2018 Happy New Year!

WMSHP_5458.jpg

Here's to saying good-bye to 2017 and welcoming 2018 with great anticipation of endless possibilities.

Instead of looking what one cannot do but instead what can be accomplished.  Being that it was ridiculously cold outside therefore limiting the desire for any outdoor activities sometimes you look to what you do have available ...  bubbles and a fireplace.

Here is to seeing ones opportunities rather than acknowledging obstacles to achieve ones dreams.

The big c ...

Cancer has touched so many people that I know.  It knows no bounds and does not discriminate based on, race, religion, sex or age.  It touches the lives of children, men and woman.  It has affected friends as well as strangers.  No one is immune.... no one.

I have had friends men and woman that have been affected by breast cancer.  Yes men can get this horrible disease.  Many friends are currently recovering from treatments and some are still undergoing them.

The latest victim of this horrible disease is someone that lives in South Africa.  We have never met but have much in common.  Though we live thousands of miles from each other we were married on the exact same day and she has three sons and I have two.  They are roughly the same ages and probably would get along quite nicely.  We found each other through our blogs many many years ago and became Facebook friends as well.  We have followe each journeys and watched our children grow.  Recently, through Facebook, I found out that she is undergoing treatment for breast cancer.  Weeks passed and found out her mom was also traveling this same horrific journey with her.  I am glad they have each other to lean on and support each other.  One of my first thoughts was of her dad.  He was not only watching his beloved child go through this but his lifetime wife endure the same.  From what I can gather is Melanie has incredible support among her friends and family.  

If this disease has taught me anything is the more I learn the more I realize I don’t know.  It affect different people differently and no two are the same regardless of the stage or type of cancer.  There is no way for one to know how another feels unless they too have been through the treatment and recovery.  Even then stories and experiences are apt to be different.  

This disease along with many others affects not only the individual but everyone around that cares and loves them.  It creates financial and emotional hardship.  I only hope that the next year bring strives towards a cure for this horrible disease.

Strength

WIth every passing year we begin to reflect on the passing year and thoughts and hopes of the upcoming year.  2017 was not the best year for many and tested their strength, resilience and friendships.   An individuals true colors come to light when put under stressful situations.  

I was once told by one of my husband cousins that I would only always be a girlfriend.  I remember this quite vividly like it was yesterday yet it was over 20 years ago.  I have decided, along with many others, that family does not always consist of blood relatives.  We have seen this by how some relatives have treated others.  

I have had friends suffer the loss of parents, grandparents, friends, siblings and children.  Friends have rallied around to show their support in every way possible.  There is nothing anyone can say that will ever eliminate the pain but hopefully the support will help ease it enough to help them get through to the next day.  I have also had other friend endure life altering experiences.

This past year has been one of many troublesome events for many..  I am continually surprised and amazed concerning the support of friends.  It truly makes an incredible difference when recovering or coping with a difficult event or task.  I am also truly disappointed with the lack of same from individuals that you thought were your friends,  Again their true colors and judge mental attitude come to light.  Tired of putting myself out there for friends only to be disappointed.  The people that you can count on regardless of what is going on.... those are my people.  They know who they are.  Life throws curves balls at us constantly.  I have seen many handle with grace and dignity.  You have shown the rest of us how strong you truly are without knowing it and shown by example how to handle adversity.

Heartbroken

The other day while rushing around trying to get everything done for Christmas I headed out to the grocery store.  I ran into a friend that I have known for several years.  Before we could even exchange a Merry Christmas message to each other her eyes filled with tears and I saw the grief all over her face.  She broke the sad news of a friend that lost her son the afternoon before to suicide.   He was merely 24 years old.  He was loved by so many.  

Before heading to Hartford for a play Rich and I headed over to give our condolences to Maureen and Rebekah.  I was relieved to see so many friends from the neighborhood giving their love and support.  To endure such a loss is beyond my own comprehension.  There is nothing we can do or say that can help ease the pain they are suffering.  Just being there hopefully will help them know there are many that love and support them with anything they need.

This time of year I difficult for many this time of year and tragedies such as this only make it more difficult.  I can only hope the pain and loss they are suffering get a little easier with each passing day though the pain will never truly be gone.   Their memories can never be erased or taken and I hope they will ease the pain of the loss.  

I hope with this past year that more people start to listen to understand rather than to merely respond.  Kindness and understanding are needed every day for everyone.

False Sense of Connection

As I was scrolling through my Facebook account a few months ago I saw that a friend from college was having a birthday so I wrote on her wall as I usually do for friends birthdays.  This is someone that was a good friend for the year that she was at Washington College until she transferred to George Washington to pursue pre-med.  She was a smart, funny and beautiful woman.  She later became the doctor she always dreamed of becoming.

I get a Facebook message from a mutual friend that asked if I had seen the post.  At that point I hadn't.  Apparently she passed away unbeknownst to either of us.  A friend of hers from the area had posted that she had passed away several months before.  There was more to the story and she asked if we wanted to know to just google her name.

I did and so did my friend as we started chatting on-line and then eventually on the phone.  The event itself was horrifying and sad to say the least.  For me I was totally unaware of her personal struggles and what she was going through.  We reconnected through Facebook after many years but looking back now it all seems superficial and distant.  It begs the question that if we had not stayed in touch what did we really know about each in our current lives?  The answer was obviously very little.

The stories that were printed painted a picture of a very troubled woman who was going through some very intense emotional struggles.  She became the doctor that she always wanted to be and apparently had more than one successful office.  The stories were vague and disturbing.   The facts were that she had a young daughter and lived in a beautiful house.  The father of the child was not at that residence and they were not married.  This is what apparently caused her great pain and anguish.  Her answer was to attempt to murder her daughter by stabbing her multiple times then taking her own life.

These facts bewildered me as well as my friend and we could not understand what could be so horrible in her life that would cause her to do this.  In the end you realize that Facebook allows us the false sense of connection to others.  We no longer seem to pick up the phone or hand write a letter.  We would rather type a quick text, email or send an instant message.  We have communicated but still have the barrier between us and them because there was no face to face.  It's troublesome in society today and I hope this will change once again in our lifetime.  There is no substitute for that phone call, letter or the hug of a friend.   So next time you think of an old friend, pick up the phone instead writing a text.  It has a much bigger impact on their life as well as your own.