Monday, May 26, 2008

A Day of Remembrance

Please scroll down for the weekend picture post!

In my rabbit trails on the internet today I found a blog... and just spent the majority of my day reading Leslie's Journey. It's the story of a woman who is probably close to my age. She has a 2 year old son named TJ and a husband, Tyson. Last fall she had a growth removed from her sinus that turned out to be cancerous. She then had major open-head surgery to get it all out. After radiation she developed a bone infection in her forehead and they had to do another major surgery and remove her entire forehead bone. They were thinking everything was finally looking up when she developed a cough. They couldn't figure out what it was because all the tests came back negative and even though there were spots on her lungs a scope didn't show cancer. She just kept getting worse until they did a chest cavity scope and discovered the cancer was on the outside of her lungs and squeezing them. She just started chemo last week and at this point they don't know how far through her body the cancer has spread, but for the fact that it already has moved down to her lungs it doesn't look good.

So, you're wondering why I'm writing this. Well, I'll tell you. I've been thinking (and I always think deeply in the shower) about my life, and specifically my mom's Bible study group. We are roughly 30 women in our 20's and 30's on average. We all have children. I wonder what the odds are that someone or multiple someone's from our group will get cancer. It used to seem like cancer was a rarity. Now it seems that "everyone" gets it. I wonder why... but that's not the reason for this post.

It's just made me think about how much in my life I take for granted.

I don't like it when I'm trying to get something done and I get interrupted. But now I'm thankful that I have the energy and ability to get things done.

I complain that I'm tired, but really it's my own fault for not going to bed earlier (never mind if I have good reasons... once in awhile). Being tired shouldn't be an excuse for getting nothing done.

I have a husband and a son who are perfectly healthy. We can go out whenever we want and do whatever we want and not have to really worry about enough energy or catching something because one of us has a weak immune system. (other than the baby who gets everyone's cold, but that's pretty normal)

I guess all of this has been coming for awhile and this weekend I have come to the realization that I need to do something with my life.

I've been working a bit off and on with our local pregnancy center, 1st Choice, training the staff on a new software system and doing some translating of forms to Spanish. It feels good, but I'm somewhat limited due to the fact that I can't take Cory with me. I would love to be able to be a client advocate there, but it's just not practical. Besides which, some days I think it would feel like a waste of time because they tend to get clients in spurts and some days have none. What I do now I can see the results of. But it doesn't feel like a lot.

(I promise this all has a point)

I was reading another blog this weekend about a mom who lost her baby girl due to birth defects. She told of an organization called Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, which is an affiliation of photographers who donate their time to take pictures of children who are not expected to live.
I spent some time on their website and even though I'm sure they would love all the photographers to be professionals they do accept "advanced non-professional" photographers as well. I'm not sure I consider myself exactly advanced yet, but at the very least this has motivated me to (finally) get out my camera manual and start learning all the features my camera has to offer (yes, it's taken me this long Derald!). I realized that I need to take the Nikon school, but unfortunately there isn't one being offered anywhere near me until the fall. In the meantime I'm going to watch the DVD's my father-in-law sent me and see what I can learn.

And as a side note: it's amazing how much I've learned in small tips here and there just from reading other people's blogs. Some who are professional photographers and some who are dabblers like me.

I feel like this is something that I could do. I love children and as heart wrenching as I'm sure all the sessions would be. I know how much photographs can mean. We have some friends in Corvallis that lost a baby just a week after he was born. One of the few tangible things they have of him is a beautiful photo collage on their wall. I have no idea who took it or if they were part of this organization, but I know that those pictures mean more than I could express.

So where am I going with all this? I guess what I'm saying is that I'm hoping, no deciding, that I'm going to do something more with my life. We're not guaranteed tomorrow. All we have is today. Sometimes you have a little time (cancer), other times you don't (car accidents), but you have to make the most of the time you have. I'm not very good at "being" (that's Brian's boat), I'm more of a "doer". Today I'm going to start "doing". As much as I can.

And don't forget, this is Memorial Day. Thanks to all the veterans (Dad!) and current soldiers (Dawn, Charlie, and other friends) who have given their time and sometimes their lives to keep our country free. So that we can in turn make something of our lives.


  1. Oh, this is beautiful. It's so important to have meaning in life- we live it everyday and miss the meaning and miss the "life" of life! Thank you for the reminder.


  2. Anonymous2:23 PM

    Good post. Very, very good post.

  3. great post, AMEN girl! :) What a wonderful way to live!


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