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  • Writer's pictureHayley Parker

A Toast to Darkness & Light

Updated: Oct 8, 2022

Today we celebrate my best friends cancerversary Mackenzie Lives .This will be the first year I spend it without this lovely lady. It would have marked 11 years she lived with cancer from when she was diagnosed back in 2010. I know she’s there lingering, listening in, in joy and spirit as we celebrate every little bit of her being today.

This day carried the darkness of her fate but was always spent in light. Kenz made sure to plan something simple yet fun every year. Drinks could do the trick. I always loved to offer a mini gift as a small gesture for the huge impact she has made on my life.

I relive Kenz’s diagnosis in my mind every single year on this day but I try to find the hints for what it has given me instead of taken away. Kenz’s story is far from a role of the victim or a succumbing to fear, she was much more than “the fighter.” I can’t even relate to the extent of pain she had to endure and how she learned to transform it all but she was always allowing for the natural unfolding of things in order to live from the deep ocean of peace. There was no mask that she wore, simply the honest joy, every trace in her being that she could morph from the pain.

There will always be a link between Saint Patrick's Day and a toast of “fuck cancer” with Kenz & Mama Pam like the year it all came to be. Kenz did not let cancer grasp her essence no matter how much it would come to cast a shadow in her every move. She wasn’t a fighter, she was a peace maker, a lover. She was the one who colored the world in all its beauty. It’s what through all of these years she has shared with me, to see uplift in the downside of things. Even if a range of emotion needs be present you can still feel your way through the dark into the light. There is a believing in the better, the deeper knowing that this world is all so beautiful even after all of the unanswered questions.

Her life wasn’t for nothing but everything. A lesson for us all. A good look at her words, her art @kenzies_reveries ,and know she was embedded with trickling's that will now lead us down our path whether it be dark at times or with the lightness intended for each one of us. Nothing will define your path no matter it’s relentlessness.

I toast on this day to kenz’s teachings and our responsibility to honor them. Live a life that is full, mindful, and absolutely beautiful honoring the darkness and the light.

You will always have access to Mackenzie’s stunning artwork. Proceeds will support her favorite breast cancer/ cancer supporting businesses. Even if you just need to go see a slice of Kenz today and the beauty she created, check out:


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