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!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Honoring Lisa 5/18/2014

As the one year anniversary of Lisa earning her wings approaches I wondered how/what I should do to "mark the moment".  I found out that there will be a St. Baldrick event in Plymouth on 5/18 at Plymouth Roc from 1-5.  It seems like the perfect thing to do in Lisa's memory.

St Baldricks is an organization dedicated to raising funding for childhood cancer and they have very  little overhead costs.  Only 2.8% of general St. Baldrick's finances go towards management/general fund. So 97% of the money you contribute will go directly towards helping children who are fighting cancer.

At the event, participants agree to get their heads shaved, and supporters agree to donate some money to the organization in order to laugh at said participants, and help stamp out childhood cancer, all at the same time. This event will also have many fun things besides the shaving of the heads, and you do not have to have your head shaved to come out and have some fun. There will be raffles for items donated from places like Dean Sadler Salon, Salon Awesome, Busch's, A&E Jewelry, Residence Inn and I AM DETROIT clothing. Other fun things are, 50/50 drawing, photo booth, kid's games, and food and drink specials. 

I reached out to the coordinator to thank him for raising awareness and funding for childhood cancer.  I told him I would like to post the information on our blog in hopes of getting friends and family to join us in honoring Lisa and all the other little warriors. The event generally draws 200+ people so there will be a crowd but the coordinator has offered to try and reserve some  time/space necessary to accommodate Lisa's family and friends. 

If you would like to join us in this event please let me know ASAP how many people and I will look at getting seating so we can join together on 5/18 in honor of Lisa.

BLAST Cancer! Live Strong!