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Archive for the ‘Family Life’ Category

Those of you that have seen the Mary Poppins Returns movie might recognize this as one of the songs that Mary sings to the Banks’ children. Their mother has died and they are mourning her touch and love for them.

The song helps them to understand that their mother is not lost to them – she is in the stars, in the moon and most of all inside of them. And I am sure the parallel to my situation is not lost on anybody reading this.

I sobbed in the movie theater, I sobbed in the car on the way home, I sobbed when I told Steve about it, I sobbed when I told Victoria (she got teary too), I sobbed in bed last night and I am getting teary writing about this here.

This song feels like it pulls out my heart strings and leaves them dangling in the wind, raw and vulnerable, like laundry blowing on the washing line on a chilly, windy day.

But there is not much better than a good sob although it can feel exhausting and so painful in the moment. Today I feel better emotionally then I have in weeks. As I have written before, grief and the acknowledgement of it are so important to me in my journey. Giving it the space to come forth when it needs to and to honor and witness it are critical. Otherwise it sits inside me like a ‘cancer’, invading my other emotions, leading to depression, anxiety and a sort of passiveness/numbness about my whole ‘thing’.

The flood gates opened when they needed to and now I can again acknowledge the beauty in my situation (I get to be a star!!!) along with the pain.

Love to all,

Amanda xxx

P.S. Coincidentally, a friend posted on FB today an article by Thich Nhat Hanh that follows the same vein about our loved ones living inside us. Here is the link to the article if you want to check it out. https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1195156-the-day-my-mother-died-i-wrote-in-my-journal

P.P.S. Even though I sobbed, I loved, loved, loved the movie!! Go see it 🙂

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I am SO excited. I feel like a kid on Christmas morning. My eldest daughter, Victoria, has agreed to a college visit palooza during April school vacation week. It’s not that she wants to go that has my heart a-singing, but the fact that she and I will be spending a whole week together doing so. She has her heart set on art school, so we are visiting Mass Art and SMFA in Boston, RISD in Rhode Island and NYU, Pratt and Parsons in New York. All that time in the car together – just yum, yum, yummy. And maybe she’ll even ask me my opinion on the colleges – even yummier because I always have a point of view and just love to share!

It’s such an interesting journey being a parent. When my girls were young, I sometimes hid in the bathroom to get some peace and quiet from the constant ‘Mom, look at me, look at me’ (Lisa, thinking of you!) and the ‘why’ to everything. And then the middle school and early high school years descend when they really don’t want to spend time with me, their friends being so much more important. Advice can be greeted with eye rolls and comments about me not understanding, as if my 54 years on this earth count for little to nothing. God only knows what they are learning from each other, thinking at 14 they have all the answers.

And then the most beautiful thing happens, they start to come back. At least that has been my experience with my eldest, Victoria. And now I can’t get enough of being with her. Beyond school, she works at Michael’s, takes art lessons, has a boyfriend, drives herself everywhere and is the independent person I wanted her to be. But spending uninterrupted time together is just so precious. I am watching this girl grow into a woman and I am just so proud of her and I feel so blessed that she is in my life. So given all that, we’ll probably fight and bicker the whole time, but you know what, I am determined to enjoy that, too!

And what of my return to work? I have very happily enjoyed my first three weeks. It’s been great to reconnect with everyone and the work I am doing is fun (am I allowed to say that about work?) and gets my mental juices going. I have felt very supported by my company and my new boss is just the most wonderful person I have ever, ever worked for (are you noting this, John for my mid-year review?!?!?!). Going to four days a week after Easter, adding Monday from home.

I am starting to feel quite excited that Spring is inevitable and yesterday I put on my new black with white polka dot wellies and headed out in to the garden to see what might be happening. Not much, to be truthful but sooner or later something has to grow!

Love to all,
Amanda

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Off To A Hippie Party

It really is nice sometimes to have longer hair that never needs washing and never goes frizzy!

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Me drinking my morning smoothie before leaving:

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Me drinking my evening smoothie upon returning home:

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Actually it was a very good day. It was great to see everyone, had some lovely flowers waiting on my desk (thank you, Karen), got my computer working, sent a few e-mails, attended a meeting and then it was time to come home again! If only all days were so easy! And to add to it all, the trains were a little screwed up going in but coming home was fine.

Before leaving this morning, I shuffled my animal medicine cards, asking for a message for the day and out fell (or flew?) Eagle. I read the message from the book which is about taking heart and gathering courage, for the universe is presenting me with an opportunity to soar above the mundane levels of my life. Strange to get this when I am going back to work rather than on a grand adventure. But for me, the message resonated. I have learned a great deal about myself on this journey, about using my voice more clearly to express how I feel and what I want. About using my energy not take on other’s stuff and try to fix it for them, but to stay centered and grounded in my body. About using these techniques to give up my desire for external control of others and paradoxically finding more control within me. Being back at work provides me with a great big Petrie dish to practice my new found skills. So back again tomorrow to experiment all over again!

Thanks for all the support and well wishes for today,
Amanda xx

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Here is how I envision tomorrow going after all the welcomes and how are you doings:

Manager: business question
Me: huh?
Manager: repeated question
Me: um, er, ah, well it’s like this….. Wanna see my scars?!?!?
Manger: pardon?

Looking forward to seeing the peeps again (except for those that have left or are leaving – you know who you are) and I am sure once I get over the shock of it all, including getting up early and having to wear panty hose again, I’ll be fine. Feeling a little anxious so please be extra kind to me tomorrow if I am sitting there in a daze and/or fall asleep at my desk around 2:30! And I am coming in wigless, so if you see a grey haired lady wandering around looking lost, it’s only me! Working three days a week for a patch, then four then back to full time.

Had a pedicure today with a friend by way of my final non-working person hurrah and painted my tootsie nails bright green for no other reason than I could – picture below.

Love to all and send me good ‘yes, I can get out of bed on time to take the train that might not even come because of the bloody snow issues’ energy tomorrow!

Amanda

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I heard from the Doc on Friday that all the tests on my removed oophors, etc. came back a-ok. Not a single little sign of anything suspicious. I have been pretty sore where the cuts were made but as it was done laparoscopically, I only have an inch scar under my belly button and two small scars lower down on my abdomen. The miracles of modern science.

I do now feel that my grand 2014 health adventure is coming to an end. The only other surgery I need this year is to replace the expanders with the silicone implants. This will happen in July as the plastic surgeon waits six months post radiation to ensure the skin is fully healed. All I do is decide on the final look I want and that’s the fun part. The surgery itself is quick and easy I am told. I will, of course, be seeing the oncologist, radiation oncologist, dermatologist, blah blah blah frequently but no more mammograms as I have nothing to check. I’d like to say that I have gone into that hospital so frequently now that I am immune to nerves, but not the case. This lump was found on April 9th last year (around 11:45!), and as I get closer to the date, I can feel the heebee jeebies descending. My little brain keeps going ‘this time last year, you had no clue’, reminding me again that we really are not in control and that things can change in as few as four words: “I can feel something”.

I am experiencing my vulnerability. I feel vulnerable about finishing my treatment, about coming up on the echo of last year, about going back to work. I want to cry out from the roof tops, look at me, look at my resilience, look at my courage and at the same time, I want to crawl under the covers and hide. I can be vulnerable and joyous and scared all at the same time and be absolutely OK with that. Being vulnerable is full of beauty and grace, like a beautiful pink rose opening up to the sunshine on a dewy morning, like a new born deer learning to use it’s legs for the first time. Often as we get older and we experience more hurt, we protect, protect, protect. Being vulnerable places me right at my edge and although it scares the shit out of me, there’s no more stunning place to feel totally, completely alive in this world.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.” Criss Jami

Love to all
Amanda

IMG_0853 <——- pink = heart

IMG_0854   <—– deer = self love

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What did they find? Nothing, nada, neits, ekkert (for you Sola!). They had a good old rummage around in there, paying particular focus to the pancreas but also the liver, gallbladder etc and I am all zippity do dah. No more pancreas tests for another 12 months – yippee!

I am all set for my ‘oopher’ removal on Monday. I have to be at the hospital at 6:15 am with my surgery booked for 7:20. If all goes well, I should be out in 2-3 hours. As you did for my other surgery, I would like you to think of me Monday morning, sending me love, light, imagine wrapping me in a beautiful pink blanket, rainbows, unicorns or even rainbow colored unicorns!!! Anything that works for you to send to me in love and health.

Thanks and love to all,
Amanda xxxx

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