November 11

It appears the first nine days of writing this month have disappeared, which disheartens me greatly.  I am not happy about losing my writing. This is more of a growth chart for me than a blog. I love to look back and see how far I have come each month.

I guess it's like the election results; there is nothing I can do about it now, so I need to stop whining and complaining. I am fed up with social media and the hatred and insults being thrown back and forth. This is what I have to say about it all:

America was filled with very intelligent men who devised a great plan for running our country. In the beginning stages of creating this country, these great men were careful to consider how to make equitable decisions; decisions that were unbiased and fair. They created a system that was founded on Godly morals. They created a system that protected the rights of all Americans. It was an unbiased system. Of course, not everyone agreed on how things were run and there were dissatisfied citizens in uproar. However, because our country was newly separated from England and citizens had more freedom (and tax relief), most people were content.

Fast forward to many years later and see how America continued to evolve. Men and women, before my time, fought for equal rights and for non-racial discrimination. Women were allowed to vote and blacks could sit in the same restaurants and churches as white people. It took years for Americans to accept these changes, yet we did. Yes, there are still racial predjudices, but not because of laws. We have turned our freedom into a battle to prove who is the most intelligent, the most successful, and the most powerful person in America.

America is no longer the "United" States of America. The plan our forefathers designed for this great nation is falling apart. We are not united. We are at the cusp of  a terrible division. We have lost our respect for each other, our laws, our leaders, our law enforcement, and America. We have turned into whiny and defiant beings. We have fought for our individualism to the point of losing our unity as American citizens. We have allowed hate, prejudice, and dishonor to consume us. We are so intent on making our voices heard, that we have trampled on the rights of others. I find it appalling that the people whose voices are the loudest and the cruelest, are the voices of those who say they stand up for every American no matter the color, creed, or religious affiliation. These voices say they want every one to have personal freedom to choose what is best for them, yet it's done in a manner that is hurtful to others. Name calling and insults are flying all over social media. People are threatening to leave this great country and families are feuding. Are we not allowed to have a different opinion? All this is accomplishing is driving a deeper chasm between Americans. People say they want their voices heard, yet they are trampling over each other,so no voice is really being heard. 

This is the time to come together, united we stand! This is the time to stand up and say, "God Bless America, we are the land of the free". It's time to start supporting one another and work on finding solutions to heal our land. It's time to go back to honoring and respecting one another. It's time to listen to others without interrupting to have your point heard. Stop and listen to the other person. Don't sit there and formulate in your head what your response is going to be. Listen! Slow down and contemplate all you have to be thankful for. Stop being a pessimist declaring that our country has been destroyed because of who we elected in office. Let us work together as unified human beings and make this country great again. Let's stop pointing our fingers and blaming political parties. Do you realize it's "people" who make up political parties? It's the people who have to change. Our country was founded on solid principles. It is we the people who have changed and allowed our disappointments to make us jaded and selfish and yes, hateful and divided.

God created us equally. His desire for us is to love each other. What about the commandment, "Love your neighbor"? Are we going to honor that? What about the other commandments? We have stopped following them. Look at the rate of divorce from adultery, the murders, the hatred, and the denial of the God who created us. This,my friends, is why our country is seeing riots, murders, selfishness, hatred and division. We have forgotten to follow the Ten Commandments . We have allowed God to be taken out of our schools, our workplaces, our communities, and our homes. This is not what our forefathers had in mind. We are at fault. We didn't peacefully stand up for our rights. We got too wrapped up into being "politically correct" and allowed our God given rights to have God be at the center be taken away. We must not turn our backs on God anymore. It's time to stand unified with your neighbor and share the love of God so hearts will change. We can't make our voices heard if we are full of hate. Let's encourage kindness and gentleness. Let's stop spewing viciousness and bitterness. Let's be united.

If you don't believe in God, thats your right. My heart is saddened, but I don't hate you. I will not disrespect you, say hateful things to you, or unfriend you on social media because your beliefs are different than mine. I care about the people I have as friends on FB. I certainly don't agree with all of them, but I would never choose to dissolve a friendship because of our differences of opinions. I find that childish and immature and I encourage you to think before you speak and act. We bleed when we have been cut, but our wounds in our hearts hurt the most. Be kind and gentle to each other.. That's what loving your neighbor more than yourself means.

Lastly, perhaps most importantly,  as an American Citizen, I thank the military men and women who have, and continue to, defend our country. Today is Veteran's Day and although we should honor our Veterans everyday, today is set aside for extra thanks to our military.  God Bless America, the land of the free.



Rest of November


Today was the day I dreamed about for two years. I walked into Kootenai Hospital, not as a patient, but as a survivor of Leukemia. I was greeted by several nurses who took such fabulous care of me. They were delighted to see me and expressed great excitement over my recovery. I received multiple hugs and I felt so valued.  I wasn't just a patient, I was truly important to them and they remembered me. They shared with me how important it is to them to see patients survive. Nursing is a difficult profession; so many deaths are witnessed and it can be traumatizing. Several of my oncology nurses transferred to a differernt unit.  One nurse shared the story of a patient who was sent home on Hospice. The doctors told him there was no hope; his tumor was growing and he was going to die. He went into spontaneous remission and the medical staff was in awe for they recognized this was healing from God. Patients need to hear this and medical staff needs to witness it. We all need hope.

Mom and I walked the halls and the feelings came rushing back to me. Feelings of both hope and fear of what the future held. Fear only for my loved ones who might have to let me go. These halls were familiar as I had put many miles on them most days. I listened to my praise music and gave thanks for my life and put my life in his hands. I dreamed of a day when I would be home and free from Leukemia. I dreamed of being a normal person again. I dreamed of killing Leuk. My dreams did come true. I was only there to visit. Monday I can return home to my husband as a survivor. 


How do I sum up three days of reliving my journey? Three days of emotional processing has taken place. Yesterday started with breakfast at "Jimmy's Down the Street" (actual name of restaurant) I visited with Carol, Kristina, and Samantha. Carol has been in remission from AML for two years. She looks beautiful and healthy. We discussed how we each are searching to discover the "new us". She shares many of the same feelings I do; the feelings of uncertainty of who exactly we are and what our purpose is. It was encouraging to discuss this with someone who has had a similar journey. Carol regularly visits cancer patients at the hospital and expressed a desire to work with Hospice patients. I can't imagine how difficult that would be. I admire how giving and selfless she is. She also has a daughter with Down Syndrome and helps take care of her husband who has MS. She is amazing.

After breakfast, I drove Mom and Jan to Sonrise Ranch- Reeva's place. Reeva, Colleen, Renae, and Tawnya were the "Cowgirls" I got to know while I was being treated here. They are wonderful Christian women. Sonrise Ranch is the home to "Embrace Ministries". They have horses they use as therapy for  troubled youth. Not only do they teach them how to ride, but they incorporate the love of Jesus in there. Some of the children they work with have never had anyone truly care about them before. I even got on a horse! It had been many years since I have been on one. Tawnya led the horse around in the indoor arena. I felt a little bit like a small child, but it was definitely better for me since I am at such a high risk of bone damage if I happened to fall off that horse!

We joined the gals at church in the evening. We really enjoyed the service; it was very similar to Church on the Rock. The guy who preached was about 25-26, Casey's age. I kept imagining Casey up there preaching. I feel God has a plan for Casey to enter the ministry. I pray that blessing over him everyday.

This morning Mom and I met Dr. Mulvey and Megan for coffee. We had a really nice visit and they were thrilled at how well I am doing. I am thankful I got a chance to see so many people who were so instrumental in medically and emotionally assisting me. We went to church in Spokane Valley after coffee. 

Then I met up with Jim Phillips in the afternoon. Jim has been a very dear friend for many years. He gave me the most beautifully thoughtful gift- a 1998 Iditarod t-shirt. That's the year Logan was a Make A Wish Iditarod rider. Jim is always so thoughtful and knows how to give us meaningful things that express his love for our family. We were both in tears when we parted.

I finished my day by going back to the hospital to see my nurse, Charles. Charles was one of my night nurses. He told me he really appreciated my attitude during treatment and he loved watching me dance in the halls. He also shared that he truly appreciated the support I had from family and friends. I am sure that wowed many as I was from Alaska and always had visitors from all over the United Statea and also Germany! I walked the halls again and was overcome with emotion. I went and sat in the chapel . I sat there with tears streaming down my cheeks and knew I was supposed to do something else. I texted my nurse, Samantha, and asked her if there was someone I could visit.  She told me Katie was willing to have me visit. I thought I was going to share my story to bless her and encourage her, but it is she who blessed me. Katie was diagnosed with ALL in March of 2014. She went into remission shortly after. Then she developed a serious issue in her stomach and had surgery. She wasn't able to take anything by mouth, not even water. She had to have a feeding tube for quite some time. Eight months later, she relapsed. They got her back in remission and she went to Seattle for transplant. Just before transplant, they discovered she relapsed again- this time with both ALL and AML. She had her transplant and about five months later she relapsed again. I sat their with my jaw dropped as I listened to her story. She shared that she is a woman of great faith and it was all okay. She said it was better that she went through this rather than someone else in her family. She has an amazing story and attitude and God has plans for her!! I prayed for her and told her I want to stay in touch with her. She blessed me.

Tomorrow we leave for home. I miss my girls. I told Ollie that I would be home tomorrow. She said, " Yay! Grammie is coming home tomorrow! I am so fortunate to be alive.


What kind of friend are you? Are you a fair-weather friend who suddenly departs when things get complicated or depressing? Perhaps you are the friend who found out someone you care about was diagnosed with a terminal illness. You use the excuse, " I don't want to remember them sick, so I just can't visit them". Maybe you use the excuse, " Tbey have so many people supporting them, I don't want to intrude". 

Are you the "All-Weather Friend"? Are you there when things get dark, murky, scary, or, hopeless? Do you dive in and just "do" without waiting to be asked? Are you able to discern what your friend needs?  Do you put aside your own feelings to help your friend in need?

What kind of friend do you prefer? The fair-weather friend or the all-weather friend? Who is going to be there for you when you have hit rock bottom? I think of a friend who has been told she has cancer. She has NO friends around her. She lives in another state and is in a terrible custody battle as well. Her ex actually told her everyone would be better off if she just killed herself. This is a lady in a new state with no friends, no support, and no relationship with the best friend of all- Jesus.  I think of a lady I recently met whose family won't come see her in the hospital because "it's too hard on them to see her sick". What kind of friend can you be to people like these ladies? What can we do as human beings to show love to others?

This morning I woke up and started thinking about this. I want to start some kind of on-line ministry that we can use to shower love upon the hurting. I am trying to figure out what it's going to look like and entail. We were designed to help one another. There are too many hurting people in the world and it's time we stand up and be an all-weather friend. Will you join me?


Here we go again- nausea and vomiting. I am a reluctant pro.  I'm like a child actor who was forced into acting as an infant. I have no say over it, it just keeps going. This time I believe it's a virus. Ailynn had it while we were gone and Mom and I both got it today. We could have picked it up anywhere. I started feeling queasy last night, but woke up fine. I walked 2 miles in the treadmill today and ate a big bowl of Cream of Wheat. I played with the girls and did laundry. Then it hit like a hurricane destroying everything in its path.

Last night I got to have dinner with Amy and Dorothy. 25 years of close friendship for the three of us. They are my girls! We had to say goodbye to Amy again.


Unfortunately, I still don't feel well. We leave early Sunday morning/late Saturday night for South Carolina. I sure don't want to be stuck in the lavatory the entire trip. :(   It's bad enough to have to leave our girls again. Why I scheduled so many trips in November is beyond me. Sure the last two were basically free trips- mileage tickets and all, and the first one was the necessary check-up, but good grief it's been rough! I feel like I am totally missing out on the girls yet again.  I'm known as the Grammie who is rarely around and it breaks my heart.

This morning Ollie and I decorated the upstairs Christmas tree. (Ailynn assisted some) She said that Christmas without Grammie would be sad, so I aimed to please her. We had a good time doing it. Next year Ailynn will be able to help more and I picture cookies baking, Christmas music blaring, and us dancing around the Christmas tree. The vision I have for my future is so incredible. I am daring to live.


We leave the house about midnight tonight to catch out 0300 flight tomorrow. South Carolina with Patrick's family should be a blast. He will get to see cousins he hasn't seen in about 35-40 years which is awesome. We are going to have a mini family reunion and we are excited. We are sad about leaving our girls. They were here for over two weeks and I missed out on so much of that time due to my Idaho trip and my stomach virus. I was fortunate enough to be able to babysit them this morning. I took them to Granny's and we hung out for awhile which was really nice. Granny just loves those girls so much.

I am still not feeling well. I ate regular meals today and it certainly isn't agreeing with me. I went to take a nap only to find my blood sugar dropped. I had to eat a whole bunch to get it up and now I am extremely nauseated again. When will this end?? I hope I don't also get the respiratory virus that's going around.  It seems I get just about everything. I dread the plane ride.  My hips hurt every night just while sleeping in bed, but the plane can be excruciating for me.

Today I heard from Terrie who hopes to come back to Alaska next week. She will have a bone marrow biopsy soon to see if she's in remission. Last night I talked with John and he is slowly recovering. We had to chuckle at how weak we are and how a 3 # weight seems like it's so much to lift. He's just done with chemo- I haven't had chemo in a year and a half and I am still so weak. I think I better get back to the weights to gain some strength.  Ingrid is in ICU with intense pain.Renee is home now after transplant. Linda was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. I care so much for all my friends who are fighting to live.


Someday I will rise up on wings of eagles and the pain of this world will be no more. Sometimes, like now when I am so nauseated and miserable, I welcome that. Here I am to worship. Here I am to bow down. Here I am to say you are my God.

The flights have been rough- especially from Seattle to Atlanta. I got so nauseated and couldn't throw up to make it better. I curled up in a chair waiting for the next flight wishing I could just stop this pain no matter how it took to stop. To add insult to injury, Patrick elbowed me hard in the head. He sure didn't mean to, but the sobs were real. Mostly because I am so tired of feeling sick and for hurting. I am being a whiny baby. Sometimes I get fed up with it all. 

Besides the nausea, I miss the girls. Today is Kelseys birthday and I miss her and Casey. And my whole family.


Seriously? Corneal erosion at my 0300 normal wake-up call. Why oh why? My in-laws probably think I am way too much maintenance for Patrick.God bless that man who puts up with all my issues! I am praying the pain subsides.

We are happy to be back in South Carolina with Patricks mom and her husband. They are good, all-American people. Bob is retired military and they love our country. Michele has had quite a bit of medical issues over the past couple of years. It will be good for us to assess how she is really doing. She doesn't always tell us the truth about her health. Isn't it funny how parents still want to protect their children?

Today will be a good day. Nothing will take that away. God is good.


We are definitely enjoying ourselves, but I am still so nauseous. It's hard to function sometimes because the nausea just won't let up. I haven't vomited in a week, but I sure do feel like it. Today we went to an old rice plantation that has been turned into an animal sanctuary . We saw several alligators and some birds. I tried to Face Time Olivienne to show her the alligators, but she was still sleeping. We had a good adventure. Before we went there, Patrick and I went for a walk and saw a doe and her twin fawns, I love nature!

Poor Meghan missed her flight- she mixed up her times and now isn't leaving Alaska until Friday, she is very disappointed to be away from her husband so long. We are bummed that we are missing out on her time in AK. Ollie is happy because she said she wants to stay in Alaska with "her people".


Its the day before Thanksgiving and I am reflecting on not only what I have to be thankful for, but on the many tragedies around the world . How many have something to be thankful for this year? God tells us to give thanks and have joy in ALL circumstances. Is that easy or even possible sometimes to be thankful when our worlds are turned upside down? I think about the school bus tragedy in Tennessee on Monday. Several small children are dead because of an erratic school bus driver. Several children dead right before Thanksgiving. I doubt those parents are feeling "thankful". Desperate times call for desperate measures. Times like these, we have no choice but to simply weep at the feet of Jesus and ask him to see us through. Don't worry, I know I have plenty to be thankful for and I am, but encourage all of you to be sensitive to those whose wounds are fresh. Everyone's grief deserves to be acknowledged.

1 The Mighty One, God the LORD, 
speaks and summons the earth 
from the rising of the sun to its setting. 
2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, 
God shines forth. 
3 Our God comes; he does not keep silence; 
before him is a devouring fire, 
around him a mighty tempest. 
4 He calls to the heavens above 
and to the earth, that he may judge his people: 
5 “Gather to me my faithful ones, 
who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!” 
6 The heavens declare his righteousness, 
for God himself is judge! 
7 “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; 
O Israel, I will testify against you. 
I am God, your God. 
8 Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; 
your burnt offerings are continually before me. 
9 I will not accept a bull from your house 
or goats from your folds. 
10 For every beast of the forest is mine, 
the cattle on a thousand hills. 
11 I know all the birds of the hills, 
and all that moves in the field is mine. 
12 “If I were hungry, I would not tell you, 
for the world and its fullness are mine. 
13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls 
or drink the blood of goats? 
14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, 
and perform your vows to the Most High, 
15 and call upon me in the day of trouble; 
I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.” 
16 But to the wicked God says: 
“What right have you to recite my statutes 
or take my covenant on your lips? 
17 For you hate discipline, 
and you cast my words behind you. 
18 If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, 
and you keep company with adulterers. 
19 “You give your mouth free rein for evil, 
and your tongue frames deceit. 
20 You sit and speak against your brother; 
you slander your own mother's son. 
21 These things you have done, and I have been silent; 
you thought that I was one like yourself. 
But now I rebuke you and lay the charge before you. 
22 “Mark this, then, you who forget God, 
lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver! 
23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; 
to one who orders his way rightly 
I will show the salvation of God!” 
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God
1 Have mercy on me, O God, 
according to your steadfast love; 
according to your abundant mercy 
blot out my transgressions. 
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, 
and cleanse me from my sin! 
3 For I know my transgressions, 
and my sin is ever before me. 
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned 
and done what is evil in your sight, 
so that you may be justified in your words 
and blameless in your judgment. 
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, 
and in sin did my mother conceive me. 
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, 
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. 
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; 
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 
8 Let me hear joy and gladness; 
let the bones that you have broken rejoice. 
9 Hide your face from my sins, 
and blot out all my iniquities. 
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God, 
and renew a right spirit within me. 
11 Cast me not away from your presence, 
and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, 
and uphold me with a willing spirit. 
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways, 
and sinners will return to you. 
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, 
O God of my salvation, 
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. 
15 O Lord, open my lips, 
and my mouth will declare your praise. 
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; 
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; 
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. 
Leviticus 7:12 If he offers it for a thanksgiving, then he shall offer with the thanksgiving sacrifice unleavened loaves mixed with oil, unleavened wafers smeared with oil, and loaves of fine flour well mixed with oil. 
Leviticus 7:13 With the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving he shall bring his offering with loaves of leavened bread. 
Leviticus 7:15 And the flesh of the sacrifice of his peace offerings for thanksgiving shall be eaten on the day of his offering. He shall not leave any of it until the morning. 
Leviticus 22:29 And when you sacrifice a sacrifice of thanksgivingto the LORD, you shall sacrifice it so that you may be accepted. 
1 Chronicles 16:7 Then on that day David first appointed thatthanksgiving be sung to the LORD by Asaph and his brothers. 
1 Chronicles 25:3 Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with the lyre in thanksgiving and praise to the LORD. 
2 Chronicles 5:13 and it was the duty of the trumpeters and singers to make themselves heard in unison in praise and thanksgiving to the LORD), and when the song was raised, with trumpets and cymbals and other musical instruments, in praise to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever,” the house, the house of the LORD, was filled with a cloud, 
2 Chronicles 33:16 He also restored the altar of the LORD and offered on it sacrifices of peace offerings and of thanksgiving, and he commanded Judah to serve the LORD, the God of Israel. 
Nehemiah 12:8 And the Levites: Jeshua, Binnui, Kadmiel, Sherebiah, Judah, and Mattaniah, who with his brothers was in charge of the songs of thanksgiving. 
Nehemiah 12:27 And at the dedication of the wall of Jerusalem they sought the Levites in all their places, to bring them to Jerusalem to celebrate the dedication with gladness, with thanksgivings and with singing, with cymbals, harps, and lyres. 
Nehemiah 12:46 For long ago in the days of David and Asaph there were directors of the singers, and there were songs of praise and thanksgiving to God. 
Psalm 26:7 proclaiming thanksgivingaloud, and telling all your wondrous deeds. 
Psalm 50:14 Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and perform your vows to the Most High, 
Psalm 50:23 The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me; to one who orders his way rightly I will show the salvation of God!” 
Psalm 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving. 
Psalm 95:2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 
Psalm 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 
Psalm 107:22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy! 
Psalm 116:17 I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgivingand call on the name of the LORD. 
Psalm 147:7 Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; make melody to our God on the lyre! 
Isaiah 51:3 For the LORD comforts Zion; he comforts all her waste places and makes her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the garden of the LORD; joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the voice of song. 
Jeremiah 30:19 Out of them shall come songs of thanksgiving, and the voices of those who celebrate. I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will make them honored, and they shall not be small. 
Amos 4:5 offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offerings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel!” 
Jonah 2:9 But I with the voice of thanksgiving will sacrifice to you; what I have vowed I will pay. Salvation belongs to the LORD!” 
1 Corinthians 14:16 Otherwise, if you give thanks with your spirit, how can anyone in the position of an outsider say “Amen” to your thanksgiving when he does not know what you are saying? 
2 Corinthians 4:15 For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God. 
2 Corinthians 9:11 You will be enriched in every way for all your generosity, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. 
2 Corinthians 9:12 For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 
Ephesians 5:4 Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking, which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving. 
Philippians 4:6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 
Colossians 2:7 rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving. 
Colossians 4:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 
1 Thessalonians 3:9 For what thanksgivingcan we return to God for you, for all the joy that we feel for your sake before our God, 
1 Timothy 2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 
1 Timothy 4:3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 
1 Timothy 4:4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 
Revelation 7:12

saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.



Here it is; the actual day of Thanksgiving. It's interesting that holidays have just become another day to me. I would think that someone who has been through what I have been through would hold the holidays more precious in my heart. The opposite is true. I have decided that every day is precious and find no need to single out one day as more special than the others. To me,Thanksgiving is simply a day. Sometimes I wonder what is wrong with me that I no longer have sentimental feelings about holidays. I wonder if I have become hardened and uncaring. I wonder why I don't long to be with everyone I love and hold dear on this special day. I remember the first Thanksgiving away from home. Logan was sick and we were in Seattle. Oh it was difficult. We were fortunate to have good friends in the area and we were invited to spend the day with them. It was Logan and I's first experience with Thanksgiving dinner at a home with less than 20 people.  Thankfully, the five of us were together and my parents were there. Nine of us had dinner together that year and it was wonderful. We were impressed because for the first time. The whole turkey sat on the table to be carved. It was beautiful! Our family gatherings are so big that the turkey gets carved in the kitchen and everyone fills a plate in an assembly line. The next year, Logan had Thanksgiving in Heaven and we didn't celebrate. We painted my parents dining room. Since then, the idea of a holiday has truly diminished in excitement. I thought I would regain my original love when I got sick, but still the sadness and loneliness of missing Logan overwhelms me. I am thankful for family and friends everyday. I don't need a special day to appreciate them. Since Logan died, I have wanted to volunteer in a shelter on a holiday. I never had because Patrick doesn't have that same desire. I truly would rather try and make someone else have a special day since my heart isn't into it. Today will be good though because we are in South Carolina and I get to meet Patrick's cousins that he hasn't seen in 40 years. Cousins that I have been Face Book friends with and have grown to love. Cousins that have fought cancer, the death of children, addiction, and various illnesses. Cousins who understand the pain this life can bring. Yes, today will be a special day because I finally get to personally meet more people who have supported our family. Everyday is Thanksgiving to me because I am alive and with people I love. But yet I admit, it would have been nice to have heard from my Alaskan family. 


I swore I would never do it again, yet there I was shopping at 0500. I dragged my MIL with me. It was her first time experiencing the madness of Black Friday. I made it to two stores before I begged to be taken home. The crowds were too much and the nausea ramped up again. I didn't sleep more than two hours at most last night due to many factors, including a low blood sugar. I came home and slept to recover. My stomach is still rumbling. When will it quit?

I got interviewed for the news at Bass Pro. I think they liked my Wonder Woman shirt and the fact I am from Alaska. His mouth dropped open when I told him where I was from. It will be fun to watch the news tonight.

Patrick and Bob slipped out while I was napping. I suspect there are some fish on the line somewhere.

Tonight I chatted with a few people who are currently fighting leukemia. I reminded one lady that we have to try to get better. With an AML diagnosis, we hear the odds aren't good. Thankfully I never was told by my doctors that I only had a small chance of survival. I never considered anything but full remission and survival. For the ones who are told they won't survive, I remind you that miracles DO happen. What if YOU are the one who beats it? What if YOU are the one who is the miracle? It's kind of like winning the lottery. Someone has to win! I want to encourage everyone who has been given bad news to put their fears aside and focus on that potential miracle.


This morning I am thinking about the opportunities missed spending time with family and friends. I thought when I survived, that I would see a lot of my loved ones. The opposite is true. I feel I have to reach out and ask people to schedule time with me. I know everyone is so busy, but I really miss spending time with people. I feel so lonely most of the time. I feel like I am floundering- no job, lots of time on my hands, and I just don't know what my purpose is. I guess the biggest thing I want is to feel loved and wanted. I feel like everyone was so incredible when I was sick, but now everyone has gone back to their normal, everyday life and I am still standing here saying, "I don't know what normal is!" Maybe I should start a group for mixed up survivors.


We had such a fun day yesterday. We drove out to see Patrick's cousin, Robin and enjoy time at Grace Farm. Grace Farm is a 501c3 animal rescue facility. Robin has several horses, two goats, who pigs, cats, and several dogs. She is the kind of lady who can't turn her back on any animal. She has 20 acres and great plans for all of it. She has school groups and people with disabilities come tour her farm and loves seeing the joy on their faces. I rode a 17 1/2 hand horse bareback! Robin led this gentle thoroughbred around the arena as I sat on his back amazed that I was actually on him. She has such envision for turning this amazing place into a ministry. Robin is in recovery and her heart has been greatly changed. She is the definition of success.

We also went to see Patrick's Aunt Maxine at Victory House, a home for Veterans. Max is blind and suffers from Alzheimer'. She had always been such a vibrant and strong woman so of course it's difficult to watch the progress this terrible disease does to a person. The home is filled with Veterans who are completely disabled. One man said to me, "I'm scared". My heart broke as I stood beside him. I took the time to visit with him and I think it made him happy. It gave me another idea for volunteering and I might see who needs visiting at our local Pioneer Home. Everyone needs to feel valued and loved.


This will be our last day in South Carolina. We leave here tomorrow morning at about 0200. We have had such an enjoyable visit. The weather has been incredible too. I dread the cold at home, but I do miss my house and animals. And my people.... I miss my people. (Olle's verbage). Our people here are wonderful too, but I want to hug our other people too.

Yesterday we went to a true southern plantation for a tour. I cannot imagine a time where black people were slaves and forced to work just because of their skin color. I can't imagine a time in America when not every person was free to choose what they desire. I also think about how our freedom has also crippled our nation. We have all these freedoms and free will, yet we have become selfish and abuse the freedom we have. We stand up and voice our opinions, not caring about how we trample on others while doing so. In Biblical times we saw slavery, selfishness, immoral activities, drunkardness, bigotry, adultery, and crime. In pre-civil war we saw all of that and we still see it today. today.  Ever since Adam and Eve introduced sin in the world, we have had corruption and abuse of power. We thought the Civil War ended slavery, yet we still have slavery today. Slavery to sin and power. Slavery to getting ahead and being more prosperous than our neighbors. Slavery to alcohol and drugs, to illicit behaviors and immoral thoughts. We are being held captive right here in America because we allow slavery to keep us captive.

Thank goodness the War Between the States ended slavery for the Blacks. Thank goodness people in America are free. But we are all captives of sin and Jesus is the only one who can set us totally free. What an amazing truth we have in this. No matter our skin color, our income level, our intelligence level, or who are family is, we can be free because of the blood of Jesus. Thank you, Jesus.