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Old 11-25-2006, 11:42 PM   #1
travellady
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I'm Genuinely Thankful for Each Day

When I tell people about what I've experienced in my life, they often ask how I was able to cope and I honestly answer I'm thankful for each day. I do stop and smell the roses each morning (at least when they're in bloom), and at some basic level, believe it's important to experience life to the fullest because many in my family haven't had that opportunity.

Life was grand and uneventful until I hit 30. Out of the blue, or so it seemed, my first husband had an affair and we divorced. I had 2 young boys but pulled myself up by the bootstraps and went on to provide them a good life. They are now in their late 20s, wonderful young men, and very appreciative of what life has to offer. But this event was nothing compared to what lie ahead.

3 years later I remarried but we were only married a month, when my 24 year old brother-in-law was killed in an auto accident. The following December, my grandmother died. She was old, and had a wonderful life, so easy to get through this one. A year later, my second husband and I had our first child, a daughter. But sadly, at 3 months old, she died of a genetic disorder. And my other grandmother died the day my daughter was born.

No sooner did we get over this than my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died 3 months after the diagnosis A short 5 months later, in fact a week before Christmas, my sister was killed in a domestic violence incident leaving her 3 kids without parents.

A fairly uneventful 1.5 years went by and I was greeted once again by that dreadful phone call. My son's were in a car accident and one of them was clinging to life. I drove to the hospital pleading with God saying "Please don't take this one. I can't do this again". And you know what, he didn't take him. In fact, the young man who the County Sheriff said byall rights should be dead, his head injuries were that severe, is now a fully functioning wonderful adult and very succesful businessman.

During this time, my husband and I adopted a wonderful little boy just now entering his teen years. We believe there isn't much we can't deal with, when it comes to raising a teenager. And though my mother died but 3 years ago, I'm thankful she lived into her late 70's.

With the holidays coming up, I totally understand it can be very difficult as I've been there more than once. I've learned to focus on what we do have, instead of what we don't have, and have created traditions that bring us closer together and ensure stress remains at a minimum. Christmas to us does not focus on material goods, but instead on spending focused time together.

One thing we have all learned in my family, through life's hard lessons, is we really only have today because we can't predict tomorrow. Rejoice in who we are, embrace what each one of us has to offer, and though each of us is imperfect, haivng each other is a gift.

I leave each of you with this final thought:
LOVE , LAUGH , and LET GO
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Old 11-26-2006, 07:26 AM   #2
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Thank you so much for posting Travellady......and I hear you on the glass half full part of your message. We are trying to get through each day and look for the positives. Today, he is feeling a little better and that is a great thing. I think the antibiotic may be starting to kick in and battle this issue with chemo induced rash on his face and that is another good thing. It is almost Tuesday, we leave where we live at 4:30am to get to the hospital by 7:30am, hopefully no traffic, which would be another plus. Bring on Tuesday so we can get to see his doctor and get some help.

If you can get through what I just read, I can get him past these bumps in the road during his treatment. I just do not want him in pain, there is no reason for it. His is a form of pancreatic and we are blessed that he is still with us after 2 years, the track record is not good for those who get this type of cancer..

Please do come back and continue to post here, keep us bucked up when we need it as you have been on that bumpy road called life and survived with a great attitude...

I agree live each day to the fullest, smell the roses, go for the gusto.....and do not worry about tomorrow, live for the day....

Hugs and thanks again for your post..
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Old 11-26-2006, 09:25 AM   #3
luvsmickeymouse
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Wow!

Travellady, I have read your post 5 times and all I can say is you are an amazing person. Many, many *HUGS* to you.
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Old 11-26-2006, 01:59 PM   #4
travellady
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Mackey Mouse, - it sounds like you are in the midst of some pretty rough times right now. I'm sure keeping positive is hard and suspect you have days when you ask your self "why me, why us?". Needless to say, none of us can really answer this question but it's important to remember this will not last forever. By the way, where in Mass do you live? I grew up in Southeastern Mass and though I left many years ago, it's still a part of who I am.

luvsmickeymouse - thanks for the hugs. The more you give, the more you get

I am busy today planning family trips. For us, getting away from the everyday hubbub is important. I always look for trips that help us connect. Meaning, not a lot of chores for any of us and being catered to.

We don't have Disney in the cards for this year, but have 3 cruises coming up. A Western Caribbean out of Miami in 3 weeks for me, DH, and my 3 DSs. The 2 oldest are just shy of 28 but still love to join us since they are single and loving it.

Then we have a quick 5 day spring break cruise planned with DH, me, DS 13, and his best friend.

And my in-laws joined us for Thanksgiving and I was able, well close to able, to talk my mother-in-law into an 8 day Scandinavia cruise the last week in August. This time, my DH and DS 13 will stay home since it's very close to school start. My mother-in-law is going to work on getting her 2 sisters to join in so it should be lots of fun.

My screenname "Travellady" does have lots of meaning behind it. I have an intense job and find traveling does a world of wonders to reinvigorate and renew.
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1976- Holiday Inn OBT
1985 - Offsite ?
1986 - Offsite ?
1987 - Offiste near the airport
1988 - Offsite Condo
1990 - camping near Disneyland
1997 - Disneyland Hotel
2001 - AKL Savannah
2002 - Paradise Pier at DCA
2004 - Spring Break - Poly and CR
2004 - December - DCL and Port Orleans FQ
2006 - Port Orleans Riverside[/SIZE]
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Old 11-26-2006, 03:18 PM   #5
luvsmickeymouse
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Southeastern Massachusetts..

Gee, I grew up in Southeastern Mass also, I think, I was born in Fall River, grew up in Westport, and lived in Dartmouth until moving up to NH.
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Old 11-26-2006, 04:11 PM   #6
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Wow....your story really struck home for me....the trials you have been through are similar to those experienced by my family. My parents have buried three children and a grandchild.....it is like every phone call is the next loss or heartache!! I really believe that families like your and ours were chosen to handle these troubles....we have enough hope and love to hold on.
Have a magnificent holdiay season...
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Old 11-26-2006, 04:43 PM   #7
travellady
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luvsmickeymouse - that is the Southeastern Mass I refer to. I was a tad bit east of you - literally born on the bridge between Fairhaven and New Bedford, raised in Fairhaven, worked at Orange Julius at the North Dartmouth mall before joining the military and leaving for good. I've been in Washington State now for almost 30 years and through a stroke of luck, and a decent education, found a job at Microsoft and have been there 16 years. Not sure how a girl from Southeastern Mass ended up working for the richest man in the world but despite my tales of woe, I'm pretty darned lucky as well.

meeskamouska - my mom used to say "God doesn't give you more than you can handle". Well, I'm not sure why I can handle so much, but evidently I can. Other tell me "it builds character". My response to that one "I'm enough of a character already!"
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1985 - Offsite ?
1986 - Offsite ?
1987 - Offiste near the airport
1988 - Offsite Condo
1990 - camping near Disneyland
1997 - Disneyland Hotel
2001 - AKL Savannah
2002 - Paradise Pier at DCA
2004 - Spring Break - Poly and CR
2004 - December - DCL and Port Orleans FQ
2006 - Port Orleans Riverside[/SIZE]
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Old 11-26-2006, 04:52 PM   #8
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I live on Cape Cod now.. but am Boston born and Boston bred so is my husband.. We married and move to the North shore and raised our children in a small town there. Now we live on the Cape...we planned on retiring here, but illness stepped in and it is making it very hard for us to enjoy his retirement....Life just has a way of being so unfair.

I am thinking I am about ready to write a letter to God....Please dear God, we cannot handle anymore of this so make him better...

Hugs all around.
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Old 11-26-2006, 05:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travellady

LOVE , LAUGH , and LET GO
Wonderful advice and I too try to be thankful for life very single day.

My story is nothing compared to yours, but cancer has touched my life as well with some good and not so good results.

1990 I was entering what I thought would be the happiest year of my life. Mark and I were talking about getting married and I had gone to the doctor to discuss birth control . During a routine exam my doctor found what turned out to be Ovarian Cancer. I was blessed in that it was stage 1 and while I needed a total hysterectomy and 6 rounds of chemo I have been clean for 16 years now. I firmly believe God sent Mark to me to save my life.

1997 was my 40th birthday and again promised to be a great year. Mark and I had been married 7 years and my Mom was treating us to a trip to WDW in May. We were going to stay at the Polynesian which was one of her favorite resorts. Well 1997 wasn't a very good year. It started in March when the tree in front of our house fell - luckily into the street and the house was not damaged, but it seemed like a bad omen. Then in April my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. Her prognosis was not as good as mine. She was stage 4 and it was inoperable. That summer was filled with taking her for her chemo treatments. Labor day she fell and broke her hip. 5 weeks later I lost my job (I knew it was coming as the company was bought out. Luckily I had married into a great family and they helped take wonderful car of my Mom, much more than my Brother and his family. Sadly we lost my Mom on October 26th. We waked her on October 27th which is our wedding anniversary and she was wearing the dress she wore to our wedding (which she had told me 6 months earlier she wanted to be buried in. Again I think God had a plan - he didn't take her until he knew I would be taken care of.

One of the first things my Mom said to Mark the night he took her home after my operation was that I would never be able to give him children and he if wanted to leave me she wouldn't hold it against him (he didn't). The last thing she said to him while she was alive was to please not leave me that I needed him (he hasn't).

I celebrate my life and hers every single day. I know she is always with me. I find special joy in Disney as that is one of the places that made her truly happy. I also know that she loved cruising and would have loved Disney Cruise Line. I have some of my best talks with her when I'm sitting on my verandah. In 10 days we'll be checking into the Polynesian. One of the first things we'll do is find the brick we bought for my mom back in 1997. She'll always have a place at Disney now.
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Old 11-26-2006, 06:02 PM   #10
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Mary... hugs to you and Mark.. I hope to meet you both very soon....
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Old 11-26-2006, 06:38 PM   #11
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Travellady you have a great attitude. I know what it is like to go through trials. But it really makes you appreciate what you do have instead of what you don't have. I find traveling is a great way to forget my troubles.

Mary, thank you for sharing your story. You have a great attitude for all you have been through. I feel closer to my loved ones at Disney even though they had never been there.
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Old 11-28-2006, 08:40 PM   #12
travellady
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Thanks for including links to your pictures Safetymom. It was great to see a place that's warm, and sunny. It rained for weeks up here in the Pacific Northwest now capped off by snow and arctic cold. Certainly not a boring month weatherwise! Usually it's dull, gray, and showery here, day after day during the winter.

To top it off, my husband and I caught a nasty cold but I"ll say it does give us an excuse to slow down and relax!
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1976- Holiday Inn OBT
1985 - Offsite ?
1986 - Offsite ?
1987 - Offiste near the airport
1988 - Offsite Condo
1990 - camping near Disneyland
1997 - Disneyland Hotel
2001 - AKL Savannah
2002 - Paradise Pier at DCA
2004 - Spring Break - Poly and CR
2004 - December - DCL and Port Orleans FQ
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Old 12-05-2006, 10:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvsmickeymouse
Travellady, I have read your post 5 times and all I can say is you are an amazing person. Many, many *HUGS* to you.

Absolutely. I was so touched by your post, I am speechless and I am trying not to cry. All I can say is thank you, thank you for giving me some perspective today. I was feeling sorry for myself earlier (because I have Lyme Disease) and I have no reason to do so because I have so many things to be thankful for (including each day God has given me)!
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