Clouds

Remember as children when you would lie down in the grass and find shapes in the clouds? Simple times back then in this world of change. Then along comes #coronavirus which has us all staying home & rethinking our lives. In our rush to get back to normal, is it time to stop and rethink which parts of “normal” are worth rushing back too?

Certainly we can take more time while continuing social distancing to enjoy the old simple ways of life. Materialism is a misnomer when what’s really important is family & health. You don’t need the biggest house on the block, or the nicest car, or the newest trends to wear. All you really need is to refocus priorities & ensure you are taking care of the important things first. What are those to you?

Let’s all stop 🛑 and refocus our collective energies on being kinder, gentler, & taking care of our fellow humans regardless of race, religion, gender, politics and take time to show your kids, grandkids and yourself how beautiful and amazing this world really is. How each day you wake up is another day to stop for a minute, look up into the heavens & enjoy the beauty and wonderment of, if nothing else, the shapes in the clouds. Let me know what shapes you see in these clouds.

Time…

Why does the death of a loved one make a person feel guilty for still living? Trying to “move on” and keep going everyday is a challenge and especially hard in challenging times. I feel guilty if I laugh, I feel guilty if I feel happy, I feel guilty that I can watch the sun rise and set while my sisters body lies in the cold hard ground. But at the same time, I feel fortunate I got to spend time with my sister before she passed and guilty I couldn’t be with her as she took her last breaths. Mostly, I feel sad all the time and try to hide it when others are around. Alone, I cry a lot.

My sister and I love country music but I find I can’t listen to it anymore because every song reminds me she’s not here and I cry again.

The other day I accidentally called her phone, she’s still in my favorites. I quickly hung up waiting to see if her husband or kids answered or worse, if it was “no longer in service”. It’s definitely too soon for that.

Today as I sit alone at home, I’m reminded of a quote by E.R. Pierce from “Fractured Moon”. “Time doesn’t heal all wounds, handy lie though it may be. Time forces acceptance of what cannot be changed.”

Maybe in time the guilt I feel now will subside, but I know the deep ache I feel in my heart will remain. 💖🦋 #OvarianCancer

The Last Sunset

Sunsets have always been a favorite part of going “home” to #mysistersplace. I’m a city girl myself but she loved the country. The farm they have boasts wide open spaces with sunsets to rival the Ocean. The last sunset I saw from her place was graced in beauty by a heard of Elk. Only fitting, I took it as a sign that she was being watched over by our brother who passed away in an elk hunting accident in 1985. Spring hasn’t come to life yet on the farm and winter sticks around in March but the sunsets remain the one constant in a world full of chaos. I hope my sister is enjoying the sunsets now, wherever she is. #RIP🙏🏼 #sunsets #home #family #ovariancancer #gonetoosoon #sister

Quality of Life

It’s a mystery to me why doctors of cancer patients say stopping #chemotherapy will give you a better quality of life, for the time you have remaining. My sister fell for this ploy and her quality of life sucked. She made the decision, with her Dr. & husband, to stop the chemo treatments on Feb. 13, 2020, she died on March 13, 2020.

In that final month she was bedridden, throwing up, could not keep anything down, was on oxygen, numerous pills and sleeping a lot. How is that a better quality of life? Hospice came in twice a week at the beginning and everyday the final week. Their job was to make her comfortable, primarily with drugs. Once they started giving her the morphine we knew the end was near. But at least the morphine afforded her some fun. She said she went to Hawaii and was on the beach, she also went to Italy and was drinking wine. To which we replied that she was the only one out and about in Italy because the country is in quarantine due to #CoronaVirus.

Do you believe in a body/spirit transition period? Where at times you are still of this earth, but your spirit can come and go? Or is it pure hallucinations due to the morphine? I choose to believe in the transition, because I want to believe my sister really did have fun before leaving this earth for good. Cheers, baby Sis!

#OvarianCancer #Sister #GoneTooSoon #Cheers #Wine #RIP #Death #Dying #Hospice

Cancer…more than a disease

Do you know what it’s like to have a conversation with someone who is dying? This is something I would have never imagined I would wonder about, but now I find myself in that situation.  No, I’m not the one who has been told “there’s nothing else we can do” and that hospice will now be coming in help you prepare for “end of life”, but my sister is. The sister who is the “glue” to keeping our family together.  The sister who is the “second Mom” to my Son.  The sister who wants desperately to be at her daughter’s wedding in June, to watch her 12 yr old son grow up and graduate from high school and who wants to be the best grandmother ever. The sister who plans the family reunions, holiday parties and keeps everyone on-time and on-track. The sister who has so much to live for, is now the one dying. Thank you #OvarianCancer – NOT!!!!

So here we are, almost a year after her dreaded diagnosis, surgery and multiple rounds of “the poison to kill the poison” as my Father puts it, aka “chemo” which doesn’t seem to want to kill her particular kind of cancer cells, we are left scambling to understand the why & when.  She did ask, and didn’t want the doctors to tell her “how much time” she has left, as she didn’t want any preconceived timeline of the life she has left.  She doesn’t want her final months/days to be lying in bed, hardly able to get up, barley able to eat and throwing up but that is where we are at.  So I sit with her, hold her hand, rub lotion on her feet and legs and caress the snow white hair which is replacing her once blonde locks. Why is Ovarian Cancer so hard to diagnose? Why does the medical profession not make #CA-125 testing a routine part of blood tests? What difference does it make if the numbers are “elevated” for a number of reasons? Would you rather research in the beginning why someone’s numbers are elevated than wait until the numbers are so high it’s really of no use?   And why has my sister decided to stop the chemo treatments to have a better quality of like for the life she has left, only to be bedridden, skeletal and in pain? WHY???????????????????

#OvarianCancer #Sisters #Death #Cancer #Conversations #Dying

Business Travel

An unwritten rule of business travel; no one talks to each other while on the flight. For me it’s my “downtime”, so even though I’m headed to a business conference along with about 15 other industry colleagues/acquaintances who are on the same flight, we don’t ask to sit together or try to move seats on the airplane like you would if you’re traveling with family or friends. We say hi & catch up a little before boarding, compare who got upgraded etc. but once on the flight it’s headphones on and quiet time.

Now the question is once we land, will we try to shuttle together to the conference hotel – NOT

Thanks for the ride #Delta

5 by 5 Rule

Random conversations happen most often with business travelers at the hotel bar. For the most part anyway. So I grab a seat at the bar and order a glass of wine, like any sophisticated business women would and get my laptop out pretending I’m still working at 8:00 pm ET. Now I don’t mean to eavesdrop, but when the person sitting next to you at the hotel bar is talking loudly on his cell phone, you can’t help it.

I hear the conversation and quickly pick up on the fact that the father (sitting next to me in a hotel bar) is talking to his son (who is at home) and yelling at him for apparently not brushing his teeth before bed. It goes on and on and on & he’s yelling louder and louder at the child. This Dad who isn’t home, clearly trying to discipline his child from the road. Now I’m feeling sorry for the child, who is crying in the background. Now the Dad is going on about not brushing your teeth, and telling your Mom you did brush but you really didn’t and it’s such this horrible tragedy that you lied about it to your Mom. This conversation goes on for 45 minutes at least.

Finally the Dad hangs up the phone, orders another drink at the hotel bar. I wait a few minutes debating whether I should say something or not, but finally can’t help myself.

Me: It’s tough…being a parent on the road.

Him: Sorry, was I talking too loud?

Me: Well I’m sitting right next to you, so I couldn’t help it overhear. Do you travel a lot?

Him: Yes, I’m on the road 4 nights a week. By the way, I hate it. FYI…we all hate it.

Me: That’s really tough, especially since you obviously have young kids at home. I don’t mean to pry….but I’ve been traveling for business almost 20 years and all I can say is at some point, you have to give up trying to be the disciplinarian from the road. It doesn’t work. All it does, is make you look like the bad guy.

Him: Wow, finally someone who understands.  Yes, that’s how I feel.  As soon as my wife gets frustrated she calls and makes me the bad guy. Tells the kids “just wait until your dad gets home.”  I don’t know what to do, I’m so frustrated, I can’t deal with this and my job too.

Me: No offense but you gave up the right to call the shots at home, when you took a job that has you on the road 4 nights a week. And shame on your wife if she puts you in the position to “be the bad guy” all the time. How old is your Son?

Him: 9

Me: It was about brushing his teeth right?

Him: Yes

Me: Can I share something with you?

Him: Sure

I pull up this quote on my phone and show it to him.

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Him: Wow, that’s good. That’s really good. Can I take a picture of that?

Me: Of course.  Remember, he’s 9.  There are so many other things down the road that will be so much more important.  Choose your battles, and let them be kids along the way too! Don’t forget what it was like when you were 9 years old.

Him: Thank you, I really needed that.

I’ll never encounter that person again in my life, I wouldn’t remember him if I did. But I like to think that our random conversation at the hotel bar, made a difference. If even for that brief moment in time.

#everythinghappensforareason #businesstravel

Perspective

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Always a treat when travel takes you to the “Big Apple”, which I’ve never really understood how it has anything to do with an apple. “Concrete Jungle” I get it. Nonetheless, I took the train recently from the Newark Airport Station to NY Penn Station, then catching a cab to meet with clients. Everyone knows in NYC to hail a taxi you almost have to get run over, except if you are catching a ride from Penn Station. Which when you exit out of the train station really means you are trying to get a taxi from Madison Square Garden.

Anyway there’s a protocol to getting a taxi outside MSG. You stand in line and wait, just like at the airport. So I dutifully take my place in line at 9:00 am trying to get from MSG to near Radio City for client meetings and this lady walks out in the middle of the road trying to hail a cab in front of all the people who are waiting in line. Well of course the security guy did the right thing by telling her to “get in line”. “WHAT” she screams in her NY accent. “I have to wait in that line to catch a damn cab?” “YES”!! So to the back of the line she trudges.

Elderly gentleman behind me says “Welcome to New York City Lady”. I causally laugh, expressing “exactly”. Like I know what I’m doing. Then he says “You might not know it, but I’m from the farm country.” Me: “Really, where is that” Him: “New Jersey”. I start laughing and say “No Sir, I’m from the farm country, Idaho”. His eyes get big and he asks, “What is a farm country girl from Idaho doing in New York City?” Me: “Work, I travel to the city for work, just like you.” Him: “Well I’ll be damned, welcome to the city.” Me: “Thanks, got to go now, my turn to get the taxi.” Him: “One of these days, I plan to get out west.” Me: “You should, and call me when you’re on you’re way, (I give him my number, knowing I’ll never hear from him again) thanks for the chat and have a great day.”

“You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl” ~ Perspective