Monday, November 5, 2012

More Random Thoughts on Life!

Time for one of those mind dump blogs.  No particular subject, no particular theme.

So its already November....another year flying by.  They go faster and faster.  Sometimes its scary.  I sit and wonder sometimes how we all got to this time so fast....wasn't it just yesterday I was waiting to graduate from high school?  Wasn't it just yesterday that I met Tom, got married, started having babies. Wasn't it just yesterday they started to walk, talk?  Then THEY were graduating high school?  I remember my mom, aunts, uncles, their friends, being my age.  And now, many of them are gone.  It is sometimes scary.

Some days, the days seem to crawl, while at the same time, the months and years fly by.  I sometimes wish I had done more, was doing more.  I wonder if I could, would I change anything about what has happened so far?

I worry as always, about many things.  I always have.  I worry the most each day about Jamie.  If you remember, he is now on anti-seizure medication since having his second grand mal seizure in February of 2011.  I will remember every single minute of both of them. Every single one.  We listen always for the sound of him hitting the floor, running if we hear anything like it coming from his room, heart beating, afraid to look, relieved that he is fine and it was something else. Always hoping and praying, it never happens again, but worrying it will, knowing it can.  The other night, he came out of his room at about 6 like he often does, when he asks for water.  But this time, immediately, I knew something was wrong.  When he TRIED to say water, it was jumbled, I asked him what he meant. He could not form ONE SINGLE word!  Not one.  Oh my God, there was that feeling again. What was wrong?  I knew it was probably a smaller seizure, but worried it was a stroke.  What if he was never able to communicate what he needed again?  What if he didn't get better?  Daniel heard right away and was out of his room immediately!  He asked Jamie who he was....he could not say.  He asked him what they were going to get for supper Friday night, as it is always the same, and he could not answer. We took him to the ER.  They took blood...well after trying forever.  Poor kid.  No infection.  We are waiting for a med level and will be back to his week!  They said he had a petite mal seizure.  Sigh. Damn.
DAMN!  I want him to be okay always.  He has so much to deal with anyhow, I just don't want him to have this too.  So I worry some more.  I worry with his size and our history, if he will awaken each morning. Every single day.  It is hard.  Some days I want to cry. Sometimes. I still do.  I know he is happy and that is important.  But still, I worry.....  and pray.

So last month was breast cancer awareness month.  NOT a money grab month like some think.  I know the research is being done.  I pray for a cure.  When I was diagnosed, my surgeon knew what it meant, as his wife, who was 2 years younger than me, was a 3 year survivor at the time.  A couple years later when I was a co-chair at the Relay, she had been diagnosed again and was undergoing treatment.  Having kids in the same grades and activities, we saw them often.  Last week I read her obituary in the paper.  She was only 52.  13 years of fighting it.  My heart broke.  There are a few deaths you read about, hear about, that have the ability to knock you off your feet. This was one for me. My heart aches for her family.  It just is not fair.  I often think...  there by the Grace of God, go I!

So the election is tomorrow.  No matter who you are backing, please exercise your right to vote.  I will not use this blog to talk politics.  Besides, if you have me on Facebook, you already know how I feel.  I voted early for the first time!  My kids are voting! Husband is voting!  I am proud they are all concerned enough about this country, this life that they vote!!

So much more thoughts rambling around in my mind, but I think I will save them for another day.  Lucky you!

I will just leave you with my usual positive message.  Life is too short!  PLEASE treat people right, tell the ones you love that you do, be kind. Find the joy.

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

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

I know, you have already probably heard more than you want to on it.  And frankly, I am quite surprised I am writing anything about it, too.

But! It is something, I am obviously aware of ALWAYS! Every day is breast cancer awareness day for me and so many others.  More and more people I know are being diagnosed. It wears on my heart always, hearing of the struggles of others.  Some have it so much harder than I did.  Sometimes you feel guilty about that.  There is a LOT of why me, why not me, why them, why anyone associated with a breast cancer diagnosis, and I imagine with any cancer diagnosis. The only thing I DO know of is MY journey.  What it was like, what it still is.  At my last doctor's visit she said to me now, that it has been 10 years, it is considered a part of my history. Maybe in a medical sense, and I hope it always remains in my HISTORY, but in my life, it will never ever be part of my history only.

I was talking to a good friend the other night, who is upon her ONE year anniversary.  The worry, the struggles, the wondering, the unknown, they seem to be there whether it is a new diagnosis, it is one year out, five years out, or for me, ten years out.

Yes, I still worry. I don't want to, I try not to. But it happens.  I find, with being a survivor along with other things that have happened in my life, starting with losing my dad when I was 4, that I worry far too much. About just everything.  I know that things can and do happen in life that can change your world. And many of those we have no control over.  So why do we worry more?  Because we know just that. We try not to, but it is something that happens...

So October is here once again, and now we will hear so much about breast cancer.  Over and over.....  IF it helps just one, if it encourages one to get a mammogram and that helps save a life, then the barrage of stories is more than worth it.  I remember how very hard it was to hear so much at the beginning, I remember screaming at the tv that I did not want to hear anymore, that dear GOD, I live it every day, I don't want to be reminded even more.

I just hope in all the statistics, all the medical stories, everything we hear, that the media and even us, remember that every single diagnosis is someone....  and that someone is a daughter, sister, aunt, mother, grandmother, wife, friend.  There are people behind all those stories...

and my wish, is of course, that they will figure this out and it will not be an issue for anyone in the future, that no one has to go through the diagnosis, the treatments.  And the worry.

One more matter how far from diagnosis we may be, it is still nice to know that people care, people remember, and that we are never alone!!!

Thanks to all who went on the journey with me so long ago, you can never know how much a call, a card, a hug can mean!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jamie Wants to Drive in 2013

My second, 'slap in your face' moment of the day.  If you have read my book you know what I mean by that.  For those of you who haven't, the 'slap in your face' moments are where life gives me a sudden reality 'slap' and reminds me of things that I have learned to put on the back burner or have learned to live with, or so I have thought.  Until that 'slap in your face' moment happens to take my breath away for a second, to make me think about the reality again.

The first one today has to do with what I have lived with for the last 10 years, as a breast cancer survivor.  The reality of having part of you taken away, if you will.  While, of course, the intellectual part of me realizes that it was necessary for me to LIVE, the emotional part, the shallow part sometimes feels robbed, feels inadequate, feels defective.  Most people don't realize the discomfort I have all the time, but that is okay, I can live with it. Some people can have reconstruction and look good, almost normal.  It was not the case for me.... And it makes me feel like so much less than a woman most days. I KNOW that being a woman means SO much more than that, but to see it every single day, the scars and deformity, well sometimes it is hard to remember.  Sometimes it still makes me mad. Sometimes it makes me sad too. Today is one of those days.

So I am sitting here and Jamie comes out of his room. He says, "Jamie drives the car in 2013!"  WHAT?  I am not sure where this has come from.  Maybe he is tired of being dependent.  Maybe HE wants a bit of independence.  WHY NOT?  So this was my second 'slap in the face' moment.  Because of the circumstance of his birth, his whole life was changed.  I look at him still and wonder....where would he be now?  Would he have chosen college?  What would he have studied?  Would he have a family???  What would kids from him look like?  I sometimes ache for what COULD have been.  And it is NOT a good place to go to often. But I am human and sometimes it happens.  I yearn for a conversation with my son.  I want to talk about more than whats for dinner or when I need to go to the store.  I still worry, what will happen when I am no longer here?  And could I have done more for him?  And just WHY DIDN'T those doctors take him by c-section.  I want to be a 'normal' family. I want to be able to have family pictures and family dinners where he will participate, I want to have us ALL in the room at Christmas time to open presents.........

I am not looking for sympathy, for kind words or anything at all like that.  I am truly a glass half full person, one who finds joy in each and every day.  Sometimes, those, the 'slap in the face' moments happen when you least expect it.  I will work through them as always.... I will put that smile back on my face. But right now, I just need to have my moment...

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

Monday, June 25, 2012


Not the time of day. A movie, actually.  As sometimes happens, when I am surfing channels early in the morning, I stop at a movie that I have never heard of, but nonetheless looks interesting for whatever reason.  This morning it was a movie from 2007 called Evening.

A description from IMDb
"A drama exploring the romantic past and emotional present of Ann Grant and her daughters, Constance and Nina. As Ann lays dying, she remembers, and is moved to convey to her daughters, the defining moments in her life 50 years prior, when she was a young woman. Harris is the man Ann loves in the 1950s and never forgets."

This movie stars Vanessa Redgrave as Ann, Claire Danes as young Ann. Glenn Close and Meryl Streep in small parts. The late Natasha Richardson plays one of Ann's grown daughters as does Toni Colette.

The movie was difficult to watch as the older Ann lays dying. It brought back so many feelings. But what got to me was this woman as she is dying is remembering/reliving her life in the 1950's.  When she was young, vibrant, finding love.  As she is dying she is remembering her one true love in her life.  Hers happened to 'get away' from her.

It got me to thinking.  I wonder as my mom lay dying, was she back in happier days?  Was she remembering/reliving them?  I wondered just when that would be.  And who was HER love of her life?  Was it my dad?  Or someone else?  What was life like for her back then?  Did she have something she was passionate about? Something she would have done or chose rather than being married and raising children?  Was there someone/something she missed out on?

Mostly, though, I was thinking, I hope she WAS remembering the good stuff, the happy days....I hope she was visiting that place, with the love of her life!

The movie ends as the nurse tells the daughters they need to come now. (I remember so well.)  But then it cuts to that place she was remembering, so beautiful.  The sun sets. The movie ends.....

and I sob.

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

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Hate, forgiveness, moving on.....

I am not quite sure if I will be able to convey all that is in my mind right now. But I am going to try.  It may ramble, as I often do, as thoughts come to my mind, so hang in there!

Since Clay was not named the newest Celebrity Apprentice Sunday night, even though he was the clear winner to most everyone, I have seen many many things being said on the internet in various places.  As someone who was there, I know we stood there stunned.  There was a lot of anger and hurt, that obviously this was not a fair contest after all.  Were we all duped once again?  Was Arsenio in on it?  WHO is to blame?  Does it matter now?  It doesn't change things.  I have learned a long time ago, that when things happen that don't seem to be right or fair, I need to work it out, put it in the past, learn my lesson and move on!  I realize it is very hard for some to do that.  We all have our own journeys and I do not judge.

There is so much hate and name calling at the moment that it is making me uncomfortable.  It is out there for people to read. Even the ones that it is about.  I try to remember that there IS a person on the other end of it, even when it seems that person has no feelings or has done something that might be wrong in our eyes.  I don't believe in punishing them or myself because of them.  Some don't want to go to the Gala for the National Inclusion Project just because Arsenio will be there!  I would hope they could remember the purpose of the gala in the first place.  Raising funds so all children belong. So all children can play. Inclusion.  As a parent of a child with a disability, well young man now, I have lived through a lot of discrimination against him, have seen him treated badly in many ways.  And it hurts.  I have also seen first hand what inclusion can do. Not only for him but for others.  Kids and adults have truly been forever changed.  You can tell people until you are blue in the face, but sometimes it isn't enough. You have to show them.  I remember a long time ago, I belonged to a stay at home mom email group.  Little did I know that one of them that was so AGAINST inclusion sent the rest of them a scathing email about it.  She even went so far to say that it was "Obvious, I did not win the genetic lottery"  That cut deep into my soul....its been a lot of years....but I will never ever forget it. So to me, it IS about the cause.  The bonus of Clay singing?  Awesome of course.  And I realize that is why some people go and not the cause...but it all reality it IS his gala for HIS charity raising money for ALL to belong.  It is their decision who they present to, and now, who performs.  I for one cannot wait to be there!

I have learned to practice forgiveness.  We have talked about it before. Forgiveness is for me.  It is so I can live with myself.  I find it easier to get through each day when I have a forgiving loving heart.  I try to be positive in all I do and encounter.  I have learned that life is too short and if I don't live by those guidelines, I may be robbing myself of that joy I need to find each day, of a smile, a laugh.  I don't like to be sad or angry. I don't like how it feels.

And I don't like the word hate. It is such a bad feeling word that I try never to say it about people.  I could have growing up say I hate my stepfather.. Easily. But it made me uncomfortable then and it does now.  Have I never said it? Probably in anger sure...... but it is such a strong strong word I really try not to.  I prefer LOVE. Like even.  It just makes me feel better in my skin.

I have no idea if this is even close to what I wanted to say, but it is what came through my fingers to the page!

So I try never to say hate, I have to practice forgiveness a lot. But for me, no one else.  And then I try to move on.  That is just what works for me.

Tomorrow I will be sitting in on a Let's All Play training. I know I will be revitalized again. I will be reminded of why the Gala is very important, why the mission of the National Inclusion Project is vital and I cant wait to come home and share all about it!

Hope you can find the joy today...if even a little. For a bit.

And that my friends is what is on my mind right now!

Monday, May 21, 2012

It ISN'T Just About a Singer....

I was going to wait until tomorrow to post a new blog.  Its' been a busy and emotional weekend, ending in a long day of traveling home, so I was going to rest.  But on Facebook, my cousin, who, I DO love, once again made fun, bashed my Clay 'love' so to speak.  He has done it in the past and while I never have appreciated it, tonight it made me mad and made me think, and got me to post tonight.

Anyone that knows me knows that I am a big fan of Clay Aiken.  But many do not know the whole story, do not understand the whole story.  Many of you, my friends who are also fans, DO understand...

For those of you who don't, I am going to try to tell you, although much of it is hard to put into words.

As you know, ten years ago this month, I was diagnosed with cancer and went through a tough year.  About that time, American Idol 2 was on and we were hooked from the moment we watched Clay during the audition shows.  We watched every week and wanting him to win!  There was just something about his voice and personality that got under your skin.

I got through treatment, yes he came in second, and I had NO idea how much this man and being a fan of him would change my life.

I decided that I would no longer just sit around and watch my life pass me by.  What is the purpose in that?  I knew that life could be short, saw it many times, was faced with it myself.  My new mantra was find your STILL is....for without it, what is the point???

Somehow I found the message boards....imagine boards of people who got it!  Who were Clay Aiken fans....of the voice...and soon, of the man.

Kayla and I got to share many many things that I would never had even imagined.  We traveled from coast to coast, seeing places I would never have dreamed to see.  And I still am.  I just returned from another trip to New York City to attend the Celebrity Apprentice finale.  ME?!  Yeah. I did that...  What a blessed life I am leading. I am thankful each and every day.  But it is far far more than just going 'places'.

It is about the charity Clay started. It began as the Bubel/Aiken Foundation.  Imagine a charity about the one thing I had fought for each and every year for Jamie.   INCLUSION.  Making sure ALL kids belonged.... This charity has evolved into the National Inclusion Project.  It continues to grow and continues to make a difference not only in the lives of the kids with disabilities, but in the lives of the kids without and in the lives of the parents.  This charity has my heart. I have supported it from the beginning and always will.  ALL children matter. Clay gets that...and he is making sure that everyone else does too.

Do yourself a favor, check it out yourself!

But you know what? It is not just about the incredible voice.  It is not just about the heart. It is not just about the Project.  It is about people.  It is about the friends I have made.  People from all over the country, the world even.  Other people who get it.  These people...we hug, we laugh, we cry.  We don't just love Clay Aiken.  We love each other. I cannot imagine my life without them!

Respect. Simple word. One that I wish many would think about......So, my dear cousin, and anyone else, maybe you should think twice next time before you bash, or make fun, or say anything negative.  Try to imagine there might be a reason...or many reasons, that I am a fan of Clay Aiken.

I just hope that others can find something or someone that brings as much joy to their lives as Clay has to mine!

That, my friends, is what is on my mind tonight!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day

Just two days until Mother's Day.  I was at Target the other day and noticed all these people standing by a pink section of cards.  Took me a minute to realize it was the section for the cards for Mother's Day.  There was a tug on my heart when it dawns on me that once again, I do not need to go to that section as the time for me buying cards for my mom had been done for awhile.  I miss that.  I miss her.  Mind you, my mom and I did not have the closest of relationships. We really never talked about anything important when I was growing up and even when I was an adult.  I could count on my fingers the times she said I love you for the most part of my life.  That changed when I was diagnosed with cancer...then I heard it.  It meant the world to me.  I made sure I told her too. And I make sure I tell my kids.  But then, I always always have.  I knew it was important for them to hear it. I knew what it felt not too.  I KNEW she loved me, in the only way she knew how...but even now, I wish there had been more.  For those of you with close relationships with your mom, I hope you know how lucky you are!  Hug your mom for me. Just because!  I think of mine every day...I AM grateful for the mother I had.  I love her with all my heart.  And I miss her terribly.  We talk about her often around here.  I don't want to forget. I don't want my kids to.

I will celebrate the day because, of course I AM a mother....something I always wanted to be. I was blessed with four wonderful incredible kids.  All of them are unique. All of them have their own talents. Each have such a different personality.  I would like to think, of everything I have done in my life, this is the one thing I am most proud of. Being a mom.  Of course, like most, I think back and wish there were things I did differently, things I did better.  I can only hope I raised them okay. Better than okay. I hope that they will have wonderful lives. That they will be happy. That they will find their joy. Always...

And I hope they know how much I love them.  How proud I am of them.  Always.

May you all have a wonderful mother's day filled with love and good things!

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

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


A lot is on my mind these days.  So many changes happening all the time.  But that IS life, isn't it?  It seems when we are little, it takes forever to grow up.  Sometimes I wonder why the hurry?  Sometimes I think if we knew what it was really like to be 'grown up' we wouldn't be in such a hurry!  Even though at times, it seems like time drags, it really truly flies.  Sometimes I want to scream at it to slow down!  Too many changes happening all too fast!

First, I remember before I was married, I wondered IF I ever would be, wondering if I would have the 4 kids I wanted.  And I got that.  The married. The four kids.  But who ever knew they would grow up so fast?  It seems each one grew up faster than the last one.  It is so hard to wrap my mind around the idea that my YOUNGEST one is almost a junior in college and not one of them is even a teenager any more.  It is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that they are grown and moving on, with their own lives.  Prouder of them, I couldn't be, but when we have those babies, does it cross our minds that in an instant, they will be grown and gone? I doubt it.

In the course of growing up, there are many losses.  So so many people have passed on.  I sit sometimes and think about the family things of so long ago. As a child you think those people will be around forever. But again, time passes much too fast, and they are gone.  We can try to keep them close in memories and photographs, but sometimes I just want to hug them, to have a conversation, to hear their voice, see their smile....

The other day I was looking in the mirror. I mean REALLY looking in the mirror.  I could not figure out who was looking back at me.  Where did that face come from?  I still feel the same on the inside.  So when I look in the mirror at that face that is no longer young, it is hard to believe it is the me I feel when looking out.  I see pictures and wonder just how did all the time pass so fast?  Again, who IS that person? I know I should age gracefully, but I don't want to!  Maybe it is because it is a reminder of time flying and things changing both much much too fast!

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

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Forgiveness. Again.

I was thinking about this again.  I read my old post on it.  Seems that was about forgiving those already gone.  Now I want to talk about forgiving those still here and in our lives.

It has been rough around here lately.  And its time for forgiveness.  Again. For me.  If I cannot forgive the hurt that I feel/have felt, then I don't see things getting any better.  I will tell you as we get older, you would think words and actions of others wouldn't hurt so much.  I wish the 'wisdom' we have acquired through the years would help with that. But I am here to tell you it is not the case. Words hurt.     
Sometimes a lot. 
So a little time has passed and I have to let it go and forgive.  This has caused me much sadness and tears. Much heartache. It has affected my relationship with another.  If I were to wait for apologies I think the forgiveness would never happen.  Is that my lesson this time?  Maybe so.  I just know this one has been tough. It isn't even just the words not taken back, but other things since.  I have to try to forgive.  Notice I didn't say forget...because I am not quite sure yet how to do that.  Oh, I would like to. Who wants to have someone say such things to you? I know not of anyone. So today, I have to forgive.  And that feeling of the load lightening, so to speak, that I felt the last time?  I am feeling that again.  Maybe to a lessor degree, but it is nice not to be so sad. There is an affirmation I need to be saying every day again. Funny how it helps.

Healthy am I. Happy am I. Holy am I.

Simple, no?

I hope I can be forgiven too.  For in all this, I know I hurt someone I love by the things I said when hurt and angry.  Words spoken in anger often are hurtful.  Exaggerations, I think, of what we feel. Maybe with the intention to hurt another so they can feel the hurt we do.  Wherever those words come from, it is a better idea to not say them. Walk away when angry. Walk away when hurt.  Maybe the conversation can be had later.  Preferably after the forgiveness.  

So there it is. 


Sometimes I think it is a daily thing to be practiced.  

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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Let's Talk About Life

So I will... Ready for random rambling thoughts? Here they come!

I have been thinking of starting this up again. I had good intentions so long ago of keeping up with it, but you know how it get busy and/or lazy. Probably a little of both. Today my brother blogged, so I came to read his and while there, decided to read my old ones, which made me even more motivated to write. So lucky you, here I am.

Respect: why is there so much lack of it for others these days? No respect for strangers, no respect for those different than us. Younger people have no respect for their elders. By no means do I mean ALL people, because I have seen cases of respect. Unfortunately, I have seen many cases of none. I was at the receiving end of it too. To this day, the words hurt. A lot. I try to not let them. But they do. To me it came out of nowhere, I still don't know why. And it hurts. I just don't understand why it is so hard for people to respect each other.

Btw, If you were wondering after that last blog, how Jamie has been, he has not had another seizure. That we know of. So he has not had a grand mal seizure, although there have been times it sounded like he went down, so we run in to his room, to thankfully find he is okay. I have wondered throughout this year if he might have had smaller ones. He would be confused as to the day, which for him is unusual. Just some little things. He is still on anti-seizure meds and probably will be forever. I hope they continue to work. No parent should have to watch their child go through that.

Children...what can I say? I love all of mine. A lot. You know, you have kids, thinking life is so great. But wow, the reality can be so different. Don't get me wrong, I love having kids, even adult kids. Who knew at times that could be so much harder? I am faced right now with letting one of them make what I feel is a mistake. Its been rough around here lately to put it mildly. You try to impart your wisdom, hoping they will see the mistake they are making. But in the end there is nothing you can do, but let them walk away, and do what they are so set to do and hope and pray it works out. It is harder when it is unexpected and so out of character. I have shed many tears. Sometimes as humans we don't always realize how our actions can affect so many people. Part of growing up, I think is realizing that. Sometimes the decisions we make are not the 'funnest' ones so to speak, but have to be the smartest ones. Those are the hardest to do. When we are young, we don't always get that, and we surely don't listen to our parents, who just might have some knowledge on the subject! And how hard is it for us, as parents, to stand helplessly by and let your kids learn it on their own.

So...there is that thing I hate a lot. Cancer. One of my friends has been undergoing treatment. It has been ROUGH on her. She is one of the strongest persons I know. But cancer sucks a lot. It takes a lot. You pretty much hand over your whole life to it. I had the privilege recently to help plan a benefit for her. Now there was the opportunity to see the BEST of people, for the most part!! I know that her and her husband were overwhelmed by the generosity of so many. Many that gave, or donated, or showed up to this, had never even met her!! I know she has a long road to go, but I hope that this not only helps them on this road to worry a bit less, but it gives her the strength to get done with it and put it all behind her!.

SO my friends, that is what is on my mind right now. Family, respect, stupid cancer and how it affects people. Life.