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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

ourpaths

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

 

 

 

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Catch That Fleeting Moment

catchthatfleetingmoment

The other day I was in my car driving, windows open, breeze flowing through my hair.  It was going on sunset.  I was on a country road with wide open fields and the radio on.  Suddenly Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard began to play on the radio station and a big grin spread across my face.

Why? Because I felt my deceased father dancing with me.  As my rear-end wiggled in the seat, I felt him with me.  In a fleeting moment, I was twelve again dancing with him in our living room as his 8 track tape of Paul Simon played.  In the very real memory, it was winter and as the beginning notes of the song played, he jumped up from our checkers game and began to dance with me.  He spun me around, teaching me dancing moves that I’m sure he made up as we danced.  I was laughing in that fleeting moment of memory.

Tears poured down my face, drying quickly as the memory faded.  I kept on driving, smiling through the tears.  In that moment, I knew he was there.  But just as quickly as the memory of dancing came to me with such a feeling of life and his love for me, it was gone, as swiftly as it came.

When I got home, I found the song again and played it repeatedly a few times hoping that he would return for another dance.  But he didn’t and the tears flowed again.  Grateful that he showed up unbidden, but sad that he is no longer here, I began to write this post – and finally decided to publish it.

Has this ever happened to you?  A fleeting moment of certainty that the presence of a loved one has visited?  Don’t let those moments of synchronicity pass you by dear friends.  Always make sure to catch that fleeting moment for they are few and far between.

I attached the video below.  It’s not exactly how I remember the song, but it does my heart good to hear it again.  I hope it brings back sweet memories for you too!

Shine On!

xo

Sept 11

Sept 11

Do you remember where you were seventeen years ago today?  I remember my Mom telling me that everyone knew where they were when JFK was shot.  Now I believe our generational history continues with “Where were you on 9/11?”

Because it seems to me, most of the people of a certain age know full well where they were when they heard about the tragedy that occurred on September 11, 2001.  In our area especially, we know of families who lost loved ones, who endured unspeakable tragedy and who witnessed the atrocities associated with that day.  They are ever emblazoned on many hearts, minds and souls.

There is also another side to the tragedy when we try to look at the light of compassion, of helpfulness, of unity that occurred through that experience.  Strangers helping strangers.  People going beyond their limits to save someone else.  All of the unmistakable soulful connections that came from the irrevocable losses that occurred from the tragedy.

Remembering those whom we lost as the bells toll in NYC today, the names read of those souls who were unable to return home to their loved ones that day.  The unfurling of our flag at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, VA.  The tears that many of us still shed on this day, even so many years later.

There’s a heaviness in the air today as the skies weep rain.  Those whom we lost are never forgotten.  Those heroes who gave their lives to help others.  Their angelic light continues to remain in the memories of our hearts.

May God Bless Us All.

Shine On!

xo

Hero – Word of the Day

 

 

 

The Discovery on Netflix

thediscovery

Have you seen the Netflix movie called The Discovery?

I watched it the other night and it brought up a lot of questions that maybe you have pondered as well – for example –

What happens after death?

I find The Discovery an interesting answer to that question.  I would love to hear if you have seen the movie and what you thought of it.  In case you haven’t heard of the movie, below is the trailer in case you’re interested.

Feel free to share any thoughts you may have!

Shine On!

xo

Father Figure – Book Review

fatherfigure

Jay’s first book, Watching Glass Shatter gave me an unproductive next day because he kept me up all night!  Knowing how the first one went, I was smart and started this one on a weekend!

While I didn’t know what to expect, I really liked this book.  I liked the way we moved back and forth between time periods, but in a logical way.  You know how some books weave a story, but you get lost?  Not with this one!  But you’ll get the opportunity to figure out the puzzling bond that the characters share.

As male author, I thought it was interesting how he was writing from the younger female points of view which I found amazing that he’s so versatile.  Full of family drama/saga,  suspense and an intricate plot, it’s a great read.

You can find Jay here on his blog – this is the link to his first book!  Jay’s got book reviews, travel stories, his dog stories (RIP Ryder and welcome Baxter!) along with his 365 Challenge and all sorts of fun stuff!  Take a moment to blog hop!  He’s such a sweet guy with lots of friends.  You won’t be disappointed!

Shine On!

xo

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

whatwouldyoudoifyouhadonlythreeweekstolive

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