Archive for May, 2008

I don’t know about anyone else but Memorial Day is a very special holiday to me.  It isn’t because I personally had a lot of people in my family and/or circle of friends who went to war for my country because I didn’t.  In fact, I don’t personally know a single person who died fighting for our freedom.  Nevertheless, I am extremely moved each year on this holiday as I contemplate what type of person would go to fight for his/her country and who would ultimately give their lives for our lives here.


I don’t know a family whose son or daughter did not return from war or one person who had to spend the rest of their life without their best friend in this manner.  And I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to go to war and to lose one or more comrades next to you in a fire fight.  All I have to say is that when I think of such people I am so very grateful for their ultimate sacrifice for me and my fellow Americans and I know that I could never do what they have done for me.


I look at the military graveyards with the American flag beside each headstone and tears come to my eyes.  These mark the lives of so many young people who sacrificed their lives for us.  What kind of a person is that giving?  Who could be that self-sacrificing to go to war for our freedom?  I can’t begin to wrap my mind around such a choice.


So this year on Memorial Day as every other, I always take time to stop and think about all of these unique individuals who are my heroes.  I watch the parades and the memorial services and look into the faces of those veterans who are in attendance and I say a lot of extra prayers for all of those who have worn the various uniforms of those military people who have served our country.  I admire every single one of them who have had a strength of character that I will never know and I thank them from the bottom of my heart for their sacrifices. 


I feel so very fortunate to live in this, the greatest country in the world, and to have a military that is willing to fight for my freedoms and the freedoms of others.  The strength and bravery of so many people from both the past and the present is just mind-boggling to me.  Although I am not able to let these people know how I personally feel about their sacrifices, I am so glad that we do have a special holiday to acknowledge their accomplishments and to allow us as a nation to thank all of them and let them know what their sacrifices mean to us.  And I hope that we never forget what they have done to keep us free and to have all of the future generations know and respect the sacrifices that have been made to make this the greatest nation.    


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It’s that time of the year again.  Today is my birthday.  While it is probably the least celebrated birthday ever, it is the most appreciated.  What a year it has been!  There is no way that I could have imagined the monumental changes that have taken place since this time last year.


I have this thing about birthdays.  I think that a person’s birthday is their very special day of the entire year and that it should be treated as a very special event.  I think that your birthday is the day that God gives you a promotion.  Remember when you were in school?  If you completed a successful school year and learned your lessons, you got promoted to the next grade.  Well, that is how I think of birthdays.  If you complete your year successfully by learning the life lessons that you need, then God promotes you to the next year.


Now I also think that we all have some subjects in school that were harder to learn than others.  And when we didn’t make the grade in that certain subject, we had to repeat the lessons until we learned what we needed before we passed.  I look at life lessons the same way.  I really believe that we get a chance to learn many lessons in this lifetime and that we have to repeat those lessons over and over until we learn them and then we can move on.  Therefore, we can pay attention to what we are doing and learn the first time over keep repeating them as many times as it takes to get them right.


Oh, life can be so easy if only we would allow ourselves to make it so.  Each day can be such a pleasure that we can enjoy by doing a quality job and sharing our time with lots of really incredible people.  And we can laugh and enjoy our experiences and grow in life by learning from each other. 


So today I got promoted.  This was the hardest year ever but I can truly say that despite all of the obstacles that I encountered, I learned so much more about all of the people around me.  I cannot begin to tell you what it means to have the best husband in the world who not only has been there in the good times in the past but who proved how awesome he is through all of the toughest times that came my way this year and he showed me what it means to share them all successfully and come out the other end better than ever.


I had family members with whom I have not had much contact in recent years suddenly come forward with offers of support and help in every way imaginable and they have not just faded into the sunset after the hardest hurdles have been crossed.  I have had friends and co-workers with whom I have reached levels of understanding and appreciation that I could never have imagined. 


All of this has added up to one understanding in my mind and that is that had I taken the time to appreciate all that I have in my life with so many awesome people, maybe I would never have had to go through the whole cancer crisis to learn this lesson.  I hope that I am wiser for understanding how I have grown and that I will never be foolish enough again in the future to have to learn a lesson the hard way.  What a wonderful life I have!!!!

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So it was back to work this week.  I was so happy to have my old routine back and have lots on which to focus.  But most importantly, I was so happy to see all of my colleagues and collect a lots hugs and welcome back greetings.  It sure seemed that it was the work that I had been missing but it didn’t take long to realize that that was only a small portion of it. 


I don’t think that there is anything that is better for the spirit than to be surrounded by lots of wonderful, caring and loving people.  While I was home, there wasn’t a single thing that Kirk would allow me to do.  He took care of everything and waited on me hand and foot.  My every wish immediately elicited a quick and perfect response.  His family all offered tons of support and help in any way possible.  My family called and checked in from all over the country and my sister and her husband kept checking in from Europe.  My friends would call and send emails and offered to do anything that they could to help me and Kirk.  And when I returned to the office, I felt so welcomed and love.


I have always known that the most important factor in my life has been special people.  They add a dimension to life that all the money and all of the stuff could never begin to approach.  There is nothing like the feeling that you get when you see someone that is special to you and see their face light up when they see you coming their way.  If I ever had any doubts about how important that is to me, I have been shown over and over and over again in recent times and it has made all the difference to me.


I want to thank every single person who has added to my life with their prayers and offers of assistance and expressions of love in so many different ways.  And I want to thank every single person who may read these words who has given their love or kind words and show of appreciation to someone else today.  It means so much more than you will ever know.

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Today was my first doctor’s appointment since my double mastectomy 12 days ago and I was so delighted to have both drain tubes removed along with all of the bandages.  I am so pleased that the healing has proceeded so well and I am now going to be released to return to work on Monday, just 2 ½ weeks after surgery.  While I am still sore I know that by then I will feel so much better but mentally I am already there.  While I have a number of additional appointments wherein the expanders that were inserted at the end of my surgery will be expanded to create my new breasts, the toughest part is over and the last of the cancer has been removed.


I find that I am already getting bored being at home.  I truly enjoy working but more importantly I have some absolutely awesome family, friends and co-workers who I really miss.  I have received so much support, wonderful messages and prayers and I am looking to thanking so many people in person.  I also find that I am not good at sitting around and relaxing.  When I do so, my focus on what I want to do and where I want to go seems to disappear and all I am able to think about is myself, how I am feeling and I tend to think only the physical pain.  To me that is a complete waste of my energy.  Today I turned a corner and have no intentions of ever looking back.


Once again this week’s blog will be shorter than usual as I need to rest and relax and I must admit that having to sleep sitting up for so many nights has taken a bit of a toll.  But this too is nearing an end and I will be back in full swing very soon.  What another wonderful day!

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