It’s been a while

It’s been a while since I have written and boy have I missed it!

I know I am not a great writer with interesting views and a huge vocabulary. I’m just a regular girl with thoughts and feelings.

Since I last posted ALOT has happened. Some good and some not so good.

My dad was diagnosed with glioblastoma in late November of last year. He is currently being treated at MD Anderson in Houston.

His symptoms came on seemingly quick. Although, now he can pinpoint some changes in his personality that started last summer. They traveled some of the east coast and spent a few days in Key West. He found it hard to get excited about things, he says.

He can run circles around any of us. He wakes up and goes to sleep with projects on his mind and lists written out. He retired from the U.S. Border Patrol when he was 49 years old! He hasn’t stopped one day. He is an avid motorcyclist, hunter, and tinkerer. He loves a challenge. In fact, he saved our house after Hurricane Isaac. Literally saved our house. He headed the project with his best friend and my brother.

At 66 years old nothing could stop him. NOTHING! Who knows how long he has had brain cancer. We will never know for sure. We do know that when the symptoms became too much for him to hide he had stage 4 brain cancer, glioblastoma.

He has been receiving radiation and chemotherapy for about a month with little or no side effects. He had gained some strength back. He had gain mobility in his left side. His speech had improved. The doctors warned of side effects in the beginning. I heard horror stories.

By the grace of God my dad has had an appetite and a good amount of energy. He hasn’t had the stereotypical side effects. When he heard the diagnosis his only response was “let’s kick its ass.” His fight has not wavered.

We have felt very blessed by this and I have questioned the ability for the radiation and chemo to be effective if he isn’t feeling anything. Well, all of that changed early Tuesday morning. My step-mom woke to him having seizures. They are staying at the hotel connected to MD Anderson and she called 911.

He was entubated after not responding to medication. He was sedated and has been in ICU since. He has lost mobility of his left hand and left leg. His brain is swollen.

I pray. What else can be done? I pray for so many things, mainly complete healing.

I regret. We aren’t supposed to regret things. That is not the way we are supposed to live. Well, I regret.

I stay busy. Handsome hubby and 4 kiddos keep me pretty busy but I have found another outlet too. I make diffuser necklaces to be used with or without essential oils and I enjoy my time making them. Even when there is chaos all around me I find making them peaceful, healing and right.

I pray a lot when making my necklaces.

So many people around me are effected by cancer. I decided to make a cancer ribbon. I give all of the profits to MD Anderson. Sure they are funded by a huge university. What can my minuscule amount of money do for them? I’m donating the money in my dads name. Knowing my dads name will be among donators names while he is going through the fight of his life means so much. Every dollar counts.

Trying to do something positive in such a difficult time is hard but necessary.

I hope to write again soon. I hope to have a more thought out post. I hope you continue to read. I pray for your health and happiness!

Until next time!

You can visit my ebay store if you would like to check out my necklaces!

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I cannot be SAD

Try as I might I cannot be sad. You read correctly. I cannot be sad.

For years of my life I’ve been sad. Even when I have been happy, I’ve been sad. Some of us live happy with moments of sadness. I lived sad with moments of happiness.

I’ve sat here for the past week attempting to write. Four drafts await completion as I type this. They will not be completed.

I should have known what was going on when I decided to create a Happy page on Facebook. Me? HAPPY? Creating it as a “challenge” I told myself I was trying to grow, not be negative, bring positivity to my life. Little did I know, I already had!

Blogging is cheaper than therapy and cheaper than my degree in Psychology.

Writing this past year has helped me heal. I’m not a quitter but I think I’ll give up trying to be sad!

Adult ADD: A Self Diagnosis Part 1

Oh my goodness, I cannot let so much time go between posts. I’ve been so wrapped up in handsome hubby’s book, Prophecy of Honor, there has been no time for either blog or my book.

Now, I feel more like I have ADD than usual. No, I am not making light of a very difficult condition to live with. I truly feel this way, and work hard everyday to stay focused on tasks at hand.

Never have I had to focus so hard to keep my attention to detail. When editing a book, detail is all that matters!

Never have I felt so unintelligent. Spending countless hours editing only to find errors I missed. I majored in English and Psychology! Editing should not be rocket science! I taught 7th and 9th grade English for goodness sakes. I should be able to make sure sentence structure is correct with my eyes closed.

Well, no. It seems I confused tenses and even forgot simple quotation rules. Thinking I needed a refresher course I studied up on grammar rules. My problems were not solved.

At some point along the way each time I sat to edit, it seemed all the words would blur at which point I would not catch any more errors and quite possibly created more.

Sadly, this topic was not even what I intended to blog about today. Realizing that, I took a break from this and quickly researched adult ADD. I’ve never been formally diagnosed although my mom, and my brother have been. The symptoms are quite eye opening. Let’s just say that out of 26, I truly experience 21. Or was it 19. I forgot already! Seriously. It was one of the two. The chart says if you experience 10 or more you should be tested.

An internal sense of anxiety.
Impulsive spending habits.
Frequent distractions during sex.
Lack of attention to detail.
Family history of ADD, learning problems, mood disorders or substance abuse problems.
An attitude of “read the directions when all else fails.”
Frequent traffic violations. Impulsive job changes.
Trouble maintaining an organized work and/or home environment.
Chronically late or always in a hurry.
Frequently overwhelmed by tasks of daily living.
Poor financial management and frequent late bills.
Procrastination.
Spending excessive time at work due to inefficiencies.
Inconsistent work performance.
Nagging sense of underachievement.
Frequent mood swings.
Trouble sustaining friendships or intimate relationships.
A need to seek high stimulation activities.
Tendency toward exaggerated outbursts.
Transposing numbers, letters, words.
Tendency toward being argumentative.
Addictive personality toward food, alcohol, drugs, work and/or gambling.
Tendency to worry needlessly and endlessly.
“Thin-skinned” – having quick or exaggerated responses to real or imagined slights.
Frequently misplace the car keys, your purse or wallet or other day-to-day items.
Trouble following the proper channels or chain of commands.

My name is Cyndi and I have ADD.

This is fine. Here is my current ( current as of 10 minutes ago) dilemma. I know how I feel about myself on a daily basis. I fight a huge internal battle everyday to overcome the negativity from deep inside. I’ve always known certain parts of “me” were attributed to ADD, I just didn’t know how many. I rationalized those things by saying “I’m creative.”

Reading this list I now understand myself better but am forced to decide whether to seek medical help. Do I take the test? I know, I will be diagnosed. If I’m diagnosed my doctor will recommend to medicate me.

I’ve always said I would try every cognitive behavior therapy available to help my children, if diagnosed with ADD, before medicating.

I guess I have answered my own question. I will have to begin my therapy. Luckily, self improvement is something I love.

Do you have ADD? What do you do to help your condition? How does it effect you? When were you diagnosed? How has your life changes since?

I’m looking forward to all comments.

The message is the story

To Live Braver is a relative term. Living braver for one is not the same for another. Also, the act of Living Brave changes as our lives evolve. What does it mean to Live Brave? According to their site it is …….

Live Braveris a resource for those seeking to step beyond the confines of fear, for those seeking a more inspiring, fulfilling, and rewarding life.

The ultimate goal: to help and to support each other in finding the courage to take steps towards a life we love.

Some of us feel as we have “come out of the womb” fighting. Some of us don’t feel we are challenged until later in life. Either way, one day, we all need to Live Braver. Should Live Braver. Step out of the confines of FEAR. Fear of acceptance, being loved, not being loved, failing, succeeding, plain ole fear. How we do this, in my eyes, defines us.

Accepting the overwhelming sensation when fear envelops your heart and mind so that it does not change your soul is quite the obstacle.

Our brains have been trained from the womb on how to handle situations Our id, ego and super-ego are in constant control.
Fight or flight? Keep calm or lose it? Cuss someone or don’t say a word? Study or decide defeat? Accept love or push someone away? Sadly humans feel from a place of fear before love. All actions almost always require fear based responses until you decide to think otherwise. It is a choice. An ego based decision.

For example, my husband doesn’t always say things the way I would like to hear them. Recently losing 80 pounds, I was getting ready for my brothers wedding a week ago. Complaining about my arms I wanted to change dresses. My husbands response was “If you think they look fat now what do you think they looked like before you lost 80 pounds?” I looked at him and said “much fatter.” If you knew me you would know I’m the most insecure person you will ever meet. You would expect me to cry, sulk and change dresses. What I have learned to accept with love ( rather than fear losing him) most recently is that my husband loves me unconditionally. He was not coming from a mean place. He is blunt, as I am. He said what he was thinking, which I respect more than fluff. It was an honest comment not meant maliciously but from LOVE. He was saying “You lost 80 pounds!!!!”

In recent months I’ve worked hard to train my brain to first come from a place of LOVE. I have had to let go of those in my life that do not. Those that lie, are two faced and didn’t value me as I did them. In turn, I have made room for more LOVE with existing relationships. This, to me, is how I chose to Live Brave now.

A year ago, to Live Brave was to act as Pro Se in court. When I was 12, to Live Brave was to embrace my new life with my step dad and new siblings. To Live Brave changes as you evolve.

Someone once said to me “It’s not the story. It’s the message.” That’s a hard pill for me to swallow. As a writer, not professional by any means but a writer solely as an outlet, the message IS the story. My story. Your story. We all have stories. We should not be ashamed of our stories or hold back from telling them out of fear. We are who we are based on OUR STORY. If there is discomfort in hearing someone’s truth, honestly, mine isn’t easy to tell or to hear, I feel you should look within. They have spent their life living this story that may or may not be easy for them to tell. Who are we to stop them because we are uncomfortable hearing it? Who are we to say “uh, can you just stick to the message? I’ll get more from that. To Live Braver that day might be to tell their story. To accept their harsh past. To share that reality with you. To bare their soul. Think about it…….

Timing

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My paternal grandfather……

When I look at him I see the backbone of our family. That’s probably what most think of when thinking of their grandfathers. I’m not sure. Coming from a divorced marriage where both parents remarried as well as grandparents who were divorced and remarried you can imagine the sets of grandparents I had! Seeing pictures of them as children or anywhere near the age I am at the time always amazes me.

Who were they really? Don’t get me wrong I knew my grandparents but only as a child. Only what they wanted me to know, so to speak.

Well as usual I begin my topic in one direction and head another.

I received this picture in the mail today.

My paternal grandmother passed away in July. She was my last remaining grandparent and had suffered from Alzheimer’s for some years. My paternal grandfather passed away many years ago.

As a child I would go to my PopPops bedroom. The picture above was framed on his dresser. He met my grandmother, in uniform at A Niagra Falls photo shop. He told her he was off to war and would return in 1 year to marry her. He did exactly that. She immigrated from Canada to the United States. They had 5 kids, Army brats. They lived all over the world. I would look at this picture, try to imagine what his deep blue eyes had seen. I knew he had a rough childhood. Is that why he joined the Army. I wondered if he looked like this before he went to war or after. I didn’t know what the rankings were or metals.

He was my hero. My protector.

Although in reality arthritis had set in and he could barely move at times, he was a recovering alcoholic and not as
my imagination made him to everyone else, he was that perfect to me. He was MY POP POP! We counted rail road cars together, visited friends at the dry cleaners, went to the hardware store, bbq’d, tinkered in his shop, worked in his office which was his enclosed garage. We just hung out.

I was extremely blessed with a relationship like this with most of my grandparents. By the grace of God!

When my grandmother passed my dad asked if there was anything I wanted from their home. I told him of the picture. He was unsure exactly which one. He said he would do what he could.

Months went by. At my brothers wedding last weekend my aunt brought an envelope to my dad with a special something she saved just for him, as the eldest son. As my dad opened the envelope I began to see my new spark of light that comes in my right eye. I knew who the light was and I knew what was in the package. ( my spark of light just flew by as I typed this). He opened it. I said “that’s the picture”.

My youngest brother was standing there. The one I least understand. My dad held the picture up to him. The resemblance is uncanny. Timing is everything. I got the message that I needed to be more understanding and I received the picture. Oh and I finally figured out who my new angel was! Blessings everywhere!!!!

I believe

“….being the most pure form of “you” that you can be. It is then that your natural talents will surface and shine. It is then that you will have the most fun of all! And it is then that you will allow everything in your world to prosper and blossom.”

Words I received from God this morning in an email as part of livealifeyoulove.com

Spiritual, I am.

I get these emails every so often. Sometimes from the future me, God and unseen friends ( angels). When I get an email it speaks to me. It might speak to you. It might speak to everyone on this earth.

Skeptics will say “You know, Cyndi, God didn’t actually write that to you?” They will say “How could your future self write you?”

I say ” Belief is a wise wager. Granted that faith cannot be proved, what harm will come to you if you gamble on its truth and it proves false? If you gain, you gain all; if you lose, you lose nothing. Wager, then, without hesitation, that He exists.”
Blaise Pascal

Live Braver!

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The picture above was taken the Mothers Day before my in laws 3rd child was tragically taken to heaven.

Seeing this picture in our hallway on Christmas Eve of this year, my mother in law shared that little bit of information with my husband and I ( he is the first from the left). My mother in law is a woman somewhat “of few words”. She is very private. I will leave her story quite simply with my thought in respect to her— she has LIVED BRAVER. A strong female role model for her children. As mine has been for hers.

When I think of living braver my thoughts and memories immediately, almost selfishly, envelop me. My own personal story of living bravely. I will find a way to share it one day.

But this, this is about my sister in law, Lexlee Overton. The little girl in the picture. What is so complex about human emotions, our human brain, is one persons painful memory is another’s most glorious happiest of memories.

Recently writing a post on perception, the contrast of what my mother in law and sister in law see when they look at this one moment in time strongly stood out to me. But the similarity in the afterthought, if you will, is quite similar. It was the beginning of my mother in law living braver at a whole new level and for my sister in law it was “a reminder of being a young girl who loves openly and freely”, without fear. I’m sure to an extent the same goes for my mother in law when she looks at her precious children in this picture and was BRAVE enough to have 2 more beautiful children.

Stay with me, I do have a point.
My sister in law has created a wonderful website where we can share stories, find resources and support one another to help us Live Braver. Pleaseclick here to connect to the site.

Below I attached a small excerpt from livebraver.com.

I hope you visit the site.
Share your story!
Live Braver!

excerpt from livebraver.com
Live Braver is a resource for those seeking to step beyond the confines of fear, for those seeking a more inspiring, fulfilling, and rewarding life.

The ultimate goal: to help and to support each other in finding the courage to take steps towards a life we love.

What to expect: a community filled with people like you, who want to share their stories and to inspire others to bravely embrace their life purpose.

Be inspired

Be empowered

Be IN LOVE with your life

LIVE BRAVER.

Are you ready to Live Braver?
Live Braver is a resource for those seeking to step beyond the confines of fear, for those seeking a more inspiring, fulfilling, and rewarding life.

The ultimate goal: to help and to support each other in finding the courage to take steps towards a life we love.

What to expect: a community filled with people like you, who want to share their stories and to inspire others to bravely embrace their life purpose.

Be inspired

Be empowered

Be IN LOVE with your life

LIVE BRAVER.

Are you ready to Live Braver?