Monday, April 23, 2012
I hope all is well wherever you are today! I promise this is short, I just did want to give credit where credit it due!
I had no qualms of what I was going to do with Mike’s clothes – I in no way was ready to ship them off to Goodwill, heck I am even having his Cowboy boots made into plant potters Going through his closet, I reached out to a few people for some ideas what to do with his shirts, etc… A dear friend (a daughter of a man that has taken his journey to the Pearly gates along with Mike) had suggested a company called Campus Quilts - http://www.campusquilt.com/ - I researched their website and read the reviews and I was excited to bag his shirts up (and even his favorite swim trunks – for we were water babies) and send them off. I even have the shirt he wore on our first date and the shirt I was wearing the VERY first night we met!
I was overcome with joy today as I came back from lunch and was greeted by a box – a big one I quickly opened and immediately felt Mike here with me! I wanted to share the finished product with you all! Aunt Cissy, Aunt Peggy and Kevin – if you look closely you can see 3 shirts that will bring back memories – Dr. Enuff (From Cissy), Clear Water PD (From Peggy) and an old shirt Mike refused to part with – some sort of fishing/ocean shirt (From Kev and His Mom) – the others were a lot of Mike’s favorite shirts – he was a simple man with a simple wardrobe, so the quilt was my most favorite option to have these preserved. It has a sleeve on the back, which will allow me to hang in our house for display – Mike’s spirit WILL Love on!!
I wanted to share this special moment with you all and also, share the idea – great for a way to preserve special memories! Love you ALL!!
Friday, April 20, 2012
It is up and running -- Official Fundraising website for Funding Lung Cancer Research! Please feel free to share with EVERYONE!! I am determined to be the Susan J of this Cause!!!
Thursday, April 19, 2012
“A sad soul can kill you quicker than a germ - John Steinbeck”
I came across this quote and how true it is. Before Mike departed onto his heavenly adventure, I strived my very best to maintain his mentality to stay strong and healthy and positive, even in not the most positive moments – our good days far outweighed the bad during this battle, for that I remain at peace daily.
Well, I do promise this entry to be brief for it is just an announcement of sorts J As I had mentioned in my previous email, I have really dove into researching Lung Cancer and other charities and am forming a team for ‘Free to Breathe Organizations’ first Annual walk/run in Houston TX in November. The website is still in progress, but as soon as it is up, I will for sure provide all of that information for donations and registration. You can visit the organization through this site – information will be posted soon ---- http://www.freetobreathe.com/index.html
In the midst of Mike’s diagnosis and the 2 year journey with this disease, I was very naïve to how unfunded this cancer is. I found this recently from the Lung Cancer Research Partnership:
There is Not Enough Funding for Lung Cancer Research
Lung cancer claims more lives each year than breast, colon and prostate cancer combined.1 Yet these cancers receive proportionately more research funding than does lung cancer.
Research Investment Makes a Difference
Over the last 30 years, substantial investment has resulted in significant increases in survival of many diseases.
Breast Cancer - US Government research funding: $750 million / Results: significant increase in 5-year survival rates -- Early 1970s – 75% and Today – 90%
HIV/AIDS - US Government research funding: $3 billion/year / Results: AIDS was once a near-immediate death sentence and Today – with anti-retroviral drug therapy, the 3-year survival rate is 90%.
Lung Cancer - US Government research funding: Only $267 million/year / Results: very little change in 5-year survival rates.
Now do not misunderstand me, ALL cancers are tragic and ANY disease of any sort is detrimental to the patient and all involved…but I am a little biased due to Lung Cancer is what Mike was diagnosed with and fought till the last breath. Now with this said, just as we all have causes that affect our family and friends, we tend to lean to want to learn and research what we are in the midst of, for me it was Lung Cancer. The more I read, the more I want to fight for this cause, raise awareness and fund the heck out of it and donate ALL proceeds from any fundraiser, etc to this cause till one day, the survival rate is so much higher and people are living a lot longer with their loved ones!
With all of this being said, (though this is a way premature invite, but hey – remember again, I am far beyond normal and quite anal), so I am organizing a benefit to honor Mike and ALL proceeds will go to the organizations mentioned above to ensure that Lung Cancer research continues to get the recognition it deserves and lives are pro-longed – remember, you DO NOT EVEN HAVE TO BE A SMOKER TO GET LUNG CANCER! I hope you will use this email as the first official “Save the Date” for this event – once the foundation is laid out and pieces are put together, more notices will go out and flyers, etc.
Please see below Benefit Information:
Date: AUGUST 19, 2012
Location: Cock-Eyed Seagull in Clear Lake
Address: 1010 E. NASA Parkway, Webster TX 77058
A Little About Why We Are Doing This: Benefit In Honor of My Hott Pocket of a Husband -- ALL PROCEEDS WILL GO TO TEAM ‘EL TOROS' FUNDRAISER CHARITY FUND FOR LUNG CANCER RESEARCH (FREE TO BREATHE & LUNG CANCER RESEARCH PARTNERS) (ONE ...OF THE MOST LOW-FUNDED CANCERS RESEARCHED) for The Walk in November!!!! BANDS, AUCTIONS, BBQ PLATES, SHIRTS, KOOZIES AND A CHANCE TO BE PART OF SOMETHING SO BIG AND HONOR MY HUBBY IN THE MOST AMAZING WAY AND ALL WHOM ARE AFFECTED BY THIS DISEASE!! MORE INFO TO COME, BUT ANALY SPREADING THE NEWS NOW!!!
So in closing, as I said this is pre-mature, but just highlight and drag it into a special folder and mark your calendars! I remain so grateful for you all – Family, Friends and ALL who have come into our lives through this journey and for the ones that will continue to keep Mike’s Spirit alive in all we do!
Much love to you all and many wishes for successful and sunny days!
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me - Erma Bombeck”
I found this quote this AM, and who knows I may have used it before, but it seemed quite fitting as I embark on the 2 month anniversary of Mike’s entrance to Heaven tomorrow – He surely used every ounce of talent that GOD intended for him to use!
So as always, I try so hard to make my updates NOT lengthy, but it’s been a month now, and a lot has happened, so I am surely entitled to a little rambling??? Ha!! Ya’ll know me so well ;) Let’s see where to begin…
First and foremost, I MUST thank you ALL who from the deepest pit of my heart and soul for allowing me to be me during this period and all that you will endure with me moving forward – you are all so special to me and the friendships and relationships that I have gained from each of you (some very different and diverse from others) but yet all the same in many ways. Mike was my best friend through everything, and with him gone, though I can still talk to him, there is nothing like getting a response from a dear friend letting you know…you are OK – it is SO OK not to be normal…who is right?
Since days before Mike went to Heaven, his Aunt Cissy came down to assist with taking care of Mike, he then passed 3 days later and she has been staying with me…what a blessing in disguise this has been. I was nervous at first, for I had not had a “roommate” since my 20’s, so I was afraid of the adjusting for both of us, but GOD has intervened and she has been the “stability” in these past months that at times have been unstable…I am grateful. However, as time goes on, we both know that I will be moving on, and so will she…she is moving back to TN mid-May to be with her friends that have become her family and get back to her normal. I am forever in debited to her for all she has done and the support she has provided…GOD and Mike surely had this planned ;)
Being back at work surely has been a blessing as well. No doubt I have my moments…looking at my phone missing my daily texts and phone calls from Mike or just awaiting for him to blast through my office door with that beaming smile and that huge hug – BUT I am surely thankful I will always have those memories. I love music but there are just some songs I am not able to listen to quite yet, for tears come over me! I must admit as I have said many times before, I am so BLESSED to work for such a supportive and compassionate company that doesn’t question any of my emotional actions, yet just offers a hug and as I apologize for not being “Normal Lyndie”, they giggle and assure me…I have NEVER been normal – I am me! Haha! As for the tenants and all our vendors, etc, it is good to be seeing them all again…they as well have offered such support in this time and just a simple smile can make my day!
As for my everyday life, I am staying active. The first month, I strived to get myself into anything and everything just to keep my mind busy…I became overwhelmed with making plans and trying to keep it all on track, so I had to step back, re-clear my calendar and get back to MY normal – I am a homebody. I am learning to be OK at home, just watching a movie, playing with the “wet-nosed” kiddos and enjoying some sweet tea on Mike and I’s front porch swing – one of our favorite places. I must admit as well, the sunsets lately have been so beautiful and the clouds are amazing. Mike and I Loved to lay out in the yard and just watch the clouds and guess shapes. The other day as I was walking the dogs, directly above the house there was a PERFECT set of angel wings – surely GOD allowed that to happen to reassure me I have the sexiest and strongest angel over me at all times – Thank YOU JESUS! Also other Mike-isms that have occurred are amazing! (2) Separate flower bushes that have NEVER bloomed in the 5 years we have been in our house are blooming out of control this season! AMAZING!! Just a little hint of Mike to me!
I have got back into the gym, I am involving myself in many charitable acts to support and offer research to Lung Cancer – I still cannot believe how under researched this disease is and how it is not funded in abundance! I am participating in the first Annual Lung Cancer Walk/Run provided by Free to Breathe organization in November – November 12th. I have created a team – “El Toros” – would I have it any other way? The website is in progress, so as soon as it is up and running, I will provide the link so you can pass on, donate or register to walk along side of all us Toros to support Lung Cancer research and keep Mike’s journey alive! I also am planning some traveling this Spring/Summer with some close girlfriends that I have reconnected with who have been amazing and here for me – you know who you are and I thank you! Some of my trips are including, the Hill Country, A little River Rafting, A trip to Florida and popping in along some southern states to stay with family – I know Mike will be with me on all these trips and I am blessed to have family and friends to accompany me and seek these destinations and create memories! ALSO, I am super stoked I am doing my first ever Beach Dash in October with some gal pals – it is 5 days after Mike’s birthday, so we will be getting down and Muddy (Mike Style) and celebrating his life the right way with a beautiful beach sunset and beautiful people – all of whom Mike loved and adored!
Let’s see what else? Oh yes! I did visit with a grief counselor. I was concerned that if this new “Norm” is normal – she reassured me when it comes to death of any magnitude (especially losing a spouse) there is NO textbook normal. She was quite impressed that I was not the basket case she was expecting ;) she called me an “Optimistic Realist” – I liked the ring of that. She assured me that I am aware of what I am going through, yet with my strong faith foundation, that I chose to focus on GOD and the good in life knowing Mike is in a better place, he was fortunate to not have gone through a lot of pain and that he is surely Cancer free dancing in Heaven with all we have lost and I am sure keeping GOD and all the angels amused with his witty comebacks and pearly whites! I attempted to attend a “Widow/Widowers” group – a huge fail. A lot of angry people and I just feel that I am not angry, not at GOD for taking Mike, not at the world or anyone. The grief counselor said that group settings are not for all and that she didn’t feel that I needed on-going counseling, unless I felt I needed it. I am just thankful that GOD has provided so many people for me to talk to and spend time with that I don’t really feel I need therapy - -that may change as the days progress, but for now, I like my setting. I did also visit with just a normal counselor just to talk to someone, but she said the same thing – I suppose for now GOD will continue to be my mentor and “go to” guy --- he has not failed me yet!
Oh and one last item – I am really excited to become a part of Habitat for Humanity with a dear friend and colleague in the League City area – I truly feel I am so blessed and I will continue to pay forward as Mike and I always did when he was here with me!
As you can see, all your prayers, uplifting spirits, support and love are surely guiding me on this continued journey of life – please as I said in the beginning of this email, know that this is ALL priceless! I will continue to live a life that Mike wanted me to live and surely have him wherever I go – He is and always be a part of me and you as well.
Love to you all beyond belief and much more!!