Thursday, August 31, 2017

Loving Lisa 13 years

Today Lisa would have turned 13.  I made a promise to myself that every year on this date I would make sure to spend it honoring Lisa and remembering what she taught us in her short time with us.

At her young age she knew how to live in the moment and she made every day count.  I am guilty of not doing this most days as I let work, money, aches, pains, worry nip away at the precious hours.  But on this day, I STOP doing my normal and use this day to just BE and live life and honor Lisa.  I seek to just "go somewhere" and take pleasure in the "going" as she would have.  It is my day to be spontaneous and let go of time and honor my child who lived life fully and who we miss daily.  As today unfolds I will see where Lisa takes me.  Happy Birthday Lisa.  Love You Lisa.

11:20 PM Update--As this day comes to an end just thought I would share a "day in the life of Lisa" ---Brunch with the family---followed by some reading and long lazy nap---followed by a tattoo in Lisa's honor (finally!)---dinner with some of Lisa's favorite people:)

PS. Tomorrow starts Childhood Cancer Awareness month please remember to wear gold!

Friday, May 19, 2017

May 19, 2017

4 years ago Lisa left us.  4 years and the approach of 5/19 still causes me anxiety.  While she is never far from my thoughts knowing that this was THE day it all ended brings all the questions, fears, despair rushing back.  It is one of the few days that I will let my walls down and let the pain seep in and through me.   Mike and I have been able to use this day to honor Lisa and try to approach the day as she would have....looking for somewhere to "just go", no plans, no expectations, just be alive and live life fully. 

Earlier this week an unexpected email from Sean of Mott's Development Team provided us the perfect opportunity to remember Lisa.  He wanted to thank us for our support of Mott Children’s Hospital and talk about our prior fundraising efforts.  We were able to arrange to meet today.  Our conversation was a great way to share memories of Lisa.  The conversation meandered around many topics including a new camp for children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges in the Pinckney area.  The  discovery of a new camp provided the perfect opportunity to "just go". Once Mike and I finished up the conversation we headed out to the camp.

It was totally spontaneous and seemed exactly like something Lisa would have loved.  Our drive to see the camp turned into a full tour as our timing coincided with a volunteer training day.   It was a very gratifying way to spend the afternoon and live life.

Thank you to Sean for suggesting we meet and telling us about the camp, thank you to North Star Reach for allowing us to spend the afternoon seeing the fantastic place you have built for children, thank you to everyone who sent us warm thoughts today.

Love You Lisa.  Miss You Lisa.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

May 19, 5/19, MAY 19

May 19--- I wonder if this date will ever pass without tears.  It has been two whole years without Lisa and time has not healed all wounds.  I still feel a hole in my heart that only Lisa filled.  Five years of fighting cancer still seems easier than two years of no Lisa.

I have not really posted anything in the past two years because I have retreated behind my "wall".  This wall protects me and allows me to function.  When I get the courage to peek around the wall I quickly retreat.  The emotion is overwhelming.  I'm afraid if that wall comes down even a bit I will lose my mind because  everything I know, believed, learned was built on foundation that was shaken greatly when Lisa left us.

Depending on my mood and mindset, there are moments when I can take a brick out of the wall and find the positive from this loss.  Thoughts like "we were so lucky to have Lisa at all.", "Cancer provided us the opportunity  to do/see ......" "It was a good thing that she passed away at home.", "Thankfully, we were able to control her pain."   These moments are short-lived and almost always end up in a rage of anger because she should have NEVER gotten cancer.  No one should, especially no child.  This generally turns into a rant against God that quickly turns into an internal debate as I question my whole belief system and try to figure out what is real.  And the turmoil ends when I shove the brick back in place, wipe my tears and realize it will never make sense and I have to find a way to keep going.

And, so far, I do keep going, but often it is just pushing through and keeping busy as oppossed to really living and enjoying life. I try to remember that cancer taught us to live in the moment but struggle with balancing "living in the moment" vs just "getting through the moment".  

With Maranda graduating this year, Thomas getting his first job, Christina turning "Sweet 16" soon there is a lot to celebrate and be joyous about in the big and small moments. And, I will be joyous and happy and full of love.  I will use all my energy to embrace these great moments,  keep my priorities in line, and not leave happiness behind.  But, sadly, there will still be a hole in my heart that can only be filled by Lisa.

So, as I end this post I provide you all with a link to a song that has been playing thru my head for the past two weeks...Hole Hearted.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When asked why you wear a gold ribbon, you can answer:

The gold ribbon represents something precious and pure.
It is the symbol for childhood cancer and the need for a cure.
Cancer is vicious, it doesn’t play fair.
It robs children of life despite their young years.
Funding is needed, as well as, research and new drugs.
For cancer is a condition not fixed by big hugs.
Every year more instances of childhood cancer are diagnosed.
More than any other disease, cancer kills kids the most.

Wear the gold ribbon and wear it with pride.
Wear it for children fighting cancer and for those who have died.

Sadly, not all cancer charities support childhood cancer research and less than 4% of federal cancer research funding is dedicated to it.
Should you choose to make a donation to support childhood cancer research please consider donating to the University of Michigan/Mott's Hospital where Lisa received her care. It took a few years, but I am happy to say that the hospital now has a campaign called Block Out Cancer where all donations are dedicated to pediatric cancer research

Click here to donate online to Block Out Cancer
To donate in Lisa’s honor, you can make out a check to:
University of Michigan and write Lisa McMaster-BLAST in the memo field
Mail check to:
Office of Medical Development
Attn: Mike Hartwell
1000 Oakbrook
Suite 100
Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Join us

Maranda, Chrissy and I have signed up for another mud run.  This one is called Mud Factor and is on June 28 in Petersburg, MI.  We are signed up for 11:45 wave under team name of LoveYouLisa.   We would love for others to join us!

Also, if you plan to join us at the St. Baldrick event in Plymouth on 5/18 at Plymouth Roc from 1-5 let us know asap so we can save you seat.   You can email or FB us your response.


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Lisa Loved Adventure....Join us

I am trying to be active, have fun and try new adventures (which Lisa loved to do).

I have a started team called LoveYouLisa and Maranda, Christina and I will be participating in a 5k Foam Run-: 10:30 A.M. Saturday July 26- in - Grand Rapids, MI 2014.

You can find more information about FoamFest at the event website:

If you haven't registered yet, you can register and join the team here:

If you've already registered, you can join the team here:

Join us!  It will be fun!