Friday, August 31, 2018

Happy 14th Birthday

Today Lisa would have turned 14 years old.  I try to think of what she would be like.  I'm pretty sure she would have been our toughest teen.  She had no issue telling you what she thought and getting what she wanted.  I attempted to honor her today doing things that I thought she might have enjoyed.
I started the day with a massage and as I drove to it felt Lisa guiding me to call a friend who lived in the area who I had not seen in years.  The odds were that she would not be available  given the short notice but I had to at least reach out as it seemed what Lisa wanted.  Five minutes later I was on my way to meet my friend for lunch.  Maranda was in the area so she was able to join us.

We had a great time catching up and when we were done Maranda and I got pedicures together.  I then headed off to a psychic reading.  While an interesting experience I'm still not sure what I think about what I heard.  

Mike and I finished off the day having dinner with our neighbors at the lake.  Two of the families have girls Lisa's age that she played with years ago.  It was nice to be able to spend some time with these young ladies nd think about how much Lisa would have enjoyed the evening.

Remember tomorrow starts Childhood Cancer Awareness month.  Be Bold Wear Gold because kids can’t fight cancer alone and  they shouldn't have to!

Saturday, May 19, 2018

5 years

It has been five years since Lisa left us. Today seems less emotional than the past years and I can only attribute that to the fact that we kept ourselves incredibly busy as we packed for Montana and attempted to have a garage sale.

I considered two things that I could do today in honor of Lisa.  One was to shave my head at the St Baldrick fundraiser.  The other was to go to Montana to visit Tom. I am writing this as we sit in the   the airport waiting for our flight.(nobody voted for the head shaving😉)

Lisa would’ve loved  this trip. Not only are we GOing someplace new as we know she loved to do. We  get to see Tom working in a kitchen in Yellowstone and we will be with him to celebrate his birthday as he turns 20 on Monday.

While today has not gotten to me emotionally I cannot say the same about the last few weeks.  I’ve had more than a few days where  suddenly I’ll just feel very uneasy and sad. I am starting to think it is my subconscious counting down the days and still looking to fill the hole Lisa left.  I oftern hope and wish  Lisa would appear to me in my dreams as I miss her dearly and have a few questions for her. With her always in the back of my mind we go off on our next adventure to wish Tom a happy 20th birthday in Montana.

When we return we will move forward with our plan to sell the  Canton house and move permanently to the lake. Why this is a big move it seems to be the right move as it will help to simplify life and  let us focus on living in the moment and finding the beauty in all things as Lisa taught us to do.

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