Saturday, June 30, 2012

Splish Splash

 The cottage slept as I got up and sneaked outside to capture the stillness of the morning . The patio overlooked the lake where a mother duck swam with her little ones . It was a beautiful and serene place , just perfect for me . I wish I could retire to a place like this . I imagined myself getting up every morning , watching the ducks swimming , drinking my coffee .
  Then , Hannah ( my sleeping partner ) found me and we had to play Skippo instead .
My introduction to the water park sort of went the same way . On the outside , I couldn't wait to get in there with the rest of them .
  First thing we tried was the Lazy River and I imagined myself floating on the tube basking in the sunlight as I slowly dipped my fingers in the water . In reality , I couldn't get on the darn thing . Kept slipping off , finally , giving up I just grabbed hold of my sons tube and wouldn't let go . He kept trying to shake me off and finally dunked me under . I got a wonderful mouthful of that delicious water slathered with suntan lotion . Mmmmm , tasty .
  For the rest of the day , we went on  one water slide after another . Up 5 flights of stairs just so I can land with one leg in the air . Tried to get out and PLOP  down again and this time with both legs up in the air . Being graceful wasn't in the works that day . 
  Wearing wet , slippery flip flops and unable to see because of smudged glasses , I plunged on behind my family to the next " adventure " in this 112 degree weather . Finally , settling into beach chairs facing a wave pool . As I rested in my chair watching my family tackle wave after wave in the pool . . . .well  . . . it looked so cool that I just had to run in after them . It was as much fun as it looked . I  loved that wave pool !!!
  It was the same with the rides . I saw the swing ride and dragged them all there because it's a must . As soon as we started going up and spinning  , I almost died . What was I thinking ? Couldn't wait to get off that darn thing .
  I realized that I'm getting too old for some of these things but I STILL had a great time no matter how tired I became .

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Adventures Of I Like Pizza 106

  My first night was spent as a yoyo .  From the moment the children saw me , it has been a bombardment of " grandma , come look at this " or " grandma , sit by me " or Grandma this or grandma that " . Each child pulling me in his or her direction vying for my attention . At times , becoming a competition between the two .
   Obviously , they have missed me and love me as much as I love and miss them .
  Before bed , I settled down with my grandson's book that he has written called " The Adventures Of I like Pizza 106 . I read page after page about a futuristic world that at times was difficult for an older person such as myself  to understand . All this came from that young man ! I never knew he was such a little writer !
  At breakfast the next morning , I settled down to write my blog . He was all over it . Full of questions .
    " What are you doing , grandma ? ", " How can I start my own blog , grandma ? " And another literary genius was born ! That 's  all he talks about . He does like the idea of my borrowing his title for this blog .
   So , what about Hannah , you ask ? Well , all she cares about is that I crochet booties , a blanket and a hat for her bear ! She wanted gloves but I told her that I couldn't possibly crochet something so very small . What was her reply ? " Okay , let's play Skippo ".
  Upon arriving at the cottages , the children and I went for a walk to explore our surroundings . The walk ended as Hannah saw a miniature house in the playground for the kids to play in . . . equipped with a chalkboard ! Well , that was that ! The walk ended and class began ! It took all of my past mothering skill to maneuver her away and back to the cottage .
  We had a bonfire going on our first night  right along with s'mores . That was my very first time eating s'mores ! As we watched the fire die down , we each recited our favorite thing about God . As crazy as our vacation began , it was a beautiful , perfect ending to our erratic day . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

My Gross Vacation

 " So , Lottie , where are you going on your vacation ? " a co-worker of mine asked , whose name we will not mention . She knows who she is .
  " To a waterpark with my grandkids , " I told her .
 " Ewww , gross !!! I can't imagine going anywhere worse . All those little kids , doing God knows what in the water . "
   I laughed . No one has ever called my vacations "gross " before . I'm not offended . She is young and has  no children .....yet . She will change her mind later when she does .
   My departure to Springfield went off smoothly . I was in train heaven ! Standing on the platform , waiting for the Metra to arrive brought back memories . With each train going past , blowing their whistle , I marveled at their beauty and power they portrayed . I realized just how much I really missed riding the train .
   Once I boarded Amtrak , the trip itself was very fast . There didn't seem to be hardly any delays . We only stopped twice for an incoming train . It seemed as if the train was chugging along in full throttle blowing it's whistle non-stop . I felt like a little kid silently begging that it would keep on tooting !!!!
   The train was so cold with the air conditioner coming down from above my head and down below by my feet . I was freezing and couldn't wait to arrive in Springfield  secretly hoping it was extremely melting hot outside so I could warm up fast . I ended up going to the lounge to get a coffee . The thing about coffee on the train's either very , very good or it's very , very bad . Today it was bad . 
    Upon arrival , I couldn't wait to lay down for a much needed nap . I was afraid that too much time has elapsed since I last slept and wouldn't be able to sleep . My worry was unfounded because no sooner I laid down , it was over . 
    The next thing I knew , my Aubs was tapping my shoulder asking if I wanted to pick up the " littles " with her . Of course , I want to pick them up , especially since they have been asking about me . Little did I know that I should have eaten my Wheaties today  where they are concerned . Stay tuned for the " littles".

Monday, June 25, 2012

And The Adventure Begins

  'Tis the eve of my trip and anticipation is running through my veins . I'm both nervous and anxious that I might forget something very important or just plain miss my train . I won't be able to relax until I'm safely on my way .
   Getting ready before every trip is such a hustle and bustle time in my home . It seems that everything is taking twice as long as it should . Not enough time to go around  . Late with everything .
   Having opted to work the day before my trip may not have been such a great idea . Originally , I thought I would be taking the afternoon train and arriving in Springfield in the early evening . That would provide me with enough time to get home , take a shower and a small nap before the trip .
   It didn't quite work out that way . With the 4th of July right around the corner , seats weren't that available . Beggars couldn't be choosers . With my train leaving after 9 a.m. there will be no time for a shower let alone a nap .
   All I will have time for is a quick stop at the house to pick up my suitcase and change of clothes before heading out to Union Station . Will have to pack a lite snack to take with me and TONS of yarn . Yes, I'm taking lots of yarn . Plan on coming back with a suitcase full of " slippers " .
   The days before a vacation always seem to be the worst . The devil follows me around causing havoc . This happens , I think , so we can appreciate our time off more .
    Have a Blessed Week everyone .

In The Beginning

   In the beginning there was nothing but darkness and God said " Let there be light...."
   That's how my Sunday School class began . Starting our summer schedule with just the kindergarten class brought excitement and anxiousness to me ..........anxious to get cracking . I missed our little class in our little room . I missed the personal level that a small group of children bring . I missed teaching , REALLY teaching . But , most of all , I miss my kindergarteners !
  They are a special kind of students . You have to teach them in a different way from the other children . You have to get on their level with their kind of language . I love their freshness and openness that only comes once in a person's age , an age when one is quite young . They are so completely honest about how they feel and what they feel . I love this grade . Ask them what they would say to Jesus if they saw Him and they will answer " let's play ".
   Of course , the older children have a special spot in my heart as well . I love children . There's nothing to teaching them . You can have a wonderful discussion on whatever lesson you are teaching . Their participation is quaranteed .
   It's different with the small ones , you have to bring it out of them in such a way that they can understand .
   What I love most about them is to see how they have grown  . How they grow each year in their knowledge of the Lord . You remember the first time , when they grabbed a hold of their parents leg and didn't want to let go . . . . didn't want to come into the classroom . Each Sunday , there was an improvement in their behavior . Each year , you could see the progress they have made .
   Yes , I'm very excited about this summer schedule and my little kindergarteners . I really love what I do . Hope you can find that special kind of serving that is just right for you . That can fulfill your heart the way mine has been . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What A Pickle

   I had plans for my Saturday . A friend was coming over for coffee  and a chat . Emily made a blueberry coffeecake for us . The rest of the day was to be spent in blissful cleaning , laundry and packing .
   None of that happened . Instead , I rested my head for a little bit while waiting for my friend since I just came home from work . I fell alseep . My friend waited and waited outside , calling me on the cell . I never heard a peep . She left thinking I must be mad at her since she could see my car parked in the back .
  Then I went downstairs to do a load of laundry and locked myself out of my apartment . I always carry keys with me and that morning I decided it was "silly" of me to keep doing that since the door never locked after me . . . . . . before .
    It was a perfect day for my plans  . Emily was out with a girlfriend for most of the day . The apartment  all to myself . A fresh , new cup of coffee  sitting on the table  . All waiting for me on the other side of a locked door .
   There I was , in the hallway , no shoes or phone or keys . At least , my clothes matched and I looked decent . What a pickle .
   The first hour , I was quite calm and relaxed , trying to remember where exactly did Emily say she was going . Hoping it wasn't this Saturday that the Christian Music Festival was going on or I'll be here until nightfall .
   The next hour , I started praying for the door to open . Periodically , checking the door in case God opened it  . Hey , He parted the Sea , didn't He ?
    The third hour , an idea popped into my head , maybe Emily came back while I was downstairs and is sitting in her room listening to music with her headphones . That's why the door is locked ! Brilliant ! Ran around my apartment on the outside , calling out Emily's name like a lunatic .
   The fourth hour , I just gave up . Sat down on the back stairs and had a good cry . I let the devil in and pity took over . No one was coming . I would sit there until midnight  , thirsty , hungry  and I had to go use the bathroom .
   That's when Emily came home and found me sitting on the stairs . '"You know , mom , I can't go anywhere  without you getting into trouble ", she says .
  You know , the strange thing is that Diamond was VERY quiet the whole time I was out there . No meowing from her at all . I bet SHE was the one who locked me out . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Friday, June 22, 2012

Weighing In

  Few months ago , while looking at some pictures from my Chemo Party , I felt a huge wave of disappointment . I looked bloated and just plain overweight . Here I was back at square one with my weight .
  Before this cancer came back , I was finally starting to lose some weight . Even a few pounds loss gives a person self confidence . I was feeling that confidence . When I heard they were placing me on steroids , I almost cried . Still , it wasn't until I saw myself in pictures that I recognized how much weight I gained .
   You may say that the only thing that matters is my health , which is true , BUT. . . . . . . appearance makes one feel better inside . We all care how we look .
   Well , I am happy to report that I have lost the weight I have gained during the chemo . I'm back to what I was before the relapse . Thank you , Jesus ! Hopefully , this trend will continue and I can shed more of the weight . I don't need to be very skinny , just lose this tummy of mine and I will be happy .
   Sorry , but today is a very short blog . It's been a very busy week for me and time has been limited .Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Time Is Life

  Started making a list of things I wanted to accomplish while being off for two weeks from work . Never really been off for so long. Once or twice I did take a week here and there   , but never this long  .
   My list does not consist of jobs to do . It is a list of fun things . I want to enjoy this time . Enjoyment has become a huge part of my existence . Too bad , everyone else wants to rob me of it .
  My first week will be spent with my son and his family at a water park developing some quality time with my grandchildren   . I'm sure you all are tired of hearing me talk about it  by now .
   The other week , I intend of living life . Time is life . I read that somewhere , recently ,  can't really remember where . Time is life . Sounds wonderful , doesn't it ? How do I plan to do that , you ask ?
   Well , I will go to that naked spa that both my nieces gave me as a present . I will go during the week ,  after 10 pm.  when no one will be around and I will get naked . Besides  enjoying their  assorted " baths " , I intend on getting a foot massage .
    I plan on visiting my niece ,  who has  a hot tub . . . . . . .quite alot . I shall have a glass of wine every evening as I watch my 'Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot "  or anything England . I shall stay up all night and sleep in late . There are no time clocks nor appointments to be " somewhere " . I will wear mis-matched clothes and take long bubble baths . I will have dinner with my mommy . I shall crochet my little heart out .
    I will NOT think about that place called " work " and I will NOT let anyone rob me of my joy . What are YOU doing on your vacation ?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A Very Bad Day

  Today is not a good day . In fact , it started at work last night . I should have known better . It never fails that right before I have to go somewhere everything spoils .
  When things go bad , it's like a domino effect  causing everything to tumble . You try to prevent things from falling but your hands are like a sieve .
   Emily is just great when I'm all out of sorts . After attempting to make a meal and almost burning it , she quietly takes the spoon from my hand and finishes for me . I head out to my room  , opening my closet to take some boxes out . I am clumsy and all the contents spill over onto my carpet . With my knee acting up today , kneeling down to pick up everything is very hard to do .
  When the devil comes , he ruins everything . He isn't happy with making a mess of one thing in your life  , he has to completely tornado your being .
   Did I tell you Emily was great ? After cleaning up the spilt boxes I glance at a huge box in my room filled to the brim with my " slippers " for St. Jude's . The box is full and I had to get another . There are 230 slippers done so far . Emily and I glance at each other  and smile .
   " Feeling better now ? The kids will really like these , " she says .
 Yes , I feel a little better . I hope your day has gone much better than mine . Have a Blessed Week everyone .
       The supper that I almost ruined Emily turned into a great meal . She made whole wheat spaghetti with tofu . It may not sound good but it's absolutely delicious .

Been There , Done That

   Receiving a text from a friend about Robin Roberts new health crisis devastated me . We both went through cancer at the same time five years ago .Yet , here we are ,  facing cancer again .
    Watching her reveal her new health crisis on air brought back alot of bad feelings . I saw her fighting tears and I knew just how she felt right at that moment . Listening to her speak of her faith made me realize how much we are alike .
    We ,  as Christians , believe we were healed the first time . I have said this before . This is not what we were expecting . This will be very emotional for her , very emotional  for her , indeed .  Crying will become her favorite past-time .
   It seems we are struck down , one by one , all over again . How disheartening it is ! Every week , I watch my Linda , worn out and so very tired , lose that lively spirit that shone through her eyes . She just wants to rest . Quite honestly , I wish I could give her that rest she is looking for .
  I daily post my blog , which quite lately , has been full of spirited excitement . In this blog , I show a whole new love of life . Maybe more so now than before .There is one slight difference . I have no illusions about my health any longer . I think I have finally accepted my illness . I want to enjoy whatever life I have left .
  It saddens me to hear and see of others suffering . This whole experience has left me very sensitive to the pain of others . I can feel their pain  and I wish I could relieve it .
  Last night , at work , no one was happy and I certainly heard about it from all of them . With every complaint , sound or not , I felt the weight of the mallet sinking me down . I wish I could change people's circumstances for the better . I want to take their pain away . Maybe , I 'm really not equipped emotionally for this job any longer . Certainly ,   something I have thought about .
   We need to pray for courage to shoulder other's pain . To become more caring and giving when needed . Now that I have depressed everyone .. . .. . I hope you have a Blessed Week .

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Champagne With Breakfast

    Every so often , my mom and I drive out to Palos Hills to visit my Aunt . With all of our schedules , it's not easy finding time to get together . We head out straight from my work usually on a Saturday morning arriving in time for breakfast .
   My Aunt has style ! She  sets the table beautifully like a  five  star hotel . She serves a luxury breakfast . This time she pulled out a bottle of champagne for a toast. . . . . for breakfast ! Why not ! ! 
   No men allowed , just us girls . Let's celebrate being women .. . . Aunts , mothers , sisters , nieces . We share stories of what is new in our families . We break bread and sip champagne . We laugh , we argue and we cry .  It just occurred to me that I write alot about the women in my life . That's how important they are to me .
   After breakfast , we head into the living room where my Aunt has recorded movies just for this occasion . We spend a lovely day just watching old comedies . I am treated like royalty with my feet upon an ottoman and everything I need on a table besides . I don't have to get up to do anything but crochet my little heart out .
   This time as I looked at us three , laughing at a particular scene , I was reminded of all the times we spent together . Of all the changes in our lives that we have been through .There are so many scenes that flash before me filled with memories . Some good and some not so good . Look how far we have come . Look at us now .
   This woman , sitting besides me , sneaked ice cold water for me to sip while I was in the hospital and just dying of thirst . She did that out of love for me . How could I not love her back .   I think that deserves a little champagne at breakfast , don't you ?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ring ! Ring !

   Getting home from work this morning I fell into bed exhausted . I was tired from an extremely difficult night at work . The whole drive home I thought about my bed and my pillow .
   Getting to sleep was no problem. Staying asleep , on the other hand , was . The phone rang and rang all morning . ALL morning .
   After much tossing and turning , I sat up and  grabbed  my phone . Who in the world could be calling me ?! What could be so important ?! Something is seriously going on . Thinking it might be my mom with some bad news , I checked my messages .
   Not recognizing the number that has repeatedly been calling me , I dialed , getting a recorded message .
  " You have been selected in our daily drawing to win a free security system . Press 1 to speak to our respresentative . Press 2 to take your phone number off our calling list ."
    No brainer which I pressed . Really !!! That's what this excessive ringing was all about ? ! Have these businesses gone mad ? ! Don't they realize that people might be sleeping ?
   I guess not . Even my own friends and family forget that I work nights and call . How can I expect complete strangers to understand when even my family does it .
   It's not even the ringing of the phone but just plain life outside that prevents us night-workers from sleeping . It seems our grass gets mowed like twice a week . The delivery  and garbage trucks are particularly loud . Even the sun streaming through the windows can be a problem .
   Still , I wouldn't change shifts ever . I like waking up in the afternoon . I like taking a morning walk sometimes . It provides me with an illusion  of getting more out of my day . I certainly don't want to look at the world through a closed window .I want to be right in the middle of it . Enjoy these hot , sunny days .Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Monday, June 18, 2012

It's A Baker's Life

   I'm sure that all of you already know that my Emily can bake . Eversince , she was a little girl she would love to watch cooking shows . Other little children watched Sesame Street and she watched The Frugal Gourmet . She can bake and she can cook  .  Some people just seem to know how to use their seasonings and know what kind of food goes well together . To have a daughter who can can do both , well , is  a curse and a blessing .
   Many a times when I had my chemo or spent the whole day at the doctor's , I'ld come home to a hot meal waiting for me . A great feeling , let me tell you . Just like the other weekend when my girlfriends were over , I didn't do anything but sit and chat while she made supper .
  I haven't bought ice cream or whip cream or frosting in a very long time . My girl makes it from scratch . I am spoiled . Temptation surrounds me on a daily basis .This weekend it was cinnamon rolls . Sometimes , I wake up to wonderful smells coming from the kitchen like cheddar biscuits . Are you hungry yet ? Mouth watering ? Imagine what I go through everyday .
  I'm glad that she can make things from scratch . It seems that as the world gets older we forget the simplier things in life . We forget how to be unprocessed . Everything is in fast forward and we forget how to just smell the roses .
  So if Emily wants to make fresh bread , whom am I not to butter it ? Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I Want To Play

  Lately , I've been wanting to play hooky . Not just from work but from all responsibilities . A free - spirited being has invaded my body and won't leave . But do I honestly want it to leave ? No ! I think this weather has something to do with it . To me , it's perfect . Not too hot and not too cold . All week it's in the 70's with the weekend being hot......wonderful !
  I just want to get out there and do something . I love to have all my windows open to see and feel the breeze . I love to see the life outside .Only summer can bring people outdoors .
 I also think that coming out of the illlness has given me a desire to live .I want to enjoy myself .I don't want to be confined to rules and regulations , I want to be a free spirit . Every night at work , I hope that maybe the power will go out and we all can go home . Terrible... just terrible thoughts .
  So folks , today it's a very short blog because I just want to enjoy this moment , this day . Let's go for a walk in the woods . I want to feel the sun's warmth on my face . Ahhhh , summer . Ahhhh , life .Isn't it wonderful ? Let's do absolutely nothing .

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Reunion Weekend

  It all started out with a message to meet at our favorite shopping store . A message from a friend who has moved away to Texas . I was startled to get that message since how can we meet if she  is 16 hours away!? My friend , are you here ?
   As it turned out she was on her way , along with her three children , coming to stay for a week . Since our church was having a picnic that very Saturday , we arranged to meet there . I was also bringing a friend I haven't seen since the kids were little .
   Upon arriving at the picnic , I ran into my christian mentor , who has moved away . As we all sat on the blanket reminiscing about the past , I thought how great this weekend was turning out to be . Not only did I meet up with one but three of my friends all in the same day . My Pastor walked up , " Looks like you guys are having a reunion ." If only he knew , I smiled to myself .
  Sunday after church , sitting in my favorite arm chair at home catching up with two of my friends , I thought life is good . Emily and Destiny (13 yrs.old cousin ) were in the kitchen making supper for all of us . What more could I want ? I have friends . I don't have to cook and I don't have to clean up . Sitting here and sharing a glass of wine with my friends . Loving this !!!
  Early , early Monday morning I head out to meet my sleepy Texan friend to do some serious shopping at our favorite haunt . In between , " does this make my butt look big ," or "what do you think of this color on me ", we're reminded of how it used to be .
  That's how it is between true friends . No matter how much time has passed you just pick up where you left off . You can be brutally honest and tell your friend that her butt does look big in those pants . She won't be mad because she's a true friend . Have a Blessed Week everyone and do call an old friend you haven't heard from awhile .

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

An Old Friend Stopped By

An old friend stopped by
one I haven't seen in awhile
she came a long distance
bringing her brood
how they have grown
each taller and older
than I remember
still the same

An old friend stopped by
so at ease upon my sofa
drinking a glass of wine
sharing stories of time past
so many memories
both good and bad
that we shared
my old friend and I

An old friend stopped by
a married woman now
our days of singleness
nothing more than
fleeting moments
that linger in the back
of our thoughts
to be remembered
with a knowing smile

An old friend stopped by
for a week every year
the same smile
the same companion
maybe a new wrinkle
and a gray hair
added to her features
but inside she is still
an old friend who stopped by

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Cover Up

   For the past several weeks , I have been painstakingly aware of needing to buy a swimsuit for my trip . Many times being in the " presence " of this foreign piece of clothing only to simply walk past . It is such an unflattering strip of material .
  How many women agonized over their figures , fasting and starving themselves to get into this infamous swimsuit . How many diets have we gone on ? Too numerous to recall . I do remember failing quite alot .
  Last time I wore a swimsuit , whether it was two - piece or one , was when my chicks were toddlers . A very long , long time ago . I gave up on that article of clothing . Never bothering to stop and check out the latest style .
  My darling Aubs , has informed me that our trip involved water and plenty of it . We will be in it alot and under no circumstances is she accepting my numerous reasons for not wearing one . In other words , be proud of what God gave you , BUY A SWIMSUIT .
  The date was set . The reservations made . Still no suit . Every store I went to had one . . . . . . mocking me  . . . . . . come on try me on . With a deep sigh and not expecting much I plowed through the racks . I better find a 1920's style that covered from neck down to my knees or longer . I'll produce my own tights like the Flappers in the Twenties .  Now those were real suits !
   Yes , I bought one . It's staring at me right now . I tried it on and Emily burst into giggles . I look like a colorful beachball . Can't wait to show the world . I'll wear it just so I can play with the kids but if Aubs posts any picture on Facebook below the neck . . . . . .have mercy . . . . .show mercy .
   Be careful parents because these kids get even when they grow up . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Scrub , Scrub Away

  I remember when my Emily was little , she was a terror . Her brother , quite opposite , was much easier to handle . When she was in serious trouble she would try to make it up by cleaning out the refrigerator . That refrigerator would be spotless , brand new when she was done with it . It's as if by scrubbing away the filth and the dirt washed away her bad behavior with it . That was her apology . She did alot of scrubbing in those days .
  Isn't that how we all are ? I know I am . Anytime , my life gets messed up and  stressed out ,  I organize my closet or drawers . I'm cleaning out the mess in my life . I feel better . . . .cleansed . . . . .brand new .
  A dear friend of mine deals with illness in her family by scrubbing all her kitchen cabinets on  a regular basis  . The more powerful the cleaner that she uses the better she feels . Her kitchen is clean . Her life is back on track . She can go on with her life . Deal with it much better .
  When we , women in particular , are stressed we soak in the tub to ease away the troubles of the day .  It's the same principle just a different method .
   I can understand how the act of scrubbing makes us feel better . To me , it's almost Biblical  since water is used for Baptism and when submerged  we rise up cleansed. . . . brand new .  In the act of scrubbing we use a liquid that leaves the surface clean .
  As I look into my refrigerator today and notice how dirty it is , I almost wish Emily would rebel again just so she can clean the refrigerator in penance .Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Their Progress

    Many times I have been asked how my family has taken in my illness .  My family was devasted when I first was diagnosed with cancer . I was the calm one and the  naivee one . I think they understood the severe reality of the situation better than I did .
    At that time , like alot of people , I had issues regarding my family . We always seem to find fault with our loved ones . We openly critisize to friends and anyone who cares to listen just how dysfunctional we think our families really are . My cancer changed all of that .
   I discovered how much they really loved me . With some of them , I even renewed our relationship . I've discovered many things about myself and how I perceived in my mind an image of my family .
  Recently , I came across an old friend who never got along with her family . To my surprise , she spoke so lovingly about her parents and siblings . I asked her what changed . She replied that she changed .
  I believe that's what happened  in my life . My seeing how they cared for me and cared  about me made me realize that maybe my opinion of them was wrong . It wasn't just my view of family that changed but friendships as well . Any old hurts or vendettas went out the window . My view of relationships in general was cleansed for the better .
  Life is what you make it  and I certainly don't want to waste it getting angry over things that really don't matter . I believe that's how they feel as well .Let's get to know each other all over again while we still can .
  The second time around , my family handled this quite calmly , at least in my presence . I prepared an email stating my illness has come back which I sent out to everyone . The response was the same .........we can do this again . Let us know what we can do for you .
  My family will always be there for me . I am loved . I know this and feel this . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Friday, June 8, 2012

Here Comes The Train

   After supper ,  Emily and I usually retreat into our rooms for some alone time . We are big on privacy here . We respect it . Our alone time is sort of like a detox of the day's events . I find that when I don't get my alone time I become like a toddler without a nap !
   I have a lovely view from my bedroom window and with both my windows opened I also get a wonderful breeze . No matter what I'm doing , I can always glance out and check out the life outside . There are people riding their bikes , walking their dogs , children playing and a group of young  men throwing a football around . Beautiful ! Life in progress !
   But my favorite of all is the sound of the coming  train as it whistles it's arrival . I can hear it from a distance especially in the evenings . You know how much I love to ride a train . Traveling by Amtrak is the way to go in my book .
   As I listen for the whistle each night , anticipation fills my veins . Soon my vacation will be here and I can start my adventure . Yes , my adventure . I call all my trips adventures .
   Before my illness , that's what my stories were about . . . .my adventures . It seems that  now all I do is write about  my cancer . By going on this trip , I will get not just my stories back but also my life . I'm looking forward to what lies ahead and the stories I will write . The stories I will make .
   Yes , I can hear that whistle now and soon I will be on it heading toward my destination . Yeah , life is good . Here comes the train ....toot , toot !

Thursday, June 7, 2012

And a 1 , And a 2 , And a 3

    This morning was my very first physical therapy for my knee . Wasn't  very sure of what to expect . My knowledge of physical therapy consisted of taking  my mom to hers twice a week years ago .
     I remember , how terribly time consuming it was and particularly the long drive home in traffic . I also remember how much pain my mom was in after each session  . When she was done , I felt relief and I'm sure she did , too .
    I have been awaiting this appointment with great anticipation . In my mind , I felt like this would be the cure all for my knee . I just couldn't understand why so many of my friends ( my age ) walked around with knee pain and didn't do anything about it . Not me , though . I was going to show them that with adequate doctor care my knee would be cured .
   Well , talk about eating crow . Here we are , four months have passed and honestly , I don't think they know what to do with this knee of mine . Every night  , I cover my knee with these topical pads/plasters that cost a fortune . Sometimes my knee feels great and sometimes my knee feels like a rickety rusty machine in need of good oiling .
    I'm not going to rehash all of my treatments of the last four months regarding this knee . As I was driving home this morning thinking of my appointment , a thought popped into my head . This will sound so completely crazy to you but here goes . Go home and let God heal that knee .
   I don't know where this came from because I was on my way home to change and head out for that appointment . Go home and let God heal that knee . Believe me , I parked my car and started to pray , asking God for healing . This has never happened to me before , but I completely believe .
  Do you want to pray for me ? Pray for God to heal my knee because I believe . Have a Blessed Week everyone and pray for me .

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Perfect Card

   Yes , it's that time of the year again . Father's Day is fast approaching . I'm in search of that perfect card .  Buying a card for my father is one of my most dreaded experiences . There is no card out there that says what I feel for him .
   I literally go from store to store searching . Every card I pick up has sentiments like " I respect all you have done for me " and " I admire and deeply love you ." That's great when you have a relationship with your father . A loving history . But what about the rest of us .
   Until recently , my father has not been in my life . He wasn't there through all my ups and downs .. . . . through my life . It was my cancer that brought him back . That was the first time we spoke in 23 years .
   My feelings for him are not of anger . I have forgiven him long time ago . Our relationship now is not rosy and full of bonding and secret sharing . has evolved to having a mature conversation . You see , in all of my 42 yrs { then } I have never sat down  and been able to converse about anything and nothing in particular  with this man .
   We may not call each other daily or weekly but we do occasionally have a chat . A pleasant chat . It is difficult to find a card because I feel like I'm lying if I buy one of those sentimental cards . Why can't there be a card that just states " Happy Fathers Day "  for those of us who don't have that perfect relationship .
   So yes , I continue to shop for that perfect card that states " hey , I'm glad we renewed our father/daughter relationship ". They really need to make real cards for us real folks that have real relationships  . Have a Blessed Week everyone and I hope you have better luck getting your cards .

Monday, June 4, 2012

It's A Hard Enough Life

   Having gone through cancer twice now , I find myself coming out of the experience a little different each time .
    My adjustment the first time seemed to have been easier or at least happier . I was happy to be alive and felt like God gave me a second chance at life . All I wanted was peace at all costs . Any old vendettas were forgiven and forgotten . I just wanted to live life and be happy doing it .
    This time , I'm having a really hard time . I didn't notice it until I went back to work and basically back to life outside my bubble . While in treatment , I led a secluded lifestyle . Never really left my home  . All that changed when I completed the chemotheraphy .
    When you surround yourself by fellow Christians , life seems easier . That can't be said of the secular world . I find I have no tolerance for anything anymore . I speak up . Peace at all costs seems to have disappeared . This is a problem because speaking up creates ruffled feathers no matter how gentle you may be while expressing yourself .
   I don't know why I do this . I get upset at the unfairness . . . the injustices . I certainly want peace yet there is something inside of me that can't keep quiet . I have this desire to let others know how I feel . No matter how many times I talk to myself and pray to let things slide ... . . ..  something overcomes me . I need to let it out .
  There are times I feel frustration , I suppose , at people and how they act . I just don't understand why people don't get it . Everything we have can be gone in a flash . Time is something we don't have . Everything can change in a minute . I suppose I feel anger at people and their lack of love for each other . Time is something we just don't have .
   But that's just a small part of it .I suppose that having this cancer come back is something I may not get over nor accept .  I'm still disappointed at having to deal with it when I thought it was gone for good . It is an irritation upset in my life that I just don't want to accept . Maybe , my refusal to accept it is my way of not letting it win .
   Be patient with me everyone and if I step on your toes ...forgive me .

Dear Diary

    Many years ago , my mom worked for Bantom , Doubleday and Dell . The facility where she worked made bookcovers . Many times , my mom would bring home books for all of us . One of my favorites were the Journals or All About Me types of books . One , especially , was a personal memoir from a grandparent to their grandchild where you answered questions about yourself .
   Over the years , I have accumulated quite a few of them and now they sit on a shelf in my living room  . I glance at them from time to time even bothering to write a few things in them . Always telling myself , I'll finish them one day . Well , I probably never will .
   To say that I like to write  is an understatement . When I started this blog , it was purely for myself . Now , it has become a diary ..... .a Dear Diary of my remaining life . I want to leave something for Emily and Joey as a comfort when I'm gone  .
    I've always been able to express myself with the written word much better than verbally . There is something liberating about expressing oneself to strangers rather than friends . Strangers don't know anything about you or your life .People's faces are very expressive and  I don't have to see anyone's face while they read my stories .
   My children do not read my blog .Joey probably read a couple but Emily never even glanced at it . It's okay because I know when the time comes when I die , they will . Maybe , even my grandchildren will , too . For the time being  let .

Sunday, June 3, 2012

A 50th Celebration

   Last night , I went to a friend of mine's 50th birthday celebration . Since Dorota and I work together , I felt a little uncomfortable going to a party where I didn 't know anyone . I didn't want to go alone so I asked my mom to come with me . All the way there , I silently prayed that I would sit at a table with people I could be comfortable with conversing for the first time .
  Let me tell you .........when I turn 50 in three years .....I will do the same . She held the party at a banquet hall . It was beautifully decorated with balloons and flowers . She invited all her good friends and even had a DJ . When all the quests arrived , she made a grand entrance in a gorgeous long gown .
  Maybe , I won't have such a grand party with all the trimmings , but the idea of celebrating my life with  all of my friends and family is very appealing . Having cancer and surviving right along with reaching 50 is an awesome reason to celebrate .
  So who did I sit with ? Well , I sat next to a woman who recently became separated from her husband . She  too , was worried about the party , this being the first occasion she would be going to alone .
   I had a wonderful time with this woman . I had on a brand new dress and brand new pair of shoes . There is nothing like a new dress and shoes to make a woman feel great . Took off my scarf and spiked my tiny hair . I danced the whole night . Never felt my knee . Though .......
   The minute I stepped into the car , everything hurt and I mean everything . I barely made it up the stairs to my apartment . I'm still feeling it .
  What the heck . Life is meant to be lived . Have a Blessed Week everyone .

Yarn Bombing My Life

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