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©2020 by Jake Pereira


A Toast to Beating Cancer, A Toast to Life.

There is a human connection aspect that is missed when you are jut at your office with your head phones in most of the day. Getting out into the community is important.

In the spirit of community, yesterday I worked with Joanna at the Jesse, an excellent new local Reno property, and was confronted with an unexpected, serendipitous, instance of human connection, and a reminder of how precious life is.

When it came time to show support of the Jesse with the purchase of our afternoon coffee I closed my computer and walked over to the bar in the hotel lobby.

I sat down to order a cappuccino and iced coffee and just as I did another women sat down at the bar with an expression of absolute bliss.

She said to the bar tender that she needed something to celebrate what had just taken place in here life.

She and I were the only ones sitting at the bar, her radiance and my curiosity compelled me to ask what she was celebrating. Health, she exclaimed with near tears in her eyes. I quickly realized that this was beyond your average celebration toast.

After raising my cup to her we engaged in conversation. It turns out that this was indeed something beyond the average celebration.

She had just come from her doctor, where after a year of uncertainty, fighting, surgeries and treatment she had been cleared of her cancer.

She would be around to enjoy her retirement, see her twin boys continue to flourish into adulthood, travel to Europe and as she put it:

"to live"

As she expressed this joy and excitement for her life, tears welled in my eyes.

In life we are periodically confronted with stories like this, sometimes close to home, other times at a distance. They serve as a wake up call, for how easy it is to lull yourself into the day to day without realizing how precious life truly is.

In the spirit of appreciating life there are all the clichés:

"You don't know what you’ve got until its gone"

"Live every day like its your last"

"Love your family and relationships above all else, it is what truly matters."

And so on…

We hear these, respond ya, ya, and continue on with our lives, but to sit across from a women who 12 months ago was diagnosed with cancer, and less than 48 hours ago did not know if she would live to see her next birthday and hear things like:

"Cherish the ones you love"

"Don't let your life become all about work and making money"

"Do not wait, you may not have as much time as you think"

"Without health you have nothing"

"Don't worry if people do not like what you do"

Makes these reminders hit home hard, it makes your realize that at the root of each of these "clichés" there life experience and wisdom that is not to be ignored.

I am grateful for her second lease on life, grateful for the seemingly serendipitous encounter and reminder of how precious life is, and grateful for another day to create, experience, and share life with those I love.

My hope is that we all honor lessons from people like this who have felt the true meaning of "you don't know what you’ve got until its gone" beyond shrugging it off as just another phrase.

Do life today with a smile on your face and a realization of how lucky you truly are.