed with cancer at age 29, I quickly learned that I inherited my parents ‘survivor’ attitude. I saw how my mother handled her cancer and realized that I had that same power of choice. We all have the power of choice. We can choose whatever we think, believe, say and do in response to any event or person crossing our paths, no matter what.
I could have thrown myself a big pity party, feeling sorry for myself and drowning in my own fears, worries and anxieties. There were so many unknowns, so many changes, so much pain and suffering. It was one of the most challenging times of my life, but I made the conscious choice to never give up. Just like my mother, I was not about to take it lying down. I couldn’t afford to let the negative fears, thoughts and emotions rob me of the positive energy I needed to fight my fight and beat my cancer. I was not about to give up hope or let my spirit be broken by my challenging circumstances. Then ten years later, at my heaviest weight and afraid for my health, I made the choice to fight back again, only this time to win my battles with food, weight and lifestyle obstacles, once and for all. It was my choice.
We all have the power of choice in every area of our lives. We don’t always realize it because we get so caught up in the rat race of trying to keep up with our endless To-Do lists and problems to solve, that we can’t see the forest through the trees. We end up neglecting what’s most important to us. We absolutely have the power of choice. We have the choice in how we spend our time and energy, what is most important to us and honoring our physical bodies and our inner selves. With every challenge, no matter what, we have the choice to be the victim or the victor, the worrier or the warrior. Your job is simply to choose wisely.
Photo Credit: Max Elman