This week the world lost a gentle, kind, loving woman.
I first met Mary in 1996, when our children started school together. Although we weren’t friends in the “Let’s have a glass of wine and get a pedicure” sense, I counted Mary among the women I really admired.
Mary and I began to bond when we shared carpool duties in Kindergarten. I’d pick up her son Robert, along with my daughter Sarah, and bring them back to my house. Mary would pick up Robert a little while later, depending on her changing work schedule, and we had some time to connect, mom-to-mom. From the beginning, I loved Mary’s tender style of parenting. Her kind eyes, sweet smile and easy laugh put children and adults at ease.
It’s October and in case you haven’t noticed, the color pink is popping up everywhere. NFL players sport bright pink gloves, skyscrapers and bridges glow pink in the night sky and it seems every food product in the supermarket has a pink ribbon. I even spotted an ad for a roofer in my local “coupon clipper” that had a pink ribbon and offered to donate a portion of all jobs in October to breast cancer research.
I’m ambivalent about the pink ribbon campaign. I hope it reminds people about the threat of breast cancer, but I wonder how effective it really is. But that’s a discussion for another day.
What DOES work – is screening mammograms. I used to dread… Continue reading
This week I bumped into a friend I hadn’t seen in a few years. I was about to take Ella (our goofy pit-bull) for a walk when Mary walked by and admired the riot of flowers in our front garden. I forgot about the walk for a while and enjoyed re-connecting. Mary’s son and my daughter went all through school together, but since graduation two years ago our paths hadn’t crossed.
It was wonderful to see Mary and catch up on “the kids” (who are of course all adults). As we stood on the sidewalk chatting, I couldn’t help but notice that the hair under Mary’s baseball cap was really short – chemo short.
Eventually, it came out in conversation that Mary was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer and… Continue reading
I’ve been a city girl all my life, born and raised on asphalt. The smell of warm cement cooled by summer rain ranks right up there with Tosca, the perfume my mother wore when I was a child.
As a result, I’m usually content with nature in small doses. A city park, a small patch of grass or a well placed garden satisfies my need to be with nature. But this week, I craved a nature fix. Specifically, I needed to be near a lake. Not a pond, a LAKE.
This isn’t an easy destination when you live in an old suburb of Philly. A few hundred years has allowed civilization to spread far and wide. In fact, it takes at least 20 – 30 minutes of driving to even… Continue reading
This week marked the first anniversary of the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. To celebrate I had a mammogram.
Woo hoo! Party!!
Ok, so maybe it wasn’t all fun and games. But while the mammogram equipment still resembles a medieval torture device, the vise like grip of the machine is nothing compared to the grip that fear had on my imagination while waiting for the results.
I think of myself as generally very optimistic but, in between thoughts of “all is well”, visions of cancerous lumps danced in my head. Those visions loomed even larger when the tech came into the waiting room and said that more pictures were needed.
Part of my brain was glad that the radiologist was being careful to get all the correct angles… Continue reading
I was privileged recently to spend a week in a gorgeous English town called, “Berwick-upon-Tweed.” My husband and I, along with many other family members, all gathered to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday.
Relatives came from far and wide (France, Wales, Spain, the US and many parts of England) to celebrate. Since there were so many “out-of-towners”, my mother-in-law (Marion) arranged a guided tour of the historic grass and stone ramparts that surround the town.
Walking along the path at the top of the ramparts, I couldn’t help but be awed by the gorgeous, lush grass that waved in the breeze.
I gushed, “It’s so green!”
Mari Lo (from Spain) was walking beside me. She thought about… Continue reading
As a faculty member, I had the privilege of attending the graduation for the Circle of Miracles Ministry School Class of 2011 this past weekend. Annabella Wood, a fellow instructor, shared the following story during the ceremony (some poetic license taken):
Ever notice how the GPS in your car never criticizes you? It never tells you that you’re on the wrong path, or going in the wrong direction. You simply input the destination and go on your way. If, you should make a right turn, rather than a left, the GPS simply says, “Recalculating…” It occurred to me how much SPIRIT is like a GPS. We simply tell SPIRIT where we want to go and start the journey. We can choose any path to get us there
Whew! These past few weeks have been a doozy.
I’ve been struggling with a sense of inertia – like I’m not moving forward fast enough. Life’s been busy, but my busyness has not produced a lot of tangible results lately.
For instance, I’ve been trying to set up more workshops locally but dates aren’t coming together. New web seminar technology hasn’t worked the way I wanted. Even on a personal level, dinner dates with friends have fallen through and no one responded to an ad I placed to sell an item on Craigslist. I could go on, but I don’t need to bore you to prove a point.
I wanted more results, faster, but wasn’t sure how to make it happen.
It reminded me of how I felt shortly after I… Continue reading
And the wild things roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws.” ~ Maurice Sendak ~
Fear goes hand and hand with a diagnosis of cancer.
In fact, from the moment I thought I might have cancer, fear started gnashing its terrible teeth and showing its terrible claws. My first reaction to fear was to push it down. Ignore it. Fight it.
Admitting my fear felt like I was giving it power – like admitting the boogie man under the bed was real. But fighting the fear didn’t diminish it either. I just wanted to move past the fear and re-connect with my power… Continue reading
I love Strong & Wise.
The moment I received the Four Keys in a meditation my life was forever changed. Having these powerful tools at my disposal has moved me through every challenge – big and small – ever since.
But here’s the catch – I am not always strong and certainly not always wise; but I always have access to strength and wisdom.
When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, “Strong & Wise” became more like, “Scared & Freaked Out.”
Some well meaning friends and family said, “Well if it had to happen to anyone, it’s good it’s you because you’re strong.”
On one level I knew that they were trying to say that I had the strength to move through… Continue reading