This image of me on Christmas Day 2010 is perfect to show how much I love and insulated myself while preparing for a life changing event. Out with the Old and In with the New I entered the New Year ready for anything. Throughout my challenge I am happy to say I never questioned, " Why Me" ??? Self piety is not going to be helpful for anyone. Everyone has a cross to carry.
My focus has been and will remain on having an Attitude of Gratitude. After all, I have enjoyed 54 wonderful years of rather good health.
The only times I have ever stayed overnight in a hospital before this was to deliver two healthy babies natural child birth. Each time I was out the door and back home by the third day. My children have been both healthy aside from strep throat, cold and flu along with a few minor accidents they enjoy good health, which is another thing for which I am THANKFUL. Health is Wealth !!!
How does one prepare for a life changing event? Sometimes it happens in a flash that does not allow us the luxury to prepare. Thankfully, I had five months to grow as I gathered information, asked the experts then made the best decision for myself.
The first line of defense that often come to mind in times of trouble are Friends and Family. Cell phone companies even have a Friends and Family Plan for the people you talk with the most. Since my parents died 15 years ago my family of origin pretty much fell apart. Other women I met along my journey often were accompanied by their mother, sister or close friend.
Not having the typical resources available has made my husband Jim and daughter Kara particularly good at selecting priorities and time management. Life has an interesting way of unfolding in unpredictable ways. Please note that I am not complaining as I have been receiving flowers, notes, phone calls, casseroles and thoughts of well wishes thought out my journey. Maybe not from the people I would have previously thought of as on my Friends and Family Plan but from unexpected sources of LOVE.
Prayer, mediation, exercise, preparing and enjoying eating nutritious foods as well as always returning to an Attitude of Gratitude helps to keep life in perspective.
One year ago I began attending Al Anon Meetings.
Although I met many nice people I never found a " Home Group". I did however find peace in the belief that " All Things work together for good for those who love the Lord. " Romans 8 : 28 Even if we never would have selected our present cross it is an opportunity to us to grow. I was determined not to miss the Wisdom that would be mine from my present challenge.
Everyday as I rode my stationary bike between 5-8 miles as I read from three different Al Anon Meditation books. No, God does not bring bad things into our lives, sometimes it is a direct result from choices we made. More often than not it just happened as a way to help us learn to be more loving to ourselves and others.
Through the trials that have entered my life I have come to believe;
- there is an all Powerful Creator of the Universe who is LOVE,
- does not matter what name you choose to call this LOVE...
- we are all One in this great POWER of LOVE
- this LOVE binds us all together,
- there is no need for envy or hatred,
- what happens good to one of us happens to all of us,
- sadness that happens to one of us affects all of us,
- we are really never alone as LOVE is with us in our darkest hour,
- life as we see it here on earth is a classroom,
- we either join in this LOVE or miss opportunities to LOVE
- one day we will return to this Great Power of LOVE
I am humbled to say that I now have the ALL CLEAR ;~)
I am both elated for myself and saddened for the people who have not received this good news.
I feel stronger everyday... I can not wait to get back out helping other peoples lives be a little bit brighter again. Life changing experiences can have a way of making us better not bitter.
My latest ricerafferty artistic endeavour has been to create a new line for the Alumna portion of the Buffalo State College Runway 4.0 Fashion Show. When Kara first suggested this project to me last Autumn I sort of looked at her over my bifocals as if she had to be kidding. Didn't I have enough on my plate back then. As all Artists know creativity is one way we tap into healing powers.
I was told the theme of this years show was actually inspired by my love and work with Recycled and Up Cycling Materials. Repurpose, Reinterpret, Regenerate ...
As I said from the beginning of my latest life challenge;
Life threw me a BIG bunch of Lemons,
I am going to make a enough Lemonade to have a PARTY for the rest of my life ;~)
Hope you come join me in the DANCE !!!