Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Life Well Lived!





I love gabbing with my BFFS via social media! It feels almost like we are all sitting around the table at someone’s house having coffee (and something sugary) while we laugh and talk about our day. I can be at work, ferociously answering calls and preparing memos when my phone begins to ping…and ping…and ping.  I know that something great is going on and I can’t wait to join in.  My post today is just that…the last bit of pinging that just occurred!  I was relating the following story to my friends, wondering why this information was being given to me now.  I believe it came to me so that I could write about it for this week’s Writer’s Workshop!




 When I was a senior in high school, I took as many electives and I could legally take. One such elective was a teacher’s aid position at a nearby elementary school.  I worked in a Second Grade class with team teachers…so there was always something happening.  I fell in love with a little eight-year old boy who melted my heart every time I came to class.  I loved working and playing with him.  At the end of the year, he asked me to come watch him at one of his baseball games.  I was very flattered and showed up to watch him play.  I so enjoyed his game and I think he was happy to see me, too. That was the last time I ever saw him.  I graduated high school and went on with my life.

As years went by, I would think of him and wonder what became of him. Did his family move away? What kind of person had he become?  I tried to locate him on social media once it became available, but I could not find him. I thought that if he kept the wonderful qualities he had as an eight-year old, he would probably be living a great life.

I belong to my high school’s social media page and recently had to add a deceased friend’s name to the list of “classmates who had passed.” As I scrolled down the comments to see the other names that were being added, I was completely taken aback to see my little friend’s name was listed.  Could it possibly be him? There was a memorial that included pictures.  He had passed about six months ago.  The name and year of graduation was right, but I wasn’t sure it was him until I looked closely at one of his pictures.  Yep!  It was him at age 50-something. I could see it in his smile!  I was sad to see that he had passed, but when I read the last line of his memorial, I felt the same heart-melt that I felt so many years ago. It read: 


“A Life Well Lived”



Thank you for stopping by today.  Today’s post is brought to you by Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop:  4. Pick up your phone, tell us about the last text exchange you had. Please visit by clicking here for posts from some of her other friends who love to write!  

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Sparkle Inspiration









Welcome to Writer's Workshop, a weekly challenge hosted by the always entertaining Mama Kat.  Each week, Mama Kat challenges us to write about one or more of prompts she has provided.  I chose to write about being inspired by the word "sparkle" because I wanted to share a post I wrote some time ago about a book entitled, and she sparkled by Joan Steffend.  It's a great feel-good book, as well as a quick read!  To see my post, click here, or click here to see the book and to learn more about it and the author. 



This would make a great gift for any woman (girl through grandma) in your life.  I found it uplifting, encouraging and empowering!  I hope you do, too! 



Thanks for stopping by today.  Please visit Mama Kat's Writers Workshop here and enjoy some of the other entries! 




Thursday, November 15, 2018

My Wonder Woman






Wonder Woman is best known for her force, strength and power.  I love to give the nickname of Wonder Woman to those who I believe to be extraordinary women who make a difference in the lives of others by just going about their daily routine.  I have a friend, “Diana” (WW’s name), who has done just that for her entire life.  

We first met when we were five years old.  We immediately fell in love with each other.  Our mothers became best of friends, too!  We took ballet together, then Girl Scouts, then a gazillion other things that girls love to do. We both had two brothers who teased the heck out of us!  As we became teens we began to follow different paths, but the bond was still there...and still is.  Fate brought us back together when we discovered (from our moms) that we were both expecting our first child about the same time! Although we lived an hour apart, we made it a point to meet as often as possible. 


A few years ago, Diana became ill with Cancer, She responded in true Wonder Woman form by fighting with all the force, strength and power she had locked away inside. She beat it; and then it reared its ugly head!  She beat it again, and again, but it returned.  In her perfect Wonder Woman way, she continues to fight and will do so until her very last breath! 

I am so very fortunate to be one of many who Diana has touched over the years. Her love, attention and incredible gift of herself will stay in my heart forever! 

God Speed my dear, sweet friend...








Thursday, October 25, 2018

My New Career!



I am approaching the Golden Age of Retirement, and at this point, there aren't too many new careers that interest me.  HOWEVER, there is one career that I would love to have...a FAIRY PRINCESS. 




On my first day of Fourth Grade, I was absent because my mom took me to be on a children's TV show called "The Princess." I was in another world for a day as I got to meet the "Princess" whom I had been watching on TV for the entire summer.  I will never forget that day, as she made each of us feel like we were a Princess in our own right. 

I could really do this!  I already have the tiara. Now if I could just get the dress!  



I would hold Princess tea parties at my summer cottage (the castle might be too daunting for the little ones) and invite all of the "Princesses in Training" who lived nearby.  




There would be crafts, games, dancing, cake and tea...and a Princess fashion show to wrap up a perfectly Princess day!  











After the last guest left, I would retire to my sitting room while the staff cleaned up, re-stocked and prepared the cottage for the next day's party.  




I could do this!  Really!  Hail to the great Fairy Princess! 


This post has been brought to you by Mama Kat's Writers Workshop.  Please stop by here to visit her site so that you can enjoy the writings of Mama Kat and her lovely followers.

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

That Time I Fell



I often think about the past year's experiences had I not tripped and fallen on the uneven sidewalk while walking the dog.  I didn't see the raised part of the sidewalk, and, as I glanced to look at the toddler across the street, my feet didn't adjust and I went down on my side.  I was more embarrassed than hurt.  A very nice man stopped his car, got out and helped me to my feet.  I thanked him, and God, that I was able to stand up at all!  Whew!  I can still walk to my upcoming doctor's appointment.



I was due for a Colonoscopy procedure and had already scheduled an appointment.  I had a gut feeling that I was overdue...actually, I was overdue...by one year. You can't let these things linger.  If the doc says "come back in two years," HE MEANS TWO YEARS! The doc found some polyps and removed them for further examination by a lab.  One of the polyps could not be removed...it had somehow become "flattened" and could not be excised. He scooped off a sample of it to send with the others. Within two days, I got the call...I had the "Big C" and it needed to come out. I was lucky.  I didn't have to lose the whole food processor, just the portion that was diseased.




I met with the surgeon...let's call him Dr. McDreamy #1.  We set the date for the surgery. I took some vacation time...and sick leave...and some more time to recover from the procedure.  I loved having an excuse to just lay around and be waited on by others.  Within a week, I was bored to death!  I saw Dr. McDreamy #1 a week later to follow up with the healing process.  I know he told me all kinds of things in the hospital, but I cannot be held responsible for remembering any of it while I was on meds!  His assistant told me to see an oncologist.  I guess this is normal practice for someone who has anything with cancer removed.  There might be stragglers hanging about. Let's get them now!




I loved meeting Dr. McDreamy #2...the oncologist.  He explained what he had observed from the surgical report. He even drew pictures on the back of my paperwork.  I was impressed! Chemo was an option.  It looked like the only option for me.  I thought about getting a second opinion, but I really wasn't in the greatest of shape to be going to appointments, even if I could get them within the same month!  I was there; I just said "let's do it!"



Chemo was fun....says no one!  At first, I let them use a vein in my arm.  This was not a good idea. I have skimpy veins.  I had already turned down the "port" scenario...I just couldn't wrap my head around it.  Well, guess what? After losing the feeling, then feeling nothing but agonizing pain in my arm from the first round, the port started to look like a very good option.  Another hospital procedure with Dr. McDreamy #1.  I enjoyed this!

I was originally scheduled for six rounds, but then they were cut to four.  I was pleased as I didn't think I could go through all of the side effects for that length of time.  I was lucky that I did not lose my hair; it just thinned out a bit. I was lucky that I never vomited spontaneously, as others told me I would. I was not so lucky with the depression, loss of appetite, and never allowed to be more than 60 seconds from a bathroom.  Most times I made it in time, but not always.  I was lucky to have a husband who continuously held me up with his positive attitude and did anything and everything for me.  I was lucky, also, to have BFFs that wouldn't leave me alone more than a day or two without making me laugh, providing me with great reads, and lending their ears for those days of whining.



As the fourth round approached, Dr. McDreamy #2 gave me the choice of whether or not to participate.  I had hit the bottom of the barrel, physically and emotionally. I was actually sick of watching "Let's Make a Deal" day after day! I said, "no more." He said, "okay." I was trembling from the fact that I actually stood up for myself.  I felt a sense of relief and serenity as I walked out of the office.  I followed up with a scan which came back clean. Yay!  I had the port removed by Dr. McDreamy #1.  Yay! I began taking steps to get my life back...YAY!!

It's been a year since the surgery.  I just had a new Colonoscopy which came back clean.  The CT scan of two weeks ago came back CLEAN! Dr. McDreamy #2 gave me a high five and told me to come back in four months. My life will never be the same, but I'm here, and that's a good life to have!

I don't know if the "fall" had anything to do with the flattened polyp, which led to the surgery.  It doesn't matter.  Cancer can get to anybody.  I thank God for the doctors, researchers, financial donors, and survivors, all of whom give of their time to pave the way for the much needed cure for this beast. I believe it will happen.  





This post is dedicated to Tootsie, my walking buddy, who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in March. 

Thanks for stopping by today.  Please visit Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop here to read some great stories of a few of her friends!.




Thursday, May 11, 2017

My Gift to Me


If I were my mom, what gift would I give me?

If I were my mom, I would snag a “Forever” stamp, paste it to any envelope I could find and place a sheet of scratch paper with the following inside:


My Dearest,

You are absolutely beautiful and I love you more than I love life.  I've watched you grow into a strong and courageous woman who never gives up.  

My heart broke in half every time you fell but it was mended each time as you picked yourself up and moved on.  

I cried with you as your hopes and dreams drifted away so that the dreams of others could be pursued.  

I laughed and felt your joy of every single moment spent with your children…these are my most precious memories of all! 

I’m so very sorry that I could not be at your side through all of these experiences, but please know that I have lived them through you.  My spirit has been entrenched in your heart and I hope that you have felt my love all of these years.  

I so look forward to the day when we can throw our arms around each other again.

I love you,

Mom




My beloved mother passed away many years ago, shortly after I became a mother for the first time.  The gift that I would treasure most, would be the knowledge that in some way she has been able to watch as my life has blossomed.



This post is part of Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop.  Please click here and treat yourself to some great stories by some really fabulous writers! 


Thank you for stopping by today, and Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Happy Place






This is my most favorite place to be...THE BEACH!  I was so blessed to grow up in Southern California where a trip to the beach was always 30 minutes away!  As a child, my summers were spent squeezing as many neighborhood kids we could into my parents' station wagon (mini-vans were not yet invented) and making the trip down Beach Boulevard from Buena Park to Huntington Beach. Everyone had to carry something from the car to the sand so that all our stuff made it in one trip!  

The beach always held something magical for me.  I never had a bad day at the beach...well maybe once...but all the great times overshadowed that "one" bad time.  I had an argument with a plastic raft and it flipped me over so that I rode the wave "under" the raft and not on top of it.  As the wave brought me to the sand, it brushed me over a bunch of shells...a bunch of "oh doesn't that feel good now" shells!  I survived, but it took me a long time to go back into the water after that. 

I remember the beach was always sunny.  There was always a gentle breeze.  There was always the smell of the sea in the air and in my hair and on my body (along with the sunblock) and then sand all over my feet and inside of my bathing suit and I always had to wash myself off on the patio when I got home!  I didn't care!  I LOVED THE BEACH! 

As I grew older and had a driver's license, I didn't have to wait for mom to drive me to the beach.  I could drive myself...and I did...really want to.  Before school, during school and after school....I would dare myself to take that car and GO!  But I never did! I ditched school once in my entire high school life and do you think I went to the Beach?  No, I hung around so I could get caught!  But I made up for it in college...and I still graduated.  

I have the most wonderful childhood memories of summers at the beach.  As well, I have many wonderful memories as a young adult where I could go and be alone with my thoughts as I listened to the waves and inhaled the familiar smells.  When my children were born, we took them as often as we could.  When we moved to the mid west, I though I wouldn't survive.  There are no beaches in the mid west...there are places that call themselves beaches, with tiny little ripples they call waves...but they are not the beaches of Southern California!   

On our visits home, and after the plane lands and we've hit the closest In-N-Out, we head for the beach. We all become 10 years old again and we welcome the magic of the Beach with open arms!  



My Happy Place is part of Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop.  Please stop by to read about the favorite places of her many friends!

Thanks for stopping by today.