Category Archives: cancer

Be Awake 

Awake.  

The world around me sleeps. 

Calm, rhythmic breathing, like a heartbeat.  

Steady.  

Predictable.  

Breath.  

Awake. 

Pondering the dying.  

Their raspy, grasping breath, like a tight fist holding on.  

Wavelike. 

Unpredictable.  

Breath. 
Awake.  

Allowing my thoughts to tumble.  

My thoughts to jumble. 

My heart to mumble.   

Mumbo jumbo. 

Awake.  

Allowing myself to be, just as I am.  

Awake.  

Open. 

Pondering.  

Unafraid to feel. 

Deeply.  

Awake.  

Alive.  

Outside in. 

Coming out of the fog of oversaturated information from the world around me. 

Going within. 

Fully alive and awake to what is happening around me.  

Living inside out.  

Rightside up.  

Standing strong. 

Weak in the knees.  

Pondering a future on earth without one of my role models, my overcomers, my heros! 

Awake.   

Steady.  

Feeling.  

Inside out. 

Facing forward.   

Looking into the unknown.  

Be In Relationship or Right? 

As I lay my head down on the pillow, I ponder relationships, as I often do.  My peeps.  My random people.  All humans who crossed my path today.   

I shower gratitude over the people in my everyday life: our neighbours, our friends, our teachers, our coaches, our secretaries, our service industry works.  

I feel sadness and wonder what I could do with those ‘lost’ relationships.  I wonder about what I could have done differently and I often come to the conclusion of: NOTHING. 

As I lay my head down on the pillow, I realize that some people would rather be right than be in relationship.  It is truly their way or the highway.  They actually like to be “highway patrollers” telling others how to drive on the highway of life.  For me, my patrollers, are no longer in relationship with me because I didn’t do what they wanted me to do.   I don’t want to drive my vehicle in their style.  They are right and I am wrong.   And I am totally okay with that! 

I may be wrong but I walk in freedom.  Complete and utter freedom.  As a recovering perfectionist, I am no longer afraid of wrong.  I am no longer afraid to fail.  I am failing faster than ever before as I learn about fueling my body and moving out of my comfort zones. (Because we all know that this is where the magic happens!)   I believe our greatest learning happens when we pick ourselves up after we fall down. I am no longer afraid of others judgements or insight in my wrongs.  I am too busy growing myself. I honestly don’t have time or energy to judge what others are doing. Plus, I value relationships over being right. 

I love my peeps, where we can talk honestly and opening about where we are at.  Our lives aren’t all glossy like a magazine cover, it is like a gorgeous diamond bracelet with the shine and shadows.   No one is striving to be right nor wrong but to be in relationship.  

Loving. 

Laughing.  

Learning.  

Living.  

In relationship! 💛

(This post is written in celebration of a group of women who met this morning to share the life and death of their beautiful mamas! #griefgirls) 

Be Walking out your Grief 

It is such a privilege to walk with someone and hear their story about living through the death of their precious mama.  

This is a treasure. 

It is an incredible gift to hear how someone is truly feeling about their life on any given day because of packed scheduled, presentations, or sleepless nights. 

This is rich.  

It is profound to get to know so many people negotiating grief while experiencing divorce, death, dog bites, loss of jobs, moving… The list is endless.  

This grief journey is priceless. 

I am blessed to be having these deep conversations on a daily basis now that I have been sitting in my own gift of grief. 


I am now learning to walk it out.  

Honesty, most days I still want to hide.  

I am broken inside. 

I am softer and more affected by life.  

My heart leaks out of my eyes at unexpected moments, like today when beautiful Crystal told me she was proud of me.  

I want to lie on my laundry room floor and pray and wonder and ponder and rest.  

But, I know I need to walk it out. 

My lying down days are gone.  

I have lying down moments, like today in Superstore, which I still really enjoy. They no longer need to humble me for the whole day. 

I get out and walk. 

I talk. 

I swim. 

I write and play with words.  

I run. 

And I talk to people, lots of them because I love people.  

I bike.  

I workout.  

I do this to keep working things out. 

My body moves. 

My relationships grow. 

My minds ponders.  

My gift of grief keeps unpacking itself.  

Into this deep place where I am now able to have the privilege to walk with others.  

In their grief.  

On their own personal journey.  

Walking it out.  

What a blessing. 

I am blessed.  

I am enough. 

Each breathe. 

Each day.  

I am enough.  

Be Sh*tty

Tonight, I sit and I ponder.

I stir things around.

In my mind.

In my spirit.

I allow the hamster wheel of thoughts go round and round.

I allow the thoughts to stop the wheel on “I feel sh*tty!”.

I am not one to swear, nor one to go towards the side of feeling sh*tty.

Tonight I do.

Feel.

Sh*tty.

I have a dear friend walking the same journey that I did two years ago.  After a hospital stay and doctors doing what they can to prolong life, my friend’s beautiful mama is going home to die.

I have one of my best peeps in KCity awaiting to see if she has cancer in her body.  She had a biopsy to have melanoma removed from her back last week.

I have a fellow volleyballers who’s servant-hearted Dad is living with Alzheimer’s.

There is a girl in the boys elementary school that starts life-saving, on your knees “hoping for a miracle” treatment for a brain tumour.  This sweet soul was also in Owen’s preschool last year.

My cousin is back in town from up north to have surgery, the second surgery in a few weeks.

And my three wee boys are under the weather.

So, what do I do?

I lean into the people who love me.

I spend time carving pumpkins.

I look at the beautiful autumn leaves.

I take a week off from my teaching job, to sit, to serve and to be.

An opportunity to be where I am.

Sitting with my feelings.

Feeling sh*tty.

With gratitude.

For all I can do.

All of my feelings.

Being a human being.

Be on the Water

Two years ago, almost to the day.  I started on a journey where I needed to learn to ride in the waves.

No choice.

Just had to do it.

The waves were metaphors, but overpowering.

My breathe was taken out of me many times, but I choose to not allow it to not overcome me.

The diagnosis of my best friend and mom having cancer.

The death of my beloved mom on Christmas 2013.

My grief was like living in a boat.

Some days the journey would be surreal, warm and comforting.

But without a moment’s notice the waves would start to pummel me, push me under and make me gasp for air.

I didn’t know what to do.

I couldn’t “do” anything.

I need to just “be” in the waves.

Feeling what I was feeling.

Allowing the grief, sorrow, pain to come.

Allowing myself to learn and let go.

Two years later, I am starting to learn to ride on the water with my four boys surrounding me.

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The waves are infrequent. The water is calmer. I can truly say that I have learned to ride in the waves and am now enjoying a time of being on the water, in the water of life.

Yes, the waves still do come.

Yes, I honour those waves for what they have taught me and how they have helped me become who I am.

And I am full of overflowing gratitude.

For all that I can do.

For who I am.

I am grateful for my boys.

I am grateful for the people that God has surrounded me with.

I am full of gratitude for my mom, her life and her death.

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Be the Gift of a Vomit Bowl

After my mom died, there were few things that I asked for nor wanted.

Stuff just doesn’t hold much “significance” for me.

One thing that we did take was the two blue bowls that my mom had during her cancer journey.

It wasn’t until this morning that I understood the significance of these bowls and the gift that I had been given.

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Last night, my oldest threw up, eleven times… yup, we counted.

We slept for about two hours and now we are into our day, living our life.

I have learned that we don’t live in a world where everything is perfect or where everything will go as we planned.  BUT we can find comfort in chaos and beautiful moments while cleaning a vomit bowl.

My Sexy Neck sent me this text after JC and I’s long night:

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The gift of watching my mom vomit over and over and over again as she journeyed through cancer.  My mom and I would laugh as we were the two most squeamish members of our family when it came to vomit.

The gift of a bowl to help my children and to be able to walk with them through their sickness.

New beginnings.

New Learnings.

A blue bowl.

The gift of a messy, marvelous life that my mom lived fully.

My own messy, marvelous life that I live with in freedom and grace.

Be Running Two Programs

My computer has been getting awfully slow.

Painfully.

Mindnumbing.

Slow.

I sit and wait and then I realized that there was another program running behind the program that I was trying to use.

So very frustrating.

But I sit.

I slow down.

I ponder.

HEY!!!!! 

This is exactly how I feel right now.

I am running two programs.

The first program I will call, “Daily Life”.

Making lunches.

Taking the boys here and there.

Saying hello to people in the drop-off at school.

Attending Christmas concerts.

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Answering emails from friends.

Baking cookies.

Doing my work as a teacher.

Living “Daily Life”.

As Christmas approaches and the one year anniversary of the death of my beautiful Mama, I have a second program that is starting to take up more and more space in my body, soul and mind as I try to run the program “Daily Life”.

This program called “Grief” is similar to when mom first died.

It is painful.

Mindnumbing.

It is slowing me down.

I am remembering things from last year that I hadn’t before.

Conversations.

People visiting the hospital and hospice house.

I am feeling things deeply.

I am letting this “Grief” program do its thing.

As this background program runs it makes the “Daily Life” program slower, yet more meaningful.

I sit more.

I watch.

I ponder.

I have more patience.

I am kinder.

More loving.

I savour sunsets.

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I am in awe more and teary more often.

Everything tastes better.

I feel things in “Daily Life” more deeply.

My life is rich with these two programs running.

Yes, I am tired.

But, I am living deeply.

Leaning into my Lord.

My Dada God.

My Personal Saviour.

He is my rock.

The ultimate Programmer who will bring purpose to my pain.

Meaning to my mess.

Wholeness to my broken heart.

He will redeem this hole that was created when my Mama went to heaven.

I love her deeply.

I miss her dearly.

I am blessed.

I am whole with my hole and my two programs running.

Thank you “Daily Life” and “Grief”.

What programs are you running today?

Be Awakening to White

We awoke to copious amounts of snow.

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Bright.

White.

Snow.

It ended up being a shovelling, sledding, snowman building morning before the school bell rang.

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For me it was a bright light in the midst of dark times where everyday someone is talking about Cancer, telling me about their mom’s surgery or walking with their mom past me.

The loss of my mom continues to be deep and dark.

The love and traditions my mom had around Christmas continue to bring light. She was an incredibly thoughtful mom and Nana.

I am awakening to this new light.

White.

Bright.

Everlasting love.

Thank you mom!

Thank you God for fresh, white, new snow.

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Be Getting Ready to Sell Some Green Tea HAWAII

I feel sick.

I am afraid.

I am checking my list.

I am humbly asking for help.

I am going out of my realm of comfort.

I am preparing to sell some Green Tea HAWAII at a Craft Fair on Friday. IMG_7107.JPGYup, me!

Selling tea!

I am not a salesperson.

Nor driven by money.

But I do love this product.

I believe in its health benefits.

So I will stand and share.

I will invite anyone who asks to join my Green Tea HAWAII tea party!

A girl’s dream.

A giant tea party!