Tuesday, January 18, 2011

"Giving Anonymously" Appeal

This organization is wonderful and the people that work there are amazing...... even if you cannot help them out with this, please check them out and pass the word along.  There is often someone you want to help, but dont want your relationship cluttered up with financial issues.... use Giving Anonymously


Uniquely precious......

Last week it snowed a snow that our little town has not had in a long time - even more than the Christmas snow they had while we were away.  I don't like the cold, so the 7 inches we got in the front yard, together with the really really cold temps, set my teeth on edge... and then I heard it.  My camera was jumping up and down to get another shot at capturing a snowflake... and so we did.

A few days after that we left for our cruise from Ft Lauderdale, through the Panama Canal to San Diego and I honestly did not even think of cold weather, let alone snowflakes. (Apart from yours, Esther).

It was simply wonderful to be away, Steven was going to keep the shop for us, and he was and is doing very well still, as was everything else in our lives....  So I left with a clear and unleaden heart.  At night, long after everyone had deserted the top deck, I would walk around up there in the crisp, clear night talking to myself and the ocean and enjoying the total lack of people and human sounds.  The bows of the ship, Celebrity Constellation, parted the ocean waves almost effortlessly, creating a swishing, shooshing bow wave that  soothed my soul even further.  All of you were so often in my mind, especially during those lovely quiet walks and thoughts and wishes still swish around on those moonlit waters.

And then we came home again to reality in so many ways.  Tyler passed away soon after we got home and Steven's pcr test is due again next week and the hurt from others that are no longer here was still evident in many different ways in the emails and catch ups I did.

And so the Snowflake came to mind again.  That day I had a black piece of plastic lying outside to catch the snowflakes.  You see, sometimes snow falls in these beautifully shaped, unique flakes but it seems to me that much of the time the snow is just..... well, clumps of uninteresting ice pieces.  Sometimes they are little round balls, sometimes tiny toothpicks and sometimes a scrambled mess - almost indescribable..... but this day there were many perfect flakes floating down on our world. 

I dont think that many people actually look at what type of snow is falling...so I called Steven outside to get a closer look too.... It's like being in a different world when you see all those flakes gently landing on that black plastic.  Its quite incredible to think that something as beautiful and special as this snow flake was made and then survived the fall to earth to land right there at the tip of my lens.  I find myself becoming totally involved in hunting the next beauty and I even forget to be cold at times.

If the temperature changes just a very little bit, that beautiful flake would not form at all.  Just a degree or two makes a difference between the creation of something stunninly beautiful, or not.  I dont know what the temperature it has to be to create this perfection, but I do know that when the tiniest thing changes, that flake stops being.  Just stops.  If I breath too close to it or if I stand in the way that shelters it from the wind, it disappears in the blink of an eye hardly even leaving a tiny puddle.

And this got me thinking on life and just how tenuous it really is.  This leukemia, cml, is formed by something really small in the dna changing and messing up (no technical terms right now), just something so small creates all this mess in our lives.   I wonder just how small the change was that started the ultimate undoing of Tyler and Adrian and ...so many others too. 

I know that there probably is very little chance that we will be able to cure all cancer, or to stop it from getting out of control, and I know that sadly many many more people will not survive their cancers and other illnesses.  And this thought, pictured together with that short lived snowflake, makes it so clear just how important it is to let those you love know it.  Loud and clear.  It makes it clear just how important it is to live our lives 100% every day, to look for the joy, the beauty and the love in as many moments as possible.  All too soon something will change, or the change will tip us into something unstoppable where we cannot enjoy life as we now know it.

And like this snowflake that will now live forever as a photograph, the many people who are no longer with us, will keep living in our souls and in our memories as unforgettable and as beautiful as a once in a lifetime snowflake.  Each one of them uniquely precious forever...

Go hug someone - tell them you love them.  Call them, write them, txt or email them. 

love and light

Friday, January 07, 2011

A very sad start to the new year.......

Tyler passed away yesterday, the 6th January, 2011

This was not supposed to happen at all...... he was a handsome 44 years young, still newly married, by all accounts a really wonderful person; his wife Mandy is beautiful, vibrant and walked his walk right there with him.  He was supposed to have a full and good life, he was supposed to beat this leukemia.  He was supposed to live, dammit!

I have never met Tyler or Mandy but have followed their story since they first started their blog and because Tyler had the same leukemia as Steven, of course I wanted to find out as much as I could about how he, and also Mandy, dealt with the rocky roads.  Obviously for all the right reasons, I wanted Tyler to beat his cancer, but in addition to that, I wanted his survival to to be a 'win' for us all against cml.  I wanted him to beat it so that I could feel better, be more at ease and add to the hope I have for Steven's long life.  Selfish, yes, but  thats the way it is.

We had just returned back home from vacation when I read the news and it was literally like a kick in my stomach.  I kept going back to their blog to make sure it was true - and that photo of them both, so full of life, love and happiness greeted me every time and made the world a bit brighter, until the words below came into focus.

Tyler obviously touched so many people in his life and was clearly loved by a bunch of people, and he will be tremendously missed.  My heart breaks for all those who knew him and have now lost him.  It just does not seem right at all.

It's at times like this that I get really really angry, sad, scared and angry again all rolled up into one ball.  Obviously I don't feel the grief the same as those that knew and loved him, but his passing definitely has an effect on my life.  It makes it a bit rockier, makes it a bit more precious, makes my life a bit poorer and  at the same time it somehow enriches it.  And right now I feel very selfish in describing how Tyler's dying affects my life in the face of their hurt, but its true.  Even not knowing him at all, he has made an impact on my life and it has been a good impact.

I am deeply sorry that Tyler's life ended so soon and I send my deep and sincere condolences and love to Mandy and all his friends and family.

Tyler..... I hope you have that beautiful smile brightening your face and the twinkle in your eye lighting your way.

With love and deep sadness