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On this day last year I lost my sister

On this day last year I lost my sister. (June 8th 2019)
She had been ill for a while and had struggled for a long time with breathing and other health issues.
It’s probably good she never got near this covid crisis, she never would have survived it.
She was older than me by about a year and a half, the middle sister with one above her and me below her.
It has been hard to not be able to talk to her.
I used to call pretty often or she would call me.
I can still hear her voice saying, “Hi Shary, how are you?”
For years we were very close and for years as she was growing up she was gone and on the streets.
Survival was her way of coping.
She was not like the average she was herself in a very unique way.
In 2006 my other sister and I and our husbands, detoxed her from an intense alcohol addiction.
That was extremely hard and we were definitely not trained to do it.
We managed with the help from hospice and her great doctors advise.
It was quite miraculous to see her assigned to hospice care dying; then six weeks later be well enough to move into a care setting.
I would never put us through that again it was a rough and intense time.
Perhaps that is what it means to be family? You do the hard because it’s what you do.
She lived in an assisted living care center for many years; which was a safe and good place for her.
The last six months of her life we were not able to see her.
That was really hard for me since we were sisters; but I always prayed for her and always knew she knew I cared.
There was no service and no special ‘remembering.’
She passed away as if she never lived here.
On this day last year I lost my sister and it will always be hard for me to never tell her good bye.
(This is not a recent picture but it does look like her.)

The greatest of these is love

The greatest of these is love.
This year just keeps getting more crazy.
Intense times are brewing and it feels so out of control.
If I was not a firm believer in the healing working of God I could be pretty discouraged.
So many things are going wrong and we are heading in a wrong direction as a country; but I do believe in the months to come; peace and healing will take place.
This virus is still ravaging our land, and now violence on many levels.
My heart is heavy and my words are few.
There really are no adequate words at this time.
It is like in 1st Corinthians 13 a book in the new testament.
We are watching love disappear:
13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part,
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Looking back on this experience

In December 2019 I went to my normal mammogram that usually lasts about 15 minutes.
Mine lasted what seemed to be an hour; then I was lead to the ultrasound room, for another half hour; then my husband and I talked to the radiologist.
He suggested a biopsy.
The biopsy results came back with a positive breast cancer diagnosis.
Looking back on this experience I was walking into an unknown place emotionally and physically.
In that time I came down with a very horrible virus bug that was a cough and breathing and chest issues.
I think the times in the hospital I picked up something.
In urgent care they gave me an inhaler and told me to wait till my surgery was over.
After the lumpectomy I was no longer sick but only using my inhaler sometimes.
In 85 days I had mammogram, ultrasound, biopsy, MRI of both, lumpectomy surgery, and then radiation.
The lumpectomy came back clear and it seems the biopsy removed the cancer.
Sixteen sessions of radiation was just a preventative measure.
It was a very interesting and surreal experience.
I now have a surgeon, an oncologist, a radiology doctor, my regular doctor and a few others to add to the list.
In 85 days my world changed.
After that the awful covid virus arrived, so I was quarantined because it was safer and because I wanted to be.
Radiation lowers your immune system and I definitely do not want to get a serious illness on top of what I am dealing with.
One of the side effects of radiation is fatigue and I do think I am experiencing that.
It’s hard for me to actually rest. My word for the year is rest. Isn’t that funny?
I will have a mammogram and or ultrasound every six months for at least 5 years.
I started a ‘drug therapy’ they recommended for survivors of breast cancer.
It is still hard for me to actually say, “I am a cancer survivor.”
It is kind of emotional and I wear pink with a new appreciation for the color and meaning now.
My husband got a ribbon tattoo representing his mom and me.
He said he would never get another one but he had to get that one.
This diagnosis is something that is in my chart now, my life and my story.
Looking back on the experience would I change anything?
I don’t think so.
I really liked the radiation team and would spend more time with them as ‘people’ not med techs.
I have tried to not say, “why me” because why not? I am not anyone more special than anyone else.
This experience has taught me more empathy, compassion and joy.
I rang the bell when radiation was over.
Every day is a gift now. Every day we get a new chance to make a new change of direction and give hope.


Today is our grand daughters 21st birthday

Today is our grand daughters 21st birthday.
She was supposed to arrive in July but she came in May. Emergency issues showed up at the doctor’s appointment.
Our daughter was rushed into surgery and we were greatly surprised by a tiny 2 pound 11 ounce baby girl.
I remember standing in awe in the NICU room beside her little bed.
She was bright eyed, beautiful, feisty and perfect.
Faith Elizabeth was born and we were grandparents. This is my hand next to her head.
It’s life changing to realize a new generation is born. We were HER grand parents and we had a vital role in her life as she would grow up.
It has been a blessing and an honor to walk with her and watch her.
Not only do we try to give guidance and prayers but we try to do our best to believe we have influence. When she came home from the hospital I quit my full time job to stay home with her. It was such a fun time to be with her and watch her grow and mature. I went back to work when she was able to go to first grade.
We have never stopped praying for her. Never stopped worrying, and never stopped encouraging.
It was always our desire to be solid for her. A sure thing, a positive role model.
As she has grown into a beautiful young lady I pray she will always know we are here for her always.
This picture is of her from a few years ago. I won’t post a current picture of her because of privacy issues.
Today is our grand daughters 21st birthday.
We wish for her love, life and health and always happiness.

Today would have been my dad’s birthday

Today would have been my dad’s birthday.
I can’t remember a birthday spent with him. Most likely when I was very small we might have made him a cake.
He left our family when I was five.
Then I met him again when I was in my thirties.
If I allow myself to remember all that I had missed it gets a bit sad and crazymaking.
He was a cowboy type of guy. Wearing cowboy boots with his western shirts and cowboy hat.
He sheared sheep and became very well known in the business. It’s not easy to wrestle a heavy sheep while shearing the wool off of them.
He did it and made a name for himself. He also was an auctioneer. One of the best.
He also welded iron gates in his older years.
He always had a dog till he couldn’t have one anymore.
After many years of being divorced and away from each other, he remarried my mom.
So when they both passed away they were married to each other, just as it was in the beginning.
It was a love that never really went away; although years distanced them, the heart was still fond.
I got to know him on some level in my adult years and we came to an understanding.
He was my dad and I was his daughter and very much like him in many ways.
In fact when he first came back into our lives my husband was amazed how much we were alike.
Years didn’t matter. I missed a lot by not having him around as I grew up.
It would have been nice to have a choice to be with someone else when our mother was having her moments.
I do not relate to a close ‘knit’ relationship that some girls have had with their dads.
Dad kept his space and his distance. Sometimes he would hug me and show he cared; but it was guarded most of the time.
Today would have been my dad’s birthday.
A day I remember for many reasons. Mostly because I miss him.

Life has changed in the last few months

Life has changed in the last few months.
Everyone is affected by this virus that has invaded our world.
Times are not what they used to be or even as we know it.
I went to the store with my husband the other day; and as I tied on my mask and breathed into the fabric as I walked I felt so strange.
Feeling so unnatural yet so many that I saw were doing the same thing.
I could see people smile at me but I could not see their smile. I could tell by their eyes.
It made me sad. Personal contact is lost when you can’t just ‘be’ with others.
Our church has been on line. I do have to admit it’s a blessing to sit on your couch in pj’s drinking coffee while ‘at church.’
We do miss the face to face chatting. The personal sharing with others.
I am not ready to venture out yet because my resistance is down since having radiation treatments.
By nature I am an introvert and really do enjoy and thrive with time by myself.
Although I do have to admit that even for me, this drawn out seclusion time has been hard.
It’s one thing to choose to stay home on your own; but when you are told you must stay home it then becomes an issue of control.
Who wants that? No one.
I wonder how things will change when it all breaks open and we can be free again.
I also wonder about the messages that have been told to us over and over.
Stay home; be safe. Wash your hands over and over. Wear a mask for safety.
It’s all weird to me. Now I am always one to wash my hands that is not a new thing.
I think they are telling us over and over, and gets irritating.
We are smart people and I do believe we can figure some of this stuff out on our own.
I am saddened by the deaths that have taken place. I am also saddened by the time not being spent with loved ones.
This will end and it must.
Time is valuable and we have people we need and want to see.
Life has changed in the last few months and I pray that very soon we will see a normal way to live soon.