Saturday, March 29, 2008

A "Lucy" Moment

Last August of 2007, I decided that I would add to my exercise regime by joining a fitness gym that was being built. They said completion of the facility would be in December. Well, we all know how that is with construction and it wasn't completed until February of this year. I had been eager with a plan to start in a particular water aerobic class that this fitness gym was providing. I understand that it is an excellent exercise in an overall fitness for you. When I joined last summer I had not estimated my husband getting cancer... unfortunately with my husband being so weak and getting his chemo treatments, time has not given me a chance to go like I had planned weekly. There have been on occasion some windows of time that I have had a chance to go.
I got my swim suit out (shook the dust from it - just kidding, but that does tell you it has been a long time since I have gotten into my swimsuit), put it on, letting out a ghast seeing myself in the mirror, I took my swimsuit off and threw it on the bed. I was not going to the class until I looked better in that suit (Silly me... I am being way to hard and critical on myself . In all honesty, I had gotten that suit years ago, my body has changed and I really need to get another one and when you get right down to it ~ WE all have bodies and SO WHAT!!). I was disappointed with myself for not going. I am frugal when money is being spent and on top of what I was feeling with what is going on with the medical bills rolling in and prescriptions having to be filled. Paying a monthly fee for something that was not being used was getting to me. I went back into my room, put my swimsuit in a tote bag, threw in a towel, jumped into my car with a determination that I was going to do this!

I got to the front desk to check in and told them this was my first time visiting the gym and could they explain the procedure and direct where I needed to go. As they explained that I would put my belongings into an empty locker I knew that I would have to buy a lock (by the way, it took me forever to figure out how to open it with the combination). I got into my swimsuit, put on my cover up and walked barefoot (making a mental note to self - bring flip flops... for those of you that were kids growing up in the 70's, did you know that they are not called thongs anymore? My daughter informed me of that) out of the locker room, across the weight room, to where I could see the pool. By the looks that I was getting I knew something was wrong. I wasn't supposed to be there. All my instincts told me to turn around now and go back into the locker room and that is just what I did. I saw a lady and asked, "Excuse me, how do I get to the pool?" She started to laugh and asked me " Honey, did you go into the weight room?" as I nodded my head yes, she proceeded to tell me where I needed to go. With my delight I learned that there was a back door from the locker room going into the swimming area... duh! Why would they want people to walk through the weight room across the carpet wet

I was a little early and noticed before the class started people got into the pool to warm up and talk to each other. It's been a while since I have gotten into a public pool; our back yard pool has steps going down, you just walk in. I take off my cover up, and lay it on the bench beside the pool. I walk over to the side of the pool and decide to go in by the ladder that was closest to me instead of walking across the room in my bathing suit to where I see the steps are (I do not like drawing attention to myself). I got to the ladder held on going into the water frontwards. Just so you know ~ for people like me, let me warn you before hand, you cannot go into the water that way. Further more, you can not climb or go down a ladder that way unless the ladder is at a very good slant which the ladder going into the water is not! It is going straight down. Well, let me just tell you, I felt like I had a "I love Lucy" moment. Right away, I felt awkward going down the ladder frontwards and lost my grip, slipping into the water, going under, swallowing water and choking. So much for not drawing attention to myself...

I observed how everyone took instructions and followed the lead. I noticed that a few of the ladies got into the jacuzzi afterwards. As I was spraying off, they asked me to join them. I told them, "I have some errands to do and had to get home but thanks for asking me to join them." They said, "Maybe next time." I did my errands with a wet head, smelling like a chlorine tablet. To my surprise I was freezing, starving and tired. I got home took a hot shower, ate some yogurt and a bowl of cereal, and laid down for a little nap. I woke up three in a half hours later.
The next class, I brought flip flops, had practiced opening up my combination lock, and didn't go through the weight room. I sat in the Jacuzzi with the ladies to warm up after the class too. They gave me some advice to get some water shoes so that I have more traction in the water... it helps keeping stable with the movements. I still came home exhausted and had a long nap.

I am proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone and trying something new. I have enjoyed this class immensely and I am so glad that I made myself do this.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Refining Silver

Malachi 3:3 says: 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what
this statement meant about the character and nature of God.

One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and
get ba ck to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to
watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her
interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire
and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to
hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest
as to burn away all th e impurities.

The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she
thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and
purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he
had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was
being refined.

The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the
silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was
in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it
would be destroyed.

The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How
do you know when the silver is fully refined?'

He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image
in it.'

A dear friend sent this to me in a e-mail... I wanted to share.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Warm with Spring ~

The naked earth is warm with Spring,
And with green grass and bursting trees
Leans to the sun's kiss glorying,
And quivers in the sunny breeze.

~Julian Grenfell

* I took this photo on one of my walks along the canal. As I was admiring the wonderful color of the peach blossoms, I noticed this old barn at the end of one row. If you weren't paying attention you'd miss it (Hmmm).

I thought it was beautiful!

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Friday, March 21, 2008

The Fifth Floor

The Sun Never Says

Even after all this time
The sun never says to the earth,
"You owe Me."

Look what happens with
A love like that,
It lights the Whole Sky.

The Gift by Hafiz

* On the fifth floor where the cancer wing is at the hospital, Charlie gets a grand view of the sun setting.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Give Daffodils. Give Hope.

The first day of Charlie's stay in the hospital, a lady came in his room with a bouquet of daffodils and placed them on a table near us. I had asked her who they were from and she said they were given to Charlie by an anonymous American Cancer Society donor. Each stemmed daffodil was tightly closed. As each hour went by, I noticed that they were slowly opening up. By the end of the day they were all fully opened. Periodically through the day I would go down to the first floor to get a cup of hot tea and notice on the way to the elevator the entire cancer wing had daffodils everywhere you looked. The bright yellow did indeed put some sunshine on that floor.

About Daffodil Days

Daffodil Days is one of the American Cancer Society's oldest and most beloved fundraising programs. As the first flower of spring, the daffodil represents hope and renewal. To the American Cancer Society, the daffodil symbolizes the hope we all share for a future where cancer no longer threatens those we love. For 35 years, Daffodil Days has empowered people to make a difference in the fight against cancer by raising funds and awareness to help beat the disease. Daffodil Days involves offering daffodils every spring to donors in appreciation for their contributions, but it is about more than just giving beautiful flowers - it is everyone's opportunity to share hope for a world free of cancer. By giving daffodils to friends, family members, local businesspeople, and even cancer patients, you are really giving hope by enabling the Society to offer free programs and services to improve the lives of people facing cancer.
Your support of American Cancer Society Daffodil Days helps give strength and hope to the millions of Americans facing cancer.

I want to thank you for all of the comments that you left on my previous post. They were the wind beneath my wings. Your words of encouragement (Nina and your swift kick in the pants) were heart felt and I am deeply touched.

Thank you ~

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Nothing to Give

My Camellia bush

Charlie's hair has started to fall out... so tonight we shaved it all off. Tomorrow he goes back into the hospital for his second five day round of chemo. We thought it would be best if we took care of that now here at home instead of his hair shedding off there at the hospital throughout the week. It would have been messy and made him feel uncomfortable. He was a little down about shaving it all off and I assured him it would grow back. Truth is ~ as I was shaving his head, I felt like I was fighting the tears back and making sure I had a "brave face" on... in case he seen my reflection in the mirror.


My daughter Diandra has had a relapse with her eating disorder and has lost a lot of weight. I am very concerned about her. Charlie and I both are.


I have wondered what makes a person more resilient than others. How one can adjust easily to misfortune. I wonder what it must feel like to be like that. I have been told that I am strong... and when I hear those words, I think to myself, 'I don't feel strong.' Most of the time, I feel like I am just going through the motions. I feel like it is more of an "out of body" experience. It's not me. Most of the time I could probably say I am scared. Real scared of losing what is most precious to me.


I have been sitting here for 10 minutes trying to type something... and I have nothing else to give.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Boxing gloves necklace by Free People Clothing Boutique

Charlie and I were on our way home from his first kidney surgery that was unsuccessful. As I was driving I had glanced over at him to make sure he was okay; he looked so down and beaten. I immediately pictured myself in the corner of a ring of a boxing match. I started telling him of my vision. I am rubbing the boxers shoulders telling him he has to block himself. He got hit in the head and went down. He was able to get up before the count and was a little dazed. Someone was putting smelling salts under his nose. He was fully alert and the bell rang. The boxer goes back out to the center of the ring and is ready to fight again. The boxer is my husband. He loves this sport. As I finish telling him my vision, he just looks at me with a crooked little smile and says, "Oh yeah, is that how you see it?" I smiled back at him and said, "Yeah, I married a fighter! You are going to win. My money is on you!" I noticed that he sat a little straighter when I was finished.

If it is something I have learned through this journey is how one communicates to another. I have noticed that when I start hearing the word "If" come out of my husband's mouth or others that are visiting him, I immediately change it to "WHEN". Someone who is going through something like this has to have positive ~ positive ~ encouraging words. It can make all of the difference sometimes.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

A Window of Time

I had to run some errands and took the country route back home. I drove slow taking my time trying to be conscious of breathing. I drove by this orchard of almond trees and pulled my car over. I got out and walked the rows of trees. There was a warm breeze blowing. I just stood there feeling a rush of peace wash over me. The fragrance of spring in the air and the bees busy humming while doing their work drifted all around me. The blossom petals were floating to the ground as the wind picked up blowing through the trees. I felt comforted by acknowledging how God cared with great detail in what may seem small and trivial in the great scheme of things... He is doing that even with my life. It has been so busy with everything that has been going on, I felt as if we were having some one on one time together. I didn't want to leave.

I have often wondered if the amount of blossoms on the trees lets one know what kind of crop they are getting. Some orchards are sparse and faded in color with their blossoms while others are abundant and vibrant with their blossoms. Or does it mean it is a different type of nut or fruit?

I am wishing I could put my bed under this canopy of blossoms.

Is it just me or can you see the rays of light bursting from a sunlit shaped heart?

I am reminded to see the trees in the forest...

I love the shade of pink here in this blossom

Up close and personal

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I am so excited!

I am so excited about something... I have to tell you! My dear friend Wanda came over Tuesday to help me create a blog for my son Rob. Every now and then he will send me a poem, quote, recipe or some profound thought. I have been expressing to him that I thought he should have a blog, only with a moan out of his mouth following before I could even finish my sentence. I decided to just create one for him and post a poem and quote he had sent me to make it more personal when he had seen it (I know... it was kinda sneaky on my part, but sometimes it just helps to show the visual!). I e-mailed him the blog address to go to and he loved it! He wants to give it a try. My son Rob is now an official blogger!

If you get a chance, give this new fellow blogger a warm welcome!


Wanda Mom, thank you for all of your help!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


God hath not promised
Skies always blue,
Flower~strewn pathways
All our lives through
God hath not promised
Sun without vain,
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.

But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest for the laborer,
Light on the way,
Grace for the trial,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love.

Last week was Charlie's first week of chemo... he had to stay in the hospital for five days. I would go to work and then to the hospital as soon as I would get off at 10:00 a.m. I would stay with him as long as I could, coming home anywhere from 10:30 to 11:00. I thought that I would be able to rest when Charlie got home... not so. He is weak. His weight is down to 146 lbs. It is breaking my heart. I feel as if someone has taken it and ripped it into two. I don't know how to explain the pain I feel in my chest. It really hurts. I have been sleeping on the couch next to his recliner. I find myself just watching him sleep when I can not. I miss my husband.

Charlie had another chemo at the Doctor's office Tuesday. His temperature shot over 103. It scared me and wore him out even more. Charlie will be home for two weeks and then back in the hospital for one, out for two and continue to do this for a total of four cycles. The Doctor faxed over a prescription that will help increase his appetite. We have been told that won't kick in for two weeks. He is whithering away to nothing before my eyes.

I thank God for each brand new day (as it means one more day closer to him getting rid of the cancer ~ I am thinking positive!) and the little tasks my husband can still accomplish. Those little tasks he can do make him feel very good.