"Whatever you think you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, because action has magic, grace, and power in it." Goethe


Saturday’s Snapshot: Summer’s Colors


The gift of fresh produce this morning from Susanne…and the gift of Fiesta ware this afternoon from myself.
These are the colors of summer.
The vegetables remind me of my dad and many days working in our gardens. The dishes remind me of two aunts…Helen and Mary. Both enjoyed pretty things. I remember eating from dishes like these in their kitchens, and I remember it was never important that things matched.
My daughter and I had fun picking these out today. We liked the shapes of the bowls, the bright colors. We mixed and matched a few colors too.

Enjoy the simple pleasures in life.
Eat well on pretty plates.

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Friday’s Five

Five more of the many blessings from the past seven days:

First on the list tonight: an oncologist who calls to speak to the patient personally, who wants the best treatment plan for my husband; I like that. I do not take good medical care for granted.

Next: central air. It’s 100 degrees here, folks.

Number three: texted pictures and videos of friends’ children. Children give me hope. They need us and we need them.

Fourth this week: finding an old picture from our late honeymoon…we finally took one fifteen years after the wedding, a sweet little cruise ten years ago. It still makes me smile. Memories.

I end tonight with gratitude for my blog followers.
Thank you for reading and for sticking with me through the ups and downs of life. It’s been encouraging to know there’s something here you want to read.

These aren’t the easiest days, but I’m determined to make the most of them.
I’m thankful for the gift of time. Thankful that others value that too.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

If you have read this blog for long, you know we live with cancer now…and we are still new at it.
The world through our eyes has changed…and I try to capture that here.
There are new supplies and equipment here. There are sacks and sacks of medicines.
I hope you see where I put the emphasis, though…on the things that have always mattered: the spring crepe myrtle that survived two droughts and a house demolition and is in full bloom today, the pond that was almost empty a year ago…now filling back up, another quilting project in the works for a friend’s baby.
Keep your eyes trained to see the good.
Every item here is good because each one helps. And that is how I intend to keep using my eyes and seeing our world…looking for what helps.

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Half the Story

We never know people nearly as well
as we might think we do.

Every single one of us has stories hidden deep…some that will never be told. Some that only we know.
Those stories are the essence of who we are. They’ve shaped us.

We like to say we understand this or that about someone, about someone’s circumstance. I’m not sure why that is.
Maybe it’s just an inherent need to be right, to fit in.

I’ve found that the ones who do come the closest to understanding have been dealt some pretty serious blows themselves.

I’m amazed that even in the midst of their own pain and suffering, people reach out to help us in ours.

We have been touched and helped by people who are dealing with loss, with illness, with family issues of their own.

On the other hand, some folks show a serious lack of understanding.
They show up unannounced, get upset if we can’t ( or choose not to) take a call, ask a bunch of questions that they don’t really need the answers to…

Why is this? Other than complete and utter disregard for common courtesy, I think it truly is that these folks have forgotten they only know part of what’s going on.
If they knew everything, they’d act much differently. Surely.
The thing is, we all forget. We think we know.
We base our actions on our own life experiences. Sometimes that’s not the best way.

My sister in law came by today. She brought homemade bread, a cake hot from the oven. She wasn’t worried about coming in. She doesn’t know everything that’s going on with her brother on a daily basis, but she accepts that. She accepts that he gets to call the shots about who visits when.

It was a relief to hug her and know food was waiting. I didn’t have to explain all of the medications and ins and outs of what we do here. All I had to do was accept her gift and keep going.

There’s still so much to say. Things I wish people understood. Like this:
We knew about this cancer long before they did. We lived with knowing. With waiting on results.
I think of the many test results I’ve waited out in the course of my own life, most that people knew nothing about.
Life goes on. Or it stops short.

A friend’s husband died last night in a wreck on Interstate 30. Another friend’s dad just lost his battle with cancer. Another friend remembers this time two years ago when her son was found dead in a wooded area far from here…from a self inflicted gunshot.
So. There’s suffering. A lot of it.

But sometimes we want people to suck all that up and just “be ok.”
It’s just not that simple.
There’s always more going on than meets the eye.
We know half the story…if we are lucky.

If we would try harder to remember that, the world would be a much better place.

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Tuesday’s Lesson: Beach Music

A series of messages from my gratitude buddy tonight…
this image just a screen shot because I haven’t uploaded whatever it is I need so you can see the video clip. Because I like free. Haha.
But…you get the meaning, surely.
Here is a beach scene filled with lapping waves. Beautiful day. Peace.
I read one time that a person was going through a hard time and someone called her house and when she answered, played music. Piano. She never knew who, but it mattered.
So simple…the gifts we are capable of giving.
Tonight, Kim knew.
I needed that beach music.
We’ve kept track of a year’s worth of days, remembering our friend who died in a car crash in April 2012. A drunk driver took her.
We decided to find the meaning in each day. We have. We still do.
Now, we continue to find meaning. Gratitude. Kim is usually first lately, but that’s ok.
As long as we both are still looking for the good, we’ll find it. It doesn’t matter who is first. It sure helps to have a friend like her.
Another teacher on the journey where school stopped mattering…but the lessons keep coming.

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Home Again

Four nights away sure beats twenty, but home is still the best place to rest our heads tonight.
Thankful for excellent health care workers, good medicines, competence.
Is it that way every day? No. So when it is, it’s good to appreciate it.
Glad, too, for family and friends. They make themselves known daily and it is a blessing every single time.
A hot shower, soft PJs, a familiar bed.
And another cup of coffee before I go.
Night, dear reader.
Keep us in your thoughts. It’s a journey.
Unlike any I’ve ever seen.

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Sunday’s Song: Changes

Eleven months ago today I started this blog.
Any of you who have read for awhile know that it’s been a hodgepodge, a place in progress, and most recently–a place to document how cancer changes the day.
Change comes though, whether we write or not.
One day, I’ll backtrack through these entries. See where I’ve tiptoed around issues instead of confronting them.
It’s all a dance.
The steps have changed, the tune has changed since July 23, 2012.
I’ve changed too.
I’m learning how evil cancer is. How powerful it is. How chemo is evil and powerful, too.
How all of this changes one’s perspective.
One change I notice lately is the ability to ask for and accept help.
I’ve done both.
Out of character. Needed.
And, while I’ve never been one to back away from a conflict, I’m more ready than ever to get things in the open.
I do not have time for games. For petty behavior.
My husband’s life changed abruptly in April. Mine changed right along with his. Our family is changed forever.
One thing I know, though, is this: most days run slower than they could. We can take the incremental changes because we give ourselves time to adjust.
Life is all about adjustments, after all.
Many more changes are coming. It’s a fact of life.
We’ve been back in Little Rock since Thursday. Big change to the way our days go.
We are ready to be home…even though when we get there, we know the days will be a little different.
Life. Changes.
Be ready.

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Friday’s Five

Five of the many blessings from the past week…actually cheating tonight: these all came today, on the first day of summer, which is a blessing of its own to me…

It’s the 25th anniversary of my husband’s marriage proposal. I was smart enough to say yes.

An honest to goodness phone call with my sis…filled with venting, remembering, laughter, and good advice.

A double message from my artsy friend Mallory, relaying a creative dream that we both know could come true if God continues to say I can…as well as a prayer to St. Peregrine, the patron saint of cancer patients.

A text from my husband’s best friend that caused us all to laugh while picturing the scene he described. I’ll never tire of hearing Sam laugh that genuine laugh.

A good night message from my friend Beverly who reminds me my family is always in her prayers. She didn’t want me to forget it.

All today, dear readers. See what I mean?
Look for the light and you will find it.