cancer, family, Uncategorized

Ding Dong the Witch is Dead….

WITCH UNDER HOUSE It seems like over the past few months I have known people who had a funeral to attend, knew someone who only had a few months to live due to a diagnosis of cancer, pets dying or attended a funeral myself. There are so many ways we pay tribute, say good bye and celebrate these lives once they have passed on. Military have the ceremonies…special burial at a National Cemetery along with a 21 gun salute and the presenting of the flag to a family member. A person who passes away that lived into their late 90’s or even made it to 100 are celebrated with all the  historical events they witnessed in their long full lives. Maybe had great great grandchildren. There are ones that pass on that have had struggles with illness and we feel a bit relieved when they die because they are no longer suffering. God has brought them peace with the illness they long suffered from. Then there are the tragic deaths from accidents, murders, suicides or even the loss of a child. There are no words to even describe that type of loss. So sudden and so tragic it literally takes your breath away.

We will never know when it is our time to go. God decides that. We do know how to live our lives to the fullest and make each day count. Some of us may have all our funeral preparation done. Songs picked, headstone bought, bible verses selected etc. All of this has got me thinking….while I am only 46 and believe I will die at a ripe old age…there are no guarantees. What do I want my funeral to look like? How do I want people to remember me? One thing I know is “Don’t stand over my grave and weep”…that quote always pops into my mind. I know I do not want the traditional wake, church funeral and buttered bun ham sandwiches, jello salads with shredded carrots and bars made by the women of the church. I don’t want people all in black (altho those who know me know that I do wear black and grey a lot!)  I mean no disrespect to those who have that. But that is not me.

I want to be cremated. I want my ashes divided up between my husband and children. I want them to scatter their “share of me” somewhere appropriate that has meaning to them in regards to me. Maybe it is Target, maybe a park we visited, maybe the coffee shop where I met my son for the first time…or the old area where the Fairmont American Legion used to stand – where I met my true love. Or even Chadwicks NY where I grew up – under the large gingko tree. Don’t put my shell in a box and put me in the ground with the bugs – you all know how I hate bugs! I picture my memorial service and “bereavement meal” in a backyard – the scene much like the Braverman’s backyard from Parenthood. White lights strung across trees on a breezy warm evening. (side note – if its winter time…we will have a plan B – I mean I do live in Minnesota) Fun food and cocktails. I want people to celebrate my life with funny stories. I want pictures of me – pictures approved by my sister – we have an understanding about that! I want music that will make people laugh and sing and bring back fun memories. I want someone to play “Ding Dong the Witch is Dead” because those that really know me will laugh and spit their drink out. I want the song “In My Life” played – version of Crosby, Stills and Nash – or a good guitar/song version by any guitar player friends and family members. I love “Amazing Grace/My Chains are Gone”. I want people to wear their favorite outfits…an outfit that makes them feel happy. I want Vicks scented tissues – if you cry, at least get a whiff of Vicks – Love that smell! So many other little things I think about.

I don’t like to think of dying as a sad occasion, but rather a celebration of a person’s life – there is nothing sad about that. So I ask you – how do YOU want to be celebrated?

cancer, family, Uncategorized

Cancer sucks…

cancer sucks  Cancer sucks. Plain and simple. I have known people all different ages that have gone through this. Relatives. Friends, Strangers. Neighbors. Kids…….KIDS!?!?!  I don’t understand why. I know God has the ultimate plan, but why cancer? Why cancer in children? I don’t normally write about other people in my blog – it is usually my immediate family or situations that involve my family. This post is different. It is about a neighbor. The neighbor that is just behind our fence… a young boy we see through the fence cracks mow the lawn or play football with friends.  Our neighbor David who is an active football loving 7th grade. He was just diagnosed with a rare cancer…on his spinal cord. Rare – meaning he is like 1 in 6 people in the WORLD who have been diagnosed with this.

Here is his story that just ran on the news:  David’s Story

As an average person I think HOW AWFUL. Thinking of it as a mother….there are no words. I think how “lucky” he was to get injured during a football game. A game that David LOVES. That injury lead doctors to find this tumor. I just cant imagine the road he will now travel on…surgeries, treatment, Dr. appointments…the list is endless. Not to mention missing school, friends, etc. The support in our community has been fast and furious. Love how our town has rallied around this young boy and his family.

It’s not fair. IT’S NOT FAIR. (yeah yeah Life ISN’T fair…but this sucks) How as a mother and father do you keep strong for your child when deep down you are screaming “THIS IS NOT FAIR!!!!” and feeling helpless for your own child. My heart and prayers just pour out for this family. One thing I do know…they will kick cancer’s ASS! They are strong – #GerfastStrong! And David will be in the best care at the best hospital MN knows, the country knows, the world knows.

If you can help in ANY way this family…the link is below. Any little thing is helpful. It just means one less thing the family needs to worry about. Their strength needs to be on David…not on finances, meals etc. Power of prayer is remarkable. So remarkable…say a prayer or many prayers.

Help David’s Family

Cindy, Lars, Rachel, Allison and David….we are rallying for you all!