15 Jan

Here we go! Again!   Darn, darn, darn!!

The Writer’s new PET scan was a tough start to the new year.  We are so disappointed that the last round did not bring the results that we wanted, but the amazing Dr Wonderful has pulled another arrow out of his quiver, The Writer and The Prince agreed “Bring it ON” and she saddled up for the first round last Monday.  I marvel at the attitude they share, of  “Let’s go!”, not one minute of wallowing, not one minute of “Why us”, not one minute of “We don’t think we can do this again”.  When I say we, The Prince is magical because he gives her the breath and focus to enjoy the ride.

Many people are asking me “How can I help?”, “How is she?”, “How can you take it?”  The short answer is we live on the the 3Ps – prayer, positive attitude, an a power greater than our own.

The Prince immediately started planning – because he knows fun projects are part of their normal life.  They enjoy planning.  As an example, the night of the news, they went through some of the thousands of photos they took last year and picked out several to be blown up and put on their walls.  They are both good photographers and capture so many moments. Going through photos is a BIG job.  Reliving the joys we all shared last year is a positive.

The little girls rooms are babyish and so do not reflect their current 4 and 8 year old selves.  So great discussions ensued, Greta is getting the bunk beds that she coveted that her sister had, and her mother had before that, and Maren is getting the double bed that Greta had and her mother before that.  Both girls are thrilled and with it comes major closet re-organization, color changes, art changes, and purging of “clutter”.  “Clutter” is in the eye of the beholder, and the task is “done in the cover of darkness”.  Their band of friends are all stepping forward and we joked yesterday that they have a working bee scheduled for Saturday and it could all be done in 30 minutes.  The Prince could not leave The Writers space out, so he is working on the nook in their bedroom as a quiet space. ” Gone” will be the ironing board, the pile of out of season clothes, and “stuff”.  You know – we all have those spaces where stuff lands and you will get to it “one day”.

Spring vacations are in the works, summer vacations are in the works, birthday parties and friend visits are all in the works.  There is so much fun in “Doing Today Well” and looking for ways to make sure we do many more days well.  We even have a promise of an Aussie visit this Christmas!   I was with The Writer yesterday and she looks great.  The girls are continuing with all their activities, and their life seems no different to them.  Chief Sister is planning overnights and dance parties and all kinds of silly fun stuff she does with them.  Baby Sister is a constant companion by phone – complete with pet pictures she thinks are therapeutic.  As a family, the love is pouring all over us.  Thank you!

I have been trying to think of what I should say to The Writer about all of this.  Words fail me.  My own mother,The Matriarch, in her advanced age and diminished thinking capacity, tells us constantly how much she loves us.  We know that, we have always known that, so saying it seems trite.  The theme last Sunday for the reading was, “This is my Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”  Luke 3:22  I can’t say it any better.  “You are my beloved daughter, in whom I am well pleased” Continue reading


“It’s easy for me!”

23 Mar

“It’s easy for me!”
This was the jubilant shout from my 3-year-old granddaughter this past weekend when we went to Mammoth Caves and did 2 cave hikes. We passed through “Fat Man’s Misery” (18 inch diameter), and “Tall Man’s Misery” (5 ft 6 inches high). She did Sunday’s hike, all 3/4 of a mile, wearing a glow-in-the-dark tiara (thanks to Chief Sister who believes in Magic and Princesses) and walked the whole distance. She was armed with a flash light and was ready to “explore”.

Big Sister, Maren was nervous about going into the cave, clung to her parents legs and was sure a spider or cricket was going to “get” her. We coaxed her along, and before long she was in the front of our group of 7, shining her flashlight into dark places, and giving her Dad the “heads up” in the low spots and telling Greta “It’s slippery here”. She was the first one to spot a cricket, and then saw a spider “With a green jewel abdomen”.

I marvel at the lessons I can learn from our family. Greta’s cry, “It’s easy for me” made me realize all things are not easy – like physics, calculus, butterfly stroke, running fast, and cancer but it is all in the attitude. Given a tiara and encouragement, a joyous success is shared. I thought Chief Sister’s ease of doing physics was a gift, but no, she played physics games on the car rides to swim practice. I thought running came easy for The Writer and Baby Sister, but The Writer never stopped running from the time she was 6, and Baby Sister’s long stride gave her the nick name of “Low Rider”, making her competitive with taller athletes.

Many times I look at people and think, “It’s easy for them”. I know I am wrong. Effort, positive attitude, a smile on your face and a belief in yourself give the illusion, “It’s easy for me”.

Thank you, Family, for teaching me that new things are hard, that wearing a tiara and a smile makes hard work better, and like the Spring and new green grass returning every year, we are always hopeful that “It’s easy for me”.

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51:10

A Second Miracle

23 Dec

We did it!  We prayed really hard.  We were heard – all around the world!!  The pneumothorax is stable, no chest tube to be re-inserted, discharge this afternoon – home for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with the family.    Starting the New Year NED – No Evidence of Disease.

So the Bengals won on National Television – that is not the only miracle in Cincinnati today!


“Bengals took my Miracle”

23 Dec

So this morning, I stopped by the hospital to bring The Writer home after her lobectomy, and she had just been told ten minutes before, that the middle lobe of the right lung is not expanding appropriately, and discharge is delayed and another film at 1pm and possible re-insertion of a chest tube.  There is slim hope of getting out today, but possible.  She has no breathing issues, at the current level of activity, she is doing her resiratory exercises aggressively and we just walked 1/4 mile on the floor.  She is still NED – (No Evidence of Disease) – we can’t forget that gift.

The girl has a delicious sense of humor.  We were talking that her Dad went to the Bengals game last night, and what a good game it was, and they won, and it was the first time Bengals have won on prime time TV, and they played PEYTON MANNING!!  And OH my Goodness – this is a miracle. In her green, twinkly eye fashion, she says – “Yes, the Bengals took my Miracle”.  We laughed and wondered if we prayed hard enough – could there be a second miracle in Cincinnati today.  Can she come home today?

We decided, “Yes” and I went to the chapel at the hospital.  There on the wall is a banner of a quilted star, using rainbow colors.  Quilts, stars and rainbows have meant so much in our family – God has heard us and we are in His Hands.


“All I want for for Christmas”

19 Dec

I don’t have to wait for Christmas, my gifts have arrived now.

When Boy Toy and I married 39 years ago tomorrow, I did not know what the rest of my life would look like.  I was sure of two things, we were soul mates who needed to be together, and whatever came our way, we could work it out.

When we decided to have children, my prayer for them would be that they grew up to be smart, independent, happy, healthy and fulfilled.  I have laughed to The Matriarch that when I prayed for their smartness and independence, I really wanted them to live at the end of the driveway and I wanted to be in their lives(daily).  The Matriarch commiserated with me, and offered that she never prayed for a daughter who would live in the USA.  My daughters are everything I prayed for.   They are smart, independent, happy, healthy and fulfilled.  Not all of this, is how I planned it.  When they are smart, they make plans and decisions for themselves – considered decisions – they follow their passions and skills – and what a joy it is follow these strong challenging women.

We have been given another chance at being healthy, No Evidence of Disease, and will sail into 2015 with renewed zest to Do Today Well.  Chief Daughter has found a wonderful new job that she loves and hopes to travel with it, training new employees in other parts of the country, Baby Sister is currently in the south Pacific, blowing glass and honing her skills.  The Matriarch coined a phase many years ago – “it’s only distance between us”, when our hearts are full of love, distance is only a number.
<b>Love is patient, love is kind</b>...

From our wedding ceremony, December 20, 1975 4pm.  St Mary’s Church, Maryborough, Queensland, Australia

I’m ready for the next 39 years.

The Legacy

27 Oct

This month, my father-in-law, Norval R Mathie passed away at the age of 90 in the care of Hospice.   I am trying to wrap my mind around losing a man, who has been a vital force in our family’s traditions and values.  My sister-in-law wrote a beautiful grave side ceremony, and had us read  some passages that applied to his life.  He is buried beside Carolyn, who we lost in 1996, and this reading applies as much to her, as it does to him.  His namesake son read,

“Death changes everything!  Time changes nothing…I still miss the sound of your voice, the wisdom of your advice, the stories of your life and just being in your presence.  So No, time changes nothing, I miss you as much today as I did the day you died.  I just miss you!”

The Writer might have said it best, when unable to be at service, she and her family, “talked about Grandpa’s legacy” – she and her daughters wore lavender – Carolyn’s favorite color and did art work, drawing and painting pictures of clocks and fishing and planes and camping.

Grandpa’s Legacy –

There was always “one more…………” in his world – one more fishing trip, one more clock, one more flight, one more golf game, one more person welcome in his home – he was the original gentleman, he loved to exercise, he loved physical work, had an exceptional eye for beauty and generous in his support and love.  He loved his family, he loved his friends.  When something amused him, astounded or surprised him, never a curse word came from his mouth but you knew, when he said “Good night” in that booming voice of his, it was newsworthy.

He has instilled in all of us an appreciation of intelligence.  When we brought a friend to meet Dad, he would often comment on their intelligence – as judged by their conversation, work habits and manners.  He valued higher education, but respected success earned by hard work.

He had an enormous sense of fun!  Every holiday was another chance to have a party.  He built a cabin at a lake to make a special place to have fun with friends and family.  He told stories of pranks he would play on friends, surprises he would orchestrate,  and mischief he and his friends would do when away on fishing or camping trips.

There came a time when the human side of the man failed.  His legacy continues through the generations – we are who we are, because of the values he instilled in his family – the legacy will never fail – we live in his honor and keep his values as his legacy.

Winston Churchill wrote.

“We shall go forward together.   The road upward is strong.  There are, upon our journey, dark and dangerous valleys through which we have to make our fight our way.  But it is sure and certain that if we persevere, we shall come through dark and dangerous valleys into sunlight broader and more genial and more lasting than mankind has ever known.”

Norval was an admirer of Winston Churchill – these words ring true for two fine men.






28 Sep
Happy Thought Bubbles

Happy Thought Bubbles

I woke this morning to a text from Baby Sister, saying she and her husband had been robbed during the night. The thieves came in through the kitchen window and took their computer, Baby Sister’s work computer, and her back pack containing all the files from her Happy Thought Bubbles business and the awesome camera she uses to photograph her work. They are devastated, their computer was too old to be backed up to the Cloud…. they have filed a police report.

As a mother, I am so upset about the fact there was somebody in their house and in their space. We thank God they were not hurt physically, but the loss of the work is very serious. Countless hours have been spent building a dream for their future, creating a business out of a spark of an idea. The mental pain of starting over, recreating all that information, magic, not to mention the fear of another robbery breaks my heart.

There is nothing I can do to change this. I cannot take this hurt away from my child. I wanted to come to them this afternoon, bring a comfort meal and cry together. They are wanting to spend the time together this afternoon – and I respect that. There is a lot of anger in my heart towards the people who did this. I am trying to regain my mantra of “My peace I give to you” – but I am far from peaceful, and I know I should not wish ill to anybody. My prayer is that as Meg and Chris tool around on their bikes together this afternoon, they will find the backpack and camera tossed in some tall grass in the neighbourhood. I have asked for Big Prayers to be answered in the past – can we have one more to share the good positive energy that is “Happy Thoughts Bubbles”.

We will not allow this blow to take Happy Thought Bubbles out of existence. Share the love – as The Matriarch often said, “It’s not things that are important, but the people who use them” May the Positive Power continue to shine –