Thursday, September 16, 2010

Sometimes it isn't just about raising the most money.

I have many causes I care about, but life tends to happen and you navigate towards those that have affected you the most personally. For me, being a parent of a son with a disability, inclusion and disability causes are very important. I have also lost many to cancer so that is one also and being a breast cancer survivor that is one I tend to focus on, especially in October. Sometimes it seems we lose focus when fighting for our causes. Sometimes it can't be JUST about the amount of money raised. Obviously that is extremely important. Without the money we wouldn't have the research or the programs we are fighting for.

But here is my question to you. Do you ever step back and think about the REASONS for the things we are doing to raise money? Do you think how this will affect the kids with the disabilities, how it will impact them. Do you think about the survivors. Sometimes being able to participate in these events and being a part of it is just as important as raising the money. For me, it revitalizes me. A lot.

For the second time, I have two events on the same day for my two causes. I don't like having to pick between them. One I had to make a commitment to in travel costs and tickets long before the other. Now this year, I thought we would have a separate event for Breast Cancer Awareness but now it seems as if it will be the same day as the one I will be missing. It makes me sad. I shed a few tears this morning. I want so much to be a part of it. I understand that raising the a lot of money it essential. I truly do.

But sometimes...

It isn't just about raising the most money.

And that, my friends is what is on my mind this morning.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time Marches on....

and on and on...and much too fast. Don't you sometimes wish that you could stop it for awhile? Or at least slow it down?

Yesterday we got a call that hubby's aunt had passed away. She was the last of his dad's siblings. They are all gone now. I had met them all except for his dad, of course, who had passed away from cancer when Tom was young. I wish I could have known him too. It is strange to know you are the oldest generation left. My dad and his siblings were all gone by 1985. That's a long time ago. Four of my mom's siblings are still alive and I cannot imagine a world with all of them gone.

Last week I took my youngest child, my only daughter to college. I just can't believe that she is that old. Wasn't it just yesterday when the doctor lifted her up after she was born and said, "See it IS a girl!" Wasn't it just yesterday she started preschool, kindergarten, middle school? Wasn't it just yesterday she started high school and we couldn't believe she was that old? I remember thinking how time was flying then....suddenly, it started to go a whole lot faster!

All too soon we were sitting at her high school graduation...So proud. But still, finding it hard to believe that it could be possible already.
I knew this summer would go fast. Her last summer home before she moved away to college. It was a busy summer which made the time go even faster...She started counting down the days to when she got to move down there. I started counting the days to when I HAD to take her there.

We got her moved in and I didn't cry when we pulled away. I thought I would. Saved that until later. I had to put something in her room, and then it hit me. She is not here. I went shopping yesterday, our normal day to hang and do that. It was lonely. I have tears right now. I miss her for sure. I don't like she isn't here. BUT I am excited for her and what lies ahead for her. What a wonderful time of your life. I am excited to get to know this adult daughter of mine. Yes the doll houses and Barbies are long gone, but I relish this new chapter with her. I just wish it hadn't come so fast!

That is what is on my mind right now, my friends!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Cancer Sucks!!

Period. I hate saying or typing the word cancer. Somehow I feel it gives it life, makes it powerful.
But today, so many thoughts on it, so I decided its what is on my mind right now. If truth be told, unfortunately, it is on my mind every day. Since being diagnosed in 2002 there hasn't been one day I haven't thought about it. It is impossible to escape it.

Today it is on my mind for many reasons. One, next month is my yearly checkup so I tend to think about it more right about now. I got a journal update today from someone who was on the Relay committee with me. He is now battling brain cancer. He posted an entry with an essay his 14 year old nephew wrote. That was my first cry of the day. Just a little while ago, I was listening to a Houston radio station, thanks to the internet streaming world. On the program was the doctor and father of 3 year old Layla Grace. Her story is all over, Twitter, Facebook , the internet. It is HEARTBREAKING.. That was my second cry of the day. I struggle SO with the whys of cancer. Today, like some days, I struggle with the 'whos'' of it. Children? I just don't understand it. Why do children have to be stricken with this horrible disease. Dealing with a diagnosis as/with an adult is hard enough. It is a TOUGH disease to deal with, to go through, to watch someone go through. But children? I struggle with that one.

It is on my mind also, because a dear friend of mine lost his father last year to it. From diagnosis, to when he lost his battle was such a short time. He died on my friend's birthday. Imagine, not only losing your father so fast, but on your birthday. His birthday was just a few days was the first anniversary of his father's death. What a cruel twist of fate that is. How do you ever celebrate a birthday after that? I always wish I had better words of comfort, wisdom , wanting to help but feeling like I fail at that.

Then my mind wanders to ALL of the people I know and love who have gotten this disease. Many many died from it, many are still here, survivors, as I am. I am angry at lost time with them. I am angry at what THEY missed out on. My aunt Jean was only 52 when she died from it. I am 52 now. I only know that at this time in my life, there is a lot more to do. I know she had a lot more to do too. So why didn't she get that opportunity? My father in law, died when he was only 47 and my husband was only 12. I know he had much more to do and I know that a boy losing his father so young affects the rest of his life. I know when I was diagnosed, my husband couldn't help but think of his father and that outcome.
I think of my Uncle Jim, Aunt Mary Lou, Uncle Ed, Grandma Scofield, my father in law Jim, Opal, Susan, Judy, Alice, Ginny, Marilyn, Lloyd, Judy, Alice, (yes two of each! ) Lyle, Darla, Eileen, Dalton, Diane, Sharon, and, well you get the idea...the list could go on and on and does...

I will close this with a poem from an anonymous author...that truly makes a great point.

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited...

It cannot cripple Love

It cannot shatter Hope

It cannot corrode Faith

It cannot destroy Peace

It cannot kill Friendship

It cannot suppress Memories

It cannot silence Courage

It cannot invade the Soul

It cannot steal eternal Life

It cannot conquer the Spirit.

That my friends, is what is On My Mind Right Now.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Simple word, right? Sometimes not such a simple action.

I have recently found out how liberating forgiveness can be. And I am not talking about just the obvious things, either.

Think back on your life. Is there someone you need to forgive? Is there a long time grudge you are holding? The time is now for that forgiveness.

I lost my dad at age 4. I lost out on a lifetime with him. No daddy to hug. No father to give me away. No grandpa for my children. I recently realized I needed to forgive him for leaving me so young. And I did. Outloud. I forgive you Dad.

My mom married someone a year after we lost my dad. Someone that I did not like or ever get along with. Not when I was young. Not when I was older. My mom and I did not have a very close relationship. We didn't do mom and daughter things. Not when I was young. Not when I was older. I still loved her. I still miss her. But I needed also, to forgive her for bringing this man into our lives. And I did. Outloud. I forgive you Mom.

The hardest one for me was to forgive my stepfather. For a lot. For making my life miserable. For saying all those hurtful things. To me and to my kids. Forgiving that was hard. But I did. Outloud. I forgive you, Keith.

I still say it once in awhile. Outloud. It has been very liberating.


Try it today...


That is my challenge to you.

And that, my friends, is what is on my mind right now.

Friday, February 26, 2010


Good morning. Happy 20th birthday to dear son #3. wow. Seems like yesterday when he was born. I love sharing my birthday with him...Its a special connection. Yes, its my birthday. Normally as we get older we tend to not think they are so special or want to tell our ages. But that changed for me in 2002!
As many of you know, since you know me, that was the year the old me was put away forever. The new me began. With no say so on my part, obviously.
May 31st, 2002. "I have tough news for you."

Breast cancer. Age 44. Four young children...16, 14, 12 and my only daughter, only 10. I had lost many people in my life by that time, some far too young, including my father who died at age 36 when I was only 4. So I KNEW parents could die young, before their time, before they got to see their children grow up, before they met their grandchildren. There I was having to tell my young kids, it could be them. But I DIDN'T say anything like that when I told them. I knew I shattered their young world, knew that I took the safety rug right out from under them. I told them I would be okay. I felt it. I prayed for it. I prayed I would be here to see them all graduate...and in less than 3 months, the last one will be. I pray now I get to see them married and have kids of their own and that I get to meet those kids and enjoy them.

Birthdays. That is what I was talking about. But I can't talk about those without talking about that fateful call . That call and that year changed everything for me. It changed me physically. It changed my inside as well. I decided no matter what it was time to LIVE this life and I have tried to. I sing, I dance, I laugh, I love. And I have birthdays.

Today is #8. So I am going to celebrate like an 8 year old would. I am going to eat cake, sing Happy Birthday, laugh and have a great day!!

I hope you will join me.

That, my friends, is what is on my mind right now!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Family Pictures.

Hello. I have decided to take the plunge and join the blogging world. It is not that I haven't had anything to say before now, not at all. As anyone who knows me, knows I always have plenty to say about 'things'.

I am married and the mom of 4. All of the kids are grown up now. Time flies so fast. You have your kids and boom they are all over 18. My oldest is almost 24, the next one is 22, the third one will be 20 tomorrow and my youngest just turned 18.

I often think about family. It is the most important thing there is to me. I love looking at old pictures of family. It makes me happy and sad at the same time. It is great to remember the old times, to look at the faces of the people most dear to you. At the same time it is sad to see many of those faces that now only exist in those precious photographs.

I want you to look at your family. Is it typical? Are you able to have a family picture taken? Do you eat in the same room, at the same table? At Christmas time do you all sit together and open presents? Do you take family vacations? Do you go out to eat together?

If you do, do you know how lucky you are?

I don't have a typical family. My second child, my second son was born with a disability. A communication disorder. He didn't fit the criteria for autism, although many think that is what he has. At any rate, I could write a whole book on our 'adventures', if you will, and maybe some day, I will. Right now, I am talking about those family pictures.

We had one. Once. It wasn't easy. My son, since he was two has reacted to his dad's cough. For TWENTY years. When he was younger, he would throw himself down and sob, it bothered him so much. As the years progressed, he would react to others, including his older brother, and sometimes, even me.

The consequences on our family have been great. He will no longer sit at a table for dinner with them. He chooses to eat, alone, in his room. He will no longer come out and open presents with us at Christmas time, which breaks my heart, truly. For a long time, he would come out, and keep his ears plugged, now he won't even do that. We can never all be in the same vehicle, go out to eat together , take a vacation, or anything that typical families do. We do not have a current family picture.

So if you do have a typical family, consider how lucky you are!

I truly hope you have that family picture that you can treasure always. I do, as you can see
and it is our only one..but a newer one? I only wish that I did!

That, my friends is what is on my mind right now.