Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 28, 2008
When I met Kim I was in a low place. Not to say I didn't have hope, I did. But I was lost, wandering in the land of the beast. I had not yet met a fellow survivor along my path. My journey up till that point had been one of solitary struggle. Then she found me, and I wasn't so alone. I had someone to talk to, someone to lean on and to let lean on me. Kim was there shining so brightly you could not help but smile. As soon as I opened my heart to her I had a hand to hold.
I meet Kim in J Land. I came across her blog, and found her to be spunky, witty and ready to take on the beast we shared...breast cancer. Her humor was a breath of fresh air. Kim's life was an open book we all read, overflowing with a deep love for living and those she held close. Kim was a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister and a friend. She was my friend, a sister in arms, a pink warrior through and through. I loved Kim. She taught me more than words could ever express in the short time we shared. I still have to remind myself she is gone. I can still feel her sometimes as I sit at my keyboard writing an entry. I feel her loss deeply, at times I still grieve her short life. I long to read her written words, to know her insights and to ask her what her thoughts are. I miss Kim, as we all do.
Kim was a light. She was a warm, welcoming spirit. Her life was a guiding force whose light burned out way to soon. I know she will never leave us completely. Kim gave us all something of herself. I hold her memory close. I feel her loss every day. Yet, I know she would tell me to live, to laugh and to fight harder. It is those times I feel the desire to celebrate the beautiful life she lived.
Some may call her an angel, but to me she is much more. She is a bright shining star guiding us all through the dark night and deep waters. I miss her more each day, and yet her legacy lives on within each of us who knew her. Kim, left us all suddenly, and to this day I can feel the sting of Indigo and Mary's news... Kim was gone, lost to us here on earth. Tears still burn my face when I remember the day I opened the email. I felt as if I had been slapped across the face.
Kim would tell me not to give up, to fight, to throw myself 100% into the course of living my life as fully as possible. She would offer her hand, no matter how terrible she may feel. Kim was a fighter, a true warrior. Kim could raise her sword and charge full steam ahead. Kim taught me to be brave and to stand up for myself. So I pray I can do the same for all who need a hand. I pray I can continue to fight this beast for both of us, for Kim and for myself. Kim faced the beast as only she could do without regret. Kim felt the pain, she worried but she endured. In a world full of doubt, I hope we too can rise above the fear and offer others Hope just as Kim did. This coming year when October rolls around and we remember those who have lost their fight with breast cancer, remember Kim. When I walked this past October I thought of Kim, of her legacy to us all and the hope of finding a cure. Now I walk for Kim, as I walk for myself and all those who are still fighting this beast. Our battle is not lost, yes, we have lost a comrade in this battle, but we must still press on. In my own life, my own journey I know I must raise my head up, and keep walking this path, following this journey. No words can heal the pain of losing a loved one, but there is still hope. There is always hope. Somewhere Kim is calling to us all, to trust and to have faith and to allow our hearts to guide us.
So today I choose to dance even as tears fall down my face. I will lace up my pink dancing shoes and let the music play. I will dreams and see the world through my children's' eyes. I will hope, trust and believe. I will laugh and I will shout at the beast. I will dare it to come for me and stare it in the eyes. I will chose to be a pink warrior, a fighter and a survivor. I honor Kim today and every day I am given. I celebrate her life and her joy. The miles may seem longer than they have ever been before but we will overcome. Kim is still here with us,we just have to allow her warrior spirit to lead us onward. Be encouraged my friends...we may not have chosen this life, but we do own it. We can live every minute as it was the last or we can sit around and wait for death to come. Don't we have an obligation to seize the day? Sure there may be days the road beneath us feels like broken glass, yet the pain we feel reminds us we are still alive. Isn't the sun still shining in the sky above us? Don't we have the gift of living in this moment? So celebrate all you have been given, pain, worry, joy, hope and life! Honor Kim and all she has given us by living completely. So let's make her proud of how we have chosen to live our lives. Let's find a reason everyday to be thankful.
I wish we could wake up and know this was all a nightmare, but we are awake .I know there is no hiding the pain we all feel. We hold a void in our hearts, but Kim's love for us all is still there. She is holding out her heart ready to fill the emptiness. As long as we remember Kim, her life, her struggle and her gift of insight to us all, she is forever with us.
Kim, I miss you. I always will. I am trusting in God's promise... I will see you again, someday. So until I am called home, keep your star shining brightly for us all. Until then my dearest friend, I will keep dancing.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
As all families do, we have our own traditions. Every year, no matter how old the boys get, we go to the mall and visit with Santa, we bake cookies and drink some hot coco. We take in the sites of Christmas, together, as a family, and sing Happy birthday to Jesus on Christmas Eve. We go out and look for our tree, string lights and let the boys place all their ornaments around the tree. As we count down the days till Christmas the boys find small treasures behind each door of our advent calendar. Then about a week before, we work together getting all the outside lights hung on the house. Finally we place our families', 35 year old Nativity scene, out for all to see. Sure many of the pieces may be missing, and a Shepard may now stand in for Joseph, but it is a tradition, our way of honoring the holiday's true meaning in our hearts.
This season is my favorite time of year. A time to celebrate not only my Lord's birth, but the love of my family.It is also a very somber time for me as well. I will never forget the Christmas Eve we took the boys to see Santa in 2006. My hair was just beginning to grow back in. My port was still in and we had completed out first walk ( Race for the Cure) two months before. It was Christmas and I was looking at a second chance at life at the age of 33. Life was uncertain and our emotions as a family were still very raw. I loved the lights, the reindeer and the beautiful fire flickering in the mall hearth. As we stood in line the boys seemed a bit controlled, unlike the kids around them who were giggling, jumping up and down and full of anticipation. Joshua and Micah just sort of stood there, speaking every now and then, looking around, smiling, but more reserved than most children on Christmas Eve.
As I remember, look back in my memory of the day I am still moved to tears. I can still see Micah getting off of Santa's lap and Joshua lingering a moment. Santa looked him straight in the eyes and asked him what was on his mind? What did he want Santa to bring him for Christmas? Then the words flowed out, as if a dam had burst inside him. Then and there I felt as if my resolve would buckle. Santa looked my way, and I could see the agony in his own eyes. My son, my sweet boy looked Santa straight in his eyes and without hesitating asked if Santa would please ask God to let his mommy live and not die from cancer! this was his only wish. He told Santa he wanted nothing else! I was broken, completely lost in this emotion as it burst through my well build wall of strength.
Nothing more could Santa say. You could see he was in shock himself. Santa was at a loss, how could he promise my child such a thing? So he looked my 10 year old son in the eyes, nodded his head and walked him over to where I stood. This brief but seemingly long moment passed as Santa placed Joshua's hand into mine. I hadn't even seen Santa walk Joshua over to where I stood. It was if the world stood still. I was speechless, saddened, broken. Here was my son, my child, asking Santa, to grant this one wish... of life, to his mommy. He wanted nothing more than to know he wasn't going to see his mommy die. Joshua had no care of what lay beneath the tree, or what wonders Santa would deliver later in the night. No his one, solitary wish was for his mommy... to live.
Life has taught me many lessons, but of all, this one is the greatest... children, are precious. If we but took a moment to really understand, to witness their acts of self sacrifice the world would be one of true brotherhood and peace. Children in their innocence give us more than any material gift can ever provide us. In the wish of a child, in a simple prayer, they can bring such insight into our over scheduled lives. If we all but took a moment, to consider all we do have and offer our love and forgiveness, unconditionally to those we love. If we were willing to give up our own needs, wants and wishes for someone else, maybe we all experience the true meaning of this season.
Of this I am sure, as I look back , as I remember Christmas Eve 2006 I was given the greatest gift of my life.In my heart I know it was the most beautiful I have ever experienced even though it was one of the most painstaking in all my life. As I reminisce I am reminded of Christ's gift to us, of his birth and death, and the timeless message of self sacrifice. I am here today, I live because my son prayed fervently for my life. He did not waiver in his desire or his resolve. As a child, Joshua gave up the most important wish of the year... he gave his Christmas wish, to his mother....
So this year as you light the candles, bake gingerbread men and open gifts surrounded by family, remember the true meaning of this season is giving of yourself.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my dear and cherished friends. you are all a part of my life and my journey. Today, I thank my God for your presence in my life...
P.S. Be sure to turn down the music player at the bottom of the page and turn on the the music with the slide show. Also be sure if you click to the site to watch it in original view.