Archive for April, 2014

Her Beautiful Words…

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

 Allow me to share an incredible meeting with you.

Cathy-Festival of Giving pic

I would like to introduce you to my new friend Cathy.  We met on the weekend.  We don’t know much about each other, pretty much first names and recent experiences and that’s all we need.  Here is how we connected…

Every year in April, my partner and I attend a local charity fundraising event called “Festival of Giving”.  I love the title, it’s so in tune with what I do on a daily basis.  Giving is my specialty (with words and emotion, not money) and I’m still learning how to receive without feeling guilty or unworthy, it truly is a process.

So our evening was full of seeing people we don’t see very often, socializing, dancing, participating in a fun night out.  I was extra grateful this year because it was the first time at the event that I wasn’t in the middle of chemotherapy or other treatment.  I do not drink alcohol but I felt like I was drunk all night long.  Rick even noticed that I wasn’t myself.  Why?  Well it’s taken me three days later analyizing through my exhaustion that I must be experiencing a “love hangover”. 

All night long I was hugged.  I love hugs, don’t get me wrong.  Shh…. don’t tell anyone my secret, but when I hug someone, I borrow some of their inner light and energy to fuel mine.  Sneaky of me isnt’ it?  It’s my special coping mechanism, one of the tools in my shed so to speak.  I admitted this to my friend Steven at the party and he said that it was a very nice thing to say to him after I thanked him for his energy embrace.  I’m all about recognizing the caregivers in my life, so I told him my secret.  Maybe he will hug someone and remember my tool to help him in the future of whatever he struggles with?

Embraces of love were bountiful that evening.  People that I hardly know, but they’ve heard of my battle, went out of their way to express their cheer and gratitude that I am doing ok at the present. All of the positive comments made me feel so light that I swear I was floating or flying.  Flying high = love drunk.  My kind of over-dose! An emotional high!

I believe that things happen for a reason. 

I also believe that the true meaning in life is to find our gift and that the purpose in life is to give that gift away. 

My gift is to give, always has been, always will be… even as a fighter/survivor. 

The emotional strength that I received throughout the night had lifted and prepared me to meet Cathy toward the end of the evening. 

The event was held in a large convention centre and it was in a huge room.  Each table seated about 10 people.  I don’t know what pulled me away, but I decided to go for a walk.  A walk to the other side of the enormous room, I guess maybe to see if I could recognize any friends to say hello to.  I was first greeted by Ed.  We hadn’t seen each other since the 8th grade.  He recognized me right away, hugged me (yay..another score) and said keep up the good fight!  He said he was aware via Facebook.  We chatted briefly and then there was Cathy and her friend making their way to their table.

“Oh my, I absolutely love your necklace,” she says to me.  I was wearing a new necklace that my Mom gifted me.  She found it in Florida as a thank you for dog-sitting Maggie while she was on vacation.  I love it too.  It’s  a large, silver statement piece.  Mom said it spoke my name to her when she saw it and decided that it was meant for me and brought it home.  It is angel wings that drape and join together to form a heart shape with an additional heart in the top center to join the wings.  It’s stunning!

Cathy and her friend proceed to share with me their love of angels.  Her friend has angel wings tattooed on her wrist.  We connected instantly of course.  An Earth Angel recognizes her peers instantly.  Cathy’s eyes get heavy and wet and tears start to flow as she shares with me that her husband just recently passed on 2 weeks prior from cancer.  I then shared with her that I have been fighting for almost 5 years myself and that I created my Earth Angels venture as a tribute to honour all of my caregivers.

We sat together at her table and we hugged several times. I asked her to share her husband with me and to tell me about him.  My eyes stayed pretty dry (that’s a miracle in itself), I felt strong to lift her, I was tapping into my love drunkiness to share it with her, kind of a pay it forward moment, and feeling all of those that lifted me that night as if they were sitting right at the table with us. She shared with me how she sang to him while he slipped away, and how much she misses him.  All understandable of course.  I felt so much empathy for her as a caregiver.  It truly is the toughest role in any fight for life story.  We hugged again, a super long one, and I took her hands in mine.  I gave her my Earth Angels card and invited her to my blog and my new project (to be announced in May).  I asked her permission of course to share her photo and story with you today.

She said some absolutely beautiful words to me and I feel they must be shared with my readers.  Let me lead you into part of our conversation.

“I wasn’t even going to come tonight, she said.  My friend kept urging me to go, to try to have some fun, to get out of the house, but I just didn’t know if I could do it, because last year when I was at this event, my husband was with me and I felt it would be too difficult to endure, it’s only been 2 weeks since he died”. 

How can I lift this woman, I asked myself?  Seeing my winged jewellery brought out that exact fear for her.  Oh my, what can I say?  Need some help here!… is the intention I put out into the universe, but in my inside voice of course.

“I am so proud of you”, I replied.  “I have lost several loved ones as well, two legged and four legged, and what I can share with you is that it doesn’t matter the length of time since we parted, our pain is still raw and never fades, we carry them with us always, we are caregivers.”  I empathized greatly with her, realizing that her toughest role as a caregiver is now to share that role toward herself.  I explained “it’s okay to take care of yourself now and you will find your way.  That is the part about losing companions we love and that’s the part that gets easier with time, it’s not the grief, but the shifting of the caregiving.  We devote all of our time, energy and strength to care for our loved ones in their time of need that we forget to take care of ourselves.”

Her reply…

“You  are  the  reason  that  I  was  meant  to  come  to  this  party  tonight,   thank  you”.

I am so grateful that my path lead to Cathy that evening.  I had no idea that the Festival of “Giving”, would turn out to be the Festival of “Receiving”.

Let the healing continue…

Celebrating Just Because…

Sunday, April 13th, 2014


Do you know this handsome guy?  If you don’t, you are missing out, so please allow me to share him. Today I am celebrating him just because I feel like it and it’s on my “want to” list today.  He was the first person in my life to really push my buttons, to make me so agitated to the point of no return.  What’s really amazing is that I now realize that the little boy verson of him was really a precious gift to me.  I didn’t know it then, in fact I admit I really didn’t like him very much when we were little because we had such different energy levels.  I have come to realize now as an adult and reflecting back on our childhood that because he showered me with is high intense energy it really tested my relaxed, calm way of being.  It was him, many years ago that taught me what I was actually made of, how much patience and pain I could really endure.  I now know that I am not just made of sugar’n spice and everything nice, but I can allow anger and stubborness and warrior state of living to fuel my energy to fight to live and still be a loving, open, kind woman.  It was he that helped me see that inside me.

By the time he grew taller than me, I stopped butting heads and ignoring him, I decided to embrace his extra energy and starting loving the person that I was lucky enough to witness transform from an annoying little blonde boy, to a driven young man who always will “live for the moment”.  I envy his spirit!  Now as grown adults, we have each other’s backs.  It was he and his wife Michelle that gifted me with the title of “Aunt” for the first time and to show his love for me, he chose me to be Godmother to his first born, my nephew Austin, now 12 yrs old.

I am so proud to call him mine.  He didn’t need me to set any examples of how to behave, he did alright on his own.  We made a great team back then, stealing cookies from the cupboard and tying the package up very perfectly so that it still looked brand new from the grocery store, and sneaking Dad’s pocket change from his bedside table while he was sleeping.  I have to say we make an ever better team now!  I’m never afraid to express my feelings and I am very proud to call this wonderful guy MINE!  My one and only baby brother… Dave Roy.

My Survivor Type…

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

I recently read this neat book titled The Survivors Club by Ben Sherwood.  One chapter really resonated with me and it really confirmed my journey and how I have chosen to travel it.  I knew it was just my internal instinct, the traits that make me, me.  To see it in words however, was pretty cool. 

What type of survivor are you?    

The Fighter

The Believer

The Connector

The Thinker

The Realist

Now I do know that all survivors have some of the above traits, but the one that most stand out for me is… I am a CONNECTOR!

“When you’re a Connector, you overcome incredible adversity with the power of your relationships and bonds with other people.  You are deeply devoted to your family and friends.  Your love for your parents, your spouse or partner, children, and friends motivates you to tackle enormous obstacles.  You know that your family and friends depend on you and need you.  You hold these relationships sacred, and you will go to any lengths to protect and preserve them.  You draw strength from these primary relationships and often rely on support groups or social networks to help you through difficult times.  You’re able to lean on others for aid, and you know how to reach beyond your regular circle of friends to find the help you need.  You’re a good networker who makes the most of your connections.  You often feel great empathy for others who are struggling.  You take care of other people before you take care of yourself.  You’re good at reading strangers and situations.  You know how to get along with others.  You play well on teams and work effectively with others to get things done.  You survive because of your powerful bonds.  You would endure anything — and do everything — for the people you love.  Above all, you’re a Connector!”

Moment of Gratitude…

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

As I lay down tonight, tucking myself into bed, I clear all of the regular daily chatter of my inner got to do voice and work on calming that static to prepare for a peaceful, healing sleep. As my mind relaxes and my breathing gets deeper with intentions of daily gratitude, I say thank you out loud but in a very light whisper.

Thank you for another beautiful day of waking up feeling good and wrapping up another evening of feeling even more good… for making more memories with my loved ones and for the inspiration to make plans for the future.

I pray that remission from this cancer will happen to me.