Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanks and Giving....

$100-provides a pair of crutches for a St. Jude Patient
$140-provides 2 platelets count tests for St. Jude Patients
$500-provides 2 transfusions of red blood cells for a St. Jude Patient
$1000-provides 2 days of oxygen to a St Jude Patient
$1500-provides a day of chemotherapy for a St. Jude Patient
$6150-provides a day of inpatient care for a St Jude patient

Thanks and Giving
Give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, 
and give to those who are not…
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

What is YOUR healthy child worth to you? Your  money? Your Time? Your house? Your car? When your child gets sick everything else in your world stops. You begin fighting for your child’s life at all cost. You no longer care about your health, sleep or even your job, the health and life of your child becomes the most important thing in the world. As a parent you will go anywhere or do anything to save your child’s life.
Fight as much as you want and do your part as a parent but things are still out of your control. You watch as they pump your child full of toxic chemicals to kill the cancer. You hold your child as they are sick and scared. You cry for them as you would give anything to take their place in that hospital bed. It is horrible to watch someone so young be so brave and mature. Cancer kids are just more brave, bold and accepting of what life has given them.
Once the chemo begins to work, it weakens their blood and now your child needs lifesaving blood transfusion to survive. Their own body cannot make the red blood cells and platelets needed to even function. As they get weaker and can barely move there is a help coming. It is lifesaving blood. Before the blood Heather would be weak and sluggish to the point of not being able to move. After a blood transfusion she would be ready to go shopping. The difference in just two hours is simply amazing to see.
Please consider a gift of life saving blood this holiday season. People get so busy with the buying of gifts that the blood supply gets very low. If this was your child or loved one you would want the blood right away. Giving blood costs you nothing and takes about an hour of your time. the actual taking of the blood takes about 7 minutes. it is all the paperwork and getting prepped that takes the time. One single donation can save up to 3 lives…
Heather’s 24th Birthday will be Saturday December 10. Our family is hosting the 2nd annual Birthday Blood Drive at Arizona Mills Mall. There will be balloons to sign and cake. The balloons will be released at the end of the day. It is very healing to watch balloons with messages ascend to heaven. Almost like she gets the messages.
Please join us on this special day…sign up at the link below. It helps to have a time so you are not waiting around for a long time.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Thanksgiving Thoughts...

I was wondering when you would arrive. I never know the exact time but I always know you will be showing up for the holidays. I have come to count on you. I know you very well and I don’t need to see your ID. I don’t want to let you in but you have a bully club so there is no stopping you from coming in and staying as long as you want to. You ask me if I am happy to see you, I tell you to go away, but you say it is your job to hunt me down and find me each year. I can feel you creeping over me as you come in with no warning, sit down in your most favorite and comfortable chair to make yourself at home in my life for the next few weeks. I am not happy to see you and I thought I put you behind me. I don’t invite you or want you here, but there is nothing that can prevent you from coming right in and making yourself at home in my life. I tell you it is not fair that you keep coming back; I have paid you very well and served my time. But you smile as you settle into your chair, slip off your shoes, put your feet on my table and light your cigar, filling my place with an awful smell. 

Depression arrived this week..I can't pinpoint the day but I know he showed up again. I was not really excited to go see Breaking Dawn this week. That is when I knew he arrived just on schedule. Was I not excited to see Breaking Dawn because Heather loved Twilight? Was it because that was our Christmas Eve movie in 2008? Was it because of the wedding scene that I know I will never have with Heather? Because Bella can have a vampire's baby and I will never see Heather's babies? or finally because she wanted Edward to be real so he could save her when she was in ICU? I saw the movie and it was good...

Here are just a few thoughts about the holidays coming up...more to come later. Just a bit of explanation as to why holidays are so hard. I believe today that I will forever be depressed during the holidays. It will always be there. Why do I not want to be part of huge family gatherings? it is a huge reminder that my Heather, my family will never be together again. As you sit down and have all your family there at the table...mine will forever be broken. My daughter and her future husband and kids are gone. Never to be. I can't screw on my smile and pretend everything is ok and I am having a good time. Sorry, just being honest.

GIVING VS. SELFISH:  Almost all holidays have, as a central theme, a need to remind ourselves how thankful I should be for what has been "given to me" so that my  life is better today. I am reminded during these holidays that I too should be giving to others. Gifts are purchased and shared, food is gifted to others, and volunteers rush to feed the homeless, bell-ringers remind us to drop money in the kettle for the less fortunate. It feels good to give.

Grief is selfish...I have lost, I hurt, I am lonely, I am confused, I need to know me again, I need to be comforted, I am angry, I am sad, etc...When we lose someone we focus on ourselves. The job of grieving is the job of re-identifying the self...thus I am very SELFISH. I am not focused outward, I am focused inward. I often feel there is something "wrong" with me because prior to my significant loss I always felt good giving during the holidays and now I feel "bad" because I am unable to dredge up the "giving spirit".

FAMILY REUNIONS: Traditions dictate that holidays bring a family unit together to celebrate the occasions as a whole family. A sense of support that comes from a family unit can be of great solace. So too can the lack of support from a family unit be a major problem for us during the holidays.

Those less affected by the loss may be less inclined to be sympathetic and supportive to us. Without knowing it, the less affected may expect other family members to be at the same level in the grieving process. Other family members may feel there is something "wrong' with them because they are not as far along in the process.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Just Another Day To The World....

I wonder to myself if it will ever go away, but then I don’t really want it to go away.  If the memory starts to fade and the date goes from my mind then Heather is slipping further from my mind. To the rest of the world today is just November 8, but to me it is the day we had a grand celebration for an extra ordinary reason. The Grand Duchess Heather had slain her cancer dragon. It was the best day, best party I ever planned and the best time had by all that attended.
Royal save the date
Royal invitation
Royal invitation
It was not hard to come up with the princess theme as Heather was a true princess in common people clothes. Everything for this ball seemed to come together flawlessly. I remember not being able to find a limo. I was terribly disappointed, more so than Heather. I was determined to find a limo that I could afford. Most of them were $600 for 2 hour minimum charge. I just could not see paying that kind of money for a limo. About 10 days prior to the ball I decided to try one last time to find a limo for her. I called Desert Rose Limo Co and explained my situation. I don’t remember the man’s name on the other end but I do remember him telling me that he would do it for $75. I was nearly in tears as I said yes I want it. The driver was doing a wedding here in the East Valley and had time to kill. He could pick Heather up and drop her off no problem. I was thrilled when he told me it was a white limo as well.
The pink flowers
The flowers
Royal gift table
Royal seating chart
The Monday before the ball my Daddy called. He told me he was finished with his harvesting and was going on a trip. I was busy and not really thinking as I asked him where he was going. He told me he had a big ball to attend in Mesa on Saturday. I nearly dropped the phone. My Dad does not like to fly, but had decided that he could not miss the ball. He had worked like a madman to finish the harvest and went down that morning and bought his ticket. I ran to tell Heather that her Grandpa would be coming. She immediately lit up and asked if he would escort her into her ball and ride in the limo with her. It was a memory as my dad had never ridden in a limo, nor had he escorted a granddaughter on such a special day before. He told me later that he told Heather in the limo that he was just there to steady her and that she was to lead. He did a great job. Looking back now, he would not have missed this for the world.
The beautiful walk by the Grand Duchess Heather
The Royal cake testing by HRH-Her Royal Highness
Everything was perfect and the evening was one that I will never forget. Heather told me that the evening went too fast and it was over. She had asked me if that was what it felt like to be a bride. Little did I know then, that the ball was her wedding day or the closest thing she would get to it. The limo..$75 The cake..$250 The dress..$350…getting to experience this with my daughter and make her so happy…PRICELESS!!
The Royal Princess acting goofy-Angie, Wendy, HRH, Krissy, Jenn and Jaime
"Cousin" Princess Angie and Grand Duchess Heather
"I don't know why all the trees change in the fall
But I know you're not scared of anything at all
Don't know is Snow White's house is near or far away
But I know I had the best day with you today...
HRH and the royal cousins, Karee and Khloe
The Queen, The Royal Grandpa and the Grand Duchess
Grand Duchess Heather and The King
And now I know why all the trees change in the fall
I know you were on my side even when I was wrong
And I love you for giving me your eyes
For staying back and watching me shine
And I didn't know if you knew,
So I am takin' this chance to say
That I had the best day with you today...
~Taylor Swift-Best Day~

Friday, November 4, 2011

15 Albums...

Music was very important to Heather, whether she was singing, playing or listening to it, she loved every aspect of music. Bill and I went on a house hunting trip when the girls were little and left them with Sally and "George". One evening when I called "George" got on the phone with Sally and they were both telling us about Heather swinging in the back yard singing Jesus Loves Me at the top of her lungs. Sally said she was so cute and would sing the entire time she was swinging. I can see her curly blond hair flying everywhere and her deep voice with the little bit of a mumble singing, swinging and laughing.
The following is a post from Facebook about your favorite 15 albums. I thought you might enjoy her idea of music.

Mmmm Hmmm your in for another one
Sunday, February 22, 2009 at 8:43pm
Think of 15 albums (in no particular order) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life or the way you looked at it. They sucked you in and took you over for days, weeks, months, years. These are the albums that you can use to identify time, places, people, emotions. These are the albums that no matter what they were thought of musically shaped your world. When you finish, tag 15 others, including me. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!

1. Behind the Eyes - Amy Grant
2. Born to Fly - Sara Evans
3. Starting Over - Reba McEntire
4. Change - Sierra
5. Legacy...Hymns and Faith - Amy Grant
6. Long Black Train - Josh Turner
7. Wild Hope - Mandy Moore
8. Wynonna - Wynonna
9. Song Remembers When - Trisha Yearwood
10. The Way Home - Wayne Watson
11. Pretty Woman Soundtrack - Various
12. Amazing Grace 3 - Various
13. Taylor Swift - Taylor Swift
14. My Redeemer - Matthew Ward
15. The Collection - Amy Grant
(Ok, so I like Amy Grant.... I probably could have listed all 15 with Amy Grant... but this was hard to pick out Albums without your iTunes or CD rack next to you. And I wasn't tagged but I really like this one.. haha)