Friday, June 29, 2012

Every Mile a Memory

“Every mile, a memory; every song, another scene, From some old movie going back in time you and me.  Every day, a page turned down; every night, a lonesome sound, Like a freight train rollin' through my dreams: Every mile, a memory – Dierks Bentley”

Something so soothing about a good written country song. I have always loved music, but it seems as when Mike was diagnosed, he taught me to listen to the words not just the beat of a good song. For all songs offer some meaning – they bring back memories. Whether it’s a booty-shaking song that reminds you of the crazy night with your girlfriends (Pour Some Sugar on me seems to ring a bell! ;) Or that slow song that takes you back to that first dance when you were wrapped in the arms of your love, or even that song that puts you right back on a river bank with some ice cold brewskies swapping stories with old and new friends, laughing it up and you get lost in the laughter but yet that song fits the scene and always takes you back!

The best part of music is that each song though loved by MANY offers a different meaning to each of us…I always end up finding a good meaning, even if it is a break-up song – ha! ‘Every Mile a Memory’ is one of my favorites! “Country Roads, old theatre marquee signs; Parkin' lots, and billboards flyin' by. Spanish moss, little hick town squares; Wild roses on a river bank: girl its almost like you're there” I love this verse, because soon after Mike passed 2 bushes that we had in our yard that NEVER grew for the 5 years we have been in our house freaking Bloomed, despite no sun and no water, I just knew it was Mike. Every day I strive to find something that I know he is a part of – Every Mile a memory. It may be just a song, or a random happening, like breaking out into an anxiety attack and pulling over on the ONLY side of town that Mike ALWAYS told me to never pull over…I guarantee he was laughing down at me, and as soon as remembered, I laughed and felt better…and got the heck outta dodge!

Today I learned that a classmate has passed too soon due to Cancer. He was loved by SO many and will be greatly missed by ALL! I am saddened and as I have said before, though I have recently lost my husband, I still have no “right” words…I do not believe any of us do. I hope none of us though our hearts are broken, even in despair; I hope we will also rejoice. The ones that leave us early are surely called for a reason, and we must have comfort in knowing that they are now our angels – they are able to watch us and protect us from this evil world that is slowly crashing around us. They are no longer in pain, no more suffering. I feel the hardest part of my journey with Mike was not the disease, but any suffering he endured…it is hurtful to see the person you are in love with, to have your best friend in any sort of pain that you are unable to cease. I feel that when this disease entered this world, The devil surely hoped for it to destroy families and relationships…for it happens, but with my experience, I have flipped the tables and I am thankful for ALL that I have met, continue to meet and friendships I have developed and for the ones that have become stronger ---- Devil: 1, Faithful Followers and Believers: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 and counting!!

In closing, chose to cherish each song that you hear across the speakers. Find what that song means to YOU and store it forever! Chose to find daily anyone we have said goodbye to and sent onto their heavenly journey in your every day and cherish that, believe me they are there – ALWAYS there! Make ‘EVERY MILE A MEMORY!”


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

50 Shades of Pure Smutty Magic

“Love is like a bomb, baby, c'mon get it on, Livin' like a lover with a radar phone, Lookin' like a tramp, like a video vamp, Demolition woman, can I be your man?”

What is it about this song that always gets people going…ha, especially the gals…some might even say it drives them to the floor and channels them to a White Snake Video Scene…just saying ;)  As ALL of America knows (well except for the ones that are absorbing bath salts and devouring not only people, but now dogs --- true story – Waco, TX – Look it Up – Well Maybe Not) that Magic Mike comes out this week.  From the previews, it looks as of an everyday run of the mill story of a man that is taken into the male stripping world (and just read that it is actually based upon Channing Tatum’s real life experience – video and all on line) and follows his life as he lives in this women pleasing, partying lifestyle – sound interesting yet?  Well to be honest you had me at Channing Tatum! As matter of fact after seeing the previews, you have me with the entire cast!  Shoot if they were doing a documentary on picking tomatoes I’d be in!

Well it seems that this movie is causing men everywhere to question why all of women are flocking in herds to see this movie about a “stupid male stripper”…well let me throw it down from my own thoughts.  First and foremost (and I am only speaking from experience from the last month since this movie has been advertised) it’s been the same question as why it is gaining so much exposure…well for me honestly, as I said the cast! The last time I went to a strip club (for women) was in my early 20’s to La Bare…and I can tell you I surely felt the dancers were eying the little hot pants waiters serving drinks and not the sweaty over-exuberated women flashing ones, tens and twenties – true story!  I remember peaking around through the locker room and something about 2 almost naked men rubbing down each other and looking as to enjoy it…yes, I immediately had my own opinion.  Moving forward, just as The 50 Shades series is fictional (just as this movie)…it’s a story with good looking people and no matter how dull the story line is; it is something for just us women! Let us have it already!

You have to admit S-E-X is EVERY-where! And in all honesty the S-E-X is directed more towards the male species than to us women.  Strip clubs on every corner, almost makes you wonder if Star Bucks has changed direction…grab an espresso and get a lap dance.  Shoot, the strip clubs (with REAL women by the way, not movie stars or goodness sake a complete made up character) even offer a buffet lunch and happy hour hour’derves to get you in the door!  Do you realize the most us ladies will spend at this silly little movie is admission, a drink or two and guess what, women are coming home to YOU feeling frisky and sexy.  How much do men DAILY spend on REAL strippers?  Obviously a little more than $12.00 and a round of drinks…just saying. If you think about it, every sporting event that I attend, I don’t see half naked men doing a side line show for us in a barely nothing or stopping to pose with us with their hunky tan bodies in our face.  I don’t think I have seen an alcohol advertisement with a half naked man luring us in to buy their product.  In fact, we ladies are a little deprived if you ask me.  And ya’ll are worried about a little fictional character about a stripper who falls in love? You’re worried about a fictional Mr. Grey who ultimately is a kinky son-of-a-gun, but loves hard and true?

I think it’s silly. In all honesty, I feel very confident in myself, but I cannot even tell you what it was about 50 Shades of screwed up that jolted some sort of confidence that surfaced…shoot it sure did teach me a whole new vocabulary…and I mean as in new words, not positions! Face it, in the day and age of women becoming more independent, maybe it is a little intimidating to some, but if you remain confident in yourself and any relationships you have with a woman, after seeing this movie she will not be running to La Bare, or running off to Vegas to meet a Chip n’ Dale dancer.  We are forced for our confidence to soar and have our “inner-goddess” to shine at times, when surrounded by all the S-E-X that is in our face…we now have something that has truly awaken our spirits naturally…let us enjoy this, have fun with it – as I said, many of my girlfriends have confided in how their “personal” lives have dramatically improved even with kids, a job, etc.

In closing, Magic Mike is a movie…The Strip Club down the street is real!  Mr. 50 Shades is a fictional story that I hear is being made into a movie --- hmmm, what rant will we get then? Agh! Again, this is only MY opinion from my recent conversations and observations.  Cheers to all the ladies for FINALLY having something awake our “inner-goddesses” and boo to the men who are crying!

XO Lyndie

Face On - Face Off

“God has given you one face, and you make yourself another - William Shakespeare”

I got to thinking about how true this quote is.  When GOD had each of us in mind, he did never intend for us to be the same.  He did not build an assembly line, pack us with all the same parts and ship put us on a show room floor.  You notice when you get a car, for instance, until I met Mike I never noticed Dodge Rams…never paid mind.  But since we have had ours, I notice them all over the place, even white 4-door ones just like ours with the nurf bars, black tool box and chrome detail.  Cars, clothes, and many others items were MEANT to be duplicated…not US, not YOU!

I have mentioned a few times on this new journey into my “new norm”, I am finding myself all over again.  I didn’t change much with Mike, but we became a unit, we became one!  We bounced off each other and just meshed…we were a whole.  Now that it’s just me, just little ole’ me settling into this new life (yet my old life), I am discovering new things, sort of a new identity.  When I was with Mike, I was still the same kooky Lyndie – full of “Lyndie-isms” and daily randomness that sometimes people look at me and think…bless her heart, only her!  And IT is TRUE! I have the MOST random things happen to me, I say the most random things, I do random things, and you know what…it is A-OK! 

After Mike passed, though I had family and friends that knew me very well, I was nervous that I was supposed to be someone different.  I was not given a choice to wake up one day and for Mike to have cancer and within 2 years he would be entering the pearly gates…we were to grow old together…he was my person! Now with him gone, I am was not sure what I am supposed to feel like.  Should I feel guilty continuing to be the happy-go-lucky Lyndie that sees the good in all and wakes up with a happy heart daily, despite the new norm I am living?  Is it wrong to have peace for all that has happened, for the husband that is no longer at my side to offer me that corner glance from the eye when I knew as soon as it came from my mouth…it had just come out all wrong…laughter would burst out!  Am I supposed to be wearing black, staying at home with my dogs and laser cat eating a huge thing of ice cream sobbing over the Notebook or Steele Magnolias?  Absolutely NOT! 

Mike and I only talked of death a few times, I refused to dwell on it, for as soon as we talked of it, I broke out into anxiety, he would settle into a depression and it just made for an uneasy, damp household.  We were both aware of what was to possibly be, but as I have mentioned before we chose to live life not the other way around.  He once told me that if something did happen (not even to do with cancer) that he would want me to continue to live my life.  Meet new people, do new things but most of all NEVER be un-true to me – Never trade the face in that GOD has given me.

That conversation stays with me daily, for Mike and I were truly in love, we were best friends! Your mind plays tricks on you sometimes, and it’s almost like I expect a phone call from him, or a text…but I know this will not happen.  I remain at peace that Mike is in the best place…as for me, “I get by with a little help from my (family) and friends” and above all else GOD!  I emailed a new friend the other night that is going through something similar now, and reassured her that We must thank GOD he chose us for this is not for us to understand but he chooses the ones he knows can endure, learn and touch others!”  I know in my heart that I must remain true to myself, no matter how crazy I may seem, no matter how many bad decisions I make, no matter how much I put myself out there only to be humiliated or hurt…for the face that GOD gave me will never be traded – it is ALL mine!

I feel in this world today, we get caught up in the goings on around us and forget where we truly came from.  I don’t speak of the homes we grew up in or how we were raised, or even a lifestyle we used to live…I think sometimes, we lose sight in trying to please others; we lose sense of who we are.  We are one minute Face on the Next Minute Face Off.  Be true to yourself, and though we aim to please our family and our friends, GOD did not make us to be the EXACT same…how Vanilla would our world be!  Do not be afraid to go out there and make mistakes…for how will you ever learn?  Do not be so consumed of what others think of you and your actions…for GOD knows your heart – your family and friends know your heart and will love you the same.  We are not always going to be happy with the decisions each of us make for ourselves or loved ones around us, but it is not up to US to change them nor is it necessary for them to change themselves.  As I told a friend the other day – “GOD didn’t make us perfect, just pretty”! And I can guarantee I am blessed with some VERY pretty people in my life – inside and out. 

In closing, one of my favorite songs, Papa Roach ‘Scars’, though it is a little different direction of this entry, one verse that always stands out and reminds me to “keep it real” and truly never forget where I came from ---- > And My Scars Remind Me That The Past IS Real”  I have many scars, and they do remind me that my past is indeed real and that every day I learn as I move forward…it does not mean I trade my Face for anyone -- It is up to me to better ME…not anyone else.


Monday, June 25, 2012

One Tequila, Two Tequila, Three Tequila, FLOOR!

“Learn to smile at every situation. See it as an opportunity to prove your strength and ability - Joe Brown”

Well Hello Everyone!! I sincerely hope your weekend was AMAZING!  It was surely a scorcher here in Houston, TX but a beautiful weekend spent with my fabulous mother and special friends! 

The weekend started off with a MUCH needed bonding time with my BB and other close friends.  A night that consisted of much randomness AS always, including good food on a quiet little patio in Houston and delicious margaritas flowing!  Saturday (with San Antonio plans getting postponed for our ladies weekend) I rearranged our plans and wanted to ensure my mom still got her mother-daughter weekend…so I whisked her off to the Kemah Boardwalk for a weekend retreat of good food, great atmosphere and though I lived in Kemah/South Shore for YEARS, I surely never experienced the boardwalk like this!

I adore my mother, and since Mike’s passing, she has surely stepped up to the plate and the unconditional love through this time (not that it was not already there) but no matter how old you get, there is just something about a mother’s love that cannot be matched!  Mom and I have always been close, but once I took on the role of not only Mike’s wife but full-time caregiver, my first priority was my husband and I didn’t spend as much time with my mom…she definitely understood, and she was always just a phone call away.  It’s been years since my mom and I had a weekend just us, and it was much needed and I feel closer to her than ever!

Kemah was jumping!  And Man oh man was it hot!! We ventured out but quickly retreated to our room for relaxation and enjoyed people watching on the patio – it was fun from this view…I now know what we look like to people peering down from their balconies and seeing us all run around like little ants, jumping in and out of the water fountains and dipping in and out of all the shops and eateries.  It was fun to see all the small children full of zest and not a care in the world!  It made me happy to see all the couples young and old intertwined in each other embrace sharing an ice-cream and gazing at the Galveston Bay.  Hearing all the screams of fear mixed with excitement as they attempted to ride all the challenging rides on the Boardwalk – little did my mom know how her night would consist of a life changing experience.

My Pea ended up joining us for dinner and a night full of excitement!  Mom treated us to a nice dinner at Landry’s overlooking the Bay – it was remarkable and thoroughly enjoyed!  Mom and Pea had never met, and Becky remains a staple in my life and a friendship that will never be broken!  Dinner was fabulous but still being a little steamy outside; we went back to the room for some drinks and hysterical conversation!  Mom and Pea hit it off as I knew they would – oh how we didn’t anticipate the following!  The view of Kemah on top of the Ferris wheel was breathtaking and as we scanned our next ride, The Pharaoh of Fiery (? I think that was the name)…this is one that not only is creepy looking but a fearful adventure as well!! Pea and I somehow convinced mom to ride it – oh my!!!  You could probably here mom’s scream throughout the boardwalk (I am surprised the PD didn’t show up – it sounded as a bloody murder was happening!) She could not get off the ride fast enough and just as she did, PLOP, mom trips off the ride onto the feet of a Kemah Boardwalk employee – I am not sure who was more fearful, him or my mom!! Thank goodness Pea was there, I would not have heard the end of it – Thanks Pea for being the buffer! Haah!  I blame the tequila from Mom’s margarita – or maybe just the thrill and scared Shi*less feeling she just experienced!  A few more rides were rode and the hotel was calling our name.  Needless to say it was a GRAND night; with an Outstanding experience…memories were made! 

I spent Sunday-Fun-day napping and recouping.  I was blessed with a generous 2nd wind and met my Pea for dinner in Kemah!  Low and behold as we sit there, mingling with the patrons and waiting on her hubby…gasps, ooohs and aaaghs were heard throughout the venue and I look up in complete confusion…who is it? Is it a bird, a plane?  No, just Mario Williams…who? We got a quick lesson from a HUGE fan, still “agh whatever” to me...Now let me see one of The Real Housewives of ANY show or my men from Duck Dynasty – I will surely push someone overboard for a picture --- Mario who?  I must admit, it was sort of neat, just to be sitting a few feet from him, leaving the sports fans up to the picture taking and such…Mario Who?  The day came to ahead and the next thing I knew my alarm was going off (always too early) as usual and I welcomed Monday with Open arms!

For all that know me, I take pride of all my friendships…new , old and some as fresh as a baby’s behind (You know I never really got that saying – sitting in a diaper filled with baby stuff – not too fresh ;) As for the friendships, all different, yet the same.  I am fortunate to have friendships that are open, honest and we just allow each other to be US!  I strive to have these relationships and I jump at the chance to introduce each and every one of you, for I hope that you make the same connection as I have and love each other just as I love you!  You all remain a HUGE part of my life and my healing as I continue to journey into my new normal…though I cannot really guarantee I will ever be the definition of “normal”, gosh, I never have been --- and I like it that way!

In closing I hope we learn to live as the quote in this entry – SMILE!


Friday, June 22, 2012

Under Construction

“It's a rash man who reaches a conclusion before he gets to it - Jacob Levin”

Well Hello Friday – Oh How I have looked for you this entire week!! And hello to you all, wishing you a wonderful weekend ahead!

SO I got to thinking about this entry…aren’t we all sort of “Under Construction” at all times? I mean just when we think we have gotten to where we are going something happens and cones go up, the speed limit we are steadily drops and we are in a construction zone again! I use to get frustrated…very frustrated. Just when you have accomplished all you were set out to do, just when you feel like you are FINALLY on that right path you come to a fork in the road and so it goes on.

All that know me know that I love to push the boundaries, and a construction zone is no different. I’m the one that refuses to wear a hard hat “and mess up this cute do?”, I also never really, really think that the fines double when you do not slow down in a construction zone, I simply feel that there is clearly not enough room for a cop to pull you over if you are creeping a little over the speed limit…I have yet to find out! And I am surely not superstitious…so walking under a ladder in a work zone doesn’t scare me…well I take that back, I do cringe when I see a black cat lying ahead of me…ok, maybe just a little superstitious!

Anyhow, the point I am getting at is, our lives never will be fully complete, things will never quit changing around us causing us to change a little or shift the direction we were going. Mike and I had so many plans ahead of us – places we wanted to travel, houses we wanted to buy, friends and family we wanted to visit…and as we were in the midst of making these plans, we had to slow down. See though our lives had a reduction in the speed, we surely didn’t stop living. We took some trips we intended to take…we visited the family and friends that we looked forward to seeing. On the other hand, some things we were not able to complete, but we instead had to take that fork in the road and take a different direction…never be afraid to face that fork…sometimes we have no choice.

I recently met a lady my age that had to part with her husband recently as he started his heavenly journey…the C word became their road block, but just as for Mike, GOD intervened and took him to be her angel…timing is everything (again). We have been bouncing off each other and sharing our stories, and surprisingly (minus the children), we have similar journeys and I am assured Mike has a new friend in Heaven! Along this way, I have many people offer support, and words, but in all honesty, until you have been through this, there are just no words to say (as I have said in a previous entry). Simply just being a friend or a loving family member is all we need. Because of our shared journeys we are able to talk and share the raw emotions that go along with losing your loved one…your best friend. She was recently told by someone, not really knowing how to react, simply say “Well that is SHITTY!” “That Just SUCKS!” Granted, I am sure this person was speaking from their mind and the thoughts that were going through their head…but DANG, we surely do not want to hear this either!

See when our lives took on this major “construction” project, I feel not that Mike and I didn’t LIVE life already…but just as her husband did for her, Mike taught me HOW TO LIVE! How to live everyday as it was our last – we lived like we were dying --- > Shouldn’t we all? The fact is, we are each dying everyday…not all due to disease, but its just life, it is what we were born to do…live and die. I was VERY fortunate to have Mike in very good health despite the disease the majority of time that he was sick. We decided to not miss any opportunity to do what WE wanted to do – we were on a MISSION to not let the “construction zone” slow our speed, for the construction never ends!


Thursday, June 21, 2012

Timing IS Everything

“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese - Willie Nelson”

Happy Thursday Everyone! Wow this week has flown – in the words of my most recent addiction Duck Dynasty “Happy Happy Happy – Phil Robertson”, ready to spend the weekend with my mom and whatever else decides to head my way!

So I got to thinking this morning, shucks, I think about it all the time, and for anyone who has recently spent anytime with me (I most likely cohered) you into watching Country Strong with me – ONLY one of the best movies I have came across in a LONG time!! It is a heartfelt story about love, life, addiction and TIMING! The movie is not only great but offers a great sound track as well, one song in particular that I am fond of -- ‘Timing is Everything’. One of my favorite verses ---- > “And I could've been another minute late, And you'd never would've crossed my path that day, And when it seems true love is hard to find, That's when love comes along, Just in time…timing is everything.” I feel this song holds so true to its lyrics…not only with love but with all aspects of life…and as the song says “people can think its luck, but we know its Grace.” I do not believe anything happens by ways of luck – I truly whole-heartedly know it is because of HIM!

When I met Mike, it was SO not planned…I had been single for several years, enjoying my days with friends, endless summer days at the pool, late night outings of extended happy hours with friends and co-workers, crawling into bed with the entire bed to myself and just no one to answer to except me, myself and I. Well boy did my world turn upside down when this 6’2” tall drink of water moseyed through my front door with a huge smile from ear to ear, a 12 pack of Budweiser (a man after my own heart ;) and a baseball cap backwards…SO not the typical that I was into at that time…but little did I know what HE had planned for me, for Mike.

See a little history on me; at this time in my life, though I was beaming from the outside, I was quickly spiraling into a lifestyle that was no good for me. The drinking, excessive partying was fun, but not responsible and I could not see what I was doing to myself. Once Mike and I met and locked eyes, he never left my side. For I surely at this time did not intend this, but HE had other plans and little did I know, Mike and I BOTH would be each others “wave on wave”. From that day moving forward, we were inseparable and I went from being Ms. Independent to Mike’s Gal, then on to his wife in the years to come. I look back now, and how far I have come, how far Mike had come, and I truly know and believe that TIMING IS EVERYTHING.

On to the ‘C’ word. See I know and still believe to this day that HE timed this as well. Mike and I’s relationship was far from perfect, yet we had perfect love for each other…he was my best friend…my wave on wave. As I mentioned before, I had never been around cancer so I knew nothing of how it is diagnosed, where it comes from and especially how to take care of someone living with it. I was a loving wife, a devoted wife, but I was scared! I prayed and prayed that what I could offer Mike moving forward would help him in his recovery…and I just continued to pray. See that timing thing falls into play again here…GOD knew that I was up for a challenge as Mike was too, and though I was far from having the knowledge of this disease, I had a happy heart and an optimistic soul and attitude – agh! Just what the doctor ordered! For the 1 ½ that Mike lived with the cancer, I maintained a happy household, a happy mind-set for my husband. For those of you who knew Mike, and for those of him that just met him along this journey, other than a few times after his chemo, he was Mike. He was tough, fisherman, hog-hunting, truck loving red-neck…his heart and mind were happy! Even until the last minutes he remained in good spirits…tired but thankful for all we had and for me smothering him with my infectious personality! Timing is everything!

I think of all the people we have met along this journey. The times up at MDA when our appointments were delayed and we fired up conversations with strangers that to this day are some of the best friends that we have, and were great support during this time. Timing is everything. The time we staggered out of a small hole in the wall bar in Pearland only to come across a couple that would soon be so close to us, if Mike were here today, we would surely be vacationing with them every summer!! To this day, they are in my life still and remain a HUGE staple in my everyday healing…for they are fighting the fight as well and offer such hope and strength that remains instilled in me daily…timing is everything. For the friends that have gone separate ways as we all have gotten older, but fell back into my life unexpectedly. The friends that now occupy the time I was dreading was going to be consumed with me sitting at home with a mud mask, growing old alone and withering away as a weeping widow…timing is everything. To an old acquaintance, that once was so distance and a friendship seemed impossible, yet we remained drawn to each other and just let HIM take charge and give into this friendship that has blossomed and because of a mutual friend – Mike (Love you BB)! Timing is everything!

As the days go on, I know it is hard to wrap our heads around exactly how all of this works, how HE just knows what we need and WHO we need at the RIGHT time…so rather than spend endless hours of our TIME, leave it up to the man above…he truly is our time keeper and continues to assure us daily…timing is everything!


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

To Smile is TO Live!

“Sometimes it's just enough to smile sincerely - Mike Dolan”

Hello Everyone!

I woke up this AM with a huge smile! Un-doubtly so, I must say…there are a lot of good things happening in my life and I have such wonderful family and friends to share these moments with!

I was introduced to this song recently after Mike passed, and oh how I wish I would have heard it and knew of it prior, for it is a strong song with a great message – SMILE! One of my favorite verses ----- > “I just want YOU to be Happy, I want YOU to have joy ‘cause no one can take that from YOU’, I see YOU…SMILE!” What is it about a smile? Every smile from a shiny mouth of pearly whites, to the slightly discolored from years of smoking and even the smile of the little old man at the convenient store that misplaced his dentures today and you cannot forget the giggly feeling that runs through you when a baby smiles…something about a smile!

They say that to see into someone’s eyes, you see into their soul…I feel you can see someone’s heart through a smile…that simple sometimes. Do you recall a time that you quite possibly be having the WORST day ever?? You just received bad news, your car wont start, you ran out of gas on the way to work or you just realized you have only a few dollars left and payday is a week away – sure these things happen EVERY Day, many to me…but I simply turn that frown upside down and I smile…for me its that simple, you should let it be for you as well.

Now do not get me wrong, a smile doesn’t cure all evils, but it sure makes you a lot prettier. I often get glances from people as I am driving or out in public and even at work…why is that girl ALWAYS smiling…why not? Sure I do not lead a perfect life and I have many misfortunes that I could go on and on about – but that would surely bore you to tears…so I make like Joe Duuurte’ ---- > I look at life as a garden and “Dig it” I recently saw a message online ---- > “Just because I wear a smile does not mean my life is perfect” or something to that effect…it just is so much easier to smile…for me at least.

There are many days that an unexpected smile from a stranger or an honest smile from a friend can change the whole route of your day…for me at least.



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cancer – The All Year Hurricane Season

“Rainbows apologize for angry skies - Sylvia Voirol”

Hi Everyone!

It’s been a little minute since I had my last entry…it has just been so busy with work, personal and just the goings on of everyday – my new normal!

As always, I pray before I write…I pray that the words I put on here, not only come from deep in my heart, but that they touch yours as well. I have been hung up on a title of my next entry and as we are in the midst of Hurricane season (whatever that means these days – Here in Houston, no day is the same – literally!) I thought of preparing for Hurricane Season comes around once a year, as we all hustle and bustle to gather supplies all while preparing for the worst yet expecting anything! I see Cancer as the ALL year Hurricane Season – everyday running around from doctor’s appointments, taking out vitamins, exercising and eating ALL the foods that prevent you from getting cancer, just in an 24/7 prep mode – prepping for the worst and expecting anything! Well just as IKE took us for a ride in 2008, Cancer hits everyone just as IKE did – though we WERE prepared, when we received the news, we were blown away, roof torn off the house and all of a sudden vulnerable to the world!

When I was younger, Cancer and any disease or sickness (and mainly being my age and not introduced to a whole lot of sickness growing up) I always thought “old” people get sick – people like our grandparents who were in WWII, who have been married for 50 + years. You know “old” people that have had kids, grandkids, GREAT-GREAT grandkids. You know the “old” people that through the house you can get lost in hallways and photo albums of black and white pictures with grandpa’s arm wrapped around grandma’s waist leaning on an old Lincoln with a slew of kids in the front yard – most like Mom/Dad/Aunts/Uncles – you get the picture. As I get older (33, I STILL say I am the youngest in my age group ;) it seems that disease and sickness is ALL around me, around US! It floors me how many calls I get from family and friends and Family of Friends of Friends…that dreadful phone call or message that “So in So” has just gotten the news…”They have Cancer” (or any disease/sickness – I am just partial to cancer, for I am living without my husband because of it – and it hits pretty close to home).

As you all know, on this journey, I have been mad, sad, angry, happy, joyful, hopeful, faithful and every emotion that you can imagine – as I say “Kart-Wheels and Pain, Sunshine and Rain” ---- Pretty much explains my everyday – But thankful for more Kart-Wheels than Rain! One thing I never asked on this journey was “Why Me?” “Why Us?” “Why am I not going to grow old with my best friend?” I do not ask this question because, I know the reason and as always it remains HIS plan and NOT mine…He asks me to not understand, just praise him for everything…even a good hair day. Along this way, the day our lives changed for ever in July of 2010 we have met some amazing people, people that we would have NEVER met if it had not been for HIS plan to bring us through this storm and back into the sunlight. People that have changed our lives forever and people that continue to change MY new life forever…Family, Friends old and NEW and Strangers that after that one hand shake, hug or even a message or text, are no longer a stranger, yet become friends and support on this journey!

The heart-breaking part of this though is that as you look around, it is not just the “old” people that are getting sick…it is a newborn baby that is not even able to leave the hospital and take long naps in that nursery designed especially for him/her. It is the young teen who isn’t worried about getting bullied at school, yet only of nervous thoughts of getting beat up by treatment and knowing they will be too weak to join their school sports or play in that marching band at the homecoming game. It’s the young couple, struggling to make ends meat, to feel those precious house full of children and praying that insurance will continue to cover the expensive treatments and MRIs all while fighting off the banks as they start to get foreclosure notices and the repo man is driving down the street waiting for his chance. It is the middle-aged couples that just celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, and are planning their retirement and all the places they will travel, but now plans are on hold and their days will consist of daily trips to the Med Center and the only traveling they will do is to and from doctor’s visits.

People ask me daily how I am. I am doing great! I have much peace in knowing where Mike is now and that he remains with me daily in all that I do. Though Mike left me too early, I know he had a GREAT life! He led a very diverse life and he saw many things, accomplished so much and though there was surely more he had planned…his heart was at peace with GODs will and for that gives me peace and I know that our love is and was magical – you can only hope to meet that person that not only becomes your lover and husband, but from beginning to end, they remain your best friend! Believe me as I said, I have my ups and downs and all arounds, but GOD blessed me with great memories of Mike along with a STRONG Support Army of family and friends who never leave my side and are ALWAYS with me in spirit! For these reasons, I remain at peace…I was true to my vows, till death do us part…something I will always cherish.

I have recently been fortunate to meet several people and families that are going through struggles right now, families that are very strong in their faith, yet as humans, we are scared. They have not only been an inspiration to me, but me to them as well…and that is what it is all about! I admire the strength they have…these are families that have to not only worry of each other as husband/wife, they also have children – children of ages that do not comprehend just now why mommy/daddy are in the hospital. They do not understand why their parents do not feel good, why mommy/daddy are getting so sick and why they cant play with them like they used to…for these families I do not feel pity, I only have deep admiration for their will to stand and allow GOD in their lives and have faith that he will bring them through this storm.

I know it is only natural to have family/friends going through this to have sympathy or pity them…but know that when you are looking into their eyes, or talking to them on that other line, or typing that email, don’t remind them how sorry you are for them, or try to fathom what their daily journey consists of…believe me, WE live it, WE Know it – I simply ask during these times, to simply offer a prayer, offer your love, offer a hug and tell them how proud of them you are! Reassure them that for these struggles that we yearn so much to understand, we just are not supposed to. Re-instill that positive mindset that sometimes slips off into outer space as they are being poked and prodded with needles and developing a first name basis with the entire hospital staff…even the cleaning crew! Offering pity only I feel weakens the mind and allows doubt and fear to linger longer…believe me…Mike lived with this disease for over a year and half, but his mindset was set on healing and living life – NEVER TAKING ANY MOMENT FOR GRANTED – How we should ALL live life! Now do not get me wrong, the sadness lingers, for as a friend said recently as her husband was fighting the fight, she retreated to the shower to cry – for no one could see your tears in there.

In closing, I recently told you…when you have that moment where you struggle to find something /someone to pray for – just simply ask GOD to pray for ANYONE in need of his word, his touch…just pray. GOD knows your heart and when you release that prayer (a general prayer I call it) I know GOD will take that prayer and lift up someone he can see and hear though I cannot…my prayer is lifting someone’s spirits at that moment. Just as a smile at a stranger on the street, you never know how that smile has changed their day or affected them…a prayer works just the same. I continue to thank you all for sticking with me as I continue to travel down the path of “MY New Normal”, for even I do not know what it will continue to consist of…