Friday, May 20, 2016

Abundant Blessings

Today a whirlwind of emotions over powered me and allowed me to reconnect with what is really important in my life.  Kayla came by with the boys, Recker is now 6 and a half years old.  He is non-verbal but I believe he knows exactly what we are talking about, he has emotions and feelings. He came in and hugged me, I said "I love you" and in his own way he showed me he loves me too. Then little Ezra hugged and kissed me. I said "I love you" he replied "I l@#$% you" interpreted it says "I love you too" he now says Bon Bon, Papa, all the families names, mom and dad he will also repeat anything we ask him to.....he is trying so hard.  I took them all to lunch enjoying every moment I had with them. Kayla is 9 months pregnant, she will be giving birth to her 3rd son our 4th grandson.  Ezra is so cute he smiles and laughs at everything and everyone.  On his hand he had a happy face and a sad face drawn I asked him what they were he said "Happy" and smiled really big with his huge cheeks I wanted to squeeze. Then he pointed to the sad face and said "Sad" and quickly showed me his sad face. "Very good Ezra, which emotion do you feel now?" "I happy" I left them feeling blessed with these special boys Heavenly Father has entrusted our family with.  I say sincere prayers daily asking the Lord to help me know as a grandmother how I can better understand how to love them and help them.
When I arrived home Blake was getting Weslie out of his car, happy thoughts rushed through my body.  I hoped I could spend some time with both of them.  I of course immediately grabbed Weslie, she is absolutely beautiful. When Blake let to go get food for he and Chloe who would soon be arriving I took Weslie in my arms and sang her a song I used to sing to Recker when he was her age.

I love you Weslie,
Oh yes I do.
I love you Weslie
Oh yes I do
When you're not near me I'm blue
Oh Weslie I love you.

I walked and rocker her for several minutes singing over and over the same words, when she finally fell asleep on my chest I laid down with her on the sofa. Examining every inch of the miracle straight from Heaven.  Her eyelashes perfectly shaped, long and lush. I could feel her heart beat on my mine the smell of her skin angelic.  An enormous amount of pride rushed through my body thinking about Blake, Chloe and Weslie they are a cute family.  Watching Chloe mothering little Weslie is so refreshing I love her as a daughter, I consider her my daughter.  Watching Blake being so involved as a father warmed my heart. Tears fell from my eyes, I have so many blessing to be grateful for. Nothing else in the world mattered at that moment. I was in awe.

I've wanted to transition the toy room we have upstairs to the downstairs room---this is a huge undertaking for me.  Still recovering from my last surgery has been slower but I really want to get this change done. I began by going through all the pictures and separating them out. In the mess I found several letters from my mother.  Now that she has passed on those letters are read by me in a different context. I believe she and I were trying to resolve a difficult situation however, seeing it from different perspectives  was difficult for both of us.  I feel good about the way I handled the delicate situation, just reading these old letters dredged up some old emotions I was not prepared for. I quit reading the letters realizing she is gone now and there is nothing I can do to bring her back. Heavenly Father is in charge and he will deal with this perfectly I have no doubt when it's my time to leave this earth the Lord will have this taken care of, take me in his arms and say I love you.

I rummaged through some letters from Blakes mission, he always has a way of putting me back in the right frame of mind. He really was a great missionary. Then I found a book Kaitlyn wrote about her brother she couldn't have been more than six or seven years old.  She illustrated the book with her and Blake on bike rides going to the Library and then to water and ice...the illustration showed them bicycling and her yelling out to him "Hey wait up" Her sincere love for her brother came out when she said how much she loved him over and over, and also how grateful she was to have such a 'cool' big brother. My heart was again swelled to capacity, I was never the 'perfect' mom but my children turned out perfectly beautiful to me.

To end my night tonight I read a talk given by a religious leader Elder Neal A. Maxwell--the title of his talk was Enduring Well.  I came to the conclusion it is impossible for me to completely understand.  Because I believe there is an Atonement of Christ it makes it easier to comprehend why suffering and trials are about trusting in God to keep his promises.

"Rather than simply passing through trials, we must allow trials to pass 
through us in ways that sanctify us."

I have been stretched at times in my life to the point of doubting my Faith and Hope in difficult times.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh wisely cautioned: "I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning. understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable." 

I have allowed trials to pass through me and sanctify me in ways I never thought I had the ability to endure.  We all suffer in our lives, but do we mourn those trials, do we go forward with patience hoping for the Lord's hands to guide us through?  I believe I have been open and honest with my entire life, my book is going to expose truth in trials and how I have allowed those spooks to over power my life..I am so grateful for those hardships and enduring them with grace it has allowed me to grow, love others and serve unconditionally.  I have not regrets, I love my life. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Living in the Moment

Practicing living in the moment has been an intentional goal for my everyday living.  I have to  remind myself daily of the reward.  I've heard it takes 21 days to break a habit so I'm assuming it also takes 21 days to form a habit.
Today I will be seeing my surgeon Dr. Lettieri.  The last surgery I had on Thursday took me a little longer to recover from, purging my body of all the anesthesia is draining. Getting up and walking to the bathroom is about as far as I can go, even then I am wobbly, shaky and nauseated. On Sunday I was finally able to eat something, however it tasted of metal.
I feel like the world is hastily passing by just outside my bedroom door.  I'm praying Dr. Lettieri will take out the stitches and close the open wound on my neck.  The skin graft he took was from another area on my neck and those stitches seem to be healing well.
It's hard for me to comprehend that I have gone under general anesthesia 34 times in less than 6 years. Each time the healing takes longer and seems to weigh down my spirit.  I want so badly for all these surgeries to be over.  I believe now that this nasty infection is under control we can finally get going with the important issue of the nerve--yes, there will be more surgery; and I will endure.

My view from pre-op
Heidi my pre-op nurse--these nurse are always so sweet to me

This is what it looks like now, after surgery.
I see some bruising on my temple next to my
eye...I always wonder what the heck happens
during surgery to cause these bruises.

My life is so different now, I've learned patience and empathy for other's during the past few years. I've also learned what is truly important in life, family first, then friends who truly love me for who I am.  I've had to let go of a friend who I sincerely thought would be with me from beginning to end. I simply do not want anyone in my life who cannot be authentic.  Friendships are wonderful but when they become complicated and draining--I'm out! I refuse to waste precious time with people who do not reciprocate the same feelings.  I choose happy, with that being said I am not perfect and do need to say "I'm sorry" at times.  Part of the reason I have not allowed too many people into my life is the fear of being rejected or hurt.  I'm so over that now, I know who loves me and who cares I've learned to discern good from toxic.
This brings me back to the initial reason for making this post, living in the moment. I truly believe we are the equivalent of the few friends we associate most with.  If I kept myself in worry constantly wondering if I am offending someone I'm not being in the moment.  Spontaneously giving service to those around me on a daily basis, strangers who I will never see again have given me more satisfaction and clarity of the direction I want my life to go.  Living in the moment allows me to flow through life daily intentionally looking for ways to better myself by seeing the needs of others.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Happiness Experiment

 I've always wondered why so many people who work in a customer service atmosphere whether through, text, an actual phone call or face to face; can have such lack of empathy. 

I've worked in the Airline Industry for over 30 years now.  Currently I work for American Airlines (formerly UsAirways formerly America West Airlines) Through the years of working with the general public I've learned to be a problem solver.  Yes, I've been called every name in the book. 
Many times I try hard to keep from laughing when a snow storm keeps a passenger from getting from point A to point B they are furious because the planes are obviously grounded for take off.  I can appreciate the frustration however God is in charge of the weather not American Airlines.  Finding some balance with people is sometimes a challenge especially when voices are raised and tears are falling. My heart usually reaches out and I am able to help them understand the reality of their situation. It's not always the ending they were expecting but showing a little understanding for their inconvenience whether American Airlines has a maintenance issue or nature decides to rear her nasty head of rain, snow or sleet it helps them feel validated.  

Today instead of ending my calls with "Thank you for calling American Airlines have a good day" I chose to say "Thank you for calling American Airlines, I hope you have a Happy Day!" In making a conscious effort to do this the cadence in not only my voice changed but the passengers noticed from the moment I answered their call.  In my job I have heard every heartbreaking story, every white lie and excuse in the book.  Today was no different, I just chose to hear things with a smile on my face. Call after call each and every passenger made a comment about my positive attitude, they thanked me for listening, apologized for attacking me and I hung up feeling happy myself.  I was less stressed, full of energy and excited to do it again tomorrow.

When I started working in the airline industry I was a totally different person than I am now in fact I am a different woman than I was two years ago.  I shutter when I think about how many times those heartfelt stories went on deaf ears as they would explain the tragic death of a child, husband, wife mom, dad, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, cousin etc.  I was so much about the business at hand I forgot to take into consideration these are real live people with real problems.  Perspectives have changed, today a woman started to cry when  I asked how I could assist her.  She proceeded to make arrangements for her son who would be flown home from the war--in a body bag--I tried hard to keep the tears from falling but was unsuccessful.  Her choice of words was shocking to me, however the pain in her voice was something I will not soon forget.  So, do I say "have a good day?" or "have a happy day?" Neither, because I knew the trauma she was experiencing I asked her if there was anything, anything at all left I could do to make this easier for her.  Her response was, "You were the person I needed to talk to today.  Thank you for listening."  It was a simple reply to a complicated relm of emotions she was feeling.

I had choices today, lots of choices.  I'm happy with the ones I made.  I promised this mother I would be thinking about the sacrifice her son made on Memorial Day in just a couple of weeks and hoped she would feel some relief knowing he was serving his country. 

Happiness is a choice, but I also believe we all have a triggers within us that can cause an uproar of emotions, they can cancel out any feelings of joy.  It would be inappropriate to be happy and jubilant with the death of a child or family member.  Having the knowledge of hope for a brighter tomorrow helps me to flow through difficult emotions, I've learned to literally feel the emotion but not allow myself to invest or linger in the immediate sorrow for more than necessary.  Losing a child, divorcing, being diagnosed with a terminal disease, having a child with a special need these are just a few examples of life altering situations and will surely take time to process and learn from.  My hope is that the people who are experiencing these hardships will take the time they need to mourn, get mad, be sad, feel fear, anxiety and depression then pick themselves up, don't look back and never ever give up on the living.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Surgery Tomorrow With Dr. Lettieri


When I came home from the hospital last week I was told to clean the open wound area everyday with a solution Dr.Lettieri gave me and to keep it covered. That night I came home and cleaned out the area and noticed there was a bandage or clear mesh substance covering the area. I began to clean and took that very important piece of integra out of my ear.  I can tell you it was one of the worst pains I have ever felt and bled like crazy.
Looking at this now, I can clearly see the integra
I had a post operative appointment the next day with Dr. Lettieri, he was quite amused that I had pulled out the integra.  It is a glue designed to keep the area covered and only done under  general anesthesia. Imagine how dumb I felt, good thing Dr. Lettieri had an alternative and I was ok with his funny candor as he explained the importance and expense of the integra.
This is what it looked like when I went to see
Dr. Lettieri--Integra Gone
I've spent the past week cleaning the area everyday and keeping it covered. Yesterday I visited with Dr. Lettieri after spending some time with him it was determined I will enter into surgery tomorrow.  Dr. Lettieri is going to debris the wound and fill it with integra again.  I was under the impression the wound would be stitched back up, however he explained to me the risk of another infection.  He will eventually do a skin graft over the area, then we wait and see how it heals. I will be undergoing a few more surgeries.
Day after surgery--Dr. Lettieri Blonde Proofed
the won't be coming out this time.
This surgery has really been difficult to recover from. Maybe it's from the anesthesia but I have been nauseated and dizzy for 3 days.  Today I am grateful I was able to write a couple thank you notes and lift my head off the pillow for a few minutes without sickness lingering in my head.  I have not taken any pain medicine, I will start a regimen of Advil tonight to help relieve some of the pain.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Post-op With Dr. Lettieri

On Thursday March 31st I entered Maricopa County Hospital for my post op to the surgery I had on Monday March 28th. I felt good, had no idea what was about to come out of his mouth. " We are going to admit you in for an immediate surgery it looks like things have made a turn for the worst" The surgery was not long but I was not expecting to be headed to surgery so had driven myself. Frenchie left to take care of some maintenance issues on the condos in Mexico and would not return until Friday night. I wanted him to enjoy his time away, as he loves to visit Mexico and I know this would be an in an out procedure there was no need to alarm him if not necessary,  I quickly sent a text out to all of my children asking them if any of them would be available to pick me up after an unexpected surgery but to please not tell their father. I knew he would rush home only to be waiting on me when he could be enjoying the cool breeze of the ocean. Of course this escalated into a full blown major even when Blake decided to call his father and tell him what was going on, without actually knowing what was going on.  I ended up calling my sister Sonya and she was able to work out picking me up. She said Dr. Lettieri explained to her there was some infection to the peroded gland.  Sonya picked me up and drove me home where I rested for the rest of the day.

Sonya mention when Dr. Lettieri talked to her he told me the cut on my neck is an open wound, he stuffed it with antibiotic beads. I've never heard of them and have to admit I was curious; but I was told not take the bandaging off.  Last night  blood was dripping and causing the bandages to loosen up. I text Dr. Letieri and asked what to do, he said to keep it covered with an ACE bandages around my neck to keep everything sterilized.  It was never sterile, it dripped constantly their medicated bandage was falling off bit by bit, piece by piece....believe me it was not sterile.  One morning I was changing the dressing because it had so much blood, it was very difficult to keep it from leaking. The packaging and taping they used caused the sharp edges of the tape to gouge my neck.

Anti-Biotic Beads--they look like teeth
On Saturday I received a call informing me I would be back in surgery Monday April 4th (today) at 5:30 am. I'm not exactly sure what this surgery is for, maybe to take out the antibiotic beads
Dr. Lettieri place in the open wound on my neck, if that is the surgery it should be quick and I should be home to my comfy bed before noon. Giving me enough time to heal and be on a plane for St. Louis on Wednesday.

I was told when being released from the hospital exactly what I was suppose to do to keep this doozie clean.  It was stuffed with saline soaked gauze, then a dry gauze over that then wrap it up with an ACE bandage to keep it all sanitary and clean.  Pulling the gauze off was brutalizing. Not enough pain medicine could keep from wanting to scream out in pain. I soaked it with as much water as I could.the started to peel away the gauze it was dry and bloody.

now that is impressive
I text Dr. L to ask him if it was normal to feel throbbing pain, not be abel to turn my head one way or the other, and to barley be able to open my mouth....?  His text back was Yes it is normal, but you need to get some ibuprofen in your system then it will start feeling better.  Dr. Lettieri told me to keep the wound wet, clean and covered. He can't stitch this up until full recovery occurs.  I will see him next Monday.

My body has an awful time healing, I'm exhausted quite literally tired of surgery after surgery, weird diagnosis after another; it's time to live an abundant life free of pain, sorrow and exhaustion.  Within one week I have had three surgeries, scraping and cleaning out infection.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Surgery March 28th Dr, Letteiri

I had a hard time sleeping last nigh with only 3 hours before surgery I at least tried.  I'm not anxious about the surgery or Dr. Lettier. Again this morning  doctors and nurses all had positive things to say about him. One nurse said  "Oh My Gosh, I would not have any other trauma surgeon work on me. The anesthesiologist  and his assistant mentioned him as colorful.  I know he tries to come off as a hard butt, I've seen it with the residents when they make a mistake.  However, I know Dr.Lettieri and know he wants to teach these young up coming Doctors how to do procedures the right way, the first time.  He explained to a resident at Mayo if he had not known what I was going under sedation for or understand where I've been, my history, fears and anxiety this cute little resident could have cut off the wrong ear, or with other patients the wrong arm or leg.  Yes, he was a little rough with him but respectful in showing him the correct way.  At that very moment I knew he was the surgeon for me.

So he gifted Eric  and I with his present explained exactly what he was gong to do, then they talked real estate---blah blah blah. When he left for the surgery room Eric sat next me to and held my hand telling me how beautiful I was.  Seriously Nerium works, my skin has never looked or felt better.  Several nurses hearing him talk about my beauty were so interested and rushed over to our little pod.  He then told them how beautiful they were and how refreshing it was to work with such happy women and men today.  All three of them were shocked, it was as if no man had ever told them. Eric snapped a picture with me and them for my blog.

One nurse said when I walked in, there was aura around me, she could feel my energy was one of happiness.  This made me smile without hesitation, she was seeing past my own insecurities. She then asked me to go remove my make-up...very proudly I announced "I don't have any on" she quickly grabbed by chart and sighed..."you are 53 year old?" me "yep and proud of it" her " I want to try it, and even sell it if I can." me "Of course you can, here take this Success magazine and I will get you a sample just as soon as I can get your phone # and email address. (email sent before I entered surgery).

She then asked me about my journey with Nerium, I told her the truth, my life, just like everyone else is full of trials, most we cannot see.  I joined Nerium 2 month before the facial paralysis.  I told her it was an inspired intervention, I've now had 10 surgeries with Dr. Lettieri and 31 total in the past 6 year
at Mayo Clinic with some pretty special surgeons.  I have never slowed down sharing everyday, magazine, bottles, videos, 3 way calls, etc....10 core all the way. The most important things she loved about Nerium was the Happiness Movement and the Night Cream.  I wish the person who told me "If I spent more time on Nerium than I did on #happyacts for the #marchtohappiness I would be making a lot more money, would have heard this conversation. Nerium graciously allows us to do all of them at once. I do, I am always prepared with Live Happy Magazine, pass a along card and stickers--but those always when appropriate come with "Have you heard the buzz about this amazing Anti-Again named Nerium"  I always do at least one #happact a day and feel uncomfortable sharing those on social media, I've always been taught acts of kindness should be done in quiet with a reverent heart.  But since it was the challenge  for March 20 being the international Day of Happiness--they asked us all to do an act a day and post it util March 31st.  Surround yourself with like minded people, I happen to enjoy sharing Nerium and sharing a cookie or two,

This reminded me of a story told in Church yesterday by a bishop who visits the men in Prison. This young man we will call him John made some mistakes as teenager, drinking, drugs etc, but was finally able to reconcile with God and be forgiven. He moved from where he lived to get a fresh start his brother and wife invited him to live with them in their barn until he could get a job. He did and was grateful to them. His brother's oldest daughter told them that John had sexually abused her. This went to trial, but during the trial the little girl told her mother she lied, that it never happened. Johns brother and wife never told anyone, and John was sentenced to 65 years in Prison at age 22. He begged and pleaded with family to help, all of them including mom and dad, brothers and sisters wrote to him and encouraged him to forgive. He's never heard back from his brother or sister in law. It took John 10 years in Prison to finally come to a place of forgiveness and allow the spirit to help him survive. Last month when the Bishop visiting him, he asked the Bishop to lay his hands on his head and give him a blessing, but in this blessing he wanted the Bishopr to ask the Lord to forgive his niece, brother and sister so that they could get on with their lives. I entered the County Hospital this morning for my #31 surgery, as my husband and I walked, in front of us was a young boy probably in his 20'a coming from the prison. with guards and shackles on his arms, hand and feet. Tears rolled down my face, looking at Eric (my husband) he immediately thought I was anxious or scared about my surgery, I then smiled at the young boy, said "hello, have a good day" and my husband said "don't talk to them" My tears were both for all of us who immediately judge, it's a natural reaction, and for this young boy whether guilty or not, we are not his judge our mission it always to cheer up the weak and show compassion for the wounded. What if that were your child?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Because He Lives

Today is Easter 2016.  I enjoyed every minute of the day.  Eric and I attended church, partook of the sacrament and listened to Cindy Packard and Kyhle Powell eloquently speak about the resurrection of Christ.  I was deeply touched by Cindy's talk, as she spoke of our lives in Heaven I closed my eyes and imagined being in a perfect state of mind, perfect body, no scars and being embraced by Eric's mom and Dad.  I so look forward to that day!  My life is beautiful right now, I am finally beginning to be ok with who I am, what I look like and how I speak to people.  I have 4 darling grandchildren and one to arrive in June, these sweet little angel's bring so much joy to my life. Recker is 6 year's old now, today he was so excited to take my phone and watch movies he does not have at home. As I watched him swing the bat at the traditional Williams Easter piƱata his smile was pure and refreshing, he is perfect in every way.  Ezra is 3 year's old now, his laugh is contagious when he walks into the room we definitely KNOW he's here! He will run into any of our arms hug us tight and give us a big kiss on the lips....then smile with those big huge eyes of his.  He say's a few words now we relish in those moments because we know children with Autism can regress, as Recker has at times and we may not hear a word from them again for months.  Phoenix is a blondie just like his dad and his mother were at his age.  He just turned 1 year old and is making a name for himself.  He is darling walking around saying while pointing "that....that.....that...." He say's mom, dad, papa, bye bye while waving and an animated Hi to everyone he see's.  Wesley is our little princess among the boy's.  She is 6 weeks old and purely angelic. 

Because I know He Lives I can face tomorrow.  I love these hopeful words, tomorrow I will enter once again into a surgery with Dr. Lettieri.  I'm hoping to see Eric's mom while I am under sedation no one brings me safely to my comfort zone like she does.  It's late I'm tired and need to get rest, I have no anxiety, no fear going into this surgery I never have with Dr. Lettieri he gives me strength and helps me to see the big picture.  This surgery I am having is because a sore on my neck where the drain was placed during my last surgery will not heal,  that surgery was on December 2nd.  I have a problem with infection.  Sonya explained to me this week that my mother died from an infection she battled for 3 year's, seems I have her gene's running through me.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Miracle in the Desert

In 1954 Reverend Jim and Vera Dingman had a desire to give their lives to caring for children who were hurting and who had faith that God would provide all they needed. Today, Sunshine Acres still is a place of hope for children. No matter the reason why children come to Sunshine Acres – parents in prison, a parent too ill to care for the child or homelessness – they can count on this miracle in the desert for a safe place to call home, food, clothing, activities and, most importantly, love. No child is ever turned away for financial reasons.  

Since 1954 Sunshine Acres has been home to more than 1,600 children and still today children will not be turned away for financial reasons. They do not receive government support for the children and though they are donor funded, they do no fundraising or solicitation for themselves. Many friends, businesses, churches and volunteers contribute and host fundraising events on behalf of the home, and God is still working miracles!
The Dingman's out of pure faith bought 150 acres in the desert of Arizona for $125,000. On Thursday I decided I wanted to drive to Sunshine Acres to find out more about their mission, how many children were currently being housed and how I could help.  As I entered the front office I was greeted with a friendly smile.  I asked if it would be possible for me to assemble easter baskets for all the children.  The happy sweet lady said "Of course, the children will love it."  There are 70 children currently housed, 40 boys and 30 girls.  
Last night I told Frenchie what I was doing, he was surprised I had chosen Sunshine Acres because the builder he works for, Jeff Blandford has donated a boys and girls home on the property and is currently building another boys home.  He asked if he could come to help for a little bit.
This morning I arrived at Sunshine Acres around 9:30 and began to assemble the baskets.  When Frenchie showed up a sweet peace was in the room where we  began to place love into each basket.  He could not stay long but I appreciated the time I had with him.
I am Blessed

I wanted each basket to be perfect, as if it were for one of my own children or grandchildren.  Some of these children have been abandoned, when they arrive it is reasonably difficult for them to open up and trust.  They have been so hurt and disconnected from a real home.  Sunshine Acres is a shield of protection for them.  They teach the children how to be happy, no matter the circumstances. Yes, it is hard, most definitely lonely at times but soon they begin to understand no child is so damaged that they can't change.  They learn that God will always provide a way.  Eventually they discover they are loved, they have purpose and that they do have something to give to the world.  I see Sunshine Acres as a healing place.  From the very beginning it was all about loving a child.  When we give a child love it will change hearts.  We have the power within us to help change the next generation showing them their potential and purpose in life, stopping the cycle of abuse and neglect.
Entrance to the boys home

The Petting Zoo

Donation from Jeff Blandford

Girls Home, named after Jeff Blandford's
mother Bonnie

One of the canvas pictures in the Girls room

The Kitchen storage area

The beautiful kitchen

All the neighborhood children were hanging
out at Bonnie's today!!

Sunshine Acres is solar powered, and what a beautiful view

The front of Bonnie's girls home

The entrance to the church where
every child attends on Sundays

I love that everything including the Church
is on the property.

I was able to take a tour of Sunshine Acres, I was not allowed to take pictures with any children but I can tell you they are happy!!  I was extremely impressed with the cleanliness of each home, and the polite lovable children I met. Today was a great day, I decided my family will all be included next time; a new family tradition.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

#365 Days of Happiness

Today is the International Day of Happiness. I began my day by attending church, during our services today the speaker talked about Happiness being a choice.  He asked if any of the congregation ever see people in their car as they are driving, Happy? He said once in awhile you'll see a person moving and singing to the music but for the most part people tend to drive focused and not looking too happy.

While I believe we all need to be aware of our surroundings while driving, it would also do us well to smile while we are driving, put on happy music, turn and smile at the person next to you the stop sign or light.  I think I will try that tomorrow and see what reaction I get. I asked him after the services if he knew today was the international day of happiness, his response was "No way?" I said "Yes, way!!" We both laughed and he loved it.

After our church meetings I went home and prepared to serve.  I knelt next to my bed and asked for the spirit to be with me today. Yesterday I bought happy face cookies from Sassy's Cafe.  I took cookies to share with friends and a few neighbors who have really supported and cared for me and my family over the last few years.

As I headed to the Assisted Living Home, it brought me to tears knowing today marks 730 consecutive days I have performed #happyacts for other people.  I began this happy acts campaign with selfish reasons hoping it would help me get out of my own world of problems by helping another person.  Well, it turns out it has helped me, it has changed me.  I don't believe it is selfish any longer. Yes, it has definitely helped refine me but I no longer do it out of an obligation to myself, it has now become who I am. I have self branded myself as the happiness queen. Not a bad branding to have considering I could be called a lot worse.

Today these people were gracious and kind, they were delighted when I asked them if I could explain what the International Day of Happiness was.  Then I asked them if I could read to them a few stories from the new Live Happy book by Deborah Heisz, they loved it and didn't want me to leave. I promised them I would return to visit-and I will, in fact I look forward to it.

There's a funny thing that happens when you reach an older have no filter, and it seems to be acceptable.  Today it brought me both to tears and laughter. One of them asked me why I 'waste' my time sharing my time with other people such as them.  This question not only shocked me but it brought me to tears.  I took her by the hand and told her because she is important to me. I explained how infinitely important all of them are, and the contributions they have made to life mean something to me.  One laughed and told me I was crazy, this is when I laughed,  the other's said "Don't mind her she doesn't understand what she's saying....."  I asked them if they had family who visit with them.  They all said "not really, once in awhile we see one of them." I assured each one of them how special they are, and that they have a choice each day when they wake up to be happy.  They were sad to see me leave, but even more important I was sad to leave.

I spent the evening like we do every Sunday, as a family surrounded by my grandchildren, and their parents.  We ate dinner and enjoyed cake from Sassy's Cafe.  We made our own family Happiness Wall and I took pictures (the best we could) with my grandchildren.  I loved everything about today.

This month we were challenged to post on social media a happy act everyday.....this part was particularly difficult for me to do.  I have always been taught when we serve we do it quietly and with out expecting recognition.  I still do believe this, but for the month of March if wanted to truly make a ripple in the world I think it is important to share those small acts of service.