Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Live From Midsomer

    One of my favorite shows to watch is actually from Britain called , " Midsomer Murders " .  I love murder mysteries and I love Britain's shows/movies . Honestly , I'm in love with England . The villages and scenery ...........the cottages and country living .
   Long ago ( anything before cancer is long ago ) I would envision my forties as a time for myself . Having my children very young permitted me to think of what my middle age would look like . My children should be adults and settled on their own leaving me to live out my dream .
  What was my dream ? Back then all I wanted was to live on my own . To have a place totally to myself where I decorated  it the way I wanted . Where I could sleep when I wanted . . . .cooked when I wanted . Basically , no schedules .
   I think all mothers have that dream after raising their children . After spending a huge part of our life cooking , cleaning and being everything for everybody else . . . . we dream of a time when we can be everything to ourselves .
  I envisioned living in a cottage surrounded by beautiful flowers . A garden of lilacs and hanging vines where I would come out onto my patio ( love patios, despise decks ) and have a cup of coffee. . . . alone . This cottage would be set in a quiet town .
   Everytime I watch my Midsomer ( which is a fictional place ) I think about my dream . My cottage and garden exist in Midsomer . It is a fictional town built just right for my fictional dream . I could imagine myself there  and just like Calgon took our mother's generation away , this town takes me away .
   There is nothing wrong with dreaming as long as we know what is real and what is fictional . Part of my fascination with England , Scotland , Ireland and anything Europe might stem from the fact that I was born in Europe .
    Besides , who knows what the future holds .....I might just actually live in my cottage one day . Emily and Diamond can come along . This need of mine to be living alone ? It has passed . I love my children as adults . I love our relationship as adults .
    When the days get tough and I need a break , I 'll just watch my Midsomer and imagine . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I Love The Night Life

    I love staying up at night . So peaceful and quite . Everyone asleep and the house is in slumber . There is always a nice breeze coming through the windows . No cars and no people stirring about not even a mouse .
    Eversince  I started working nights many years ago ,  staying up all night has always been a part of my routine on my days off . I would do my laundry or housework while everyone was asleep . Watch all my favorite movies or shows . Write letters and pay bills . That was my life . . . then .
  Since the cancer came into my life , staying up is almost impossible . I just don't have the stamina to do that . I'm tired all the time and taking naps has become the norm for me .
  Once in awhile though. . . . I stay up . Not all night but maybe until 3 or 4 in the morning . I sure get alot done that night . There are no interruptions . No phone calls . No people . Just you and the night .
  This  past weekend I did just that . . . . . for one night . Even though all I really did is crochet and write my blog , I still found it very relaxing and fulfilling .
  I think the reason why I really love the night is because of the privacy it brings .  My alone time is very important to me . Remember all those subscriptions I joined via e-mail ? Well , they're piling up since I can only do a few a day . Don't we all dream of time to ourselves ?
  Of course , the very next night I fell asleep , but I still smile and remember that night . Maybe real soon I can stay up all night again . Gives me the illusion that my body and I are back to normal .  Have a Blessed Week everyone .

A Hairy Business

    Hair has taken over my life . With the chemo ending 3 months ago , I have been waiting , impatiently , for hair to make a return in my life . Everyday , I would stand in front of the mirror looking for some signs of growth upon my head . Come on hair ....GROW !
   Hair did grow , but where ? My moustache !!!! Of all the places this was the last place I wanted hair ! What came next ? My legs !! Come on  ! Hair started growing all over my body except my head . That was last to appear .
  I have to say that I've never waited for anything with such anticipation as my hair . When my eyelashes started to grow I felt beautiful . I never appreciated them before .
  My hair is growing but not at the rate I want . We are never satisfied , are we ? With the summer heat upon us , I'm very hot wearing the scarves .  So why don't I just take it off ? Because. . . . .
   I remember the first time around five years ago , I took off my scarf as soon as my hair was just stubble , feeling gorgeous . Only later did I find out from people how badly it didn't suit me . Actually , it was just two people that made that remark to me . It did hurt to hear it . I felt silly because I walked around with that blunt haircut feeling fantastic and I guess I wasn't . . . . . fantastic . Won't let that happen again . I'm just not ready to take it off .
   The hair color is different . Not really sure what color it will turn out to be , but it is different from last time . I loved my hair last time .
   I have a secret to tell . . . . when I'm by myself  . . . . .I run my hand over my hair constantly . I love the feel of it . Hair marks our appearamce . Can't wait to see how it frames my face . Can't wait to take a picture with hair . Can't wait . .. . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

In My Likeness

   Whenever I see a parent who has a  child that is a mini replica of them , I feel envious . I've always wanted a child who looks just like me . . . . completely .
   I had four children , two that died when they were babies and the other two are adults now . As I look at my Joey and Emily , I see a small likeness but not much . They both had different fathers and it seems they took after them in looks . When we were young and in love , we wanted them to look like their dad, didn't we ?
   The older we get , the more we want to leave something of ourselves behind . We want to see ourselves in our children . The fact that I have cancer plays a big part in all of this . I was here and I want to be remembered .
   As any parent out there , I wanted to see grandchildren before I died . Not only did I want grandchildren but also to have a relationship with them . That takes time and time is something I really don't have .  I am Blessed that God answered my prayer by my son marrying  into a blended family . Now , I have Hannah and Tim . Does it bother me that they are not blood ? Absolutely not ! I feel as if I truly was their natural grandma . I am thankful for their existence in my life .
   Even though , none of my children really look like me , they seemed to have developed my mannerisms . Emily especially , has alot of me in her . People seem to think she looks like me but what they are seeing are my mannerisms .
  What does warm my heart is to find out my son does alot of the same things with Hannah and Tim that I used to do with him when he was small . That is more satisfying than any replica mini me !! They are setting traditions that were started by me . Talk about leaving something behind .
  Everyone keeps asking me if there is any pitter patter of a baby on it's way . Funny , how it doesn't really matter to me if there is ....I'm completely fulfilled with Hannah and Tim . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Monday, May 28, 2012

Sharing The Stories

  During my journey I have encountered many people with different illnesses , not just cancer . Their stories really not much different from mine . It seems that once you have become ill , you want to hear and know others in similiar circumstances . In my case , it seems everyone in my life knows someone with cancer . Suddenly cancer is everywhere .
   I can remember how important it was for me to hear of another woman with ovarian cancer particularly her survival rate . Once , I spent an entire week searching on the web . Reading each story and growing in despair as I found how often the cancer came back . That made me even more determined to find at least one story where it didn't .
   My doctor said it best . Don't spend your remaining life waiting to die . Keep living a full life . I'm definitely trying my best to do just that .
  Still , it's very difficult to go on when others around you have not made it but passed on . Their stories are not easy on the ears . They are heartbreaking .  I have visited many a bedside bringing coffee and bagels to a grieving family as they watch their loved one slowly dying . I have seen the slow and painful death of cancer . I have seen a grown man , whimpering and tears streaming down his cheeks with pain that meds could not mask . It took two weeks for him to die . Knowing that's how I'm going to die scares the heck out of me .
  I can remember a certain young man of 29 years dying . I remember driving to work and a sudden despair overtook me and I replayed " Word of God Speak " over and over again later finding out that was the moment he passed .
  Yes , people share their stories with me all the time . Mostly , they are positive and uplifting . They are meant to encourage me to keep believing . To never give up .
  Everytime , I see Linda now , my heart bleeds . This woman , once , was a very positive - I - will - never - give -up kind of woman and now ? She's tired and worn out . There is no more twinkle to her eye .The smile is forced and she is so very tired .
  Sharing their stories keeps them alive in our hearts . Their stories encourage us to face each day . To appreciate what we have and the time we have with the people in  our lives . To those who are battling their disease ? Let's continue to pray for their healing and for their strength to face the hard days . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

A Room Full Of Women

   Just a few days ago , I hosted a food tasting party . The party itself was really no different than the candle or tupperware kind that we women host . It's just an excuse for a group of women to get together and spend some money .
   Looking around the room , I noticed how different they all were . . . . their clothes . . . their appearance . . . their ages . . . . their ethnic background .  They might have been different but each of them was connected to me .
  My need for other women in my life has changed drastically as I age . In my youth , I tended to be more of a loner with just a couple of very close friends . That has changed alot . I have no idea where or when I've acquired so many girlfriends .
  I think in our younger days we are so busy raising children and being wives that we have no time for other women in our lives . Being in my late forties , with my children adults , I have the time to spend with friends .
  Each of them has become familiar with a certain part of me . I have cried with some of them and I have laughed . I have studied the Word of God with some and worked with the others . With some  I have taught their children in Sunday School and others just prayed about them . I have loved them and at times been very angry with them .
  I have traveled many roads with each of these women in my life and each of them has a part of me in them . Place all of them in a room , each knowing a part of me , suddenly I become complete . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Love Thy Neighbor

     Love thy neighbor . How many times have we heard that phrase ? A phrase I can't escape from it seeems . From my childhood until now , this phrase follows me around . Love thy neighbor .
    During my life I have loved and hated my neighbor . I have been jealous and I have ignored my neighbor . Out of all the commandments , this one is the hardest . Our relationship with others goes through many levels .
    How many of us have that one person we both love and hate ? That one person we keep wanting to sever all ties with but can't ? I have a someone like that . I don't hate this person but they really aggravate me . I struggle with our relationship . Many times , I have thought of ending this relationship .
   What stops me ? Love thy neighbor . Everytime  the idea of ending it comes up in my head , I run across that phrase . It happened again this weekend . Again . this person's ways and character  begs me to run for the hills .Something always pops up to prevent me from cutting her out of my life .
  I have known this person for over ten years . God obviously , wants me to work on us and perhaps , more importantly , work on myself . Love thy neighbor . So hard to do that .
  With the Holy Spirit inside me , I just can't walk away from her . There is something that impels me to stay and try harder to love her . Have a Blessed Week everyone and remember to love thy neighbor .

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Neighbor's Eye

   There was a knock on our door late one evening . Surprised , Emily and I looked at each other . Who could that be at this time ? Answering the door , it was one of our neighbors holding in her hand my keys . Apparently , old age has visited me earlier and I left them in the front door keyhole .  
    How did this young woman know it was ours ? There are eight units in our building and only two of them have been here awhile . The other six , including us , have moved in less then six months ago . We are new to each other .
    My grandma , living in Poland and in her nineties , loves to sit in front of her house for hours watching people . Sometimes , she calls out to them with a remark or two . She doesn't know them all by name but she does KNOW about them .
   We can learn alot from watching others . Especially , if we are neighbors or share a building . As my grandma sits there in the shade , she observes everyone's movements and habits . She can tell you their story . As she calls out to them  , I'm sure they wonder who the old woman is sitting there making conversation . I'm sure they wonder if she is sane .
   We call each other nosy .We tell each other to mind our own business . But . . . .. that night when my neighbor found my keys inside the keyhole , I was happy that she knew who owned those keys . Have a Blessed Week  and remember , your neighbor's eye is upon you .

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Being A Duck

  Have you ever watched  ducks in water ? The way they constantly flit in and out on the pond ? Bobbing their head in the water and spraying themselves ? They're constantly cleaning themselves . The is quite a job trying to keep oneself clean of filth .How about the dangers a duck in water constantly faces ? Always in danger ....always on guard . Isn't that a little bit like life ?
   I have been very naivee . I really thought I had myself covered because I have gone through this before , haven't I ? I have been naivee .
  Being at home , while going through treatment isolated from the world , makes one feel safe . You let your defenses down . You isolate yourself from the world outside by surrounding yourself with a closeted life you created . You let in only the safe people , closing the doors on everyone else who is a threat to your little existence .
  Going back to work , I have forgotten how to keep myself safe from the devil . You are attacked constantly , flitting in and out of dangerous waters . It's not just work but everywhere . I'm not just sitting in my home anymore . I'm out in the world and the world is dangerous .
  Watching those ducks swim around in their dangerous waters , I notice how they constantly wash themselves . Their dirt and filth slides right off .
   Here I am , secluded in my safe haven for the last two days taking a much needed break from that outside world . My break is ending tonight and already I'm preparing myself for the outside world . Being a duck is hard work . Let it all slide off me . Have a Blessed Week .

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Memory Set Go !

 If I asked you , what is the very first memory that pops into your head right now  . . . . . .what would that memory be ? Mine is always the same . It's my brothers and I when we were extremely young back in Poland running through the fields . Now , I'm not very sure of our age or what followed after that because we were very young when we came to this country . I was 7 years old .
  That memory always comes to mind . I find it funny that I think of my brothers rather than my children . I think that has to do with my age . In our twenties , we think of our friends . In our thirties , we think of our children . Any age  after that , I believe we think of our childhood .
  My grandmother is well into her nineties and all she talks about is her childhood . That's not because she has reverted to childlike behavior . Not at all . She simply seems to like that time better .
  I believe it's because that was a time in our life where we were free to roam and all we knew was love . We were innocent and the trials of the world really didn't touch us . That love was simple , it was true and it was free . We could run freely through the fields .
  Don't we all wish we could feel like that again ? Was my childhood idyllic ? No, like many people out there , I grew up with an alcoholic father who would beat my mom on a regular basis . I never saw my dad sober . Here I am , 47 yrs. old and finally I'm able to have a conversation with my dad . That took alot of forgiveness on both our parts . I had to forgive him and he had to forgive himself .
  Yet , here is my memory ....of running through the fields with my brothers . There is something special about our childhoods that we don't appreciate until we are much , much older . It is our heritage , our history , our stories that we want to pass on to the next generations .
  That's one reason  , I believe , that my grandma keeps telling stories of her youth we don't forget .
What is your first memory ? Care to share ? Have a Blessed Week .

Oh That Sun Shiny Day

  Waking up this morning to a room full of sunshine and a slight breezy wind coming through my windows . What a glorious day ! Full of energy and a smile on my face , I jump up ready to start my day . Don't you wish all days could be like this one ? All the time ? If they were , would be appreciate them ? In the end they might become boring and not appreciated any longer . We are creatures of complaint . We are never happy .
   The more I thought about all what is ahead of me to come , the more excited I felt . My trip , my vacation , summer sunday school , sunny days of summer , the barbecues and long walks . Yes , every season brings renewed energy and hope . It vitalizes our being . The seasons are not just for the earth but also for our health .
   I realize just how much I miss the things in my life that I use to do . The long trips with my mom . I love to drive ! I find it very relaxing . My mom is the perfect person to take on a car trip . Even though she may talk my ear off , especially when I just want to listen to music and drive , but I still miss that time . Other people may complain how long it's taking  but not my mom . She loves the adventure .
  I miss teaching , really teaching . I miss my classroom . I miss the personal connections you make with your students . I just can't wait to teach my kindergarten class this summer . I can feel the excitement pumping through my veins already . Preparing my own lessons .
  I miss the adventure of summer . No other season brings so much activity . Here it is sunday morning  and typically everyone sleeps in late . Not this sunday , already I see people walking , children bike riding etc. Summer brings people outdoors for adventures ! Watermelom and garden tomatoes never tasted so good any other season ! Then there is the ice cream truck that would park in front of my house .
  Oh those sun shiny days ! Bring them on so we can appreciate the Fall that is to come ! Have a Blessed Week . Enjoy your summer everyone !

The Gift Of Gab

    For half my life , I felt an emptiness inside spiritually . The seed has been planted many times  during my life by many people . The fruit of those seeds ? Well , that process was slow .
    When I chose to be baptized , my girlfriend asked me to write my testimony to share with others . I didn't . It seemed too personal , but deep down insides I felt scared and inadequate .
     As I have sat in Bible study on numerous occasion discussing evangelism  , I have always marveled at people who had the gift of preaching . There are people who can come up to a stranger and start preaching the Word of God . They can quote verses and somehow seem to know just how to answer those tough questions .
   Where am I in all of this ? I have learned this about myself . When there is a confrontation of my Faith , I get all tongue tied and can't think of one thing to say . The harder and more aggressive the confrontation the more I retreat . Now , when it is all nice and pleasant and safe , I have absolutely no problem . I can preach and quote the Bible with the best of them .
   That really isn't the point , is it ? I should be able to do that regardless of who is in front of me and no matter how they approach me . It is the same with praying in front of others .
   I have always been in awe of people who have the gift of gab . They can talk with anyone . They can pray like poetry . They can preach the Word and have a comeback answer regardless how aggressive the individual .
    It seems that people notice my actions more than what I say . There have been countless times when friends or associates have remarked how different I have become . . . . . better . I have become different and others seemed to have noticed . Makes one feel better since we are thought as Christians to preach the Word to others . I may not have the gift of gab but actions do speak louder than words at times . Have a Blessed Week .

Just A Sunday School Teacher

   Sunday School. . . . . . let me tell you about my Sunday School . My becoming a Sunday School teacher is one of those  " God moments " in my life .
   When I joined this church in 2007 , I had a desire to serve but didn't know in what ministry . I saw my fellow church friends join one ministry after another , finding their niche . I'd look at all the volunteering ministries and try to see myself there . Yes , I could be a Greeter or be part of the Tech Team but there was no passion in my heart for either .
   One of my best friends , Anna , taught 1st and 2nd grade Sunday School . She asked me if I would be her helper . . . . her assistant .Of course , I would . Anna and I were inseparable since we both were single and mothers . I have to be honest that it never occurred to me to help out in the children's ministry .
    After a couple lessons , a little seed was planted and a little voice kept whispering in my ear and heart . Maybe , just maybe , I can do this . This went on for months ! I felt fear and doubt . Thinking about it and actually doing it were two separate things . No one knew of my secret desire of maybe teaching the children . At that time , it was just an idea . This is where I believe God made the choice for me and gave me a little push .
    One day the Children's Ministry Director was passing out schedules and there I was as a teacher for the 1st and 2nd graders ! Now , I have never told anyone so how did she know? I felt it was God sending me a message . Excitement took over fear .
   I wish I could say that my first day teaching was fantastic and profound . It was quite the opposite . The copier broke down so I couldn't make copies . The kindergarten teacher didn't show up so I ended up with her class as well as mine . Whatever I prepared was too difficult for her class . I ended up winging it .
   Even though my first day didn't quite turn out as in my dreams . .. . .well , it didn't matter . Missionaries all over the world teach with a piece of chalk and slate . I can teach these children . Looking around at these little faces , some of these faces I have taught since my beginning , I feel a sense of pride . I have come to know them , teach them and watch them grow .
 People have asked me how I can deal with all these children at one time . To them , it's one of the difficult ministries to volunteer . I never felt like that . I have always loved what I do .I love these children .Have a Blessed Week .

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Take Me Seriously

   Every night , at the start of our shift at work , a line of people come in , one by one , with one issue or another . Each is looking for a resolution to their problem or complaint . The problems can be handled but the complaints are heard and forgotten the minute the person  leaves the office . I watch and sympathesize because we all want to be heard  , acknowledged  and taken seriously . There is nothing worse than being pacified . Take me seriously . Take my complaint seriously .
   I wish I could say that this only happens by my work but unfortunately it happens everywhere . It happens at church , in friendships , marriages and family to name a few . Nothing is exempt . We all want to feel we make a difference , that we are taken seriously . What I have to say actually means something to someone .
  Being taken seriously is hard work . It's exhausting and it's depressing work . There are times we feel like noone is listening . We go on about the same issues over and over again becoming a bore to others  Can that be the reason we are not taken seriously  ? How do we get noticed ? We come in and state our concern or complaint and what ?  We are pacified and patted on the back ,  that's what . After a few more attempts with the same results . . . . .we explode .
   When trying to make our point , there is nothing worse than having someone making excuses for us . Oh , she's just tired . Or  she's going through some hard times now . Her marriage is in trouble . We explode because we are frustrated at not being taken seriously .
   The next time , someone you know comes to you ....take them seriously .

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sharing My Story Part 2

      After my second surgery , I transfered to another hospital because of poor care . That was the best decision I have ever made .  The first four months , I had a hysterectomy , an abcess surgery , a colostomy , 5 infections , a fischula , being fed intravenously and finally a reversible colostomy . The longest I ever spent at home at one time was 10 days .
     During this time , I only had one chemo treatment . We had to stop because of all these above mentioned problems . I weighed in at 100 lbs . I didn't look skinny .....I looked like the people at the concentration camp . I have pictures of myself . I looked awful . What must have people thought when they saw me ? I used to stuff my bra with wash cloths so I would have some sort of figure . I was a board .
     Surprisingly , my chemo wasn't harsh at all . My mom would say it's because of all the pain I had experienced during those four months , God made sure my chemo wasn't bad .
     One thing for sure , I have never , ever felt more love like I did then . People I haven't met prayed for me . Joey was on the radio then and he would speak of me to his listeners . Whenever he would mention my name the whole board would light up with calls .They all prayed for me . My neighbor gave me a hankerchief that her entire church prayed over . My mom's co-workers donated some of their vacation time to her so she could be with me in the hospital . That's amazing ! Not a week would go by without a card in the mail to cheer me on .
     I think the hardest thing for everyone  was to see me in a weak state . I have always been considered a very strong woman in my family . My mother would call me a bull. . . . . . . " she's strong as a bull ". Well , this bull broke down , on her knees many times . There were times I would ask God to take me  already . My support was amazing . While in the hospital  , I was rarely alone . The flowers , the cards . the phone calls never stopped . People do support each other in a crisis .
    I did learn how important it is to keep a positive attitude . This is more for others than myself . When I broke down , my friends and family would panick like it was the end . I noticed how my moods affected the people around me . People need to feel there is hope .
     I noticed how my children still needed me emotionally even though they're grown . Even now , Emily always says that God has kept me here because He knows that she's just not ready . It will be very difficult for them when I pass more for Emily than Joe. Joe has Aubrey and Emily has no mate yet . Anyone know of a young man ?
   One thing for sure , I have never felt more loved in my life . I felt like God saved my life and I needed to make sure I don't waste a minute of it . I still feel like that . It changed my whole attitude on living in the moment . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sharing My Story Part 1`

   Lately ,  people seem to ask me  how my cancer was the first time around .      
   My story goes back to May of 2007 where my Emily was graduating high school . I remember what a busy time it was with her graduation , luncheons , prom , pictures , preparing for college  . . . . so much to do .
    I first noticed something wrong in March . I actually felt the tumor in my belly . I didn't know what it was but I knew I needed to see a doctor . I would see one after Emily's graduation . There was too much to do now . Now , looking back , I can see how stupid that was for me to wait .
    I think we all make that mistake thinking that it's nothing . When I finally went it was May 25th , 2007 . Believe me , I will never forget that day . They rushed me immediately for tests and when the tests came in , I was ordered into the hospital . Went through surgery where they took out my tumor weighing in at 7 pounds . They gave me a complete hysterectomy and informed me that I had stage 3 ovarian cancer .
     Even then , I wasn't panicked nor did I realize the enormity of what was to follow . I think that was the day my life really changed never to be the same again . I handled the news like I handled everything back then .. . . .  .with a plan . In my mind , I told myself that I would give myself 3 weeks to recuperate from this surgery . Another 6 months of chemo treatment . I should be back at work by September at the most because I don't need to be at home to do chemo treatment , right ? It's just an injection of fluids . Yeah , I can handle this .
      If you were to show me my future , I would have laughed . In my family , the men die in their sixties and the women live well into their nineties . I'm not dying . Can't you see my family history ? Why is the whole family crying ? It will be just fine . Oh , those famous words .
      My stay at the hospital was terrible . I'm not going to sit here and bash the hospital , but they treated me terribly . Awful caregiving . I was sent home when I really shouldn't have and after only a couple of days home , I went back into the hospital where I had emergency surgery for an abcess . That was the beginning of many trips to the hospital during the next four months . I will continue with part 2 tomorrow .

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Here's An Update

        Here's what has been going on lately in my life . Here's an update . . . . .

My Knee
              After yet another doctor appointment , it has been decided that I go to physical therapy . I'm still wearing my adhesive pads on my knee 12 hours on and 12 hours off . I'm not sure how much good it actually does . I have good days and I have bad days . Walking up and down stairs is still a difficulty . Maybe the physical therapy will help . If there is no improvement  , I might have to change positions at work since I spend so much time walking around .

My Bucket List
                        My list has basically come to a  standstill . Every since I have returned to work , my life  has become full . I can't seem to get back on track . My energy level is so low plus I have been experiencing health setbacks of one kind or another . Nothing too serious , more of a hindrance .  Performing just the basics daily has been a  struggle . I , personally , think that maybe I should have taken at least another month before going back . Can't do anything about it now .

St. Jude's Booties
                            I have , so far , about 125 booties made . Not as much as I hoped I would have by now , but as I have stated , it's slow going for me . I'm not falling asleep while driving . My energy seemed to improve a little . I'm very disappointed with myself at producing so little . Thank goodness , I have given myself until the end of the year . Hopefully , my production will improve .

My Cancer
                 As far as I know , I am in remission  . My next doctor visit will be in June . My tests will be done every three months now .

Well folks , that's all for now . Will keep you posted . Have a Blessed Week .

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Becoming A Mother

     When I was growing up , I usually was the one who did all the babysitting . My parents entertained every weekend and if anyone brought children they were left with me while the grownups enjoyed each other's company . Needless to say , having children of my own was never a priority .
     While my friends dreamed of getting married and raising children , all I dreamt about was getting an apartment on my own . Funny , that I ended up being the first of my friends to have children and I had four of them . The part about living on my own in that apartment ? Well , it never happened .  That's how life is and sometimes my plan is not the same as God's .
     When I became a mom for the first time , I experienced a love unlike any other I have known . Being a mother is an experience that I didn't plan on but God knew what was inside my heart . He knew how much love I had and He knew of the bond that would develop between my children and myself .
      To me , Mother's Day , is not just for women with children . I believe that all women are mothers to all children . Whether we are Aunts , sisters , neighbors or co-workers . . .we are nurturing , understanding , loving role models to all children in our lives .
      In my life , I am surrounded by all types of women . Some are mothers and some are trying to be mothers . Some adopted or some that gave up for adoption . Some are raising their siblings children and some that are raising their grandchildren . Each of us have one thing in common . . . . the love we have for these children .
      As Mother's Day approaches , I find myself thinking of my own mom . I look at myself and how much she has influenced my life . How she has formed me into the woman I am today without my knowing . When did this happen ? I wasn't aware of the learning process . When did I learn to become so much like her ?
      Happy Mother's Day  to all women !

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sowing Spiritual Seeds

     A long time ago , someone planted a spiritual seed regarding me . They were not the only planters . There were many planters before that seed grew into  a rich and luscious and plentiful crop . But I'm glad that they took the time and cared enough .
     When did it start ? I've thought about this for awhile . I believe my first introduction was in my teens as I worked as a waitress at this small restaurant , George N Willie's . There was a waitress who only worked there for a short while . Her family was experiencing hard times with her husband being laid off and having two small babies .
     She told me how someone at her church gave her family a hundred dollar bill because this person felt they needed help . Honestly , I felt she was crazy . How could anyone feel that you needed help? I just didn't understand .
     This woman also invited me to her church . Now , thinking back , if I thought she was crazy , why did I go ? Mind you , at that time , I was still a Catholic  . . .. . .maybe  a doubting Catholic , but still a Catholic .
     The " church " was in a hotel conference room . The Pastor was loud and speaking about sinners being in the room . I became scared . I've never been exposed  to anything like that . Church was different kind of experience for me . It was easier to just think they were all crazy . What kind of church meets in a hotel conference room ?
      I wasn't ready then . My heart was closed but a little crack formed . That crack grew bigger with every small experience throughout the years until it finally cracked wide open . There wasn't any one person but many people who planted my seed .
       All the people I have met since my transformation , I wonder how many seeds I have planted . How many have actually ripened into fruit ?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Reasons For Living

  A few days ago , I asked " what is your reason for living " . I shared mine . Let me share someone else's . Anyone else who would like to share ?

There are days that I wish I could just go home, to be perfectly honest! Life is not easy, is it? But then there are days that I wish I had at least another thousand years to live! Life, with all of its challenges, is so wonderful!

I love to see the wonder of life through the eyes of my grandchildren. Beginning college or beginning kindergarten, they are in love with life and it is contagious!

Having raised my kids, that part of life is behind me for some time now. I loved every minute of being a mother! He gave me the best when he gave me a family. I really believe that.

Free now to move on, I am aware of the Lord pulling on my heartstrings to give to Him the best that I have with whatever time I have left in life. Sometimes, I think I have next to nothing to give. But then I see the faces of people all around me who are wounded, broken hearted and lost. I so want to bring to them the love and healing touch of Jesus Christ. Where would I be had someone not done that for me? For the many someone's that God placed in my life to see me through the times when I didn't want to go on, I want to give something back. That's what gets me up in the morning and calls my name to give it all I've got until He calls me home. To me, there's nothing sweeter in life!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Lateral Violence

      Why is work so hard ? Of all the relationships in our lives , why are the work relationships the most difficult ? There is always that one person who wants to see you miserable . That takes every available opportunity to make you feel small . Why ? What is it about me that threatens this person ? Goading is their favorite pasttime .
      It's funny how God works . When your hurting , He always lets you know He is there . He is aware of you're situation . During lunch I come across an article on " lateral violence " .
     Lateral violence .
back stabbing , innuendo , infighting , sabotage , verbal affronts , failure to respect privacy .
    Sounds familiar ? I think , I have experienced everyone of these with my " one person ". We all have that person , don't we ?
    After a particularly hard week , I feel drained and hopeless . I turn to the One who I know will help me through this . I am not alone . We all have experienced weeks like this . We all have that one person who is a trial .
      We set out to work , trying to accomplish what is set in front of us . We don't bother anyone . Yet , we get attacked .....for what ? I honestly believe that it's a jealousy issue of some sorts . Their own life is missing something.....most likely a relationship with Christ . I know alot of people who believe in God but have no relationship with Him .
      Even as this person hurts me , I feel sorry for them to have to stoop to that level to feel good about themselves . Do they really feel good about themselves ?
     As I prepare for work tonight , I pray , " Jesus  walk with me ".

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Grudge Free Living

    I have spent the last couple of weeks feeling like I have stuck my foot in it . Everytime I open it , nothing good comes out . I have all these emotions bottled up inside and I can't seem to let anyone know how I feel . Whenever  I would blow up , all the wrong things would come out . Whenever I 'ld try to tell someone how I feel  , it all came out wrong .Did you ever feel completely out of whack ?
    It took my friend  to make me aware that I really was hurting inside . Someone has hurt my feelings and has been continuing to hurt my feelings . Whether they are intentionally doing it or unaware , makes no difference . . . . . . my feelings are hurt . What's worse , I'm the only one aware of it . Funny , how people see what they want to see rather than what actually is .
    There are people who will hurt us and we need to forgive them . That's where I'm at  . . . . forgiveness . I find myself at a point where I forgive or let it eat me up . Do I stay in this place feeling insecure about myself because of their bad behavior ? No .  Do I excuse their behavior ? No , but I need to let go of these feelings .
   This person could apologize but the hurt feelings would still remain and maybe I might even have a different attitude towards this person later on . No , I need to forgive before they even ask for forgiveness . They , themselves could be hurting on the inside . We don't know what goes on in their home or their lives . Or maybe not .
    It's difficult to forgive because people need to see the justification . They want to know the time , day and type of punishment that will be used by God on this person .
   All I know is that I haven't been right on the inside because of this person . I , I  myself , need to let go of this and move on . Hurt feelings turn into anger . Anger turns into grudges . I don't want to live that way . I want to live a grudge free life .

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1 Corinthians 2:9

No eye has seen , no ear has heard , no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him .
         1 Corinthians 2 : 9

  Linda has been on my mind . Everywhere I look in my apartment , I am reminded of her . A shirt she has given me , hanging in the closet . On the wall there is a calendar personalized by her . Every page a special note written for me and Emily . On my dresser , a scarf that she wore at one time , now belonging to me .
   Opening a book , the above verse stares up at me . That's Linda's verse . I can picture her saying it to me as we spoke on the phone one day . That day we both were not feeling well , experiencing side effects from chemo . Our conversation focused on our dying and going to heaven .
    Linda recited that verse to me , remarking how much she loved it . No eye has seen . " Can you imagine what we will be seeing ? Something that has never been seen by a living person ". No ear has heard . " What are we gonna hear , Lottie ?" No mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him . " We can't imagine it because this is beauty beyond beauty . No living being has witnessed it before ."
    I have seen and read this verse many times and yet , never have I understood it like I did that day with Linda . It has so much meaning for the both of us .
    Yes , Linda has been on my mind lately . Someone once told me that if we keep thinking about a person  with no explanation , that person needs our prayer . So I keep praying for Linda . My friend .

Yarn Bombing My Life

                            Everyday is a brand new day, everyday is a journey. Some murmur if their sky is clear, And wholly bright ...