August 18, 2010

August 17, 2010

This time last year . . .

 "A memory is what is left when something happens and does not completely unhappen." -Edward de Bono

This time last year I finished watching my 2nd episode of 90210 and posted S&M's wedding photo book on FB.  It is also the time when mama and I decided that we should take her to a hospital.  We spoke to her oncologist's nurse.  We were waiting for Daddy to come home...

I sometimes wish I weren't so sentimental that I could ignore the gnawing reminders of every day, but then I wouldn't be me.  I'd be someone else.  The only person I am and want to be is my mom's daughter.  I couldn't have asked for a better role model, a better mom or a better friend.  

"A mother is she who can take the place of all others but whose place no one else can take." - Cardinal Mermillod

August 8, 2010

Zone 3

I am not sure if I ever wrote about my uncle's alarm and a quick search of my blog didn't result in any posts, but nonetheless, when my grandmother passed in July of 2008 my uncle's home alarm system went crazy.  Without delving into the details, Zone 3 is the attic.  It's next to impossible to get on the roof of my uncle's attached townhouse.  Every time something happens in our family since then, Zone 3 lights up.  Today is no exception.  Whatever grandma is trying to tell us, we hear it and know that she's with us in our time of pain.  Call it Esotericism if you want, but lately I believe it more and more.  Things in this world are so interconnected that I don't believe in random chance, anymore. 

28th of Av, 5769 כ״ח באב תשס״ט -

28th of Av, 5770 כ״ח באב תש״ע

Today marks the Hebrew year since my dearest mom is no longer with us.  It is surreal.  It was surreal to light the candle and read the prayer (an excerpt of which is below).  It was surreal to sit with my cousin and go through the pictures.  It is surreal to come to a home without her.  I thought that I was okay until I lit the candle, read the prayer and realized that although I follow the Gregorian calendar, it's a year, (10 days ahead of schedule).  I think that I'm all blogged out, but I can't sleep in anticipation or dread of tomorrow's unveiling.
I Love You Mom, today, yesterday, everyday.


Shall I cry out in anger, O God,
Because Thy gifts are mine but for a while?

Shall I be ungrateful for the moments of laughter,
The seasons of joy, the days of gladness and festivity,
When tears cloud my eyes and darken the world
And my heart is heavy within me?

Shall I blot from mind the love
I have known and in which I have rejoiced
When a fate beyond my understanding takes from me
Friends and kin whom I have cherished, and leaves me
Bereft of shining presences that have lit my way
Through years of companionship and affection?

Give me the vision, O God, to see and feel
That imbedded deep in each of Thy gifts
Is a core of eternity, undiminished and bright,
An eternity that survives the dread hours
of affliction and misery.

Those I have loved, though now beyond my view,
Have given form and quality to my being.
They have led me into the wide universe
I continue to inhabit, and their presence
Is more vital to me than their absence.

What Thou givest, O Lord,
Thou takest not away,
And bounties once granted
Shed their radiance evermore.
-Rabbi Morris Adler


August 6, 2010

Thank You

I'm rarely at a loss of inspiration - I was blessed with a mother that inspired me to live each day.  Every day my mom serves as that same inspiration, because today I live not only for me, but also for her.  Last year after my mom's death, I decided to finally sign up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.  Through the incredible generosity of my family and friends, we were able to raise close to $3,000.  Yesterday, I was invited to a Pink Honor Roll celebration in honor of the top 121 fundraisers for 2009.  The #1 place raised over $113,000 and while I didn't raise anywhere close to that, I'm extremely proud of what we raised in such a short amount of time.  Of course K's dreidel game winnings, doubled by her company was a large chunk of our efforts, but the importance is the goal - as the NYC president, Dara said yesterday, "Our goal is to put ourselves out of business."  My personal goal is to surpass this fund-raising amount in 2010, double our team size and to help save another mother, daughter, aunt, sister, friend, so that another 25 year old girl doesn't have to lose her mom and her best friend to this terrible disease.

I started this post by talking about inspiration and I met a truly inspiring woman, yesterday aboard this cruise around NYC.  JP is a breast cancer survivor and her story hit home because she is a mom of two and was diagnosed around the same time as my mom.  We spoke of different treatments and she kept comparing me to her own kids.  Last year was also her first race.  She decided to learn to run, yes run, in honor of both her 60th birthday and her 15 year survival.  I can't run, but now I am suddenly feeling inspired - IZ may not be the only one from CUREiously PINK running in September.  She was having trouble taking pics and of course I don't take my camera on a trip such as this and I took some pics with my berry that I instantly emailed to her.  Today, of course I googled and found much more interesting facts about her and to quote from her featured surivor story on Komen:

  • If I had not had breast cancer, I venture to say I would not have had the courage to take swimming lessons in a chilly lake in springtime to get over my fear of water.
  • If I had not had breast cancer, I doubt that I would have had the fortitude to go to law school and become at attorney at the age of 52, which involved commuting three hours round trip to school each day of classes as a single mom.
  • If I had not had breast cancer, I do not believe I would have wanted to mark the milestone of my 60th birthday, which is also the 15th year of my survivorship, by learning to run this past winter and spring so I could run in the Susan G. Komen New York City Race for the Cure in September.

This Sunday marks the year anniversary and this cruise really couldn't have come at a better time. 
To my dearest mom, who always found the strength to smile, to get up and to live each day!!! I love you, today, yesterday, everyday.

August 4, 2010

Reminders . . .

Every day is a reminder of something.  Today is a relative's birthday, yesterday was B&Es 4th Birthday, tomorrow is 8 years without my grandmother.  Am I overly sentimental? Probably. But how can I not be, especially now? Each passing day is a reminder of where I was a year ago today and as bad as things were a year ago, my mom was still alive.  As a matter of fact, mama was home from the hospital and doing better, we thought.  This Sunday will mark the Hebrew year since she is gone.  We will (hopefully) be unveiling the monument on this day as it is due to be up tomorrow.  Monday is daddy's birthday.  I still haven't bought a present. As I write this I realize one thing, for better or worse, life goes on...

I've been trying to look at things a little more lightly and calmly lately.  Everything I read seems to have the same message  - good attracts good, positive attracts positive and anyone that knows me knows that I'm a believer in Karma (and not in the "my karma ran over your dogma kind").  Yet, somehow it's hard to remain positive when everything you touch turns to sh*t.  I am really trying though and here are a few favorites from The Alchemist, which I finished reading recently by Paolo Coelho:

"Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead  their lives but none about his or her own."

"...and when each day is the same as the next, it's because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives every day that the sun rises."

"'It's not what enters men's mouths that's evil. Its what comes out of their mouths that is."

"One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving."