Monday, September 29, 2014
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 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
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
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
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.