Tag Archive | SendOutCards

Cancer Changed Me

cancerchangedme

Hope ~ Strength ~ Power ~ Belief ~ Courage ~ Honor ~ Determination

I have been told that cancer changed me.  Indeed, it wasn’t said it in the nicest of ways.  In fact, it was taken as a disparaging comment and I was appalled by the off-hand comment.  My first reaction was to defend myself at the time, to show how cancer didn’t change me.  But I left well-enough alone and decided to say nothing.  However, I was hurt by the retort.

Had cancer really changed me?

The question mulled in my head for days and many sleepless nights, more than I’d like to admit, but it’s true.  I’ve written how cancer changes you enough times in this blog to know that the reality is – YES, cancer changes most of us.  It has to, or we wouldn’t still be here.  For we have seen into the yawning mouth of our own demise, endured the most feared emotions and have come out of it alive, so far.  Looking at your own potential death does change you.

It makes you more aware for the most part.  Some of us now see with finite definition that life is short and there are no guarantees how much time we have on this earth.  We become grateful for the beauty in nature, for the simple pleasures that kindness brings and for a real, loving hug which can cure many ills.  We look to connect with others more because we know what it’s like to feel alone.  We share our stories, encourage each other and find the courage to be who we authentically are!  We smile when we are tired.  We work hard to overcome obstacles and to be there for others, even when we feel depleted.  We take that extra moment to smile and to enjoy goodness when it comes into our lives.  We are grateful for the support that we have been given and we look to support others to continue the flow of goodness.  We share tips to help others and happily receive tips to make our lives easier.

We know that all the money in the world, with all the frivolities are fleeting and really don’t mean a damn when death comes knocking at our door.  It’s that silence between ourselves and our maker (or our beliefs) in the quiet of the night that counts.  It’s regarding peace within as a precious gift, time spent with loved ones and a centered calm in which to retreat when life becomes hard.  It’s the voice within the stillness which speaks of love, gratitude, peace with ourselves and others and God.

Yes, cancer changed me.  That’s for sure.  Perhaps it was the misunderstanding of me that caused this person to spout the ‘dig’ as I took it.  Sometimes it takes a loss for us to be humble and perhaps there will be people who simply never understand.  And that’s ok with me.

I am me, authentically me.  I make mistakes, I ask for forgiveness and I forgive.  I choose to live in a state of peace within when I can, but I am always evolving, ever growing and yet, trying to do all things with love.  I intend to do my best, at any given moment, but I’m human.  I’m a work in progress.  Aren’t we all?

What’s precious to me in my life is love, kindness and connections and I strive every day to live with those three precious gems in my life.  Cancer made me a better person by giving me so many lessons in my life.  I’ve learned so much from cancer, even though I never wanted to endure that disease.  Looking back on my life, I realize that I am who I am today because of cancer.  Even if others don’t understand me, it’s ok now.  I’m at peace and I’m ever grateful for the peace within me.

Shine On!

xo

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Memorial Day

arthurashe

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.  It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

– Arthur Ashe

I shan’t wish you a Happy Memorial Day for as a friend who is in the military reminded me, it isn’t a happy day.  It isn’t about picnics, nor getting a day off from work.  It is about remembrance for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for all of us to live in this country.  It is about those who survive, but still have limitations from their service time.  It is about serving others because you believe in our nation.  It is about honoring those who have passed.

So today please take a moment to send peace and love to all those who have passed and to those who have given of themselves to serve our country.  It saddens me that we have lost so many souls in a collection of unrest in our world.  Let’s say a prayer for peace today and remember all those for whom this day is in remembrance.

Shine On!

xo

 

You Can’t Make Someone Love You

youcantmakesomeoneloveyou

Once I was told, “You can’t make someone love you,” and a surging feeling of sadness enveloped me at that very moment.  I struggled to understand what she meant by the seemingly offhanded comment.  If my heart is so full of love for someone, why couldn’t they love me?  It seemed preposterous at the time for I truly believed that love could conquer all problems.

But in this case, I found her words to ring true.

My love could not conquer all problems.  Without love on both sides and a willingness to listen, to speak honestly and to be vulnerable, there is no healing or reconciliation.  Relationships can be messy as I’ve learned, although truthfully, I’ve known this for a long time.  Haven’t you?  There’s that old adage of “he said, she said,” which really means “he thinks, she thinks” and there’s little middle ground to forge a bridge between them when both sides don’t listen and share, give and take, and do so without keeping score.

It’s been a life long lesson for me that I am still learning, albeit slowly.  Behind my rose-colored glasses there’s a girl who still believes in love and who still loves with her whole heart.  Another friend once told me that my heart breaks open wider because I love with my whole heart and that most people do not open themselves up that wide and with so much vulnerability.  I felt sad, but I can only be who I am.  Innately, I love with my whole heart and truly, I have had that heart broken wide open, shattered beyond recognition.

But in slowly gathering up the pieces, one by one, holding each piece of my heart tenderly, I’ve put my heart back together.  I’ve restored my soul and chosen to live my life again, with whole-warmheartedness, continuing to love with my whole heart and not just with the broken pieces that I took time to mold back together again.

There are those whom I’ve met, who have been wounded to the core of their beings and they vow that they will never love again that way.  I understand the feeling of needing protection and of guarding our hearts.  Feeling broken-hearted is utterly painful and as humans, we try to safeguard ourselves from pain in every moment.  But there is something precious in loving with our whole hearts, that I can’t let go of, as I believe it is innate with me, a part of me that still believes in love.

I agree that we can’t make someone love us, but we can still love them.  Obviously not in the stalker way, but with a small piece of peace in our hearts.  Love their essence, love that part of them you once treasured, love the memories of your entwined journey that were beautiful.  Let go of the past.  Move forward into the light.  You can survive a broken heart with grace and dignity.  Allow your heartlight to shine radiantly as you move forward in peace.  A loving heart like ours never dies.  Our heartlights may dim for a bit, but love is a precious gift that we give to ourselves and we give to others.  Let your heart be full of love.

Shine On!

xo

Wishing You Love and Happiness

wishingyouloveandhappiness

Happy Valentine’s Day dear friends!

I wish you love and happiness today and always.  May you always remember how cherished you are to those who love you (and to me!) and how grateful and honored I feel to be connected with you!  May we send out kindness and love to those around us today and always.  May we all feel the infinite love of God, the Universe, and the Divine in every moment!  May we love ourselves and others.  May we cherish our connections (both past and present) and increase them exponentially every day by our kindness, generosity of spirit and gratitude.

May we remember how loved we are, every single moment of every single day.

You are loved, dear friends.

Shine On!

xo

 

Loving Someone With Alzheimer’s

 

alzheimersI have two close family members with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia.  Although we have been walking this path for over two years, the decline is beginning to show the ravages of the disease.  It’s a normal process I’m told that there are declines, progression of the disease and plateaus.  As with many diseases, its course is unpredictable and unfortunately, non-reversible.

I have made many friends through this journey.  Today I was speaking with another daughter of a Mom with Alzheimer’s.  Commiserating about our loved ones’ situations, we found solace in sharing our feelings about the disease without a cure.  A disease which is documented to be exponentially growing in the coming years, with the ability to even touch our own lives since many times, it is genetically carried.

How mind-blowing is that?  Yes, pun intended.

I read other bloggers who are touched by these diseases.  Caretakers, patients as well as doctors who are dedicated to finding a cure and making life better for those afflicted by this disease and their loved ones who wrestle heart-breakingly with the changes that come as the diseases progress.

Of course, I have much empathy and compassion for those who endure this disease, including my loved ones.  How could I not when I see as they move along this path?  I’m not saying it isn’t confusing or frustrating for those who have the diseases because I know that it is and frankly, I fear that it may strike me one day as well.  So I find myself always trying to go with the flow, to assure my loved ones that they are safe, all is well and to make sure that their lives are as lovely as I can make them.  And that sometimes, in itself, is a full time job.

But every once in awhile, there comes a time when it feels unbearable.  To watch a loved one’s mind slip away is heart-wrenching and I feel so incompetent and powerless to make things better for them.  When there come personality changes which may or may not last for long, but still sting because my loved ones perseverate over something or get angry because of something they believe (which may or may not be true), it’s hard to handle.  It’s difficult to manage and to let go of what is being said because in my heart, I know she doesn’t really mean what she is saying as she just doesn’t know because she has this disease.  But the words and the feelings, sting and pierce my heart anyway.  Probably because I still want her to be who I remember fondly and not the grouchy person who is so angry.

It has been said that when the full moon comes, our minds often are affected and surely, with this disease, I have found that theory to be true.  The coming full moon and eclipse may even be a double whammy in memory care facilities world-wide.  Who knows?

In any case, thank you for reading as the road through aging, isn’t for sissies, no matter how old you are!

Shine On!

xo

 

Gratitude

gratitude

There is a calmness

to a life lived in gratitude

– a quiet joy.

~Ralph H. Blum

Gratitude for what is, what was and what may be.  This is how I live my life.  I am grateful for all the experiences, even those which have been sad, devastating and hard, as well as those experiences where I have searched and found the ‘good’ in what initially I viewed with suffering in my heart.  We have all heard, ‘time heals all wounds.’  But is that really true?  I am undecided, but yet, I feel that there is a choice in how we view the wounds as time goes by.  We can choose to have the wounds define us or empower us.  We are free to choose and it is in our choice, we continue to find peace and calmness in our lives.

So today on Thanksgiving, may we look upon the day with gratitude, love, calmness and joy.  View our world with peace in our hearts and allow healing love to surround us.

As always, I am grateful to be here with  you, to connect with you and to find the joy in the moment with you.  Let’s share gratitude for The Presents of Presence together!

Shine On!

xo

 

 

Recipe for Enduring Breast Cancer

76605095_Hope Strength Power Belief Courage Honor Determination

In order to survive Breast Cancer (and any other illness, tragedy, trauma) it’s necessary to collect all of your essential ingredients in order to endure the situation at hand.  A great dose of support is also needed as back up when your ingredients run low and you need a refill.  A quick jog to the store won’t suffice.  You need a team, a village, to count on and that’s where the internet, blogs, websites and support groups can wield a mighty sword to help you combat your ills.

A hefty dose of the above helps:

Hope

Strength

Power

Belief

Courage

Honor

Determination

In addition to a heavy handed sprinkling of

Humor, Love, Presence and Support.

Which is all fine and good as words, but how do you go about stockpiling these main ingredients when you’ve just been blindsided by your diagnosis and news?  I wish I could say it is easy, but it’s not.  That’s where your determination comes in.  You have to set your own mind to believing that you have the courage, the strength, the hope, and the inner power to endure.

You have all of this inside ~ you simply have to tap into it.  You must do the work.  There’s no way around it.  It is your mind that needs to have its power harnessed to heal your life.  Humor, love, presence and support may come from the outside from which you can receive the stores from others.  But you my friend, must believe that you are ready and worthy to battle and must prepare your mind, heart and soul to overcome the obstacles that are placed before you.

So how do you do this?  You harness your mind by feeding it positive thinking.  You eradicate negativity from your life, like removing rose petals from a rose, you gently pluck the negative thoughts from your heart and in place, you add the essence of the rose ~ the inner beauty and strength that comes from a rose simply being a rose.

Is this making any sense to you?  Do you need concrete examples?  Are you thinking I’m too pie in the sky for you?  Too Pollyanna and yippy skippy?  Not down to Earth enough?

Watch for it.  In the meantime, you need to get yourself ready.  Enjoy this day.  Get outside and look up to the sky.  Breathe.  Take 3 minutes to just listen to the wind, feel the earth under your feet and reconnect with nature.  Find a bit of inner and outer peace in being present.  You don’t have to do it for long.   Just feel the peace.

I’m holding  your hand.  You’ve got a friend in me.  Take your time.  Allow the grief and the healing to come to you and welcome it with your arms open wide.  You can do this!

Shine On!

xo