Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Family Affair

Pit Stop 3. This is where I will be crewing, along with my mother, my Aunt M, and my cousin P (and a number of other wonderful people, who I am looking forward to meeting!) And while the 4 of us are working hard keeping walkers hydrated, fueled up and keeping the port-a-potties filled with TP, and of course cheering on every one of the thousands of walkers, my cousin "Big J" will be walking those 60 miles. As you can see, the Breast Cancer 3-Day is a family affair. And while due to my own medical issues in the past, this is the first year I have been healthy enough to participate, my family has participated as walkers and crewers over the years in 3-days in DC, NY and CA. We participate in honor of 2 family survivors, from whose strength and courage I draw every day. We participate in memory of those friends we have lost to this horrible disease, and for the anger and emptyness we feel at their loss. We participate to celebrate the lives of everyone who have had or has this horrible disease. we participate to find a cure so our children and our children's children will never have to see this disease ravage their families. We participate to show love, to show stength and most of all, to show hope. And my family knows about strength and hope be it from Breast Cancer or other forms of illness. We know what it means to be the caretakers, the cheerleaders, the one with the illness, and we also knows what it means to be strong and and courageous and hopeful....and during the 3-day, my family is not just about me and my mom my aunt and my cousins. My family is the entire city of pin tents, every one involved with the walk. We all are family for 3 days. We all walk and work for a purpose. We all share strength, and courage and refuse to give up.


Why would anyone want to spend 3 days in the heat, or the cold, in the pounding sun or pouring down rain? Why would anyone want to sleep in a pink tent, in face, live in a city of pink tents for 3 nights? Why would anyone want to get up a 4:00 in the morning to cook thousands of meals? Why would anyone want to haul boxes, hand out water and Gatoraid, keep the Port-a-Potties clean and full of TP while cheering on thousands of walkers at the same time. And why would thousands of people, young and old, walk 60 miles over 3 days, having to deal with the possibility of blisters, cramping and dehydration? Why would you want to spend three days celebrating life and the lives of those who have passed away from the killer of Breast Cancer? Why would you want to spend 3 days making new friends, laughing, crying, kissing and hugging and cheering? Why would you want to spend 3 days that would end up being the best 3 days of your life? The answer is easy....because you want to help find a cure for Breast Cancer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Best friends forever Part 1

Over the past few days, my Very Best Friends needed me.  They each needed an ear to listen to them.  One of my very best friends is the mother of 2 young children, whose husband is on the road for work 5 days a week.  Her house is on the market, (in this terrible economy,) they really need to move, and she just needed a bitch session because of all the stress she is under.  Another of my very best friends is just having troubles on the home front, and wanted an ear to listen, a voice of encouragement and a hug.  A third very best friend, this one a guy, just wanted to talk, and get a females viewpoint on things.  And I was there for all of them.....and in turn, they have all been there for me.  They have all been there for the bitch sessions, to laugh with me, to cry (and cry, cry, cry, cry, cry and cry and cry and cry.........and rust!) with me.  They have stopped in their tracks when I have needed them, held my hand, given me pats on the back, hugs, been there for me when I thought I was all alone in the world, and have given me the chance to grow wings and fly.  I in turn have done the same for them.  I have held their hands, held their heads while they got sick, played the intermediary with their parents over disputes about such things as boyfriends, helped them home when they were drunk, and I too helped them and watched as they grew wings and flew.

As a very best friend, we have the most wonderful opportunities in the world.  The opportunities to give and receive unconditional love.  It's not the kind of love we feel for our spouses or even for our families.  It is a very different kind of love, a very special kind of love that one only holds for their Very Best of Friends.  This kind of love is the kind that is always there, even when you and your best friends haven't spoken in ages, and one day you pick up the phone and speak for hours, as if time has never passed by.  It is the kind of love that you will always have, even if your lives go in two different directions for a while.  Even if your families lives are totally different, even if you live 300 miles (or more) from each other, you are still there for each other no matter what.  Your love knows no boundaries or miles, or NJ Turnpike exits! (And one can only hope that one day soon, those miles that distance you will vanish!)

And yes, I do love all my friends.  I feel very lucky to have as many friends as I do, but I feel especially lucky to have more than one Very Best Friend.  As I stated in my last blog "You Gotta Have Heart," you each own a piece of my heart!  I love you guys so much, unconditionally, in every way.  Know that I am always there for you, to laugh with, to cry with, to bitch with, with a shoulder to cry on, and with my arms out to hug you (even if I'm not there to do it in person, although you know that I would much rather hug you all in person.....hugging the air just isn't the same as hugging you!) I'm aways there for a Starbucks run or just to go out and run with....or just to run away with when you need to run from life (I'm game...let's go to guys in?) Because lets face it, in the world right now, with things the way they are, there is not much you can count on, but you know you can always count on me, because I'm your Very Best Friend. And if you can't count on your Very Best Friend....who can you count on?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

You've got to have heart

A dear friend of mine calls me the Tin Woman.  This friend and I talk about everything and anything.  We laugh together, bitch together and cry together.  It is the crying the has turned me into the Tin Woman.  I am always told that if I cry, I will rust.  (of course, the same can be said about going out in the rain!) My response is always  "I lost my oilcan...have you seen it."  One special thing about this friend, is that this friend is one of my Very Best Friends, and like with all VBFs, this friend owns a peice of my heart.

As the Tin Woman, can this be so? Can I dole out pieces of my heart to other people? Did the Tin Man have a heart?  What do hearts feel? Can they feel? These are my deep thoughts for the day!

The Tin Man in The Wizard of OZ thought he didn't have a heart. He thought that he was heartless. I'm sure that at times many of us, like the Tinman, have felt heartless. Maybe you said no one too many times to your child, or didn't want to deal with your friend because you just wanted to be left alone, or you cut someone off just to be nasty.  No reason.. you just felt heartless.  But the truth is, you weren't heartless, you were just being human. And you probably eneded up feeling bad about your actions later anyway.  No one is truly heartless. The Tinman thought he was heartless, and wished so badly for a heart, yet if you look at his actions to help Dorothy, it shows that he not only had a heart, but he had heart...miles and miles of heart. He helped defeat the Wicked Witch...and melt her, fought against her Flying Monkeys, to save Dorothy. I don't know what you think, but I think that takes heart.  I know I wouldn't want to take on Flying Monkeys! (I do know that there is a little bit of Wicked Witch in all of us!)

Then there is the broken heart. Now that we know the Tin Man had a heart, let's talk about broken hearts. Have you ever had a broken heart? Did you know that you can actually feel your heart break, feel it tear in two. You can even feel the tear grow  bigger. This doesn't just happen when someone you love hurts you, it can also happens when someone you love is hurting. There is an actual phsical pain that you feel where your heart is when when your heart is breaking.  It is one of the worst types of pain I have ever felt.  Noboby I love, my friends or my family should ever have to feel pain.  Or the pain of a broken heart.  Of course, a broken heart causes tears, and tears of course, can cause the Tin Woman to rust! (Oil Can ???)

How about a Heart Full of Joy?  I'm sure we've all felt that!  At our weddings, our graduations, when our children were born, when our children have reached major milestones, or performed at concerts or at sports to their full potential.  This too can be a physical feeling, like butterflies in your stomach, only closer to where your heart is.  How can anyone complain about life when they have a heart full of joy? (and yes, this too can cause the Tin Woman to cry!)

And then there is the ultimate...Love.  This is what the heart was designed for. What can I say about love.  We have all felt it in some way or another.  For our parents, our siblings, other family members, our significant others, our kids, our friends.   When I mentioned the feeling of butterflies in your stomach before, that was nothing compared to the feeling of a heart that is full of love.  That is like flying thru the sky on your own set of wings.  A wonderful flight that you never want to end. Feeling love can also cause heartache too, but we must try to look past that heartache toward the joy and happiness that love brings us.  Love is the ultimate feeling that the Tinman never thought he would feel until he met Dorothy. (Sniff, sniff, rust, rust.)

So what have I been trying to say here?  I guess what I'm saying is that we all have a heart and have heart, and the wonderful and sometimes not so wonderful feeings that having a heart gives us.  I'm sure there are times we wish we didn't have a heart, so we didn't have to feel, but these feelings are what make us special and who we are.  The Tinman was never without a was always there, he just didn't know how to use it.  You all know how to use your hearts. Use them well, and for the better.  Use them to love your family and your friends. That is what I use mine for.  And yes, as the Tin Woman, even I can dole peices of my heart out to those that I love.  In fact there are certain readers out there who own pieces of my heart, and you all know who you are!  So now that I am done writing, I am off to find my oil can, becuase this deep thought is making me rust!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Note For All My Friends

For my old friends and new.....I have been doing some deep thinking and thought I would post some thoughts for you all to read. For those of you that have been in my life for the past 7 years, you know what I have gone thru, with 61/2 years of illness and dialysis leading up to my kidney transplant last summer. For those of you that know, I tried living those 6 years as normally as I could, so my family could live as normally as possible, even with dialysis 3 hours a day, 6 days a week, and I tried to do everything with a smile (at least I hope I did!) Of course, I could not have done anything without the help of my loving husband Mike, my wonderful kids Robyn and Joey, my Synogogue community and the Fox Mill E.S. community. But most especially without the help of my friends, who were always there for me, bringing me dinners (or arranging to have Kosher or vegetarian dinners brought over,) taking me out for coffee, taking Robyn and Joey when I had to have surgery, or just for calling to see how I was doing. Of course it weren't for my friends and their love and faith, then I wouldn't have had enough belief in myself to be so positive about things, and let me tell you there were times when I really didn't feel so positive, but you guys (and gals!!!) always knew how to make me feel better. When life gave me lemons, you made me lemonade, when someone ate my bowl of cherries, you all decided we should have spitting contests with the bowl of pits! My friends are the people who make me who I am, and I thank you for that, and I love you all the more for it. That being said, I want to give back to my friends, especially those who are going thru some tough times right now..with their health, with their kids, with their marriages...
-Think positive. Being negative will not help you through your rough times. I think that by thinking positive was what got me thru the rough times I had.
-Don't spend your life hiding under the blankets. I know that's what you feel like doing, but it accomplishes nothing. Once in a while when it is a dark, dreary stormy day, yeah, go for it, but then come out, and approach life with a positive attitude and a smile on your face.
-Take the advice you are given, esp. if many people are giving it and it makes sense (not medical advice, unless you have consulted a Dr, or are told to do so by a Dr.)
-Don't just sit there spinning your wheels. Remember, if you continue to do what you've always done, you will continue to get what you've always got.
-Lean on your friends. That's what they are there for, however, sometimes they get tired of hearing the same thing over and over. If you have an issue that you keep telling them about, but you refuse to help yourself, listen to advice or get some help, your friends aren't going to want to listen anymore. There is only so much anyone can listen to about an issue if a person doesn't try to help themselves, or continues to make excuses. I know that there are some situations where there is nothing you can do but wait (been there, done that but the last thing I tried to do was complain to people.)
-Have faith in your self!
-Have faith in God
-Remember your rough times won't last forever, and your friends are here to help you through them. Your friends love you and are their for you....even if they root for the wrong sports teams!  
So to all me friends who have seen me through the roughest 7 years of my life, THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU TO LIFE! (And you know who you are...Wendi, especially!!! You were not only a great hand holder, food giver, diinner organizer, starbucks buddy and book giver, but you ALWAYS took Robyn and Joey for the day, the afternoon, overnite, anytime I had a Drs appt, I had outpatient surgery, or was in the hospital, and as we know, that happend quite often! I love you and David, and know you guys came into our lives for a reason...we never would have made it without you!) To all my old friends who are back in my life, I am glad I am healthy now to enjoy having you back in my life....You are all very special to me in many ways. You all have come back in to my life at a fantastic time for me...I am me again for the first time in many years, and it is actually new for me, and I am relearning about myself! To all my new friends, welcome to my life! As I just stated, I am just starting to relearn about my self, so welcome to my wild ride! I love you all in many different ways! One thing I know is that I will never ever take a friend for granted! My friends all rock! Each and every one of you mean the world to me. Thanx for being there and for being my friends!