Guest Blog Post – Author: Fried Ringoot | Belgium

Greetings readers! And? Everything alright?

So nice to enter your mind and heart uninvited J When they asked me to write something down, I started to think, about what I would write and how to do it. After a while I decided to stop thinking and just let my heart speak. I do that often… actually all the time. And without any sacrifice J

A lot of people ask us (my dear Anny & I) in God’s name we’re still standing. After all we’ve been through, we used to think about how we’re still together. Now it’s not necessary anymore, we already know the answer a long time now: to love and to be loved. In all its aspects. To love life, to love each other, to love the world around us. And you know what, it’s not even that hard J It’s just like laughing… it goes automatically and it makes you happy. And that’s why I decided a long time ago to smile as much as I can every single day!

In 2005, I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Me? Cancer? People around me, yes…but not me? Yes, me too. In my head, I can still hear the oncologist say: “I have the impression you both love each other a lot”. “Yes” we both answered. Not knowing what that had to do with cancer cells or chemo. “Good,” she said, “because you’ll need it the most”. At that time it seemed a weird thing to say. In retrospect, we know better and we still believe that it was love and optimism that has kept us still standing till this day.

But everything that could go wrong, went wrong: new tumor found, another surgery, vocal chords burned from chemo (go figure! My independent job as an animator/host was gone), house burned down, already 5 years having osteporosis, having a body like someone who’s 80 years old (but luckily in my mind I’m still a 16 year old J) and since then I’m in a wheelchair because, slowly but surely, I’m becoming paralyzed below the diaphragm… phew, you still with us? OK…

And look! Even after all these knockdowns, I’m still managing to play my show “En..? Alles Goed?”  for these past 3 years. Yes, in a wheelchair, but hey, so what? I’m doing what I’ve been dreaming since I was a kid… Cancer might have harmed my body, but it can never take away my dreams. Admit it, nothing can make you happier than that?! I’m pretty sure that Anny & I are one of the happiest people of Flanders. I truly mean that.

At the end of every show I often say “hug each other more often, love one another!”
Only when there’s a flu going around we can do without
J but I love hugging as much as I can. And then there are so many people afterwards who want to hug me and then I’m feeling from my head to my toes how much people are needing this… so why not hug more often?!

A lot of people come to ‘consume’… to get some energy. And if I wonder where that comes from I’m thinking it’s because we see life positively. And why not? For instance, Anny and I never fight anymore. For years. What’s the point anyway? You have to make up in the end.

One of our life mottos is “you (almost) always get back what you give” If you’re a blaming sourpuss, then that’s what you’ll get back. The other way around is the truth too… if you show your heart and see the good in others, you’ll get that back and you discover beautiful emotions every day.

During my show there’s a lot of laughing. I call it the ‘Sitting, stand-up rollercoaster’. Because it is a rollercoaster of emotions… laughing, lots of laughing, but personal and touching that you’ll shed a tear. I love the many letters (often handwritten) that I’m getting afterwards…it’s exactly why I love doing my theatershows.

I also play my shows for schools (15-19 year olds) and the so-called ‘grown-ups’ tell me then and there that I shouldn’t bother the youngsters with it. What rubbish. As if they don’t have to deal with emotions. Some less pleasant emotions can turn into something positive… that’s something for all ages, isn’t it?!

Despite all the misery (I’m a patient and am in pain 24/7), how do we keep standing?

Anny and I always make sure we have something to look forward to. How small that may be. And if there aren’t any small things to look forward to? Then we create it ourselves. A visit, a trip to take our grandkids to the beach, Plopsaland (yes, even for the 25th time this year, love it! J)…you name it. If you look closely there’s always something to look forward to. We don’t look backwards, unless it’s to realize how ‘lucky’ we are. And I truly mean that.

So, dear all, I wish you all ‘something to look forward to’!

I wish you a lot of ‘giving’ to get a lot back.

A heart full of emotions.

I hope that you don’t find too many setbacks on your path. And, if there are any, I wish you a lot of strength and energy to be able to handle them. I invite you all to come see my show in Belgium sooner or later. To ‘experience’ is the right word. And promise me to stay afterwards to tell me what you’re looking forward to at that moment!

Love one another!

‘Heartly’ hugs


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