Monday, April 29, 2013


My little girl came up to me in the kitchen this evenin'
While I was fixin supper
And she handed me a piece of paper she’d been writin on
And after wipin my hands on my apron
I read it - and this is what it said:
For mowin the yard - five dollars
And for makin my own bed this week - one dollar
And for goin to the store - fifty cents
An playin with little sister, while you went to the store - twenty-five cents
Takin out the trash - one dollar
Gettin a good report card - five dollars
And for rakin the yard - two dollars
Total owed – fourteen dollars and seventy-five cents.

How many little notes have your children written to you? Some just say I love you and other say I am sorry. More say can we do this or go here. Regardless of what they say, they are PRICELESS!! Any note written or picture drawn, just for you, by your child to you is a keepsake. I have a whole box full of little notes that the girls have left me over the years. In going through Heather’s things I found that she kept just about every single one I had ever written to her. I even found a post card that Bill sent to her back in 1990. It was bent and torn and much loved. Remembering back I am sure she slept with it for days.
Heather went for a week to Piano Camp in Flagstaff. This was her first time ever away from home and away from Mom and family as well. Her roommate was not a good match for her. During this week of camp I drove back up three times. We dropped her off on Saturday, I went back up on Monday to move her to a different room, back Wednesday to visit and then on Friday to get her because she was sick. It was really funny that the camp leader thought she was faking, but she threw up several times and was beyond exhausted. She slept for over 20 hours her first day home. Come to find out NAU had an outbreak of Norovirus the exact same time Heather was there. I sent her mail and packages every day and got online and let some of her friends know she was struggling. She kept every single note during that time. I read them, think about what I am going to do with them and then place them back in the box and put them away. Maybe someday I will be able to get rid of these. But today is not that day.

Well, I looked at her standin there expectantly
And a thousand memories flashed through my mind
So I picked up the pen, turnin the paper over,
This is what I wrote:

For nine months I carried you,
Growin inside me - NO CHARGE
For the nights I've sat up with you,
Doctored you, prayed for you - NO CHARGE
For the toys, food, clothes and wipin’ your nose – 
When you add it all up.
The full cost of my love is NO CHARGE.

Well, when she finished readin'
She had great big old tears in her eyes
And she looked up at her standing there and said
Momy, I sure do love you
Then she took the pen,
And in great big letters
She wrote PAID IN FULL.
When you add it all up
The cost of real love is, no charge..
~No Charge~Tammy Wynette~
A mother’s love is fully unconditional. In the words of Celine Dion’s song Miracle, “there is nothing you could ever do, to make me stop loving you,” says it all as to how a mother feels. As a mother your heart breaks when your child is sick, has a fever, cold or the stomach flu. Now imagine your child is considered an adult in the eyes of the world and she has cancer. She has to sign a medical power of attorney now for you to get her care. The doctors don’t really want to talk to you they want to talk to your child, the adult, who is drugged to the point of not caring about a thing they are saying. Sitting silently as chemo drugs drip into your child and she lays motionless and sick in the bed next to you; having to stand firm between your child and the medical staff acting like a guard dog, fighting for the safety and wellness of your child. Watching horrible things happen to your child and there is not one single thing you can do. Your heart breaking with every day that passes. There still is NO CHARGE for my love and support thru all that Heather went through. My heart breaks but my love, my unconditional love has never changed or waivered…and it never will. The full cost of having my love, is –NO CHARGE…

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Makeover Without My Consent...

Ohh Ohh Ohh
Said goodbye, turned around
And you were gone, gone, gone
Faded into the setting sun,
Slipped away
But I won’t cry
Cause I know I’ll never be lonely
For you are the stars to me,
You are the light I follow…

You know me. Heather. Some little things I love: rain...sunflowers...victoria's evans....blankets....strawberry cheesecake yogurt.... Bigger things... Currently, going to school and work is on hold while I fight Leukemia. I was diagnosed with this cancer in April 2008. God is in control and He's teaching me daily how to trust Him. Learning to have that faith that I spoke of at the beginning of 2008... I also said that I wanted to spend more time with family and friends that I've let slip through the cracks.... and I have done a lot of that the past month! and last from my goals at the beginning of 2008, I knit... quite a lot these days. I'm going to have 6 projects going at the same time.... Before I'm done updating this page... I have a few more things I wanted to shout out that I'm so grateful for. First and foremost, my caregiver, biggest supporter and cheerleader.... I am so grateful and thankful for my momy. She's been right there every single step of the way! Fighting with doctors, nurses, and insurance to ensure that I get the best care, the most pain free way there is! She's there for every tear drop that falls... and also when I can smile and laugh about something. God knew I needed her!
~MySpace~Lil China Doll

I have stated it before that this year for a reason I cannot pinpoint is much harder. I have no explanation for this; it just simply is the way it is. The events are still so clear in my mind it is like they happened yesterday. I am not sure that these images will ever leave my mind completely. They race through my mind and thought in vivid color; they have not dulled at all.

I am not sure how we survived the first few days after Heather died. We did things now that I look back on and wonder how in the world we did those things. The only reason is because of extreme shock. I was a walking, sort of functioning zombie, drowning but still breathing with my head barely above water. The next day, just about 12 hours after Heather died I was at Falconer Funeral Home making all the arrangements, picking out a casket and giving them her things. After we left the funeral home we stopped by the hospital. We went into ICU, radiology and 6 South. We handed out “Heather” bunnies to some special staff people. We were treated very well and were told the whole hospital was talking about Heather. To even drive by Banner Baywood now gives me sick feeling in my stomach. I drive by there many times a week.

One of the hardest things was our whole family went to Peter Piper Pizza for lunch that day. Not sure why, we were hungry and couldn’t think of anything better. We were all numb and not sure we even tasted what we ate. The manager knew us because for 12 years this was a weekly place we ate at. He came to us during our meal and gave us a dessert pizza. He stated that we looked so sad and he hoped this would help our day. He had no way of knowing what had just happened in our world and I didn’t tell him. I do remember ordering drinks and saying 6 small drinks, wait no 5 small drinks, no wait…and having to really think about how many drinks cups I needed. I think that was the first moment it began to hit home that Heather was gone as weird as that sounds.
I can hear those echoes in the wind at night
Calling me back in time
Back to you
In a place far away
Where the water meets the sky
The thought of it makes me smile
You are my tomorrow

Here it is now four years later and I still can’t come to grips with the idea that Heather is gone, FOREVER. Her stuff is still here and life is moving forward and Heather is still gone. Most of her friends are getting married and having babies but Heather is still gone and not getting married and not having babies. I know she would want her friends to be happy and move on with their lives. I am happy for her friends and really do wish them the best. It is just hard for me to sit on the sidelines knowing that Heather would have been involved with several of the weddings. She would have been an honorary Aunt a couple times over. Moving forward without her is tough. Holidays come and go and she isn’t here to celebrate with us.

In looking at photos I realized that there are no more new photos of Heather. I recently went back through old photo files and began looking for different photos of Heather that no one has really seen before. It doesn’t matter if I took a photo of her every day, it would not be enough. But one day, there will be no never before seen photos of her. I posted two to the blog the last few days that I really have been enjoying looking at. Her eyes are so mesmerizing and beautiful. Just a sad thought not to have any new photos of Heather ever again.

Sometimes I feel my heart is breaking
But I stay strong and I hold on
Cause I know
I will see you again, ohhh
This is not where it ends
I will carry you with me
Till I see you again…
~See You Again~Carrie Underwood

Let's see.... Heather is my given name but a lot of people call me Miss Priss, lil Missy, or just plain Missy. Since finding out I am going to be an Aunt in Spring 2009, I've decided to go by Aunt Missy... hence the "Missy".... It's much easier to learn to say. I'm starting to think I should just accept that as my name since I get a second chance at life... why not a new name? Yes, I spent Summer 2008 fighting cancer and participating in aggressive in-hospital chemo. I am a Survivor! It gave me a life makeover without my consent, but I wouldn't change a thing. This is who I am supposed to be with this event. Hmmm... something you should know about me.... Yes I am "the Princess"....

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Real Sleeping Beauty Part III...

Sleeping Beauty fair,
Gold of sunshine in your hair,
Lips that shame the red, red rose,
Dreaming of true love in slumber repose…

My artwork that I have purchased are not just pieces bought for resale value, they have very personal and profound meaning to me. I am surprised that I now have three Sleeping Beauty paintings. It was not my intention to have three by three different artists, is just turned out that way. I guess it is because Heather LOVED Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, so much. In my eyes Heather is very much like Aurora.

I was torn, not really, between two paintings. I placed the two photos on FaceBook to get some feedback. Not that I have to explain my decision in choosing Awaken The Beauty but I want to share my feelings about this painting. The moment I looked into the gallery window my eyes were drawn to this painting. It was hauntingly, beyond stunning to me. It touched me deep within my heart and soul.

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful long hair and red lips.  Aurora is sleeping so peacefully, not a care in the world. Heather had beyond beautiful hair. It was long and she could make it do anything she wanted to. It would drive me crazy that she could twist her hair into a bun and hold it securely with a pen or pencil. Heather loved the fact that she could style her hair as Julia Roberts hair was done in Steel Magnolias. She would fix it and then come tell me it was the “end all hairstyles.”

Princess Aurora’s long, thin, willowy body shape was inspired by that of Audrey Hepburn.

Aurora is Latin for “dawn”

I have explained in Part I about how I placed Heather’s Ball Gown on top of her the day she died. The moment after I placed her ball gown and tiara on Heather I told her she was “wearing” her tiara and ball gown. I told her she looked beautiful. What I didn’t know was that Bill was taking a photo of me. It has become one of the few very moving photos that I have. Yes, it is horrible to see and remember just exactly what was happening that day. It has been titled “A Mother’s Love.” In that moment when I was talking to her I only saw the true princess that she really was. I didn’t see all the machines and IV’s. Our nurse Racheal commented that this painting reminded her of me looking at Heather that last day. I had not really thought about it that way, but it does.

One of Heather’s favorite flowers was roses and her favorite color was red. The single red rose placed in Aurora’s hands is priceless. Heather had a single white rose placed in her hands. [A single white rose symbolizes light, purity, innocence, remembrance and a new beginning.]  At the time I wasn’t thinking about asking it to be changed to a red rose. A small detail that escaped me and at this point it doesn’t matter. She had a single rose like Aurora.

The prince is named after Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh

This painting draws your eyes right into the center, the red lips, red rose and the Prince’s red cape. The entire painting is mutated colors in shades of gray/blue. WARNING-truth about death coming…skip the rest of this paragraph. In the moments after Heather died, or anyone else for that matter, color leaves their body and they become a ash/gray color. It happens and it very difficult to see. The prince and Aurora have nearly no color. It is the hauntingly beautiful portion of this painting for me. It also seems that the prince’s face is reflecting Aurora’s face, her beauty. Sandy told me “all she sees in this painting is the life Heather must be living in death.” She knows me so well that her words say what I couldn’t put into words…”so much deeper than just a painting…it’s a complete depiction of Heather!!!” “No words can describe this painting…It’s deeper than the eye even goes.”

In the clouds in more detail,  Maleficent in her dragon form is in the center. Of course the evil verse good where good triumphs. The Prince is given the sword of truth and the shield of virtue by the fairies. He uses these to destroy Maleficent. Heather conquered, defeated or slayed her evil cancer. She was still in remission when she died. Maleficent tries to destroy love and the Beauty, Aurora and gets defeated just like Heather defeated her cancer. She still died, but she was cancer free and I take comfort in that sometimes.
Sleeping Beauty Castle is featured in the clouds on the right side of the painting. It is the final destination. The sky is clear, moon is full and there are stars. It is the mansion beyond the hilltop. Just like Heather’s mansion in Heaven is in the clouds and perfect. Of course The Castle at Disneyland was one of Heather’s favorites. She wanted to live in the castle. I can never see the castle enough and always take photos every time I am there. It is probably one of the most photographed places in the world. Everyone wants a photo of or with the castle. Once I saw The Castle in the corner I knew it was a complete painting.

The painting is beyond special to me and I know some of you may not understand or “get” it and that is okay, you don’t have to. It means something to me and that is all that matters. But it isn’t just a painting it is a symbol of four years of living without my daughter here. In some ways it seems like wow it has been four years, time went by fast. Then in other ways it has only been four years. How many more years do I have to go? 10, 25 or 40 more years without her. The remainder of my life is spent without her. I don’t get the happily ever after with Heather. I get no wedding, no son-in-law, no grandchildren and no future days together. My relationship with Heather ended. Well, at least the relationship I once had. I have a new one now through my memories. It was really sad that I realized soon I will run out of new and different photos to post of Heather. Honestly, that is sad…very sad.

Flora: Wait, Prince Philip. The road to love may be barred by still many more dangers, which you alone will have to face. So arm yourself with this enchanted Shield of Virtue, and this Sword of Truth, for these weapons of righteousness will triumph over evil. Now come, we must hurry.