Jeff Bridges shared a poignant note about his recovery from cancer and COVID
Jeff Bridges photo by Gage Skidmore/Wikicommons

An image from Jeff Bridges' personal note on his website

Way to bury the lead, Jeff! Yesterday's news of Jeff Bridges' cancer remission revealed the beloved Hollywood icon also faced COVID 19, which had him hospitalized for over a month. This put many things on hold, including filming for his new FX thriller series Old Man.

Taking on chemotherapy is no easy task. Pile that onto losing smell, restricted breathing, and medical isolation, and anyone would want to throw in the towel. But for the ever optimistic Bridges, dealing with two health crises simultaneously became a beautiful life lesson, which he shared in a handwritten letter found on his website.



His letter starts with a brief, lighthearted telling of his cancer/covid experience, saying covid made "cancer look like a piece of cake," and "Covid kicked my *** pretty good, but I'm double vaccinated & feeling much better now." He even granted us a rather impressive Darth Vader doodle.



But what comes next is the real tear jerker:

"While I had moments of tremendous pain...getting close to the Pearly Gates...I felt joyous and happy most of the time. This brush with mortality has brought me a great gift. Life is brief and beautiful. Love is all around us, & available @ all times. It's a matter of opening ourselves up to receive the gift WE, (I) want some other gift that Life isn't giving us. I mean, who would want to get Cancer and COVID? Well...it turns out I would. I would, because I get to learn about love, learn things that I never would have if I never got it.

Jeff goes on to share exactly what he learned, and it's a message that really hits home, both literally and figuratively:

"Here's a flash I had: Home is a place where a person can receive, give, and learn about love. And that place, HOME, is really wherever you are @ any given moment, right now, for instance."



He then recommends some interesting book titles, song selections, and even a video about albatrosses, which I think we can all agree has equal value.

For anyone struggling to see the gift in times of pain, may Jeff's candid and genuine words remind you to view wherever you are as an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, grow, and most importantly, to love.

True

Shanda Lynn Poitra was born and raised on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in Belcourt, North Dakota. She lived there until she was 24 years old when she left for college at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

"Unfortunately," she says, "I took my bad relationship with me. At the time, I didn't realize it was so bad, much less, abusive. Seeing and hearing about abusive relationships while growing up gave me the mentality that it was just a normal way of life."

Those college years away from home were difficult for a lot of reasons. She had three small children — two in diapers, one in elementary school — as well as a full-time University class schedule and a part-time job as a housekeeper.

"I wore many masks back then and clothing that would cover the bruises," she remembers. "Despite the darkness that I was living in, I was a great student; I knew that no matter what, I HAD to succeed. I knew there was more to my future than what I was living, so I kept working hard."

While searching for an elective class during this time, she came across a one-credit, 20-hour IMPACT self-defense class that could be done over a weekend. That single credit changed her life forever. It helped give her the confidence to leave her abusive relationship and inspired her to bring IMPACT classes to other Native women in her community.

I walked into class on a Friday thinking that I would simply learn how to handle a person trying to rob me, and I walked out on a Sunday evening with a voice so powerful that I could handle the most passive attacks to my being, along with physical attacks."

It didn't take long for her to notice the difference the class was making in her life.

"I was setting boundaries and people were either respecting them or not, but I was able to acknowledge who was worth keeping in my life and who wasn't," she says.

Following the class, she also joined a roller derby league where she met many other powerful women who inspired her — and during that summer, she found the courage to leave her abuser.

"As afraid as I was, I finally had the courage to report the abuse to legal authorities, and I had the support of friends and family who provided comfort for my children and I during this time," she says.

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via Matt Radick / Flickr

Joe Biden reversed Donald Trump's ban on transgender people serving in the military earlier this year, allowing the entire LGBTQ community to serve for the first time.

Anti-gay sentiment in the U.S. military goes as far back as 1778 when Lieutenant Frederick Gotthold Enslin was convicted at court-martial on charges of sodomy and perjury. The military would go on to make sodomy a crime in 1920 and worthy of dishonorable discharge.

In 1949 the Department of Defense standardized its anti-LGBT regulations across the military, declaring: "Homosexual personnel, irrespective of sex, should not be permitted to serve in any branch of the Armed Forces in any capacity, and prompt separation of known homosexuals from the Armed Forces is mandatory."

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