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National Love Your Pet Day

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I didn’t even know there existed a “National Love Your Pet Day” but apparently, it’s today!  So here I am, because who doesn’t love their pets?  You know I love the bunnies and other wildlife in my yard, but they’re not pets in the traditional sense.  Better said, they’re what I consider part of my extended animal family.  Well, those and the many dogs who live nearby and walk past my home with their owners.  I love to sneak in a little puppy love from time to time as they walk by.  It’s a nice change considering I have cats who do not walk on leashes, nor go outside.

Pets bring a life force of unconditional love into our homes.  The responsibility of being a pet owner can feel burdensome at times, but the goodness far outweighs any poop detail!

As a child, our family had many different pets over the years. My favorites were the black Labrador Retriever and alley cat who were best friends.  We also had various beta fish and gold fish (won at county fairs), two parakeets and even a hermit crab for a brief period of time.

When I had my own family, I knew that we needed a pet in our lives.  While we’ve never had a dog (yet), I do love dogs and maybe someday when the time is right, we’ll have a dog in our family.  But in the meantime, we’ve been a cat family.  Two rescues and a purebred so far.  Years ago our family went through the heartbreaking decision to let our 17 year old rescue who stayed with me throughout my cancer ordeal, never leaving my side, be free to travel over the Rainbow Bridge.  We still have our almost 6 year old rescue (whom my sons chose and she looks very much like our dearly departed kitty) and our American Bobtail who’s been with us for more than 10 years.  Both girls are housebound and aren’t outdoor kitties which is fine by me.

They are a huge part of our family.  Their antics and affection add a richness to our lives that has helped us through some tough times.  In fact, I’ve often written about our family phrase “fur therapy” (when you just need to hold one of the cats and feel that special unconditional pet love).  When my sons come home we hug and kiss hello and soon afterwards they usually scoop up a cat to hug as well.  The soothing petting of a cat and feeling that purr rumble is actually healing and proven scientifically.  Did you know that?

In addition, our family has been the home for an anole, a hamster named Hamtaro (Hammie for short) and some requisite gold fish.  All in all, I don’t think my children nor I would be able to be without a pet in our lives because they’re such a part of our lives.

Do you feel the same way?  Tell me all about your loving furbabies!

Shine On!

xo

Rabbit Rabbit 2020

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Well, we made it to 2020!  Happy New Year to all of you dear friends!  I hope you remembered to say Rabbit Rabbit!  Don’t worry if you didn’t, you can say it now!  Repeat after me….Rabbit Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit!  Whew…I feel better now.  Don’t you?

I hope you had a lovely New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day today!  How did you spend last evening?  Did you do anything exciting?  I spent a quiet evening on New Year’s Eve which has become a treat for me.  At the stroke of twelve when the Times Square ball was dropping, my phone lit up with phone calls and text messages from beloved family and friends and I felt the love!  There’s nothing like connecting with loved ones who wish you all the best in the new year!

It was a special night for me.  A time of reflection and of gratitude for I was diagnosed eighteen years ago with cancer on New Year’s Eve.  It seems so very long ago when I heard those dreaded words.  A lot has happened in my life since then for which I’m grateful.  But most of all, I’m grateful that I am still here surrounded by love.

I appreciate the simple blessings in my life and the connections that have stood the test of time.  I couldn’t have endured this life journey without my precious friends and family who have remained by my side with kindness and loving support.  I am grateful for all of you who are reading my blog too.  My blogosphere friendships have been an amazing gift to me and I love to connect with you when you visit me.

I hope that 2020 brings you all an abundance of blessings with a heaping serving of health, wealth, love and happiness!  May this year be our best yet!  Keep shining your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

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As a woman who endured breast cancer many moons ago, October or Pinktober becomes one of those pink, swashed in your face reminders of all that happened to us.  Maybe for you it doesn’t, but for those of us with a long history, it’s a stark reminder for an entire month.

I don’t often share that I endured breast cancer because my medical past isn’t obvious.  Well, maybe it’s obvious in certain situations, but for the most part, you’d never know if you met me on the street or in the grocery store unless I shared that bit of information with you.  I’m grateful for that now.  The bald tell-tale sign or the hairless eyebrows and lack of eyelashes aren’t there anymore.

It’s been a long time since I was diagnosed and I’m grateful to still be here to help others who walk this path.  If you want to read more, just type breast cancer in the search button on my blog and you will see that I’ve written about it over the years.  I learned much from my experience with breast cancer that I probably wouldn’t have if I hadn’t had the disease.  Endurance, strength, compassion, kindness, faith and connections have helped to enrich my life and my will to survive other obstacles that have arrived at my doorstep.  While I would have never chosen to endure this disease, I am grateful for surviving it and for the ample opportunities for insight and growth that came from it.

While it hasn’t come back with a vengeance, the threat continues as I live out the rest of my life.  However, most of the time it is pushed to the back of my mind where it belongs.  I am vigilant in my checkups and as any cancer survivor knows, I spend a few nervous days after they test my blood, waiting to see if my tumor markers have decided to go wacky and scare me.  In the past they have, which brought fear to the forefront again in my life, but luckily for me, they were false positives.

I can’t say that same experience happened for many friends and acquaintances of mine.  Sadly, many of them lost their battle to the disease as it metastasized to different areas in the body.  Survivors guilt after bonding with others saddens me.  The question of why I am spared and they are not, continues to be a mystery.  In honoring their sweet memories, I try to live the best life I can, for I know how quickly life can change.

I am an alumni of a club to which I never wished to belong.  But in this club, I have found warm, loving people who are united in ways that others may never fully understand.  To this day, I still help other women who are enduring breast cancer.  I know that for me, it helped when someone else understood the night time terror thoughts or the twinges of pain that we knew weren’t normal.  It helped to receive a sisterly embrace from someone who ‘got it’ and who willingly connected with me.  So I give back when I can.  I pass along the compassionate connections which were offered to me and greatly appreciated.

In honor of those who lost their battle to breast cancer, to those who are currently in the throes of cancer’s siege on their body and to those who, like me, are labeled survivors, I send up my prayers today.  My prayer is that we live on in the hearts of our loved ones and that someday, sooner rather than later, the cure will be given to all who need it.

God Bless.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

 

What Would You Do If You Only Had Three Weeks To Live?

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Because my friend’s dad was told he had only three weeks to live, it made me think – What would I do if I only had three weeks to live?  So I’m asking the question to you as well.

What Would You Do If You Only Had Three Weeks To Live?

Three weeks isn’t a long time and yet, I feel as if it gives us a little time to prepare.  But let’s face it, we’re never really prepared for our own death or for anyone else’s, are we?  I know that for myself, I’m not.  For that matter, nothing is certain in life and none of us really knows how long we have here on earth.

So what would you do with your last remaining three weeks? 

Travel?  See faraway family and friends?

How would your life change?

Would you be more proactive?

Would you hole up and isolate?

Would you feel invigorated like you had to accomplish your bucket list now or never?

Or would you fall into the deepest depression ever?

Would you rethink your relationships?

Would you have those hard conversations that you’ve been avoiding?

Would you be a wild child and throw caution to the wind even if you’ve been cautious your whole life?

Would you write your memoirs?

Would you feel the need to go to church more often?

Would you suddenly exercise or stop exercising?

Would you eat dessert first?

Would you mend those broken fences or would you break them?

Would you do something you’ve always been afraid to do like sky diving or swimming with sharks?

Would you want to have your loved ones surrounding you or would you want to be alone?

Would you spend all your money that you have left frivolously or would you make sure that what you’re leaving to your loved ones is secure?

I’m interested in hearing what you are thinking so please share!

Shine On!

xo

 

Gratitude For Eight Years On WordPress

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I got a note from WordPress today telling me that eight years ago today, I began my blog.  It doesn’t seem that I have been writing for eight years to you all, but I’m assuming WordPress knows what it’s talking about, don’t you think?  Ah, the benefits of blogging!

In eight years, much has changed in my life.  My initial focus was to help other women battling cancer, specifically breast cancer as I endured it myself and I am still here.  But as life developed, I have written about other subjects too including:  poetry, pets, children, parents, relationships, Mother Nature, horseback riding, Alzheimer’s and Dementia, holidays, angels, spirituality, religion, Rabbit, Rabbit, photography, SendOutCards, amazing books and movies, inspirational quotes, life in general and even death because I had first hand experience with all of those topics.  While I was enduring hardships, you were all there for me with your loving support and I am ever grateful.  I wrote to share my experiences in hopes that I would be able to help someone else along that path.

I am ever grateful for the loving connections that have evolved through our blogging community which we have grown through our writings and by reaching out in kindness, generosity and always with a loving heart.  Friendships have blossomed through our writings that have cemented many of us soul to soul in miraculous ways.  From WordPress comments to emails to actual phone calls, I can count many deep friendships which span the world now for which I am honored to be a part of in this lifetime – and yet, we have never met face to face.  But the love is there, without ever being in each other’s physical presence.

It’s so interesting to me that I have yet to meet anyone face to face that I met through blogging and yet I count many of you as true friends.  What a gift this Presents of Presence has been for me!  I pray that you feel the same way – that my writings, my comments and my love for all of you shines its heartlight and helps to raise the energetic vibrations of this world’s energy to encourage peace, love, compassion and understanding along with connections to all.

May your heart be lifted today and may your heartlight shine for all to see, for I see you out there dearest friends and I am ever grateful, as always, for our connections.

Shine On!

xo

The Present

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Today’s Daily Prompt of PRESENT was a no-brainer for me to write about because hello! it’s the name of my blog!  The Presents of Presence.

It’s been a HUGE PRESENT to write to you, to make connections with you and to get to know all of you!  I love our friendships and I feel grateful and honored to know you all!

Because if we look around, precious moments are presents and they are everywhere.  But they can be fleeting when we are not paying attention.  You know what I mean?  When you turn around and wonder, what in the world did I do yesterday?  Or how did this past week fly by?

We have a limited time on this earth dear friends.  Connections can be fleeting or lifelong.  Either way, we must take each and every special opportunity to savor them.

May you have a blessed day and continue to shine your heartlights!

Shine On!

xo

Two Weeks

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Last night, I watched the movie Two Weeks with Sally Field.  While I hadn’t ever heard of the movie before now, I found out that it’s been out since 2007 on DVD as it’s one of those Indie films which I had somehow missed.

For those of us who have aging parents and relatives, this movie poignantly touched me in many ways.  The complexity of family relationships is evident here along with the reality that we all face when we pass away and when we come face to face with grief when a loved one passes away (especially a mom).

Honestly, it’s not a movie I would feel compelled to watch again as I have with others.  But I tend to watch movies about relationships and people dealing with real-life situations.  Grief seems to bring out the stark reality in relationships and this one does just that.  If you’ve endured a similar situation, this may hit too close to home.  But I think it does just that, in a good way.  It showcases the conflicted emotions that we endure when we are faced with the death of a loved one.

It was reviewed as a dramedy which I think encompasses Two Weeks well.  It’s not all laughter nor tears.  It’s the enmeshment of life’s reality.  If you’re interested in seeing more, please click on the image below and it will take you to Amazon.

Have you ever seen it?  I would love to hear from you if you have as I’d like to know what you thought of the movie.  Please let me know.

Shine On!

xo

 

 

We Are Here To Serve

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I’ve often wondered, why me? when life gets hard.  I think it’s a normal response when we feel overwhelmed by hard life experiences.  We’ve all had them, but to different extents and different types of experiences.  Dysfunctional relationships.  Cancer.  Financial problems.  Death of a loved one.  Divorce.  Alzheimer’s.  Childhood hurts.  Depression.  Family relationships gone awry.  Illness.  Just to name a few, I am sure we share some of the same hurdles, but maybe in different ways.

Life experiences teach us what we couldn’t have learned otherwise.  We can’t help others if we haven’t endured similar issues in our own lives.  What’s that quote?  Walk a mile in my shoes?  Maybe I haven’t walked in your particular shoes, but perhaps my similar experience is enough to connect with you and to help you on this life journey.

I am grateful for all that I have endured in my lifetime.  When we can see the gratitude in the hardships, we can change how we feel about them.  We increase our faith and our love quotient.  We rise above what we could have let hold us back from living a full life.

We are all here to help each other as we connect, we bond and we share our experiences.  There’s nothing better than someone else who knows what you are going through (by similar experience) who reaches out to share the experience with you as a friend, a guiding light to help you find peace within while offering a hand to hold as you heal.

The Why Me?  was answered recently by my soul who gave the response that if I hadn’t endured these experiences, I would be unable to connect so purely with others who may be in the trenches.  Without first-hand knowledge, I would only be able to sympathize and not empathize and put myself in similar shoes.  Does that make sense to you?

What I know for sure (thanks to Oprah for the phrase) is that we are here to serve one another in this lifetime.  To share experiences, to open our hearts with compassion and love and to shine our heartlights together!

You are not alone…take my hand and let’s…

Shine On!

xo

When’s Your Last Day?

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Do you think that your last day here on Earth is pre-determined?

Or do you think it’s a matter of circumstances?

Would you want to pre-know your death date (or not) if you could?

I know I may be opening up a big discussion here, but it’s a topic that has come to my attention recently through a few conversations with friends and I thought I’d ask you too.  (To my knowledge, there are no imminent deaths coming to my family/friends, so it’s just a question.)

But honestly, I think it’s a sad, but important topic to cover, to share our thoughts and to expand our thinking from others’ experiences.  Life is fragile and as my blog states, we only have the present moment for sure.  Not that I don’t plan for the future, but nobody knows for sure what’s on the horizon.  I’m not being morbid here honestly.  I don’t want to add fear to anyone’s thoughts.  I guess my point is a reiteration of being grateful for the past and being grateful for the present moment at all times.  Plan for the future, but don’t put off holding your loved ones close, spending time with them and telling them in real life, whether in person, via email, or sending a card, how you feel.

Because frankly, who doesn’t love hearing that we are appreciated and loved?

So back to the topic at hand!  What do you think of when you envision your last day?  Or do you even think about it?  I think about mine.  I think cancer changed my views on life, so I have thought about it.  I believe that we may have a pre-determined last day, but I’m open to listening to your thoughts on the subject.  For me, a pre-determined last day means I’m free to live my life without measure, completely in the moment, sharing love easily and without fear, but with the knowing that we never know our last day or that of our loved ones for sure.  With that in mind, we need to be the best, most loving souls we can be today and everyday.  It helps me to consistently choose connections, love, kindness and understanding instead of the lower vibrations.  It allows me the freedom to shine my heartlight with sparkling enthusiasm.

What about you?  If you feel inclined, please share your thoughts!

Shine On!

xo

 

A New New Year’s Eve

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I was diagnosed with breast cancer on New Year’s Eve of 2001.  I won’t bore you with the details, but if you choose to search in my posts for those key words, you will find my story.  Much has happened since that fateful day and for many years, I felt downtrodden by the reminder of my cancerversary on New Year’s Eve.

Finally, I no longer hold that diagnosis in my heart/mind/soul as I used to in the past.  The cancer diagnosis was the beginning of my spiritual journey which has led me to this day, today, for which I am ever grateful.  My life hasn’t turned out as I’d planned.  Instead, I’ve endured a plethora of losses and yet, I remain grateful for each experience.  I see now that all of those life lessons have led me to today and the spiritual knowledge which I would have never received had my life been easy and cancer-free.  I have acquired so much depth of understanding which I would have never grown if I hadn’t had to endure so much pain in my life.  The experiences reminded me of how innately strong I am and how even though my life went through periods of darkness, my heartlight shines even more brightly now because of what I’ve endured.  Isn’t that always the way?  Do you feel the same way?

My heartlight dimmed at times of great stress, disease, fear and grief, but the innate sparkle never left me.  My faith has grown stronger.  My commitment to being me in all my quirks and glory, has only increased in strength and commitment.  My supply of self-love and love for all mankind has increased exponentially.  I love from the depths of my soul and have learned to receive healthy love as well.  I no longer worry about acceptance.  I am who I am and I am not afraid anymore.

I wish you all a lovely New Year’s Eve!  Let go of who and what doesn’t serve your spiritual growth.  Leave the past hurts behind.  Enjoy The Presents of Presence and may all unfold in 2018 with love, light and peace for you!

Shine On!

xo