Everybody’s Got Something

people watch

I love to ‘people watch.’ Like when I’m sitting in the car at a red signal light and vehicles are turning in front of me. I wonder where they are headed, what their everyday life is like, and I am amazed how we all look so different. At restaurants I love to look at the couples and families around me. Analyze what they look like, what they are wearing and wonder if they are happy. Airports are my favorite. I try to consider where they are off to and why, what their career is, if they have a partner and what their home life is like. My scanners are on high alert when surrounded by strangers and my inquisitive mind becomes overloaded with random questions and thoughts. The foundation of what fascinates me the most is that everybody’s got something.

When taking a quick glance at people, it is easy to judge them by what they are wearing, what car they drive, or how they present themselves. However, that is just a mere façade. No matter what we may think or how people portray themselves, nobody’s life is perfect. Each of us battles something.

“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz


I just finished reading Good Morning America anchor Robin Robert’s memoir “Everybody’s Got Something.” She shares her journey and health battles with such grace, honesty, humor and insight. Robin has survived breast cancer and a bone marrow transplant. She and I share some fun commonalities. Robin’s donor and my donor have the same name, Sally, and they both possess unyielding faith and express it in such a beautiful and sincere manner. Robin’s mother’s birthday is the same as mine, February 5th. Robin describes her partner as the “wind beneath my wings.” That song and those four words hold a very special place in the hearts of me and my mom. Besides these similarities, the way Robin battled her illness, shares her story and her outlook on life, parallels that of mine. Her family and friends are such a strong and loving support system. Each person plays a uniquely vital role in the success of her recovery and happiness in life. The bond she had with her parents and especially her mother really hit home with me.

We can gain such strength and inspiration by learning from the journeys of others. Robin’s mother gave her the advice to “make your mess your message.” I believe in this whole-heartedly and live by these five words. Also the support, love and prayers from those around us can lift us to new heights. I would not be alive today if it weren’t for my amazing family, team of doctors, and my husband, Noah. We all need someone to take care of us. Some need it more than others.

robin's quote

As I read the last sentence of Robin Robert’s memoir, I was smiling yet with a heavy heart, and was inspired and filled with such joy all at the same time. Robin is living proof that anything bad can happen to any of us at any time. We are stronger than we ever imagined. That “there are years that ask questions and years that answer.” To “make your mess your message.” That “everybody’s got something” and most importantly “we’ve also all got something to give: hope, encouragement, a life-saving transplant, or a spirit-saving embrace.”


  1. Julia Adams

    This is lovely Valen! Looking forward to reading Robin Robert’s memoir…all these similarities have gotten me thinking kindred spirits!! You are both so inspiring with your determination to look for the positive and the beauty within difficult circumstances. Thank you and Bravo!!

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Julia,
      Thank you. I really connected with this memoir. So ironic that you said kindred spirits. Robin sent me a tweet and I responded back saying we are kindred spirits. 🙂 I appreciate your support and friendship.

  2. Jackie

    Wow Valen! Amazing post! I love the make your mess your message quote! 🙂

    • Valen Keefer

      Hi Jackie!
      Thank you so much sis! 🙂 I know, I think that is a fantastic and very motivational quote! Hope you are doing great! Sure miss you! xo


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