Saturday, January 2, 2010

Remembering the Past

Many of you are looking at the bright white page in front of you asking yourself "Why did I sign up for this"?? Don't be discouraged. Journal writing is a process and soon you will find your words flowing onto the paper.

Our prompt for today "The events that rocked my world/changed my life/ formed who I am in the last decade are...

Youwill no doubt be putting a great deal of thought into this. This is a great assignment that helps us see how we have arrived at point B from point A and how life events can not only change our lives but can , at times alter our personality.


  1. Ten Years of Change-Survival to Blessings

    Ten years ago I was a Navy Wife living in Virginia. My husband was wrapping up his Naval Career and we were preparing for his retirement and moving back to Ohio. We came back to Ohio, reaquainted with family, bought our first house, both of us had good jobs, two cars in the drive way and very little debt. We were LIVING THE AMERICAN DREAM on all accounts!
    Jump to June 2004, my oldest daughter, Caitlin, who was then 16 was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma. (a rare form of childhood cancer that effects the bones) STOP. My child has cancer? Children don't get cancer, especially not my child.
    I'm a planner and a fixer. You can't plan for cancer or the treatments or the outcome. I definitely could not fix this. I remember vividly standing in the Children's Hospital waiting room when our surgeon came out to tell us it was cancer and that we were in for a year from hell so get prepared. The minute he left, I stood up and started beating my husbands chest saying over and over "no not cancer, not my Caitlin"...there were other parents in that room witness to this, but I was oblivious to them. I wonder what they thought at that moment? A year of hell was an turned into three years...of treatments, infections, surgeries, disbelief, anger and fear. It was also three years of joy, laughter, friendship, personal growth and giving back.
    I remember thinking at the time "but she hasn't had her first real love", "she hasn't lived life yet", "God don't take her from me" and "will the 4 of us survive this". I made bargains with God, I prayed it was me and not her. I felt tremendous guilt over everything...did I do something wrong when I was pregnant, did I feed her the wrong foods as a child. Guilt, what about her little sister that was farmed off to relatives, what was I missing in her life, how do I ever make up for lost time with her?
    Anger...mostly at people. The boss that fired me from my job because I missed too much work to care for my child, the doctors that wouldn't listen to me (then I ended up being right after all), the family members that literally just disappeared, all the high school kids that acted as though cancer was contagious and even my husband who continued to play golf each Sunday on his league because he needed a break from it all.
    I helped newfound friends bury their beloved children, I threw myself into the cause and volunteering, I petitioned politicians and I burned up the phone lines to my friend Christine at all hours of the day and night.
    I journaled everyday for the world to see Caitlin's progress and allow myself some peace.
    Jump to August 2006, weighted down with a box full of pills and still on crutches, Caitlin goes off to her first year of college as a Childhood Cancer Survivor. I had just spent 24/7 for the past 3 years with this child, many times less than 3 feet away, being her advocate, being her voice, being her support and she left me to go to college. My heart broke once again...but I was enormously proud of her.
    Now I'm making up for lost time with my younger daughter and the guilt of time gone by is starting to subside.
    Caitlin taught me about humility and humor in the face of tragedy and life's obstacles. I learned more from her in those 3 years then she probably has learned from me in her 21 years.
    We are going to finish up this decade by walking her down the isle at her wedding this June. She'll be walking on her own...and she finally got her first love and she's going to live her life! I'll be the mother in the front row sobbing and beaming with pride!

    You can read Caitlin's entire journey with cancer at

  2. That is an amazing story. Thanks for sharing!