It is a CHRISTmas tree

I will only call it a Christmas tree!



Christmas tree not holiday tree

It is a Christmas tree…
Don’t tell me it is a holiday tree…
No way..
No how…
I will not call it a holiday tree.

Just as it is Christmas and I will say Merry Christmas! NOT Happy Holidays!

It is MY Christmas and I am going to shout that.

It may be your holiday but it is my Christmas!

CHRISTMAS!

CHRISTMAS!

CHRISTMAS!

Know one can take that away from me.

Just saying!

Merry Christmas!

Luminaria Ceremony: American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life

There were a lot of children participating in the West Sacramento American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event. Some who were inflicted with the awful disease but many who had family members that were battling the disease or had lost their life to it. These kids especially touched me as they spoke about their loved ones.

10 year old decorates luminaria bags

One young ten year old especially touched my heart as I was able to work with her at the Luminaria table. She volunteered a few hours decorating bags for loved ones who were not able to decorate their own bags. She had told me about many family members that had cancer. Her aunt got cancer awhile she was pregnant and lost her baby. Her papa whom she was the closest to of all the grandchildren, lost his life to cancer. Her story was of determination to fight the cancer. She knew by giving her time to this event that we would be that much closer to fighting this deadly disease that has impacted her young life.

5 year old carries luminaria bags for Relay for Life

Another little boy, only five years old, he was a doll! He helped us load all the luminaria bags onto the trailer for distribution around the field. He placed each bag so carefully as if he was remembering each person that the bag represented. It was quite amazing to watch. He looked at each bag and was sure to place the artwork in one direction. I later caught up with him awhile he was selling light sticks for the evening show to thank him for his hard work and diligence. He understood why he was at the event. At his young age of five, he had been impacted by the disease. He was there to help fight it.

Kids help at the American Cancer Society Relay for life.

Kids help at the American Cancer Society Relay for life.

Kids help at the American Cancer Society Relay for life.

Many young adults were there lending a helping hand. They were there because they are givers and wanted to help. Yes, Mom and Dads, your young adults have kind hearts. Yes, America, there are good people out there…our kids are not what the news always represents. There is so much more then what we hear on the news. These young adults helped all Friday evening to set up, returned Saturday morning at 6am to help and stayed until 10pm. (I am sure they showed up Sunday to help break everything down, too!) They stayed working…and giving from their heart. They didn’t have to be there. Many of their parents were not there. These young adults were there because they had heard about the event from a friend and decided to be part of the Relay for Life.

Kids help decorate luminaria bags at the American Cancer Society Relay for life.

Another Mom and her young daughter worked with me all day at the luminaria table. They were there because they knew the event volunteer coordinator and she had mentioned the event. They didn’t have any plans that day so they thought they would come out for a few hours to help. They got so wrapped up in the event that they volunteered for 13 hours! From a few hours to 13 hours! Why did they stay that long? They got trapped (in a good way) to the energy of the day. They were surrounded by love and enthusiasm for life and hope…hope that there would be a cure for cancer one day.

There was so much positive energy during the day as the music played in the background and relay groups continued to walk around the track. Some walked in solitude awhile others walked in big groups.

decorated luminaria bags

cancer family member decorates luminaria bag

Did I do a bag for my Dad?  I have to confess I did not. I thought about it. I wanted to do a bag but yet I didn’t. I hadn’t volunteered there because of my Dad. I had volunteered there because of all the other families. Besides I didn’t want to deal with my emotions that day. I was there to serve, to listen, to show compassion. I watched as many people decorated their bags. Some smiled because their bags were in honor of someone who was cancer free for several years. But there was those who you could tell it was hard to sit and write the name of the loved one they had lost…the one they were writing in memory of…. Lots of emotions went into those bags.

This day wasn’t about me.
It wasn’t about my Dad and the cancer he suffers with.

This day was giving, listening and being present for others.

I will come back to this event some day not as a volunteer but as a participant. Some day when I want to honor my Dad for all the cancer battles he has fought…but for this day only….I am thinking about all the other people that are here and the burdens on their heart and in their mind because of this nasty ugly deadly disease.

Yes, during the luminaria ceremony, I shed a tear or two for my Dad but I quickly shut those tears off and focused on all the loved ones that were on that football field…at that moment.

I hope each and everyone of you keep moving forward to helping fight this battle. It would be awesome to say that we have conquered this ugly disease. That the event is now….a Relay of Life NOT a Relay of life to fight cancer.

Thank you to all the volunteers and relay teams for allowing me to experience your stories, your emotions and your love. I will carry your stories in my heart…..

Holding on to HOPE…..

Pam

Everything has its Season

 

Peter Seger and the Byrds sang the song Turn! Turn!Turn! (to Everything there is a Season) in the 1960’s. Peter wrote the song based on the Book of Ecclesiastes from the Bible.

To everything there is a season. And a time to every purpose, under Heaven.
A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap.
A time to laugh, a time to weep.
A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.
A time of love, a time of hate. A time of war, a time of peace.
A time you may embrace. A time to refrain from embracing.

As young girls we look forward to the time when our body changes and we get to wear our first bra and make-up.
Then we look forward to our driver license and the freedom that comes with that.
College is the next big turning point along with turning 21.

One dream many of us girls have from a very young age is getting married.
We think about our special day. We dream about our wedding gown, who will be in our wedding, the music that will play and about the details of our reception.
We also think about our Prince charming husband and all the wonderful children we will have together.

We know we will get married and have children.
We know we will get old and become grandparents.

Everyone talks about those two important seasons in our life.

No one talks about the season between our children leaving the nest and becoming grandparents

From of very young age we know we will get our license, graduate from college, get married, have children and then have grandchildren.

What people don’t talk about, is the time when us Moms no longer have the children at home.
The time when our children aren’t married and don’t have children yet.

Evertything has its season. My favorite season was when the kids were home and I got to play Mom. No one warned me about the season between kids leaving and becoming a grandparent.

They don’t talk about this weird period for us moms when we  have no responsibilities to our children and have no young ones around to love, nurture and care for.

I am finding this to be a very lonely period of my life.

Children just fill our world with unconditional love, sweetness, and joy.
Children bring happiness into a family.

Grandchildren.

Being needed as a Grandparent.

I never thought about this period of time in my life. Not a thought.

This season of my life is a season no one prepared me for.


I don’t know how long this season will last. I will do my best to make the most of it.

But darn it, I liked being needed! I liked that season of my life the most! More then getting to wear make-up. More then graduating from college. More then getting married. I liked being a Mom to my school aged kids!

To this season in my life!
Pam

Do you struggle with this season? How are you dealing with it?

PS To my dear Sissy, If you happen to read this post it is NOT about pressuring you to have grandbabies. This is all about me and how to deal with the loneliness of not having children around who need me. No pressure here. No pressure! Love you my dear child!

Lack of Flossing Leads to 2 Minor Strokes and a Mild Heart Attack

chair

Can we pretend this is a dental chair?!


Seriously, are you taking care of your teeth?

Are you flossing regularly?

Are you taking care of any cavities you have?

I have read this many times in the past American Dental Association advices you to floss and brush daily and see your dentist on a regular basis. How many times have we heard these words?

I have always taught my kids to floss and brush.

I have always brushed and flossed.

I always thought it was important to floss and brush daily to keep our teeth and for great hygiene.

Until last week….

 
Last week my friends husband, Mr. D, was taken to the hospital.

Their story…

 
Thursday Mr. D had been working hard digging some ditches. That night he complanied to his wife that his back hurt. The next day he woke and still had intense back pain. By Saturday night, he was in so much pain that he couldn’t even walk. His wife took him to the emergency room where he was treated for muscle pain. He was given muscle relaxants.

Sunday he still wasn’t getting any better. He still couldn’t walk and was in a lot of pain.

Monday night Mr. D told his wife that he couldn’t see. Everything was crossed. He decided to go to bed. The next morning he told his wife that he still couldn’t see and that everything was crossed. He still couldn’t walk. His wife helped him to the car and drove him to the emergency room.

After several test, the doctors discovered that Mr. D had had two minor strokes. Now they would need to do more test to discover why.

They discovered that he had a staph infection. They put him on a heavy dose of antibiotics to treat the infection.

Now they would have to do more test to find out where the staph infection started.

They thought it may be the bovine valve that he had in his heart.

No, that was not the source of the initial infection.

The source of his initial infection was his mouth!

 

His mouth!

 
He had a tooth that had been bothering him. It had a tooth abscess. He had not taken care of it in a timely manner.
 

This tooth got a staph infection which traveled his body and caused the two minor strokes.

 

Oh, by the way, awhile he has been in the hospital he also had a minor heart attack!

 
Now because of the infection in his body, he will have to have the bovine valve replaced. That means open heart surgery!

It is a blessing that his wife took him to the hospital when she did.

He will most likely regain his sight although it will probably take a few months.

He is in excellent care at a local hospital.

He is a survivor!

But can you imagine, all of this because he didn’t take care of his teeth. He didn’t floss!
 

Imagine, not flossing can lead to heart disease.

 

Imagine, not flossing can lead to a stroke.

 

Imagine, not flossing can lead to gum disease. And you know what happens when you have gum disease? They pull your teeth!!!

That is another thing. Mr. D will be having some of his teeth pulled!

Lets take this story as a wake up call. Are you flossing?

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