Monday, December 30, 2013

Dave Cluff

My visiting teacher Marion Priday sent me a text last week asking me if I would like to have a song that Dave Cluff sang in sacrament sung in our home.  Oh, how I love music and was so happy when Dave and Kathi moved back into our ward, he has a beautiful voice.  I asked Marian if we cold do it on a different day, as I was really not feeling good that day.  So Dave and Kathi along with Kathi's sister came over to our home last Sunday and he sang "O Holy Night" It was beautiful, I was touched by the spirit through Dave, and his flawless beautiful voice.   These are the type of people I love to surround myself with, uplifting, faithful, unconditionally loving people.  Eric and I talked about it after they left and we both  agreed it was a selfless move for Dave to leave his family and home and give such a great gift to our family, and leave us with the feeling that all is well.

Before he began to sing he started by asking if we remember Wally and Brian Slade singing this in our Church meetings years ago, we agreed that yes we had and loved it.  Dave then said "this will not be
as good as them, and he laughed: I've always told Debbie and Wally if their children lived in my home I would make them sing for their dinner--but Dave was oh so delicate and beautiful as he sang and I loved every second of it--thank you to the best visiting teachers for suggesting this.

I want to apologize if i offended someone in my last post, I know I did by the comment that was left, so I have decided it is best to make my comments private.  I read it over and over again and I am not sure if the person thought what I was saying was not true, or if they were upset at what the doctor had said, but with that being said you have to remember this doctor was not acting as my doctor I went to him as a friend and he gave me his answer as a friend--I removed his comment and yours.

Thank You to all who have supported me and given me unconditional love and support, and to those who have anonymously left me comments that help me remember my room for error at times.


Friday, December 27, 2013

Be happy now

Thursday December 26th--well actually it is now the 27th at 4:09 am

I cannot sleep.  Today Eric and I went to the Mayo Clinic with hopes of getting a 2nd opinion from the "Chief of Surgery" turns out he was Doogie Houser--Returned missionary very nice guy, but did not give me any answers,---and just so you know he is the Chief of Surgery over Residents, he laughed and said it just means all the old Doctors are off for the Holidays and I am the oldest resident here.  To be perfectly honest, I left there with no more answers than when I went--I was told it was healing the way it is supposed to heal--but if you saw the picture you know it is infected.   The resident told me to stop taking the antibiotics and wait to see Dr. Barr's on January 2nd when he returns, which happens to be when my next appointment is. He stuffed it with cotton and off he went--

I don't think I have ever been happy to go to Mayo Clinic, well maybe on my last day of chemo, but today I was looking forward to it I need answers--I am in horrible pain and it drains constantly.  I will be staying out of public areas which I have been doing anyway, sometimes it gets depressing, and when I do go anywhere I feel like I need to wear a mask.  Imagine those stares--mask, half a head of hair and in pain.  I was not very nice to Eric today, on the way there I was in pain, I didn't want him to go with me because I hate people waiting around for me, and I wasn't on any drugs, so I could of driven, but with all that being said it explains a lot of things, one being the moodiness, 2 the tears.  He even told me I was being mean to him--I'm sorry Eric--chalk it up to bad day?? I'll try harder.

When I pulled out the packing after I got home from Mayo the oozie junk literally ran like a faucet into the sink--do I think its infected YES.  I am taking a stronger pain medicine, but not able to sleep, then when I finally do get to sleep I can't wake up--what to do?  I'm a mess--Eric has been off work and wants to get me out of the house but I'm afraid to go anywhere. Tomorrow I'm going to sit in the back yard and read, maybe that will cheer me up.  Ok so what did I learn today? 1.  Doctors, especially the attending doctors need vacation too, so don't make appointments around Christmas, and insist on seeing the Attending if you are forced to or need to. 2. be nice even when you feel like it's a crappy day, especially to the ones taking care of you.  3. more is not better--be happy with what you have, don't wait, be happy now no matter what the circumstances.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Lord Loves Me

Tuesday December 24th--

This week I got a phone call from my sister Sonya, her son and his wife Katie are having a baby in a couple months, she's been so excited because she had all boys and now finally they were having their 1st baby girl in the family, her phone call was to let me know Katie had gone to her regular appointment and there was no heart beat, the baby had died.  It was heart breaking, and Jimmie was in California.  She was induced gave birth to Dannie Jo, named after her dad, she was 12" long and weighed 1.3 pounds.  Yesterday we attended her graveside, nothing has touched me like this did, seeing Jimmie carry this tiny little casket to burial area  and then he and Katie stood and talked about their love for Dannie Jo and the plan of salvation, I was very impressed with their knowledge of the plan of salvation there is no doubt in my mind or theirs that they will hold and love and hug and kiss Dannie Jo again someday.  She is a good reason for us all to live like Christ did so we can be with her again --

Also going on in the Williams family Blake was admitted to Banner Gateway early this morning, he has been to the ER a couple of times this week and been sent home with really no answers.  He has incredible pain in his stomach, throwing up, diarrhea and complete  frustration not knowing what the problem is.  They took several  cultures and we still have no answers.  He was dis-charged from the hospital with antibiotics, pain meds, and a referral to a gastro Doctor.  Also last night our little Recker was in the ER, I don't really understand a lot about his diagnosis (Autism) but he has breathing problems when he gets a cold it is intensified. Last night he was gasping for breath, so Kayla took him to the ER at Phoenix Children's Hospital,  he is home now and doing well, he was given some breathing treatments.

After spending time at the hospital today, when I got home the right side of my face was very swollen, Sonya had said something about it yesterday but I didn't notice anything except that I cannot eat much as my jaw hurts when I open my mouth, so soup has been just about all I can eat.  Last night when I washed my face I could see the swollen areas Sonya was talking about, and it felt different on that side when I put on the face lotion. Tonight I had Sonya and Greg come over and look at the inside of my ear with a flashlight, Eric was gone and I cannot see inside my ear, I always put two pieces of cotton in my ear like the Doctor showed me how to do, but I could not find the other one. Greg did the looking, Sonya held the flashlight--not a fun sight to see I'm sure, I asked Greg to take a picture so I could see what it looks like.

Sonya had some tears in her eyes, but I know she has had so much going on that this was not what she was worried about.  The pain is still unmanageable, and I am so worried of getting germs, but quite honestly I do not feel great and have not left my home other than  Eric taking me for a ride and that was not what I had expected.  Tomorrow is Christmas and Eric and I both looked at each other and said we do not feel the Christmas spirit that we normally do.  Let's hope 2014 will be an uplifting and learning year without surgery or pain.

Christmas Day 2013

I woke up this morning to my sweet Ezra in my face, smiling big.  Oh I love my grandchildren they certainly can  turn a frown into a smile.  Neither Ez or Recker  understand or know what Christmas is, we enjoyed giving them some little things and spending time with Kayla and Jeremy, but the second Ezra got tired I took the opportunity to feed him his bottle in my bed and take a nap next to him.  We slept for awhile until Blake and Chloe, and Scott and Haleigh showed up, Kaitlyn and Brian are in Utah so we will celebrate with them when they get home from spending time with the Wrights.  I have to enjoy my time with Ezra when Kaitlyn is gone because she really does like to hog him...he loves her and lightens up when she comes int he room.
While I write this post it is almost midnight, I am sewing, blogging and watching The Sound of Music--my favorite movie of all time--Eric is fast asleep.  He tried his hardest to get someone to go to see a movie tonight, no luck.  I'm glad he has such a great relationship with his son in laws and Blake.  I looked at him tonight before he went to sleep and said "You know how much I love you?" he smiled and said "not more than I love you" and that was music to my ears, no better way to go to sleep at night I suppose.  Tomorrow I will see the surgeon for a 2nd opinion, but I told Sonya yesterday I don't consider it "giving up" but I really am done with all the cancer stuff, it is no way to live and my quality of life may not be the same as what others may think they would want.  So lets pray tonight that the news will be good tomorrow. Tonight I have a lot to be grateful for another Christmas I have been given to spend with my family.  The Lord loves me.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

He knows me

It's so difficult to know yourself, I mean really know yourself well enough to know when enough is enough.  I woke up this morning really feeling like I've been here forever,  depressed, I drug myself out the bed into the bathroom trying hard to see what was so great about today....?  With tears running down my face I looked at myself in the mirror that same mirror I 1st stared at my flat chested scared breasts, the same mirror I stared at my bald head inspecting every inch of it, today while I look at myself I wonder what is worse, being completely bald or partially bald? The past couple of days have been pulling me down, I'm in desperate need of the Lord to come find me---light a torch under me--writing here on this blog is where I can find myself,  especially on the days when I just don't understand, when I don't want to ask why, or I don't want to hear or feel anything, nothing, where I can hide in the shadows cry all I want and  know HE knows HE is the only one who knows what I'm feeling, I have theses bittersweet tears, sleepless nights  every now and then, that end up becoming  a heartbreak that is so sacred and beautiful to me, its difficult to even describe.  I wonder if even the bravest of the brave ever have these moments? Today I lit a fire log and stared at it as flames went to ashes, one day my light will go out and all that will be left is ashes--will I have done enough? I have been given so many tender mercies, and I truly have come to learn that HE is the tender behind the mercy--no doubt about that, but even with this knowledge I sometimes feel so alone.

I remember a time in my life when I wanted to turn around and leave it all behind, I begged and pleaded with the Lord to leave me alone, stay away, quit helping me, I didn't want HIS help anymore I really just wanted to end it all. If I could of I would of run my car off a cliff, that was the plan.  But I made my choice that day to take on HIS name, I turned my car around and from that day forward I have been true to that promise to HIM.  I feel this oneness with those who decide for whatever reason to take their own lives, my compassion and love for them runs deep, this is a world of weakness and we live in it.  When my mind starts to wonder over to that side, I know its time to be thankful, be grateful, by humble and thank HIM who loves me so much.  There have been times when I've closed that door on him and  know many others who have done the same, but what I've learned is that HE always keeps HIS door open, we can lock our heart from HIM, but HE will never lock HIS door, through the storms of life, if I allow HIM, HE will fill up my heart and bubble up through my eyes with tears. I am so impatient, even when I know HE is teaching me, step by step--I cannot think of a more pure love, than the love HE has for all HIS children.

Oh how hard this life has been and I'm sure the depth is still to come,  I've felt every emotion that our Heavenly Father has allowed me to feel --I will always praise HIS grace and love for me until the day I take my last breath--when I see him again, I will humbly bow down and say "Thank You, for the sacrifice you gave in my name so I could live, learn, and  try my hardest to love as you do"

Maybe I have not learned enough, maybe I have not tried enough, maybe I have not served enough, there is so much more for me to learn, I see people surrounding me who give and give and give and I wish I was more like that, or I think "now why didn't I think of that?"

with packing out--less swelling

temporary cap on the BAHA
the grafted skin was taken from my upper arm

For those who are interested in the doctor report here it goes--I may have reported on my last blog so sorry to repeat if I did. On Monday,  Dr. Barr's took out the packing and the covering of the BAHA. Not painful, the staples were kinda a pinch or two--but nothing like getting my expander's filled with PK. He said he needed to leave a couple of the staples until I see him next time, and speaking of next time he will be out of town and wants the Chief of surgery in his department to look at my ear and get a 2nd opinion.  Because of time restrains while he was doing the surgery, he could not do any more digging and taking the chance it would open up a whole new 8 hours of surgery, so with respect to that I was pleased that he took it so seriously. He just make it loud and clear that another surgery was a possibility.  The way I feel right now THAT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN--I can't do it, I'm done. He found a black fleshy area that he is suspicious of but was afraid if he dug into it, it would end up being another 8-9 hours.  He showed Eric how to change the packing on my ear, it has a particular way it has to be done--the look on Eric's face said it all, I honestly do not want him to have to do this, I wish I new a nurse or doctor close by, someone who sees this kind of stuff and have it not be emotional.  Today while Eric was gone to the SUNS game with Eric, I went downstairs and opened up the medicine cabinet to see it in the opposite mirror pulled out the packing, and for the 1st time I saw it, now I know, I know exactly what Eric and the rest of the world will see--a huge black hole--I literally threw up in the toilet and continued with tears running down my cheeks to pack it the best I could.  Eric just got home and told me I did it wrong--so I'll let him fix it.  I want so badly to call Mary Greer (she's a nurse} I trust and love her but she has so much on her plate right now there is no way I can do that.  I now know why Dr. Barr;s didn't laugh when I asked if people would be able to see from that ear out the other--I was just joking trying to lighten up the mood, he didn't laugh I was merely suggesting there is not much between the two ears--ha ha, sometimes I make jokes when I'm worried.  Today the hematoma has gone down in size but is oozing a blister like stuff, and good news the swelling is going down on the actual ear it self.  

Friday, December 13, 2013


Thank you Jenny I Love You
I can't sleep with my feet covered
trying to wake up after surgery

Surgery Day Tuesday December 10. 2013      

  Today's Date Friday 13th, 2013 {friday the 13th?}

Eric and I arrived at Mayo Hospital around 9:30 am.  I forgot how much I despise the waiting area, I was getting more and more agitated by Mr. Chezinksky, staring at him and watching his every move became my obsession.  Eric asked why I was shaking my legs so hard, I told him Mr. Chezinsky was annoying me, he was taking papers in and out of his neatly prepared briefcase, slamming and turning each page of paper as if he was disgusted with what he read on them.  The more he rearranged his briefcase and read through his papers, the faster my leg would shake. Finally they called his family name and he was off to annoy someone else. I was grateful to have my sister Kris and her husband John come and wait with Eric.  My sister Sonya came a bit later, she had a tooth break and had to get it fixed--she didn't miss anything here, I love my sisters and have come to appreciate and love them more and more as we experience life together and understand each others needs.

When they finally did announce my name 2 hours had past, which having gone through this before I knew that was just about right. Once I got all my vitals done, got dressed and spoke with the anesthesiologist, Eric came back to sit with me.  The nurse came in an said Dr. Barr's previous surgery was running longer than he expected.  I think they rolled me into the OR around 3:00 and woke up in recovery around midnight. There are  couple of things I remember about recovery, I asked if he got all the cancer out. Then I remember the nurse saying there were 3 boys waiting for me and that one of them wanted me to get a Turkey tattoo--{I think I thought I had just gotten my mastectomy} I said "that was probably my son Blake" then I quietly said "maybe it's Brian, he likes to hunt, maybe he wants me to get a tattoo of a bow and arrow with a turkey" they laughed and said "maybe, we'll check for you" I have no idea how much time passed but when they came back I said "would it hurt your feelings if I don't get a tattoo?" "I think I would rather have Heather Lucas do it for me" then the guy said "the PA for Dr. Kreymerman?" I said "yes, do you know them?" they said "of course, we all know  them, but Dr. Kreymerman moved he's not here anymore" "I know but I still don't want a tattoo" he said "don't worry honey we're not doing any tattoos tonight" Hopefully, you are laughing right now--I did once I realized this was just the medicine talking, I'm sure the recovery room nurses hear a lot of funny things.
Very Swollen, very shaved head

staples, plugs and dumbo ear

When I got to my room, Eric and Jenny were there.  My head was pounding with pain, the nurse gave me a shot of morphine intravenously, she ended up doing this 6 times and nothing would help with pain, large doses of percocet and morphine were not helping, I seriously thought my head was going to explode, the pain on the left side was awful, and was now moving around to the back of my head.  Finally around 3 am they called Dr. Barr's, and I was given a stronger pain medicine.  This did help with the pounding on the surgery site, but not the left side, nothing could take it away--I didn't sleep at all.  When we left the hospital I told Eric the pain on the left side was horrible and had him feel it, he turned the car around and took me right back to the hospital to see Dr. Barr's.  The knot on the upper left side of my head was as big as a tennis ball and bright red.  I thought for sure someone had dropped me on my head while I was out, but Dr. Barr's explained to me, my head was supported by a blown up donut looking pillow, he did not expect my surgery to be as long as it was and with my head in that position it caused a hematoma.  He then explained what he found during surgery.  He was able to get the tumor out however, it was terribly  infected, he got out all he could, but is still concerned about an area of dead skin, he is going to watch it and possibly have to do another surgery.  I will be seeing him on Monday--he wants to take the plug out,  I am getting tired now, I just wanted to blog the things I could remember while they were still on my mind--maybe Eric can help me to remember more later--

Monday, December 9, 2013

If time could stand still

Thursday December 5th
Eric decided he wanted to go with me today, normally I go to Mayo by myself, I think he knows why now.  The people who go with you are sitting in the waiting area most of the time, and I feel bad when they have to wait.   But he insisted. 3 appointments today, Pre-certification for surgery,  then to talk about the living will and all that jazz.
Finally our last appointment was with Dr. Barr's, I asked Eric to not talk a lot because Dr. Barr's is very busy and normally he covers everything I need to know without me having to ask any questions. The reason I said this to Eric was because I KNOW him, he will talk to everyone, and he did, the receptionist he asked her about things she has no idea about, then the nurse, who again referred him to the Dr., he even asked the same questions to the lady helping us with the living will--then when we were walking out he stopped the volunteer to ask her something----I just grabbed his arm and politely said "let's get going, to our next appointment" I could see his dad in him today--he was a funny man, and loved to talk to everyone.

When we finally did see Dr. Barr's he turned on the screen so I could for the 1st time see inside my right ear, all I really saw was infection--to me it was no big deal really, I have been asking Eric to look at it for weeks but he says "it looks the same as it did last time you asked me"  The last couple of weeks it has swollen up and been tender, but with dealing with my mothers death I have not really paid much attention other than to put new a cotton ball in when it starts to drip.  I have had more migraines than usual, and now I'm wondering about the slurred speech.  Dr. Barr's took out his ear vacuum and started to suck out what he could, I was a little frightened watching the screen and seeing what he was doing, I thought it was going to hurt, it didn't at all.  It also didn't suck anything out-- he then stuck some gadget down the ear canal to try and see what he could--now that hurt.  He then called for Kathleen, his RN to come in and they discussed medical terms that were over my head, then he asked me to take a seat next to Eric.  He said "this is terrible, and in case you didn't hear me....(which I didn't but Eric did) he said it again "this is terrible"  He then showed us a large picture of the inner ear, which I have seen many times before, but explained to Eric and I he has not seen this type of infection come so far out of the canal, he asked if Eric would  stay close by while he is doing surgery so he can get his permission to move forward if needed.  What that means is that if this has gone into the bone he will have to cut out through the bone which will leave a significant indentation in the side of my head.  The good thing about all this is that I'm deaf in that ear so it will not effect my hearing, if I had a normal ear, I would not have any hearing after this surgery.

Monday December 9th, 2013
 Tomorrow I will once again be rolled into an OR at the Mayo Clinic.  I've had anxiety all day today, I told my friend Marian that I feel more nervous about this surgery then I did the night before going in for the bi-lateral mastectomy.  Marian said it's because I know to much now, going in for the mastectomy I had no idea what I was getting into except that I would go into surgery with breasts and come out without them.
My inner ear is pounding, like I can feel my heartbeat through my ear.  I've been taking the antibiotics Dr. Barr's gave me, but it really doesn't seem like its getting better.  Tonight I put the drops in my ear and it felt like they were hitting my skull, the pain was something that I have not felt since I was a little girl.  The veins on my face and neck popped out and I immediately turned red, my eyes teared up, my nose started to run, it's this immense pain I cannot describe.
I'm trying my hardest to have a good attitude, be positive and smile my way through this.  I got a text from a good friend of mine yesterday, she was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year after me, she had a single mastectomy and diagnosed at stage 2b, her text said the cancer is back at stage 4 and has metathesized into several large organs.  I threw the phone when I read it, what happened, why is this happening she was at stage 2, my mind went to a deep dark place where I knew I shouldn't be. I sat on my bedroom floor and cried, I cried myself to sleep.  In my sleep I saw Eric's mom and dad, they looked so happy, I wanted to stay with them, it felt comfortable and Heavenly there--finally, this is where I'm supposed to be, it almost felt like I was playing hide and seek, and not wanting anyone to find me there--Vi held my hand and said "you know you can't hide here, right?" and just like the snap of a finger they were gone, and I woke up--I slammed my hand on the carpet and yelled "no, no please don't find me, let me go back just a little bit longer"
I hope I can go back there tomorrow, I want to visit with them more-- If I could just let time stand still, I would go back to the day Recker was born,  I would hold him and love on him, if I could I would make the clock stop, but then my heart tells me I can't do that, I have to push through and listen to the ticking of the clock and do what I can to be brave. Tonight I feel like my heart is being torn apart piece by piece, I move 3 steps forward and 4 steps back, never getting ahead--I'm sitting here staring at one of my Mayo Clinic Itinerary's, wondering how I got here--I don't want to go, what will happen if I don't go? as these thoughts are going through my head I am ripping up the Itinerary, maybe if I shred it, it won't be real.
A few weeks ago during our Family Home Evening I asked everyone if they knew this was their last day to live what would they do? I'm not sure why I asked them, except that I have been thinking about it a lot since my mother died.  Some of their answers were funny, I think it's hard to let your mind go there.
If I knew it was my last day on earth, I would watch the sun rise and feel the warmth on my face, I'd leave the dishes, I'd turn off the phone and TV, gather all my family around me, make sure each one of them knew how much I love them. I'd hold my grandson's, I'd breathe in the scent of Ezra's baby smell, I'd look into Recker's eyes and talk to him with my heart. We would watch The Sound of Music and eat popcorn as a family---then I'd take a picture with each one of them and tell them why they are so important to me, and why I love them so much--I'd tell them I want no empty seats in Heaven--everyone of them needs to be there--we are an Eternal Family, then we'd go outside and watch the beautiful sunset of the Arizona sky..... and I'd have them sing me to sleep with Primary songs.
Now it's getting late and I need to rest,  tomorrow I will wake up and HOPE for all prayers to be answered.  I want to go to a place where the hurt ends and the healing begins--I want to be  wrapped up in the arms of HIS mercy--I just need this one more time--please, just one more time.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Next Up Surgery Dec 10th

I have spent several days at Mayo Clinic, the past few months.  It is time to remove the cancer in my ear canal.  I was sitting at work with my supervisor one day a couple of weeks ago and she interrupted me to tell me that blood was dripping from my ear unto my shirt. I quickly grabbed a tissue and covered my ear. Now that blood is combined with blackness, I have to cover it constantly with tissue or it will drip out--when the tissue is not in my ear it feels as though the wind is blowing from one ear out the other.  Not to make light of this, but maybe there really is nothing in between my ears--ha ha Dr Barr's will take my ear off, lay it to the side of my head where he can see more clearly what is happening down the ear canal--my ear has had so many surgeries on it as a child, the ear canal is smaller than an infants, so it makes it hard for him to see how bad or good it really is in there.

  As a young child I was standing outside of our home throwing a football back and forth to the neighbor kids across the street, someone had rolled over the ball with their car and the tube inside the football was bursting through the seems,  but it didn't keep us from throwing the ball we loved those simple pleasures.  As I caught the ball it blew up in my hands, I immediately grabbed my ear, it began to bleed and my mother rushed me to the hospital, once again for another surgery, the eardrum had exploded. This time it was not able to be repaired enough for me to ever be allowed to be immersed in water--no swimming, no baptism--those things were not a big part of my worries at that time I was so little I didn't think of it as a burden.  I do remember being in that hospital more times than I ever wanted to be--same room--same nurses--same surgeries, seemingly to get progressively worse after each surgery.  Dr Brian Borland was my ENT, I loved him because he loved my grandmother who was an RN at the hospital where he worked and he always told me incredible stories about her--she passed away having melanoma and he was always impressed with her ability to live as long as she did--she was a fighter.

I never swam, I was baptized at the age of 10 with my ear covered in complete packing, taped down and covered with plastic--with all of that said and done it never took away from the spirit I felt that day.

  At age 29 I began to have symptoms of my equal Librium being off, and I was falling to the ground, actually Eric and I would laugh about it, being young and newly married we had no idea what was going on--I went to see Dr.Borland he took one look in my ear and sent me to another ENT specialist, I'm assuming much like Dr. Barr's at Mayo Clinic, he specializes in the inner ear only, his official title is Department of Otolaryngology, Ontology and Neurology department.  He explained after he takes the ear off and is able to see the tumor he cannot give me a clear indication as to the severeness of it, but is 70% sure it is in tact and will be able to be taken out.  Then he will graft skin from my back or another part of my body to cover the hole in my ear drum,  he will make a small hole in the eardrum to allow relief of pressure.  We want to attach the Bone Anchored Hearing Aid --the proper name is the Cochlear Baja device for people with SSD, single sided deafness. Basically I will never be able to have hearing restored in my right ear, but with this device it will take the sound from the bone and nerves on my right ear to the bone and nerves on my left ear to help me hear better with the good ear --getting older it is getting even harder to hear, and this will give me a better quality of life.  The day before  my mother died, I was told because of the Obama Care,  what was approved last year is now not covered anymore--It was a let down but I have lived without hearing in that ear for so long, I can do it and continue to read lips, until it is approved.

 This recovery will be long and hard.  I'm not sure what he means by that, chemo and radiation were no walk in the park, and I've had plenty of ear surgeries.  Today I tried to get a clear picture of what my ear looks's hard to see in there, but I forgot to put the tissue in today when Kayla came over and she was pretty sickened by what it looks like, so I'd better keep it covered and cleared from getting infection.  You may be wondering why we are waiting until the 10th of December to have the surgery done, well that was my decision, I need to see one of my oncologists on December 3rd which was the earliest Dr. Barr's could get me in, so I opted for my pre-op appointment on December 3rd after my Dr. Magtibay appointment, then surgery on the 10th.  Yesterday, Eric and I went to the Audiology department at the Mayo Clinic on Shea to have another hearing test done for the insurance company, I'm pretty sure the audiologist was grossed out when she saw the cotton ball soaked in black cancerous goop, and blood, she asked "Has Dr. Barr's seen you recently? because that does not look good" After explaining to her I saw him a couple of weeks ago, and now he is on vacation I do not want any other doctor doing this surgery, she proceeded with the hearing test, only on the left side this time since they now are convinced I have 0% hearing in the right ear--left ear hearing is still there same as last year--just a tad bit worse--nothing to be alarmed about.  Hopefully the insurance will listen to my plea for an exception to be made, so I do not have to go through yet another ear surgery.

Carcinoma in the ear canal (I wish mine looked this good)

this is a smaller version on the hole in my eardrum--mine is now completely blown out.

On December 10th, I will once again go into a surgery room at Mayo Clinic, praying to the Lord to help me fight this thing. Someone asked me today, "are you tired of this?" I said "tired of what? this is just life, and happens to be mine" but honestly it is getting harder and harder for me to remain optimistic, especially since its 3:00 am and I need to go to bed.  Today, during Sacrament I was in tremendous pain, but wanted to go and take the sacrament and then listen to the testimonies born hoping I can feel the spirit and be lifted again to a higher level.  I also had forgotten take my aspirin m the past couple days and the slurring started this morning.  I hesitated walking up to the pulpit but the spirit led me by some of things Norma Hastings said, and I knew the people in our ward would understand.  I have no idea what I said, and am hoping what was said was understood because the words were coming from my heart.   I can't explain how hard it is to get sentences to come out the way you want them to but they don't.  I honestly, felt the spirit today Heaven's angels were helping me.  After Sacrament, a dear friend of mine told me a story, an experience she had during my mothers funeral, I don't feel comfortable sharing her experience, but that experience was reconfirmed to her while at the Temple last week,  It was exactly what I need to hear--so my sweet friend if you are reading this I love you, and I thank you for sharing such a intimate experience you had with the spirit.  I love  you.
The carcinoma is my ear is now a little out of control I cannot go for over an hour without the black soaking through the cotton balls--It's time for the surgery.  Tuesday I will see my oncologist, Thursday I will have my preop, and the following Tuesday I will have surgery.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving Medley

Sunday morning November 24th, 2013
Eric and I moved io Gilbert over 26 years ago., we are both natives of Arizona, me from Phoenix and Eric from Mesa. We moved into the 6th ward when Haleigh was only 18 months old, now she is married.  We raised all 4 of our children in Gilbert, everyone of my children were baptized on their birthdays in this ward--6th ward will always be home to me.  I will never forget our 1st Sunday attending this ward, we met in the Val Vista Stake Center building.  Elouise Cluff was our Relief Society President, she came up to me with that big huge smile of hers, put her arms around me and said "You must be sister Williams, let me show you where the Primary and nursery children meet......" I felt special, she already knew who I was, I have to say even my children who are married and gone say there is no ward like the 6th ward.  Bishop Wally Slade welcomed us with open arms and a giving heart. This ward was exactly what I needed at that time in my life. I distinctly remember sister Harbertson bearing testimony, when she spoke it pierced my heart.  One of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard came from a young adult in this ward, Ally Packard visiting from BYU, her testimony of Christ and his teachings touched me.  I connected with her without her even knowing, she said she was searching for a testimony, her own, separate from parents or teachers,   through her study and prayer she had come to know for herself that HE lives. I could go on forever about the examples of faith and hope in this ward I live in. I have loved every gospel doctrine teacher, Brother Steve Peterson and Brother Stephen Phelps taught me so many lessons about the Savior and the Atonement of Jesus Christ-- I realized this morning I have been in Gilbert longer than I lived with my parents.  I have always had a testimony of Christ, but I would be lying if I said the men and women of the 6th ward haven't helped me to anchor it, keep it burning in my heart.

This morning when I prayed I asked if the Lord would please let my mom and dad see a glimpse into my life now, let them see the woman I have become.  I'm trying so hard to do what is right, live a Christ centered life and make them proud of me, please let them know I really do have a forgiving heart, that I enjoy the simple things in life and because of every trial, bump or bruise I have learned to be a fighter, to be a survivor and to lean on the Lord for guidance.  In other words, I am who I am because of the good and bad I've experienced and will yet experience in my life.  I don't try to fully understand what happens between the period of death and the resurrection but I have to believe we have a chance to redeem ourselves for mistakes we've made, especially those that concern our eternal families.  I have seen the reaction and tole PRIDE takes on a body, physically it can destroy lives, it makes me want to say I'm so sorry to anyone I've ever hurt, my heart has really changed, and I think this is yet another experience I needed in my life--I Will Never Be The Same--

I'm not feeling very good , my ear is pounding, I don't know if I can make it through the meetings today.  I love the Sunday before Thanksgiving, and for the 20 years we have been in this ward I have sang  with the choir--The  Thanksgiving Medley- arranged by Stephen Phelps and Eloise Cluff.  Today, I won't be able to sing, nasty sore throat and pounding ear, does not make for a good combination--

Sunday November 24, 2013 4:30 pm
I decided there was no way I could miss hearing the choir sing or Stephen Phelps play the Thanksgiving Medley--they announced today Stephen Phelps has played this arrangement 32 years in a row in 6th ward, I'm so glad I didn't miss it.  I teared up, like I always do, some because I couldn't sing today and mostly because  no arrangement of music has ever touched me like that one....I love it. 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mom's Funeral

My nephew Ronny 
November 19th, 2013 Tuesday
Today, my sisters and I attended the funeral services for my mother.  It's difficult to describe how I felt and feel.  I was drawn closer to her by listening to her cousin, Mary Joyce speak of mom's earlier years, when she was a young girl and teenager.  Mom really never talked a lot about those days, so it was nice to hear and learn the fun, happy side of her life.  I believe all is Holy in the house of God, and I was trying my hardest to feel heaven there.
Linda, Myself and Dottie (Linda's mom)

Linda one of my besties- I love her

Susan and Ron Lundberg (mom's closest friends)
 I am grateful for my friends who supported me and  did not let the influence of "not knowing" my mom keep them from coming to support me.  I needed you there, and I so appreciate Millie we have been friends for 15 years she has no idea of my life before Gilbert, yet because of her Christian spirit she came and loved me through it, she also brought enchiladas to my family for Sunday dinner, she will and always be close to my heart.  Linda my friend from childhood, she and her mother drove far to be here and I will always love Linda for her unconditional love, especially having known my parents, made it special to me to have her there.  Last my dear friend Jenny Ruttinger text me and said "I know this will be hard for you, I will be sitting with you" and she did, we've been through a lot together in the past 20+ years, no questions asked I knew she would be there for me.  Eric and I decided we wanted to position ourselves perfectly so that we could see and watch Stephen Phelps play the organ.  I always feel the spirit and peaceful when I listen to him play, he and his wife have been a tremendous example for me as we have tried to raise our children by their example.  Eric and I spoke about him many times this past week knowing it would be difficult for him physically to play, and would of been OK if he couldn't come, but he did and I know he did it just for me.  I love you Stephen and Carolei you have been an example to me for over 20 years now, and still continue to amaze me with your loving hearts.
Jenny--I love you

November 20th 2013 Wednesday
As I post this Eric and I are in Mexico, spending some time at our condo, he needed to fix our freezer (well I say him, but those of you who know my "Tim the tool man" knows he will hire someone to fix it.)  He wanted me to come last week, and in fact was leaving for Mexico on the day he got the text from me saying my mother had passed.  This week he has been begging me to come with him, and I have not wanted to go, mostly because I think a little bit of that depression and unresolved issues is unsettling to me.  Eric knows me so well, he knew if I stayed home I would lay around and try to figure out the whys? Then become depressed and anxious, so I'm glad I came with him.

 Being here, draws me closer to Heavenly Father, I'm able to sit on the sand, watch the ocean waves come gently  in and out and see the hand of the Lord pick me up and keep me from getting carried away in those waves.  Honestly, I have so many emotions stirring up inside of me, although what I am saying is completely from my heart and I am being true to myself, I know it will probably be confusing to some people.

I want to remember and write some of my fond memories of mom.  Our kitchen was always our gathering place, and I loved to sit, watch and learn from her. There were 3 things I remember distictly about my mom during Christmas--she always made Red Velvet Cake and sprinkled the green and red sparkles to top it off. She also taught me how to make her Cranberry Meatballs, that was a Christmas Eve Tradition in our home. Lastly, she made cheese balls and gave them out to friends and anyone she knew needed a little boost during the holiday months.  Eric and I sill carry on this tradition, so if you get a cheese ball during the holiday month it;s because our family loves you--DON"T THROW IT AWAY.  Mom grew her own small cucumbers, and taught me how to pickle them, I loved her homegrown pickles. Every year I went to girls camp, she was there it was comforting to have my mom with us at Camp Lo Mia, all the girls in the Stake loved her so much. I wanted to be just like that, I wanted to work in Young Women's like she did, go to girls camp like she did and enjoy all the blessings that come from serving in YW.  I have not really had an opportunity to serve in the YW program for more than 6 months, but I was able to be our ward camp director for several years in a row.   I also remember my mom giving me the 1st compliment I can remember.  She said "Monya you have the ability to get upset or mad, spit it out, then let it go, I like that about you" When Elvis Presley died, I was mowing the lawn and remember coming into the house to get a drink of water, she was crying, she really loved music, that is probably why I love music so much.  I'll never forget having to tell my mother over the phone that my brother had died, she was heart broken, she screamed "No, No" over and over then threw the phone.
Mom is with Lance now
I have tried to write and re-write so that not to offend anyone, I've decided journaling is a good thing for ME (maybe not how YOU would handle it) to be real, I've hidden for too many years, soooo--to all of you who have written me emails criticizing me for the things I blog about all I can say to you, my intentions are in the right place and coming from an authentic real me. You did not live my life and are not living my journey now.  You saw my mom give endless hours of service to others including some of you, and she did it not because she was Relief Society President, she did it because she wanted to serve, I'm so grateful for her example to me in that regard, and for the last thing on this subject, those of you who have emailed me with your criticism, I noticed not one of you took time to show your respect to my mother and come to her funeral.  So please do not bother sending me a follow up email--I said it, was upset about what you said, and now I'm over it.  This is in the Lords hands now, and I truly believe my mother wanted the ultimate goal that myself and my sisters wanted, for our family to put the pieces of the puzzle back together, but it is difficult to do that when you cannot admit there are pieces missing.  I tried many times to mend this relationship, and was given a blessing  with confirmation that this will not be resolved in this life time, unless hearts were softened and sorrow was shown.  I realize this was difficult for my mother, but was necessary on her part in order for our relationship to continue--she made her choices--and we have all had to deal with that decision.  Mom did the best she knew how to do.  I will see her again, and the Lord will solve all earthly issues. Thank you Linda for giving me permission to express my feelings here--so if you have issues please email Linda.

Beautiful Casket

Greg dedicating the grave
 I believe our lives are like ocean waves, constantly moving, sometimes those waves are further out than we can reach, but they eventually rise to meet me in a solemn comforting manner--when they do -- all is quiet and calm especially in my heart where I need it the most.  I am grateful my mother is peaceful with a complete healthy body, still I need some guidance, I believe there can be healing even in the deepest of graves--when we  humble ourselves and allow the spirit to speak--but not all is calm in my heart right now--I feel lonely and vulnerable, and I know no-one on this earth can understand what I am feeling--not even my sister Sonya--she said she felt a warm blanket of "comfort" around her during the funeral--why didn't I feel that?  Am I not worthy enough for that feeling?

When my brother Lance died I felt so guilty for not doing more to help him, it was a heavy burden I was carrying, I knelt and prayed one night for comfort and peace to fill my soul, for the Lord to let me know Lance was OK.  That night as I knelt waiting for an answer, I felt my brothers hand on mine and his voice as clear as day say "This is the Lords will, not yours, I am happy" Because of that experience I was able to move forward in faith and HOPE knowing without a doubt Lance was in a good place.

 For me, it was the start for healing when I was able to be at moms bedside and say "I forgive you" before she  passed on. It was a tender moment, and I know she heard me.

During the funeral my mother's dearest friend Susan spoke and told memories she had of my mom.  She spoke from her heart and she really loved my mom, something I will always be grateful for.  While she was speaking I thought of a talk given by Elder Bednar in General Conference October of 2009.  He talked about family love, he said that no wife, daughter, son or husband should hear the words "I love you" for the 1st time from the pulpit--this is what I heard--but not from my mom from her friend. I wish so badly I would of heard "I love you, and I am proud of you" from my mothers lips.  All I can do now is to make sure everyone I truly love and care for,  not only hear it, but KNOW it.  I understand mom may not have been able to express her love to me, because I'm not really sure if she was told as a child--maybe she was never taught by example--I don't know--all I know for sure is when I held each and everyone of my children in my arms for the 1st time I loved them--unconditionally loved each one of them.  I guess the forgiveness does not always leave you with a feeling of peace and happiness, this part will come to me in the Lord's time--It always does-so for now, I love you mom, and I know you did the best you could.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Dear Mom

Today is Sunday November 17th

 Last night I barely slept my hip pain is getting worse, I just barely had a cortisone shot a month ago--When I spoke to the Oncologist last week, she said I need to get more tests done--YAY more tests--(sarcasm)  Also the tumor in my head is bleeding out through my ear, I constantly have to change the cotton ball--I didn't want to go to church today, in thinking about it I received an email from my dear friend Carla Kelly, telling me her husband was speaking in church, I invited her to sit with me.  The meeting today was beautiful, I loved all the talks revolving around President Monson's talk on adversity in our lives--endure to the end.  Carla and her Husband lost a son 2 years ago, it has been a difficult time for them, probably a wrenching pain I don't understand since I have never lost a child. But I do remember how hard it was on my mom when she lost her son Lance at age 15.  I've decided it's not about the trial or adversity we endure, it's about how strong we are to endure those times.  We can embrace those storms, and come out on the other end a better person having been through it, or we can become cold, hard hearted and let it destroy not only our lives but the ones we love the most, our family.

Mom on Halloween 2013

I know the Lord knows where my hidden places are and HE will find me there, bring me into the light again and pull me up from the scrapes, bruises and wounds I feel--HE will heal me.
If I am 100% pure and honest, I am afraid of going to the Funeral, there were many people from the West Stake area where I grew up, who when hearing bits and pieces of our lives years ago, did not believe this could be true--I'm nervous about seeing any of them. I'm hoping this can be put to rest, I'm wanting my mom to find some peace that for so long she did not have here on earth.  Nothing that happened here on this earth can be changed, I would never change any of it, even as hard as it has been, I prayed for so many years it could and would be different, but I've realized all of the fears and doubts we all go through are OUR OWN JOURNEY, something we chose together with our Heavenly Father before we came to earth.  The faith that I have found in myself during these endless, sleepless nights have changed me.   I've seen the hand of God in my life, I've asked for big and small miracles to happen in my life, some have been granted and most have not.  Not because HE does not love me, but because HE loves me THAT much.  I am living proof that He is REAL, I cannot and will not ever deny that.

If I could talk to my mom today I would say....
 Monday November 18th, 2013

Mom, I want to be healed, I want you to know me, I want you to see the woman you helped create.  Thank you for giving me life, for staying with me all those times I was in the hospital and didn't want to be alone in the dark as a little girl.  Thank you for never saying anything bad about the Belshe family, or my father who put me in the hospital.  Thank you for teaching me how to sew, even if I didn't care for it, thank you for teaching me to bake and love it.  Thank you for not allowing me to drink soda, for giving me a choices between fruit or candy.  Most of all thank you for remaining true to your faith, taking me to church, and helping me to anchor my testimony in Jesus Christ.

I know you have been in pain for years, and I also know this is so bittersweet for you, leaving 3 daughters behind with no earthly resolve,  but being able to go into the arms of Lance,  your only son.  You and I have been wanting the same things, a loving eternal family. I want you to know I KNOW you did the best you knew how to do.

 Today I went to the funeral home and watched as Kris fixed up your hair, you were always so beautiful to me.  I've  heard it said "time heals all wounds" I know time cannot stand still, life goes on and things get easier, but for some reason I want you to know not a day has gone by since Lance died that I haven't thought about him, now as I think of him I will always think of you, with a perfect body, no more pain, being able to once again go forward with this next journey of your life, hopefully happy and able to look down on your middle daughter (bonbon) and finally hear the words
I LOVE YOU MOM.  I have you to thank for the tears running down my cheeks, but now its time to wipe those away once and for all.

 There has been a hole in my heart for too many years, now its time to release that pain,  reclaim the parts of my life that I have struggled with.  I don't blame you, I forgive you, and this place where we call home, where we call life, is just a passing through place, home is where you are now--no more sorrow or pain--the Lord will take over now and allow you and I both to heal. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

This is who I am

I have received many emails, gifts, cards and text messages full of encouragement and support--they have come from the people I respect and love so much--thank you.  Michelle, I am listening to the CD you gave me from Josh--as I write--thank you Mallory and Michelle for dropping that off.

My sisters do not have blogs to follow and honestly would not have posted much or anything close to what I have done---not sure if that is a good thing or bad, all I know is that I have always throughout my life handled trials, hardships, and life events differently than they have, and it's OK.

One thing that has bonded us together as sisters is knowing we have each others back, we will fight to then end for one another and love one another unconditionally.  I received a text from a friend recently thanking me for my honesty on my blog, my heart swelled up out of my eyes and down my cheeks. (thank you TS)  I have been questioning myself about all of my HONESTY and FORTHCOMING, when it comes to my personal life and what I post on this blog.  Is it the right thing to do?  Would others do it the same? Why do I feel comfort here? Why has blogging become such a therapeutic release for me? I'm not sure of any answers to those questions, I have always been a journal writer. I have notebooks full of journaling I have done throughout my life, there are some years missing--and in those years I realize it is because I was told once to only write what I WANTED to remember--I don't agree with this philosophy now, even though I followed it for so many years. I believe in journaling all of life's events good or bad--I want to have a place to go back and remember, and then look at how far I have come, sometimes I take time to read old posts and I cannot believe I did this or that..the road has weaved in and out of clear view, but there is one thing I know for sure HE will and has picked up the pieces for me along those winding roads, there has been bittersweet times where he has taken it all off my shoulders and those moments have become beautiful moments of truth that otherwise I may have forgotten. Just as a side note, I have many posts that I have saved as drafts, knowing those parts of my life I don't want exposed, but want recorded for posterity purposes.

This blog is sacred to me, it's who I am, it's a place I can "find me" in places I never thought or imagined I could go.  I have throughout my life tried to find a place out of the darkness and into the light, and this is my place--it is a real, sometimes a raw place where I can go quietly and find myself again--the real authentic me-where my heart is.  I am sorry if I have offended you, or shocked you with some of my posts--I am for once in my life living free, and I will not go backwards--Only the Lord knows my heart, HE knows me and I will, in this respect, never change.

Being vulnerable is one of the weaknesses I have, and here I can truly be who I am.  So many times I have closed the door on places I could of gone and learned so much, oh how I wish  the Lord would of forced me to open those doors, but HE never forces us to do anything, HE is on the other side of that door if we will do our part and just open it.  I always carry a note book with me and write down things that are weird, funny and made some type of impression on me, then I choose what I decide is appropriate to share on this blog, remember what you think is appropriate may not be what my real authentic self is....we all have a different journey, and for me this is how I deal with it.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Today was a better day!!

There is a shortage in this world of "I LOVE YOU" today the sun came up, I woke up, said thank you to Heavenly Father for all I have been blessed with and tried to carry on.  The last few days have been hard, the next few days will be hard, but today will be a day to just listen, no talking just listen...
I went to the doctor today and had time in my car alone to do just that....listen.  I found HE is the always the TENDER behind the MERCY--love those words, and the unconditional feeling of love I feel just writing them.

 Kayla showed up with the boys this morning, thank you, thank you, thank you. I love those boys with every bit of my heart, and I am grateful to her for sharing them with me today--even though I got distracted and actually forgot to pick Recker up from school--oops--sorry I know I put a panic in her that was unnecessary.  When I arrived at the school he jumped up when he saw bon bon's car come around the corner, my heart dropped, how could I forget?  I was so looking forward to playing with him--I hugged him tight, to reassure him and tell him how sorry I was, gave him a big hug and said "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH"  When I got home Kayla was waiting with Ezra, all I could say was sorry, she was gracious enough to smile and quietly say "it's OK mom" Then we played--it was exactly what I needed--
Ezra--what a joy, I love him

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Better not Bitter

-Regina Clara Heath-

I can't sleep tonight, I wonder if it is selfish to ask the Lord to take it all away for now--probably huh?
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the death of my mother, all the fear and doubts I have ever had about myself are all flooding back into my head and I need a release, at least for now.  I can't carry this burden I'm feeling anymore--I have flown on the wings of the angels who have carried me through life's experiences, my soul has been healed by sweet testimonies born by people in my ward, people who have no idea how they have touched my heart.  This has definitely been a ravenous storm I was not prepared to deal with, I honestly thought this was the one place HE knew exactly how I was feeling, I thought HE truly understood that I could not handle this one, just take it away, let me not feel, let me have numbness and let it pass.  I have asked to please just let Sonya and Kris take care of this one--I understood HE was willing to let me take a "get out of jail" card--obviously HE and I are were not on the same page, because this pain is not going away--I'm glad my kids have not seen my pain, for now I just need to cry--oh boy do I need to cry, just get it all out, I know that it is even hard for my Heavenly Father to see, I have to believe he wants to take it all away and HE has the power to do just that, but where is my learning and growing in him doing that?

Sometimes, I am feeling weakness and the heart ache starts to pull me down, no matter how hard I fight it, I know  I agreed with the Lord he could put this beating heart inside me when I came to earth, HE already knew the fullness of that pain and suffering I would feel--I have full knowledge of this proof he has so graciously let me feel--but today I just need to not ask why, or when it will stop, I just need to let it be what it is--I am broken hearted--more than that, I am broken, I have felt joy in my life, so much joy, so much blessings have come to my family, in fact my family is my blessing, but I wonder if at times like this if it is ok to feel the pain, I know it is not going away anytime soon. I just need this time to try and understand once again what I am supposed to learn.  I know for a fact HE will take the pain away, maybe not today, but HE will take it away--like Hillary Weeks says in her song  "just let me cry" Yesterday I was laughing and enjoying my grandson, pure ultimate joy in my heart--within moments that joy was taken away--I want to come away from this better, not bitter--HE knows my heart, HE knows my willingness to give all I have to HIM, until the last tear drops from my face, I will try to have no regrets, I plead with the Lord to not let me feel those regrets, please take those away, carry them away--I can't take those right now.  Tomorrow is a new day, I will rise, kneel in prayer, cry and repeat if I have to, but please NO REGRETS--please let the healing begin, please with all my weaknesses and mistakes let me feel your grace.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Today Mom Died 11/12/13

The time is 8:15 pm on November 12, 2013
 It's seems weird to write about this, but my feelings are raw and real and I need to write for therapy.  I always wondered what this would feel like, today my mom passed away.  She has been staying in an assisted living home for the past couple of months, only a couple miles from my home.  My sister Sonya, (mother Theresa) got the call from moms bishop that mom needed to be placed in assisted living after her last fall, and Sonya decided driving a couple hours one way everyday to take care of her in Phoenix was a little too much for her, so she made the decision to move mom to this side of town.  A few months before my diagnosis with cancer my step father, Gary died and I was asked by my mother's best friend Susan to please come to the hospital and be with her, I hesitated because besides a couple of hateful letters I had received over the years, (one that almost put me in a mental hospital, I have Debbie Slade and President Lesueuer to thank for that not happening)  it had at that time already been 17 years since I had any contact with either one of them, per my mother's request. 6 months before Gary died, I was at the Temple and out of the blue had a feeling of forgiveness come over me stronger than I had ever felt before, I searched for an email or someway to contact him and let him know.  It simply read "Dear Dad, I want you to know I have forgiven you. I have a beautiful family 3 girls and 1 boy we live in Gilbert Arizona and are very happy.  I hope you are happy too."  Love Monya  within 6 months he passed away and I was at his bedside.  My choice to be at his bedside did not have a lot to do with him, but more to do with mending the relationship with my mother.

 I will never forget walking into that hospital room with my 4 children, my sisters chose not to go and I never judged them for that, in fact Sonya begged me not to go, she is very protective over me and knows I get my hopes up, only to be crushed, and the depression, guilt and heartache start all over again.  She is wise, but I did not listen. I went anyway, it was a tremendously grotesque experience to have my children watch as they pulled the plug on him, it was as if he was fighting to go to the other side, it honestly is what I imagined a person with a demon inside of them trying to get out would look like--I have questioned my motherly instinct on that one for years now.....not a good idea.  But the one thing that struck me and has stayed with me over all these years is that my mother showed no emotion what so ever--NONE.  I spoke with her bishop and told him Eric and I would be willing to help with whatever arrangements needed to be done, hugged my mom and said good bye.  The next day she called me to find out about meeting her at the funeral home, I replied "Yes mom I would love to help you, what time would you like me to pick you up?" and then it came, that voice, it rings in my ears I can still hear her "Monya, I still have one more thing I need to say to  you...." the sarcasm and stinch in her voice let me know this was not going to go well...I quickly responded "mom, please not now, your husband just died yesterday, can we please just let this go, I want a clean start with you"  she abruptly interrupted me and said "You ruined our lives with your lies, and your father was forgiven for what he did"  obviously my next question was "what was he forgiven for? according to you and he both, he never did anything wrong? blah blah blah this led to a huge bowl of tears on my part and I immediately called her bishop to tell him, this was not going to work and he would have to get someone else to go to the funeral home and help her tomorrow, one of my kids called Sonya and told her what had happened as I wept like a baby wanting to be coddled by their mother.  Sonya took measures into her own hands, called my mom and, well lets just say she finally was able to give her a little bit of her own medicine, all in defense of me.  I love Sonya for that.  A few months later came my cancer diagnosis and of course Sonya was protective, not allowing mom to come to the hospital or make life anymore stressful than I needed it to be.  I simply have put the whole ordeal behind me and not looked back, I knew and still do know that my mother is stubborn, that pride will never allow her to say she's sorry, if she did then she would have to do something about it, and that was out of the question for her.

The past month I have realized while reading the Infinite Atonement that I needed to forgive my mother.  I have asked myself over and over again, "how can you forgive your father who beat you as a three year old and as a result made you deaf in one ear?"  'how can you forgive the stepfather who  abused you, but not be able to forgive your own mother?"  Theses questions have haunted me as I have studied the Atonement and tried desperately to comprehend why a mother would walk away from her children and grandchildren, why did she stay with a man who could do such heinous things to her very own flesh and blood.  All these years, all I have ever wanted to hear from her was "I'm sorry, this is not your fault, and wish it had never happened"  or just "I'm sorry" that would of been sufficient.  I was never granted those simple words, or the words "I love you"  One day recently while at the Temple I had that overwhelming feeling again that I needed to let her know I had forgiven her, this is all the Lord asks of us, to Love One Another and to forgive as he did.  Knowing I am about to have another major surgery, I realized I do have one last regret I need to take care of, I need to let her know how I feel, to let her know I have forgiven her and that I know the Lord will take care of all of this mess one day.  I was not expecting anything in return, but my heart had finally been softened enough to acknowledge my weakness in not granting her the forgiveness I have in my heart for all these years of heartache and pain.

Two things happened, 1st I sent a text to my visiting teachers asking them if they would help me, I wanted them to come with me to the assisted living home while I spoke with her,  I felt this was the best way and felt the safest for me personally.  I purposefully did not tell my family, not even Eric or Sonya that I was planning this for Friday the 14th this week. I have wonderful visiting teachers Kathi Cluff who I adore and admire so much, she is not only beautiful physically but have always looked to her for an example of true Christ like love.  Marian Priday, is my other visiting teacher, I love her and have complete faith and assurance in confidentiality with her knowing she will always give me the best advice and help in anyway she can.

The 2nd thing that happened was last weekend I took my girls to a women's convention in downtown Phoenix called Time Out For Women, there were over 5500 women in attendance.  During the very 1st speaker I was so emotional Brad Wilcox was the speaker, he spoke of the Atonement and how to use it in our lives, it felt as though he was speaking to me, and only me, like I was the only one in the room.  He said The Atonement is a Gift, no one made or forced Christ to die for our sins, HE chose it.
and this is literally what I wrote in my note book "The spirit is so strong, my heart is pounding, I cannot get my mom off of my mind"  Let go of willpower and rely on HIS power, turn towards HIM-HE is the light.  My life end goal of enduring to the end is to become more like HIM, to lead a more Christ like life in all that I do and say.
Can people change?
Not without God-
Alone we will fail-
with God all things are possible-

my next line of notes really hit me tonight--
YES--I can do this-through the Atonement of Christ I can face my fears, I can face my mother, and in the holiest of a pure heart I can tell her "I forgive you" and expect nothing in return.
Heaven is not a prize for the perfect, but the future home of all who are willing to be perfected.

Yesterday, I thought about my brother all day, it has been 26 years since his death, he would of been 42 in January.  This is a night I will never forget, Veterans Day has always been a special day to me now.  That night having to tell my parents their only son had died in their home while they were out of town, was hard.  It was a defining moment in my life.

Today, as I sat holding my little grandson, my sister Sonya sent me a text that read "can you talk?" I did not respond knowing Kayla was soon leaving and I just wanted a few more minutes with Ezra. As soon as Kayla left, I got the 2nd text saying my mom was in Banner  Gateway Hospital and for me to come, she was not going to make it--I rushed over there, walked in the solemn room, quiet and with a smell of sickness and death--I stood by her side, told her "Mom, its Monya and I'm here--mom I forgive you" within just a few more very deep breaths the sounds of the flat lines  on the machine went off and she was gone.  Sonya, Greg and myself alone in a room with a woman who had caused so much pain in our lives, suddenly I felt the pains of devastation--now I know what that feels like, its not having been abused, that can be fixed and forgiven, its not having cancer, it's a family ripped apart, because of pride,  a daughter of our Heavenly Father wanting so badly to have a relationship with her mother, call her for a recipe, talk about spiritual moments, share the blessings of an eternal family--just ripped in half--all over PRIDE.

 This earth is our school of learning, and I am saying from an authentic place, that I need to pray for myself to heal my heart from the hurt and pain my mom and dad have caused--help change ME--don't worry anymore about changing HER--The Atonement will allow all of me to change for good--I choose to be authentic, I choose to forgive, I choose to live like the Savior.

Today, if I am absolutely authentic, I had so many emotions go through me--why? why? couldn't my mom say "I'm sorry?" Why, was I not given 2 more days to express my feelings to her?  Was the Lord protecting me from more pain?  When the disciples prayed with Christ in his last days they were filled with desire--am I filled with desire? what is that desire? Because when I am sitting in this hospital room I want to scream out loud, I'm so mad.  After everyone left, I asked if I could have a few minutes with my mom.  My sisters Sonya and Kris had spent much time with her the past couple of months, and even they were ready to move on and go.  When the door shut, I asked Eric to stay with me, I held my moms hand, talked about how small she was, 88 pounds, and kissed her on the forehead, with a final "I forgive you" Eric and I held her hand and he offered one of the sweetest prayers I have ever heard, I did not expect that from him, he has always had such pain and anger towards my parents for what they had put me through, but tonight that side of him was gone and the spirit of healing began.  I wept, and could not control my emotions--so this is how this feels...

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall leaves, ocean Views

I have been wanting to take Eric to see the Fall leaves, for years now.  The last time I went was with a good friend many years ago and I just loved the trip.  Eric is not a cold weather kind of guy, so this was really not on his bucket list for trips.  However, he had a great time and could not believe the beauty surrounding us as we drove through Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. Now I think we will be making this trip every year.... there was so much to see and not enough time to do it all.

Williams Port Light House

Beautiful homes on the beach I want to play with Recker here

Loved all the Lighthouses

Lobster Rolls--Famous

It's hard to find this kind of beauty in AZ

Loved wearing my boots and beanie--winter clothes

Loved all the covered bridges too

He looks warm enough !!

My Favorite part of the trip...seeing our sweet Chelsea Cloward

Just how I love it--no one on the beach but me and Eric The Hampton's

Fenway Park, original seats

Fenway Park, original home plates

Eric taking in the moment