Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trusting

I believe the worst pain a mother can feel is knowing her children are struggling with something you cannot understand or comfort them with.
There have been times when my doubt has been as wide as the ocean, feeling like the waves need to sweep me away, not wanting to face the pain.  Our oldest daughter Kayla and her husband Jeremy have two amazingly beautiful boys.  Recker is almost 5 years old, it's so hard to believe how fast he is growing.  Ezra will be 2 in February, he's been a spunky, smily fun babyboy.  These little angels have brought more joy to my life than I ever thought imaginable.  Their laughter and unconditional love is contagious.

Ezra's squint eye..so cute

Ezra love

When Recker was 14 months old he was diagnosed with Autism, he is non-verbal but has taught me to speak with my heart and eyes.  The past 5 years have been so difficult for Kayla and Jeremy.  Something I don't even try to understand, all I understand is that if it were not for Recker, I would have not made it through some days when I could barely get out of bed--he is my sweet baby boy, who saved me from going to a very dark place.

Two days ago, Ezra was also diagnosed with Autism.  I was so sure he was just fine, he was making animal noises, something Recker never did, he could point to the different parts of his body, again I don't remember Recker doing that.  Over the past few months Ezra has started to regress, although Kayla was trying her hardest to prepare us, it could be true, I just didn't want to believe it, after all Ezra was doing everything different, until he didn't, and little by little he has become distant.
Kayla did everything different with her pregnancy, thinking maybe it would be different, Ezra didn't get his shots like Recker did, she just did everything different--Now we know, his diagnosis comes as a shock to Eric and I, but not so much to Kayla and Jeremy, who I can honestly say have tried to  prepare us for.
Recker School Picture--I love this

Recker lives in an awesome world--I wish I could go
there with him.

When I found out I just wanted to scream "WHY?" I still do, I am hurt, angry, sad and blessed all at the same time, these mixed emotions have rocked my little world, and is going to take a few days, weeks or months to get used to.  I just want Kayla and Jeremy's dreams of having a typical child come true.  This does not mean they do not love their boys, they love them more than life, but not to hear your child say "mom, or dad" is heart breaking.  They need time to mourn, I guess we all do.

I don't  in any way shape or form believe these boys are doomed, that they will not have a future that is anything less than we, as family teach them.  I know they can and will be, such a blessing to our family and to others.  In fact I believe through their journey, they will be the ones who against odds will teach us, through their sweet spirits they will teach us so much more about compassion and tolerance than we could ever learn in a book.

So, it leaves me with doubt, fear and the unknown but I know one thing for sure and I can never say this enough, Heavenly Father send those sweet boys to our family for a purpose.  We may never know what that purpose is, but have decided the reason does not matter as much as making the journey with them memorable and happy.  Autism is not fun, it is mis-understood.  I know so little about why a child is diagnosed with Autism,  all I really know is that nothing for me changes, I love them unconditionally, I will take them by the hand as they lead me and guide me back to a place where I want to be HEAVEN.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The truth stings

Hip and back pain, back in Dr. Freeman's pain clinic today at Mayo.  I love my doctors, he is a good man, they all are.  Walking into the hospital gave me uncomfortable feelings of remembrance, being in pain for me has become an issue  I won't address unless it get to at least on an 8 on a scale from 0-10.  The medicines for pain I despise.  When I walked into the hospital today I immediately looked to my left, this is where I watched a woman die while the paramedics tried to save her, and I was jealous, I wished it had been me.  I'm not afraid to die, but enjoy life right now too.

Mayo Clinic "the place"
The nurse came in with  Dr. Freeman  asks my name, birth date and asks "what are we doing for you today?" ha, umm for me or to me? without hesitation I reply "hurting me to take away my pain" how weird is that statement?  They both, not knowing how to respond say "where are we going to hurt you today" laughter "in my hip and lower back" He gives me trigger spot shots, and when he does he jiggles the needle around to make sure he gets the entire area around where the initial pain is.  Every time he does that I want to come off the table, he always says "almost done, I'm sorry it hurts"  I have not seem him since my surgery in at Mayo Clinic in the Spring, we were able to have a good private conversation about how I'm really doing.  That one is so hard to talk about, I'm not sure how I am doing, in comparison to what?
Recovery, drinking my daily routine
I have been staying really busy, working at US Airways, I have the best management and supervisor I could ask for, they really care.  Also, working on being Happy, trying to deal privately with, if my face has to stay the way it is right now, am I going to be OK with that? I don't expect anyone to understand how I feel, but at times I am lonely in THAT world. I have researched partial facial paralysis, gone to the library, online and trying to reach out to anyone who has suffered or is dealing now with this--NOTHING--I guess I understand a little more about what Dr. Barr's was talking about when he said this is rare for a nerve to just die, with no apparent reason.  This is not like having a stroke or Bell's Palsy where the nerve is damaged,  and WILL eventually snap back, this is a dead nerve, which means it will not live again, or regenerate.
This is what a dead nerve looks like--and it's mine.

Going to Cleveland Clinic to see Dr. Gastman was to take a live nerve from my ankle and replace the dead nerve in my head with a good nerve, hoping it will grow together with the nerves on either side.  IF this works,  we will not see any results for a year, and I will maybe get 30% of facial movement back.  If it does not work, they want to cut along my hairline pull my face back and take nerve from my left side of my head and connect it with the one on the right, then wait another year.   I'm not sure I want to go through that again.  Going back and forth to Cleveland Clinic is difficult for me, not getting results or answers is frustrating, wanting to say "WHY" is realistic on some day's.

Getting to hear for the 1st time in 48 years was fantastic, I heard things I'd never heard before, sounds most people I know take for granted.  That first night coming home was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had, without a doubt the Lord was smiling down on me along with Colby.  What I wasn't prepared for was going to work the next day, ready to share my new exciting news was quickly turned to sadness.  Actually hearing what people say about me, it hurt, none of them were saying it to hurt me in fact none of them know I could hear it,  and they all were saying it out of love for me--still the sting of truth hurts. Going to the store, watching people quickly look away when we make eye contact I've been able to get used to, but now hearing opinions I am the one looking down and away before eye contact is made. I thought I was going to make new connections and share in the beauty of small sounds, be able to give the gift of not taking for granted, the sound of a pen writing on a piece of paper, or the clicking of the keys on the keyboard as we making reservations, the fact that I could for the first time be able to turn the phone volume down. Instead what I heard was "I feel so sorry for her" "She is so strong" "Have you ever read her blog?" "I don' think her face is ever going to be the same"  "She used to have such a beautiful smile" tears ran down my cheeks as I sat and heard these words coming from I'm not sure who, as I am still trying to distinguish where sounds are coming from.  We have cubicles where we sit,  I quickly wiped my tears so no one could see, and took my BAJA off.  I haven't worn it since that day to work.
So proud of Mayo Clinic, this Cancer Center has been in the
works for year's, it's getting done, they will have a proton
radiation beam, the only one in the Western part of the
nation.  Proton beams are used to radiate certain cancer's and
can pinpoint to  99.9% . 
I am the one who get's to decide what my  destiny is, what my life will be and who I decide to share my light with.  I love my co workers, I love my family and friends, but I need to be OK with 'me'.
I will decide where I end up, I'm doing what I can to figure all that out, and until I do I can't wear the BAJA.  I pick and choose,  and I'm taking it slow, because sitting in this moment right now, I'm feeling things I've never felt before.  My heart has never beat so hard in my chest than it has in the times when I've been wearing the BAJA.  I feel blessed to know, the people around me are sincerely my friends, they are kind and loving, at least nothing bad was said--just the truth--the truth I was not prepared to hear.  Reality is, I need to work on me, on my confidence, get rid of the negative and concentrate on the positive.  There's a fire in me that I can never deny, I know He lives and He loves me.  It is my faith and my hope over the years that has given me such peace, given me strength to endure and enjoy the sweetness of life.  However, I've tasted the truth and my heart will never be the same. That is not necessarily a bad thing, maybe I needed a taste of reality.  It's just going to take some time to process what it is He wants me to learn.
Off of my balcony in my bedroom, the moon
is beautiful tonight, this picture does
not do justice.  It is HUGE, YELLOW and
GOEGEOUS
I will wear the BAJA on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, to hear Stephen Phelps and the choir sing Come thou Font of every Blessing.  I have so much to be grateful and have been blessed with a good life---music touches my soul and helps me to heal.  It's just a longer process this time.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

Recker Loves Papa and Pizza

Brian and Kaitlyn--Old Couple--She's pregnant
How'd that happen?


Brad and Betty Walmart Greeters
Haleigh & Scott

Ezra the Lion

Monday, October 13, 2014

Something Amazing


I AM ADDING THIS TODAY BECAUSE I HAVE RECEIVED SOME EMAILS. I GUESS I DID NOT EXPLAIN IT ENOUGH, FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NOT BEEN FOLLOWING.
I HAVE BEEN DEAF IN MY RIGHT EAR FOR 48 YEARS DUE TO A BLOW TO THE HEAD AT AGE 3. IT JUST HAPPENS TO BE THE SAME EAR I HAVE HAD MULTIPLE SURGERIES ON THIS YEAR.  MY LEFT EAR I HAVE BEEN USING TO HEAR WITH FOR ALL THESE YEARS, IT'S MY GOOD EAR, THE ONE I CAN NOW HEAR OUT OF, EVEN THOUGH THE IMPLANT IS ON THE RIGHT SIDE, IT TRANSMITS SOUNDS WAVES TO THE GOOD EAR ON THE LEFT TO IMPROVE MY HEARING. MY RIGHT EAR IS NOW COMPLETELY EMPTY, NO INNER CANAL, NO EARDRUM, NO NOTHING, THE DOCTOR TOOK SKIN FROM MY HEAD AND MADE A NEW LOOKING EAR FOR ME.

Today, something amazing happened to me.  I had appointments at Mayo Clinic, I met with Kelly Conroy in the hearing department to have my Baha hearing device finally connected to my implant.  I was not prepared for what would happened, I normally go to Mayo Clinic without thinking much about why I'm there or who I am supposed to see, I just don't let my mind think about it unless I'm going to the 3rd floor then I need to prepare myself.
I have met with Kelly before for hearing tests and to be fitted for my Baha, but it's literally been almost a year since my implant was placed,  so much has happened since then, the Baha has not been on my mind.  Today, I was blessed with a Tender Mercy from Heavenly Father, one that I really needed right now.  I now have a new person to love at Mayo Clinic, I will never forget today, and I am so grateful Kelly Conroy was the one I shared this moment with, she was so compassionate and loving.
Kelly placed the device on my implant then made some adjustments on her computer to customize the hearing device to my hearing needs.  What happened next was simply amazing, I wish I had it on video, or that Eric could have been there to share it with me.  When she activated the device I could hear everything so clear and crisp, I smiled, we sat and talked for quite awhile so she could make sure it was working well.  We both cried as I explained some of my feelings I've had this year. This was not even the amazing part, because we were in a closed small office it did not register with me that I could actually hear things better, until I got to my car.
I opened the door to get in the front seat, when I started the car my music was so loud, I quickly turned it down, I smiled, backed the car up--and the sound of putting the car in reverse was something I had never heard. As I drove down the beeline highway, I noticed a man walking, I pulled over and asked him if he needed any help.  He was so out in the middle of nowhere, I was worried for him.  He assured me he had AAA on their way, and thanked me.  I wondered "why is he talking so loud?" I was overcome with emotion, I had to pull the car over a few miles away, get out and walk through the wild flowers, never before had I seen anything more beautiful, I looked to the sky, brilliant blue with fluffy white clouds and cried, I heard a bird chirp it was absolutely beautiful.  All these years I thought I knew what that sounded like, but today it was clearer than I had ever felt it or heard it.  I knew at that moment and time, He loves me, He really, really loves me, and not only me, He loves my biological father Colby Belshe.  I could feel his presence, this was more than an emotionally draining day for me, but at that very moment standing with my arms high, twirling in the Arizona desert I could feel that finally Colby was happy, his daughter could hear.  Colby never could forgive himself for being the fault of my deafness, I had forgiven him I don't ever remember being angry with him, not hearing was all I ever knew, I had told him many, many times I was OK, that I didn't blame him, but even to his death I believe he took that guilt with him.  Today, that is over for him, he watched me, I felt him and I know he is now able to move on.  Thank you Heavenly Father for such a beautiful gift you have given me.
I picked myself up and got back in my car, called Eric and could not believe how loud he was, I smiled tears running down my cheeks I smiled.
When I got home, this is when the real magic happened for me.  I opened the door and I heard the door knob turn, I smiled, when the door shut behind me I screamed it was so loud, it scared me. I did the same thing when my phone rang, I have "Happy" as my ring tone, I about jumped out of my own skin, but I smiled.  Walking across my wood floors I heard every step, in the kitchen I opened the microwave and shut it several times to hear the sound, did the same thing with the refrigerator, I smiled.
When my hand touched the staircase to walk up, I heard my hand even softly dragging, I smiled.  I sat on my bedroom floor weeping, all alone just the way it should be, I'm sure it was not too pretty.  I could even hear the carpet as I ran my hand across it, all I could say was thank you, thank you so much for this unexpected miracle.  Tonight I pulled the string on the dental floss and the sound was nothing I'd ever heard before, I did it over and over again until the container was all gone. Turning the pages of my scriptures was amazing, I heard every crinkle, and I smiled.  I sat on my bed in awe of what my Heavenly Father has blessed me with, at such a critical time in my life.  I wanted to shout it out on the top of my lungs, HE LOVES ME.  I don't think I have smiled like I did today for so long, and even though it was a half smile, I didn't care, I couldn't help it.  Nothing, and I mean nothing is as beautiful as being able to hear everything, all the creations He has created for us to see, hear, feel and smell we take for granted.
I can't wait to hear more things.  I immediately turned my primary music on, my favorite song has always been My Heavenly Father Loves Me....I cry every time I hear this song.

My Heavenly Father Loves Me:

Whenever I hear the song of a bird,
or look at the blue blue sky,
whenever I feel the rain on my face
or the wind as it rushes by.
Whenever I touch a velvet rose
or walk by a lilac tree,
I'm glad that I live in this beautiful world,
Heavenly Father created for me.
He gave me my eyes that I might see
the color of butterfly wings,
he gave me my ears that I might
hear the magical sound of things
He gave me my life, my mind
my heart, I thank Him reverently
for all his creations of which I'm
a part, Yes, I know Heavenly Father
Loves me.

Today these words mean more to me than ever before, I can't help but think that Heavenly Father has been waiting for this day, preparing me, and refining me, preparing Colby too as he has suffered with this guilt for so long, I am so happy for him too.  I cannot stop crying, I am just so blessed, the tears are flowing like a river with no end in sight.  I just want to open and close things, I want to hear my grandkids laugh, oh I can't wait for that, I thought I loved those belly laughs before but I have a feeling as I get used to this new blessing I am going to continue to have tears, learning so much of what we take for granted.  So if you see me tear up, I'm ok I'm just hearing something new and enjoying it for the first time. I don't know if I can say thank you enough to Him who gave me this gift today, and I know He is smiling down on me too. I've been so lost these last few months, trying so hard to understand what I am supposed to do, what I am supposed to be learning, and maybe I will still continue to ask, but not today, today I am grateful, this is a feeling I will never ever forget.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

I'm a woman of infinate worth


Another night of insomnia, I cannot stop thinking about The Wentworth Family tonight.  Our girls danced together for years, Darbie and Sierra have always had a special place in heart, especially offering their personal prayers for me when I need or needed them. As I knelt to pray tonight, I asked God to wrap his arms in and around their hearts, comfort them with His love.  I have  perfect knowledge that their son Buddy is being watched over and taken care of, he is in a peaceful place that is nothing like earth, and he will be with his family again.

I recently received this bookmark from a dear friend, who I admire and love for her strength and love of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  She too lost her son, it just never seems fair that a child should go to Heaven before their parents.  Living in this world we face so many challenges, and what makes it all worth it is knowing the Savior died for us, we have knowledge of the Atonement.  We hear all the time "The Lord never gives us trials we cannot endure"  I have had some bumps along the way, especially in the last few years, but I am grateful the Lord knows I could not handle losing a child or grandchild.  I'd rather take on any pain or heartache to keep my children and grandchildren safe from harm.

I love this...Thank You Carla Kelly. I see this everyday
when I read and it reminds me of great promises.
Even when we are feeling broken, we are loved.  It's hard to heal from a tragedy like this, but the hands of mercy and grace offer us a peaceful feeling of HOPE and FAITH in something bigger than ourselves.  I know I am loved, I know He is aware of me and I know what I need to do to return with honor to Him and live with my family forever. There is a reason we are all here on earth, we are all children of infinite worth, and we are part of His eternal plan, we may not always understand what that means, but as we discover His unconditional love for us as individuals we start to understand just how hard it is for Him to see us suffer, we are His children.  I know I've had to turn to the Lord for peace on days when I have not wanted to be here anymore.  Searching your soul and finding out who you are, I mean the REAL authentic person you are, has been more fulfilling to me than any one thing I have learned in the past 51 years.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

El Casa De Monya

I spent most of the summer months in the hospital, Mayo Clinic for a few weeks, and then Cleveland Clinic.  Eric, myself, Blake and Chloe had planned a trip to the Dominican Republic where Blake served his mission.  We soon realized that I would not be able to make that trip, but I begged them to please go, my heart told me that they needed to go and visit the people who loved my son for 2 years as he served, and they served him.  Oh how happy I am today, I received this video and article from someone who I have never met, but wanted me to have.  I was extremely emotional  watching it. The impact it had not only on myself but also on Eric.  It must have been quite an experience because they have not talked much about it to me, Eric is a compassionate giving man, but is quiet about it, he never shares these types of things with others, he does them with a pure heart, not expecting a high five so to say.
here is the link if you would like to watch http://colormyworldkids.org/2014/06/19/color-my-world-home-announcement-the-alamonte-family/

To these gracious people, and to my husband for having such a giving heart I want to say I am overwhelmed and grateful to you tonight as I sit alone watching this.  The tears are flowing, I am so thankful to have meet you two years ago when we sat at your dinner table, and I am honored that you would dedicate your home to me. Thank you for watching over my son while he was away from his mama dealing with cancer, seeing the love and respect you have for our son during this difficult time is so touching to me, and I cannot thank you enough.  I will be there with you again one day, and we will break bread together, again in joy and happiness.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Find Me-Frozen Inside


There have been times when I want to curl up and stay in the safety of a cocoon, much life a butterfly does.  I have had days when I  feel like I'm locked in a glass house with no way out, no key and no way to fly free--I'm emotionally healing so much slower than I expected I would.  I'm trying so hard to break out of these four walls, I wish I had someone to talk to. I'm losing my grasp, having a hard time being authentic.  I hide how tearfully hard it is for me not to be able to smile a full big smile, I feel my frailties are being masked, by a strong woman who has hard time admitting her weaknesses.

I ache at times trying so hard to hold back smiles or laughter for fear of what I look like to others.  I caught myself wanting to laugh when I heard Ezra's huge belly laugh--he is so cute--but I caught my reflection in the mirror of our entryway and suddenly realized "this is what other people see"  This immediately took me down to a low I can't explain.  I still feel so much happiness in my heart & want to share it, especially with my grandchildren but for some reason, I've let the adversary control my thoughts.  The confusion is a contradiction of what I feel inside,  I don't understand it, so I of course do not expect anyone else to understand it either.  I'm trying my hardest to Live Happy, going out and serving others, while I'm in the act of service it warms my heart and lightens my load.

I love the Happiness Movement the United Nations agreed upon, the 1st celebration was and will continue to  on March 20th.  I know and believe with all my heart that one person can make a difference, a rippling effect which can be wrapped over and around the hearts of people all over the world, no matter what race, culture, or religious belief.  I am an ambassador of Happiness, still I wonder sometimes if that too is a contradiction of how I feel on some days.  I feel like I am on display, I see how people look at me then quickly look away, I know because I too have done it.  I've said before on this blog, I don't believe people in general are vindictive or mean any harm, it's natural for a person to take a double look at something that is not what they are used to seeing.  I just never thought I would be the one on display.   I see them look, then look away and whisper to their friend, mother or neighbor, they both look and quickly turn their back to me, usually because they know I have just seen what they did.  The only thing that really holds me together is knowing He see's me, the REAL me--He knows I want to be me again, the sad part is because of what I've experienced I know I will never be the same again, and I believe this is a good thing.  Although, I didn't ask for this experience I'm living it.  I also realize at the same time, I do have control over how I deal with the inner aching I continue to feel. I may not be in charge of my trials, but I do have control how I deal with them, and I choose to take it slow, understanding all that is expected of me, then proceed forward in faith, and with desire to continue to be the best I can be.

On the days when I work at UsAirways, the security guard always asks me "how are you doing today Monya?" and my answer is always the same "better than I was yesterday" I wrestle with what has been lost in my life, It's more than just dealing with cancer with all of it's side effects.  I expect so much out of myself, I've always been a goal keeper.  I carry a crushing weight on my shoulders when I am unable to achieve  my goals.  I'm simply not able to do this on my own, my soul is tired and I need a rest.  I've pleaded for help so many times, I seriously think I don't have any tears left to cry.
I'm giving my all, but there are times I don't want to hear the answers. Saying I'm deaf is literally an understatement.  I am so vulnerable right now, I know I need to be willing to put all my trust one more time in the Lords hands.  I've been down this road before, I know this feeling.  It's difficult to take a step forward, and also hurts to look backwards. I want peace to speak louder than my fear. I have asked again, and again, and again "what am I supposed to learn" "What do you want me to do next?" I know when I'm finally ready to listen I will go and be or do what He needs me to be or to do.

I know this fear and pain that I am feeling needs to be turned over to the Lord, but for today, just for now I'm frozen inside.  No regrets, I've felt this pain before, and I will not bury it, I know I have to live it, feel it and when I'm living in those shadows He will find me, take me by the hand and lead me to a brighter place.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Finding strength in Adversity


I just can't seem to sleep tonight.  I am in Dallas, in a hotel room listening to my favorite VonSlade family sing to me, and then Josh Menden--I am tearful today.  I have felt the Lord's love, and I trust His plan for me.  I have seen angels in different faces lift me up.  Sometimes those angels come at the most unexpected times, today was one of those days.  A man by the name of Kym, he was my angel today and I know the Lord directed him to me for a purpose.  Kym has no idea how he helped me, I'm not sure he had any intention of helping me, but today because of Him. I learned that I DECIDE which life I want to lead, I am writing the story of my life and get to decide how it will end, don't worry it's a Happily Ever After kind of ending.

Many of my readers know me, some not personally but through my blog you have listened to my stories, we have laughed, cried and ranted together.  Right now sitting in this hotel, my heart is beating in my chest and it's hard to hold back the tears, my faith has taken deeper and stronger roots than I ever imagined I could.  I have never felt the peace I am feeling right now, I will never be the same as I was 5 years ago, there is no looking back I am forging forward.  I know what HOPE is, and I have so many good reasons to believe through my Faith and Hope, even if I am not completely healed when a person looks at me with the naked eye, I am beginning to heal from the inside out, He knows the strength I have, and the purpose of all things happening in my life.  Everyone around me who loves me and truly cares for me, sees the heart inside me, but I feel bad that they have to look at me with the look of anxiety and fear of hurting me.  I am dealing with this adversity a bit differently than when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer.  I'm not sure why, mostly because I too have bought into the belief a person's physical appearance is the first thing people see....the face.   I took my smile for granted, and I miss it. I want to laugh again, out loud with my friend Jenny, I want to jump on the Hotel beds and act like little girls again--but I fear that childhood innocence  is gone, I know too much, I've seen and felt too much to ever go back to who I was before the paralysis.

I do know the best is yet to come, I can look forward with faith knowing I have a responsibility to be me, the REAL authentic ME, that hasn't changed.  I wake up everyday, grateful for one that I woke up and two that it's always a good day to have a good day.  I've climbed some big mountains, and stumbled over a few hills, through every bend in the road I feel like I have done what is right when no one was around, I have lived with integrity.  I know my family, the girls including Chloe, and the boys including Blake, Brian, Scott, Jeremy. Eric, Recker and Ezra are number one's in my life.  I want them to learn to open their hearts and listen harder, look for a good purpose, help others who have less than us, give a smile, or open a door, say please, and thank you--when we do this together, we shine bright for the world to see that we can make a change, each of us day by day, tip toe by tip toe those good deeds when practiced daily, will soon turn into HUGE GIANT steps towards the YOU you were meant to be.  Choose your destiny, and remember your children are watching you, the choices you make they will mimmick, because you are their HERO's.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Making Connections

Ford Trimotor 


Today while working at USAirways, I received an incoming call from the cutest couple.  They were each on the phone line, one in the kitchen and one in the bedroom.  They made a reservation with me, and the gentleman asked me what type of aircraft it was, I told him it was a CRJ. Then he proceeded to tell me a story about when he was around 12 years old (he was born in 1928) he and his friends were playing in a farmers harvest, and the owner came up to the boys and asked them if they would like to go for a spin in his Ford Trimotor airplane.  He said to me "I don't think I ever did tell my parents that story"  When I asked him if it was because he thought he would be in trouble, his response was so sweet, he said "no, I knew they would not be upset, I didn't tell them because I didn't want them to be sad knowing they would never in their lifetime have the opportunity to fly" His wife was on the other end of the phone with the kindest voice saying "Oh darling, we need to let this girl get to work"  I loved to hear her laugh, while I was preparing their itinerary they were talking as if I couldn't hear them.  It reminded me of Vi and Ray--I asked them how long they had been married, and they laughed, both of them, so cute.  He said around 68 years, but that they had known each other since childhood.
This was such a great conversation, I think one reason why I loved it so much was because they had no idea what I looked like, a voice on the other end of the phone was being kind and considerate, as they were with me also.

They were going to the funeral of their son.  " I'm so sorry, It must be a difficult situation to have your son pass away before you do" she said "no, he was old,  lived a good life and was struggling with cancer the past few years, so we are glad he is no more pain, I wouldn't mind visiting him soon"  Then they laughed again....under normal circumstances I would of felt uncomfortable, and wondered what to say to that, but I didn't I fully understood.

This has been a difficult week for me, I really never thought It would matter to me what people think about my face, but it does.  I went to a spanish speaking meeting with one of my partners.  Have you ever felt like someone was looking at you?  You know the feeling I'm talking about, you want to look back at them just to see if your feeling was right.  I did, I looked at these two women who were talking about me in spanish, I know this because the older woman looked at me then whispered something to her daughter (I believe it was her daughter not positive) then they both looked at me, and the mother made this really strange face, again they both looked at me.  At that very moment I was more vulnerable than I had ever felt in my life.  I could not concentrate on the speaker after that happened, some of that was because it was completely in Spanish.  I wanted to leave, but I didn't I stayed stood tall and made it through. I don't see any changes in my face, and I know when I smile it is crooked, so it looks different.  I love to laugh, I love to smile--that has been taken away from me, hopefully temporarily.

I know I will never look exactly the same, I can recover and reprogram my brain; but I will re-form into a person different--hopefully better, stronger, happier than I have ever been. I trust in the Lord and the plan he has for me, it's just so dang hard on days like today when reality of how I look is slammed in my face by others.  I have a new journey now, one that I hope I can recover from.  Hopefully one day I will be on the other end of a phone conversation making a reservation and be able to smile with my heart like this couple did.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why are you happy?



I was recently asked "why are you happy, and how do you remain happy?" The truth is, I have to work on Happiness every day of my life.  I did not intend on being diagnosed with late stages of breast cancer, or the side effects that followed.  I thought at the time it was a joke,  I was still going to continue training for that Marathon I always wanted to run.  To me, I was happy, after all I had the life I always dreamed of, stay at home mom, room mother for all 4 of my children's classrooms, loved driving the girls to dance and Blake to baseball.  My life was surrounded with good friends, and a wonderful family.

 I have always been a runner, kick boxer, cycler, core trained and weight lifter, this was my life and I loved every second of it. The day I had to listen to a doctor explain to me what type of cancer I had I did not respond, Eric was crying it was such a blur, why was he crying? This is not real, we will get a second opinion and of course I will continue to train because this is not real. Even now when I look back at that day, it amazes me how I responded, no tears, no emotion at all.  Blake was at the airport flying up to Utah to see his girlfriend Lecith, and Kaitlyn was living in Utah going to school and loving life, she had found the man of her dreams and I could not be happier with her choice. Eric called Blake and asked him to come home, he wouldn't, he told Eric to just tell him what was up. When Eric told him, he was angry thinking we knew for awhile and just didn't tell him, I explained to him the doctor had just told me I had no idea....we did not hear from or see Blake for a week, he went to Utah and would not answer his phone.  We then called Kaitlyn to tell her, and she reacted just like I did, no emotion--however, Brian told me later that she was really upset, maybe she thought like I did, this was just a little thing that was going to go away.  Kayla, Jeremy and Haleigh met us at the house and I remember Eric standing at the kitchen sink, the kids and I were sitting at the table, I just said it "I have cancer" immediate silence entered the room.  Kayla started to cry, Eric was still crying, Jeremy was in a sullen mood, not sure how to react, but asked if I wanted a blessing. Haleigh, she was and is my baby girl, this announcement could not have come at a worse time for her, it was a week before her senior year of High School.

Since that day I have had to learn to smile with my eyes, and listen with my heart.  I had no idea what was about to explode in our lives as the Villain took over. The "things" that were so important to me, suddenly were insignificant.  The first 3 years I never went one minute of my life without thinking about the Villain, every appointment, bone scan, MRI, and test that was written out on my Mayo Clinic itinerary gave me anxiety.  I still get anxiety when I step off the elevator onto the 3rd floor of the Mayo Clinic, I can smell the chemo, the sickness is in the air.

Tonight, I just can't sleep my mind is racing, I feel unprepared for this trial I am having now.  I need some calmness in my life.  I just want to fall asleep and be with Eric's mom and Dad, dream of being in a safe place, with no pain, no hurt and in the arms of people who unconditionally love me.  I have to remind myself everyday of the many blessings I have.  I see my reflection in the mirror and want to cry. I don't expect anyone to truly understand.  Now, I have to learn to accept the person I see in the mirror, and remember to smile with my eyes.  I loved Elder Holland's talk about depression, I have read it over and over again. Depression is REAL, if you have ever experienced it, you know what I am talking about.  When Robin Williams took his life recently, so much discussion on how selfish he was.  I know I cannot completely understand his reasons, my heart was with him, how well he hid his depression and made us all laugh, while he was struggling with his own demons.

I don't think a person can actually go through some of the things I have endured and be unchanged.  So I say to the people who feel discouraged and mis understood, have faith,  hold onto the knowledge you have of Hope for a better day. I loved when Elder Holland said "above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can ever comprehend" It's amazing to me that the love He has for us never leaves, He will always love us, that love is unconditional.  I so wish I could say I am happy all the time, that simply would not be true, I struggle with it daily, but know it is a choice and it feels better than being depressed.You can wake up everyday and decide to make the most of the life you have been given. It does not  necessarily mean changing your world, but changing the way you look at it.