Month: April 2013

A walk to remember

This morning I went for a walk. On my walk, there is one little tree that I love to see. I am tree lover. As a child, spending my time in a tree or surrounded by trees and a creek were normal. This is the luxury of growing up in upstate NY, beautiful trees. Anyway, while I was walking I saw this one little tree on the side of the road and I stopped walking. I walked up to the tree, and removed my head phones then rested for a moment.

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My little tree.

I looked into the woods and felt drawn to take a small hike. Walking through the tall, wet grass, I saw the budding branches and heard the brown leaves crunch under my feet. The sun shined through the trees. There were fallen trees that I jumped either on or over depending on my next step. I jumped on a moss covered fallen tree and caught my balance. Then stepped down on another fallen tree. Then walked up a grassy opening and up a small hill to a small fallen branch that was big enough to make a comfortable seat. Then I sat.

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The log seat

I am a (in a low, slow voice) deep thinker. As I sat there, I looked around. Trees surrounded me. It was a circle of trees. Everything was extremely green. I kept thinking about life in general.

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Circle of trees.

As I turned my head, I saw a single purple flower growing about fifteen feet away. Are not we all like the purple flower? It sprouts beauty from its roots and its outward appearance is beautiful.

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Purple flowers.

I like to look at the flip side of things. The beauty of the flower is amazing but not all beauty is good. So many people see beauty as an outward appearance. It very sad. Looking at the flower with a mind that beauty is strictly an outward appearance will make you realize how shallow the thought really is. No matter how pretty or handsome you are, there is no beauty unless you can truly show it from the inside out. Again, we are beautiful but if our inner beauty is not, the beauty on the outside is a waste. Plants have it easy. Their roots are in solid ground, therefore their beauty shows. I think we should all be more like the purple flower. Find your foundation and stick to it. Shine with beauty from your roots to your exterior. It’s elementary my dears.

While I was sitting on the log in the center of all the trees, the wind was blowing, the sun was shining, and the birds were chirping. A small voice inside me said, “You have a lot of faith.” The extent of my faith is probably a little ridiculous to some, but that may play a part in how logical a person may be. I, on the other hand, walk with faith and can be illogical. That’s okay because logic does not play a huge part in spirituality. Your state of consciousness does, not emotions.

Okay I have to explain this difference between state of the mind and emotions. So here it goes. There is a difference between the state of consciousness and emotions.  You are in a state of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. FIRST, one recognizes the state of love. SECOND, love fuels the emotion of happy. You own your state of being. You control your emotions. Emotions fuel your actions. The state one is in fuel emotions. For example the state of joy sends emotions of happiness so you want to jump up and down. Faithfulness gives courage and courage gives to actions of courage. Actually, all of these states should give you happiness and elation and courage and whatever else is good.

On the flip side, the state of conscious of hate, misery, chaos, impatience, animosity, wickedness, dishonesty, thoughtlessness, and  agitation; bring on the emotions of unhappiness and depression and fear. This is where it gets difficult. These types of states come from our ego. If we do not categorize these as just or unjust, then our emotions get the best of us. When a state of being is brought on by either inside or outside forces, we should ‘take a break’  before we allow our bodies to feel a negative emotion. We all know how negative emotions can disrupt our lives.

Okay, back to sitting on the log. I believe that God will carry me through my weakest moments and rejoice with me in my greatest moments. Even though, I have cancer AGAIN, God is rejoicing with me because AGAIN I chose to show faithfulness which makes me happy and gives me courage. I chose joy and I can feel joy running through my veins and in my soul. I know that I am going to be okay because there is nothing, absolutely nothing in me that thinks otherwise…..except fear. My weakest moment. Keep reading.

When I was done sitting in the woods, I stood up. Everything in me told me to go forward and finish my walk but my ego told me to go back the way I came and be safe because I already knew the terrain. I started to walk back the way I came.

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Going backwards.

Then I stopped. I turned around and went forward. I listened to my gut and went the way I should. It was easier to walk through, and low and behold a dirt path led me back to the road. The lesson there is that we cannot go back the way we came. It is redundant. We must move forward and move with the flow. There is no sense in living in the past. I have a bad habit of doing that.

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Going forward. Doesn’t this way look much easier?

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The dirt path.

Once I got back to the road, I was feeling enlightened/elated, then funniest thing happened. The station I was listening to was Pandora’s 80’s hits. I put my head phones back in my ears and the chorus to What A Feeling by Irene Cara was playing. It went like this:

What a feeling.
Bein’s believin’.
I can have it all, now I’m dancing for my life.
Take your passion
and make it happen.
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life.

That is (sing it) AWESOME!

The sky on my way home.

The sky on my way home.

Does cancer cause chaos, impatience, agitation? Um, let me think here…YES! This is what cancer does. It puts you on an emotional roller coaster and it is really hard to get off. As I was finishing my walk, the word ‘fear’ started repeating in my mind. I immediately went to a place that can be scary at times. My fear stems from impatience and chaos. I’m sure of it. Cancer is a waiting game. Is the medicine going to work? Am I going to die? Am I going to live? Will I need chemo? How many types of medicine will I have to go through before nothing works anymore? Someone tell me the answers!!! What will happen to my kids? Will they remember me? Should I make video’s for them? Should I write special letters to them? Will it hurt to die? Will I die peacefully…probably not. I’m pretty sure that dying from cancer is agonizing. All these questions cause chaos in my body. Especially because they come at me all at once. You want the answers and you want them now. I literally had convinced myself that the cancer was going to spread through my body and my life was going to be cut short. Honestly, this happens often.

Back to walking. I stopped in the middle of the road and prayed silently. I looked up at the sky. I asked God to help me and he did. The chaos and fear went away. When I pray, I don’t hope God will help me. I know God will help me. I pray with faith. It’s common that humans pray with hope that God will answer their prayers. But, no one ever said that hope moves mountains. Faith move mountains. Just as I said earlier. HE carries me in my weakest moments. He lifted my spirit and again made me realize my fear and I was able to put that fear in the category called “garbage can”. As this was happening the song Total Eclipse of The Hear by Bonnie Tyler was playing. I heard:

Every now and then
I get a little bit terrified
But then I see the look in your eyes
(Turn Around, bright eyes)
Every now and then
I fall apart
Turn around, bright eyes
Every now and then
I fall apart

I turned around and looked at where I’ve been. Then I turned back around and looked at where I was going and I let the past go.

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Continuous Prayer and Divine Intervention

I want to jump forward in time to 2013. However, everything that has happened prior to 2013 has made me the person I am today. Here is another short story from the past.

My dad fought cancer for 4 years. I do not remember much about him. I do believe I was daddy’s girl and his death was traumatic and the after effects hurt for a very long time. Children do not ever get over a parents death. He died on April 15, 1979. That was Easter Sunday. Apparently, I thought my dad would be coming back and I asked when my new daddy would be here. I am sure the reason why I asked that was because it was Easter and I thought that my dad would come back in 3 days. At the time, it probably was the worst thing to say but I am sure of the reasoning behind. Now that I am a mom, I realize that at the age of seven, children still do not understand the concept of death. Nevertheless, it was sweet that I thought he was going to be “resurrected”.

I remember three things about the wake. My grandpa was on the left of me, he was staring at a pink flower, and he never stopped frowning. My grandma was on the right of me, she was shaking very bad and streams of heavy tears fell from her cheeks. Last, I consciously decided that I never wanted to hurt as much as my grandma did. Therefore, I decided to stare like my grandpa. That was child-like thinking at its best.

Soon after my brother, my mom, and I got on a plane and flew back to New York. I remember one thing from the flight. There was a man on the plane that asked my mom about the flowers she was holding. She told him that her husband died. Then the man looked at me and I smiled.

I felt lonely without my dad and after his death; no one ever spoke about him. We stopped going to church. I longed for him. From a very young age, I would pray to God that he would send me a boy to protect me. I prayed for this very often. Please God, send me a boy that loves me. I need a boy who loves me. I need a boy who will protect me. As I grew the prayer changed to, sending me a man.

Eventually, I escaped from New York and joined the Army. I met a boy and married him. God finally answered my prayer. He believed in God and went to church his whole life. He brought me back to church after a 17-year absence. However, that marriage was explosive and to be honest, you marry what you know and I knew chaos and abuse. The marriage was so bad that I would continue the prayer of old days. I would also pray that I would get sick so he would have to take care of and protect me.

I truly believe that God loves me so much that he gave me free will to decide what path I choose. I chose the environment in which I lived. However, my choice was rewarded. He loved me so much, that even though that marriage was not the best, he knew that I would eventually come back to HIM while in this marriage.That is free will at its best. He made a horrible experience into something good. I know that divine intervention played a large part in my life at this time. Yes, my husband did leave me in the most desperate moment. If he stayed, I would have never reached deep down in my soul and found the strength to live. He had to leave me or he would have killed me. Not murdered me, but I do not know anyone that believes I would have survived cancer if he did not leave. That is why I had to go to California.

When I got back from California, I focused on getting back to normal. I met a new man. Started going to church with him. One day, I realized something. That old prayer I repeatedly asked so many times, the prayer for a boy/man, it was answered a long, long time ago. Ironically, I prayed for a man who already protected and took care of me. He also died for all of my sins. God loved me so much that he sent me his son and that prayer was answered long before I ever prayed. It was right there in front of me the whole time. We are unconditionally loved by God and Jesus. HE took care of all and He was protecting me the whole time. He protected me in abusive environments. He protected me through cancer. He carried me when I was too weak to move one. He gave me strength. He sent friends to help me. He gave me the strength to move. He protects me now and protected me throughout my entire life. Divine Intervention is AWESOME (sing it)!

lessons learned from cancer

When I got cancer the first time, in 2002, I immediately wondered if I would live. I wanted to live; I wanted to be a survivor. My situation was not exactly the best. There was a lot of drama going on in my life and marriage. My husband left me. His family tried to take my children away from me because I was not well enough to take care of my children. Of course, I was not. First, where did my husband go? Secondly, how was I supposed to take care of my children while undergoing several surgeries and eventually starting chemotherapy?

I am so thankful for friends. They cleaned my surgery sites. They took care of my children. One of my friends even organized a benefit in my honor and raised over $4000. On top of all that, the church I attended paid my bills. Even my mother sent me money. People visited me whom I never met to give me hope and help. Dinner showed up at my house practically every day. The amount of cards I received covered the front doorway. Flowers were sent. Even Santa came to my house to visit my children. The company I worked for set me up with fmla and gave me a leave of absense. Even my boss helped in getting that taken care of. I was so blessed to see that the tragedy of cancer made me feel so much love.

There came a time that I had to leave. There was no denying it. I called my aunt and told her everything that was going on with my husband and his family. She told me to drive there, NOW. She said not to pack, get the kids, and drive to Kansas, NOW. Most cancer survivors realize doing this on the third day after chemo is very hard to do but I did it. I told the school there were appointments. I put my children in a car. I went to an abused women’s center. I told them what I was doing and then I left Illinois and drove to Kansas.

All the way to Kansas, my daughter and I would pray. Each time we finished praying we would see signs on the highway like, Jesus Saves. Once we were in St. Louis, we prayed again asking to know for sure we were doing the right thing. Then I looked a head and I saw a license plate that was from San Jose, CA. This was to be our final destination. We never questioned whether were doing the right thing again.

We spent the night in Kansas and then in the morning boarded a plane for San Jose. We were welcomed with opened arms at my other aunts. We would spend 6 months in CA.

Three days later, I finally called my husband to tell him where we were, as I told no one where I was going. He was very mad. However, I deserved better. Eventually, he tried to have me arrested for kidnapping. As I said earlier, I went to an abused women’s shelter before we left Illinois. I have no idea why I decided to go there. My guess is divine intervention. Therefor, because I went there and told them what I was doing, no one could have me arrested for kidnapping.

I decided at that moment to try to understand what kind of life lessons I could learn from cancer. The first lesson was faith. Faith makes miracles happen.

I believe the whole experience to get to California happened because of divine intervention. Without divine intervention, I would not be here right now enjoying my life with my now older children, my new husband, and our 4-year-old son.

Check back soon for more about my cancer journey.

Last Breath

LAST BREATH

her breath became week

she holds on to life

her time has come

she shakes and prays

finally happiness

her spirit is joyful

peace runs through her soul

tears follow the wrinkles of time

her eyes focus

and behold her father has come

following his light she ascends

living in the clouds guarding her flock

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