Letter Board No. 19

Ob-la-di, ob-la-da! Life goes on.

After being a huge Beatles fan since I was quite young, I got to see Paul McCartney live for the first time a few nights ago. Before the concert even started, my Facebook status read: “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on. Brah! La-la, how the life goes on.” This was in part a nod to the recent passing of my father, as well as my excitement for the show. Little did I know that Sir Paul would later be leading the crowd in a sing-along to that very song! 🙂 ❤

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For Dad

My father was many things to many people, but to me he was just daddy. And he was my hero.

This Father’s Day is quite poignant for me, as I lost my father two weeks ago now. The last words he said to me just a few days before that were, “Happy Birthday,” and then he drifted off to sleep for a few days. While his passing was expected given the 7 months he spent in hospice care, the loss did not hurt any less. So today, Father’s Day, I will spend quietly mourning the loss of my dad, remembering all the great times we had, and celebrating my husband for the father he is to our two kids.

Dad didn’t want a funeral or a fuss. We had a small memorial to honor him, and so the family could come together and share stories. My oldest brother gave the service and led us in songs. My older brother put together a slide show of a lifetime of memories. And I gave the eulogy. Afterwards we had a wonderful meal and there I was, taking dad’s place, and giving a toast.

Dad’s eulogy was the hardest thing I have ever sat down to write. It was even harder to give. But today, I want to share it.

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Make Your Days Count

“It is not the length of life, but the depth.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

depthThis quote took on a whole new meaning to me when my father quit chemo treatments two months ago to enter hospice care. While we all have an expiration date and none of us are promised a tomorrow, being faced with that reality every day is a struggle for the patient and their loved ones.

Making the best of the days we have left on this earth is important. Having a rich life filled with love and happiness, no matter how short, is so much better than having a long life that is lonely. I have been making frequent trips to visit my parents and call just about daily to say hi, see how they are, and tell them I love them. 

“The most important thing in the world is family and love.” ~ John Wooten

So I would just like to remind everyone to hug your loved ones, and take every opportunity you can to be kind, share a laugh, and tell people how you truly feel. Positivity and love will outshine negativity every time. So adopt a positive outlook, and make your days count!

Cheers!

Cynthia

10 Things to Inspire You This Month

Life should be about having experiences and building memories.

Is it just me or is anyone else really over the pressure that has been put on us to buy more, spend more, decorate more each year for the holidays? This year I did put up one large tree and four smaller ones and decorate the house, but shopping for presents has been sketchy. Baking? Not yet. I do plan to cook a nice holiday meal for our family to enjoy and finally managed to get a few presents under the tree. But this year for us has been all about spending time with my family.

Life should be more about having experiences and building memories than about whether or not someone got the latest new gadget for Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Easter or birthdays. So go hug your family, enjoy a nice meal together, tell stories, play a game, or watch a movie and just enjoy being together.

“Each day of our lives we make deposits into the memory banks of our children.” ~ Charles R. Swindoll

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My Skin Cancer Scare

I always thought it was unfair to still be experiencing wrinkles AND acne into my 40s and 50s.

As May comes to a close and we celebrate Memorial Day here in the United States, it is the unofficial start of summer. With BBQs and trips to the lake or beach upon us, I wanted to write about something other than fibromyalgia, but still something near and dear to my heart. May is Skin Cancer Awareness month. I became aware of this disease as a little girl, since it has plagued my mom’s side of the family. She grew up in a beach town back in the days when they used baby oil on their skin in the summer. Fair skin + no protection + summers in the sun = Disaster.

My first recollection of skin cancer was when I was about 8 years old at one of my ballet recitals. My mom had to wear a big floppy hat to protect her face. She had just had surgery to remove skin cancer, which took part of an eyebrow and had she waited any longer for treatment, she was told she would have lost her eye. Since then she’s had multiple surgeries – nose, scalp, ear. And she is facing two more surgeries in the next few weeks. My aunt, grandmother, and my oldest brother have all had a few removed. We are the fair-skinned ones in the family. Because of this my mother instilled in me at that very early age to take care of my skin. I think of using sunscreen as one of those things that everyone knows they should do, but often don’t take the time. SPF is your friend!

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