Tag Archives: cancer

It’s all relative…

roses

It’s in the teens now (degrees and times matched at 6 and 9 this morning, however) and we are hunkered down with some ribs in the crockpot and the blinds closed to keep the bitter cold out.

We are blessed to have a warm home with working heat and electricity.  We are blessed to live in a first world country where even if the bureaucrats screw up on school closings it is not life being lived under some form of law that would stagnate and paralyze us all.

After being all grateful and philosophical I must say that I still keep the Phoenix temps and the Germany temps on my phone (one makes me drool most days and the other usually makes me grateful, today however it’s about 30 degrees warmer in the European city than here in our nation’s capital region).

Things can seem like they are coming apart at the seams and that you’re just going to lose it, but then you’ll catch a glimpse of a sweet child absolutely besotted with her best friend (her dog/four-legged sister) or you’ll think about someone who is facing an insurmountable task and she is kickin’ its butt.  She is not merely surviving, but thriving and you realize that good is winning and will win.

We all make choices about how to react to things in various situations whether it be to have a meltdown over a mess in the house (hypothetically speaking, of course) or something bigger.  I choose to be as a certain 7-year-old proclaimed the other day, “I’m a balcony person, not a basement person.”  Me, too, Sweet Pea…me, too.

Photo courtesy of Morguefile – http://mrg.bz/TRPDP9

Advertisements

The Simple Things

Butternut squash roasting

Maybe it’s an innocent question like the one my 7-year-old asked this morning.

“What was your first word, Mommy?”

“I don’t know, Sweetie.”

And, I probably never will.  When you have a parent with dementia that’s how you roll.  Now, in fairness, she didn’t always remember those little details when she was still herself, so if I start to have too big a pity party nudge me, will ya?!

These little moments are reminders from God to enjoy these times and appreciate the simple things.  Try to get this information while you can and tuck it away.  Appreciate that you’ve had your mother in your life into her 80s and know that there are families out there right now reeling from the loss of a parent or facing some difficult times where they are praying and enjoying their time now.  These people are working to be “present”.

I was standing outside church yesterday talking with another woman and remarked at how busy this month of October is getting.  It seems I’m always focused on the future because each weekend seems packed with activities.  I even heard myself say, “It’s so easy not to be present in the now when always anticipating the next appointment or engagement.”

Wow, thanks for that nudge, Big Guy.

So today, I am working hard at enjoying the now and celebrating the victories of the ones around me (both physically and in my heart).  And I plan to toast them later with a cup of Butternut Squash soup!  Cheers!

There’s something in the air

Beauty

 

I’m not sure what is behind it, but things seem a bit heavy lately or maybe it’s fragility I’m feeling.  Don’t get me wrong. Our nuclear family is doing well. We are all healthy and happy and strong. Truly nothing to complain about here, folks.

I’m not sure if it’s just the fact that there is so much access to information and others around the world at any given moment or if there really is an uptick in these sorts of things.

Recently I’d been following the journey of military spouse Jenna Hinman and her journey along with her active duty husband and their preemie twins in dealing with cancer. Jenna has been “rescued from cancer” to quote Jill Kelly, Jim Kelly’s courageous wife.

Then there’s Ben Sauer’s story. Ben was 5-years-old and a twin when he passed away three months to the day from the doctors telling them he had 2-3 weeks left. That was good news. So is the fact that Ben, too, has been “rescued from cancer”.

It just seems that more people are going through horrific amounts of strife and suffering. These are young people having to deal with monumental issues. Where are the happy endings? Why are so many people having marital difficulties? Why?

Our priest said recently that a young man was asked what he wanted out of life and he replied, “To be holy.” That was in 1930. The same question posed by the aforementioned priest yielded this answer, “I want an iPad Air.” Now we could chalk that up to immaturity, but an adult posed with the same question responded, “A Ferarri. I mean have you heard the engine on one of those things?”

We are broken in more ways than one, people. We need to embrace the goodness in life and draw strength from these challenges like my classmate (a year ahead) from Providence and his family are doing in their battle with cancer. They are leaning into God and squeezing every drop of joy they can from the multitudes being delivered by visits, email, phone calls and mail. I admire these folks who exhibit such extraordinary grace under pressure. I guess the point is, when life seems to be “too much” I, too, need to learn from others’ example and seek out the joy, harvest the laughter and make new memories. Thanks for letting me share.

Spring?! Gimme a Break!!

Well, yesterday was Easter and we had about 5 inches of snow (the most we’ve had all season) so it hasn’t felt much like Spring around here.  Although I was reading the paper the other day and it carried a story from an LA reporter who was chomping at the bit to report about the horrendous escapades today’s college kids experience on “Spring Break”.  It was quite a large article and was, as expected, rather depressing focusing on how much kids drink and then don’t use good judgement (to put it mildly). 

Well, that got me thinking…what about alternatives to the booze and bods Spring Break?  Then I saw another article in a later edition of the paper (buried much deeper and not garnering as much space, unfortunately, but there nonetheless) about students working in New Orleans to help rebuild the city on their Spring Break. 

So, I decided to do a bit of research on alternatives for kids as well as adults.  One such adult has always stuck with me.  Catherine worked with me at a dot.com in the boom phase and used to take her weeks off at Camp Sunshine  http://studenttravel.about.com/od/springbreakvolunteers/qt/alternate_sprin.htm in GA.  I was so impressed with that.  And to further raise her stock in my estimation she married a wonderful guy we both worked with — Kudos to both Cat and Mat, but I digress!  

I found multiple listings when I queried “alternative Spring Break” and “volunteering vacations”.  Cheap tickets even has a section on their site.  Here’s hoping you, too, will be inspired to do something for someone else. 

http://studenttravel.about.com/od/springbreakvolunteers/qt/alternate_sprin.htm

http://www.charityguide.org/volunteer/vacations.htm

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/Savinganddebt/Travelforless/P87894.asp

Enjoy the daffodils!