Dear Young Girl Who’s Obsessed With Pinning Wedding Ideas

I’ve seen your “Fairytale” board. I know, it’s all there, perfectly arranged…the ring styles, proposal photo suggestions, save the dates, invitations, dress options, bridesmaid proposal ideas, bachelorette party activities, color schemes, seating charts, the reception attire, checklists, meals, memorabilia, and honey moons. Heck, I’m convinced every wedding will soon have its own custom trademark font. (If it already exists, I DON’T want to know). The energy that has been put into your event before it even begins, and sometimes before you’ve met Mr. Right, far exceeds what you exerted for the final research paper of your Senior year.

After living on God’s precious earth for 44 years, I can not with a clear conscience let you continue to “pin” your heart out without sharing what I’ve learned about love. You see, six years ago, I was a single Mom who’d pretty much decided that true love just wasn’t in the cards for me. I’d kissed a few frogs, and they somehow never turned into princes. So, I was happy to accept a life where I took care of myself and my daughter, without the weight of responsibility and work that seemed to be involved with any prospective partners.

Then, along came the nicest guy. He entered my life with such ease, allowing me to develop trust for him like I’d never known before. Always the gentleman, he wouldn’t even sit on the couch with me when he came over to watch a movie. I was dumbfounded. Did he not feel a spark…a connection? So, this continued for several months, and the friendship we developed was based on nothing but honesty, respect, and admiration for each other.

Once it became obvious that we were more than friends, every step of the relationship felt completely natural and as though it were meant to be. The way he loved not just me, but also my daughter, blew me away.

Six months after we started dating, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. He immediately decided to move in and take care of me as I underwent surgery to remove both of my breasts, which proved to be a much more challenging mental battle than physical. Next, he walked through the completely devastating side effects of 8 rounds of chemotherapy with me…the hair loss, the weight gain, the fears, the stomach issues, the aches and pains, the lack of energy and zest for life. Next came 7 weeks of radiation, and even more discomfort and fatigue, coupled with frustration and so many tears.

We were not even married. He could have walked away. But he stayed. A year after my diagnosis, while my hair was growing back in after chemo (not my most favorite look), with several pounds of chemo weight gain still hanging around, and a set of misshapen breasts, we headed to Vegas for a weekend wedding. I put on a fun rockabilly dress, ordered him a bowling-style shirt, and a poodle skirt for my girl, and in a one hour time slot, we became man & wife as Elvis sang us through our wedding dance.

Since that time, I’ve endured two more surgeries, including a hysterectomy and recently, breast reconstruction. During both of these experiences, he has proven to remain by my side through all of the ups and downs. He never left my side at the hospital, spending every night sleeping in my room. He’s been on the other side of the bathroom door while I struggle through the challenges of post-anesthesia “irregularity”. He’s emptied drain tubes, kept up with medicines, fed me, done the laundry, and made sure I have everything I needed to heal properly. I continue to be blown away by the selfless compassion and kindness shown to me by this man who has continued to express his growing love for me with each passing day.

There are no “pins” available for these things, which scares me a little for you young ladies. True love does not have a custom font, color scheme, or checklist. It is, however, there through the challenges and trials that are sure to come in this life. Making it through the “un-Pinterest-worthy” moments will be your proudest accomplishments, the things that cement your bond. So, while I hope that one day, your wedding is a very special and unforgettable celebration, my greatest wish is that you find an “un-pinnable” kind of love.

🌸Doing it Afraid, and Closing a Chapter➡️

If I said I’m not afraid, I’d be lying.

The fears that were quiet are multiplying.

I’ve felt so good lately it’s hard

To consider letting down my guard.

A barrier of protection I’ve formed,

Against outside noises that swarmed.

I can see life ahead filled with peace,

But before then, I must release.

This hold cancer’s had on my life,

All the fears, the struggles & strife.

I release the dark places of then,

Hoping to never go there again.

My body and mind and my soul,

Have finally been made whole.

So for this next round, I’m prepared.

To go through it, although I may be scared.

This step will help me to turn

All of this time into lessons learned.

My hope is to share all that’s true,

With warriors fighting anew.

I’ve shed tears, broken down, and healed.

And through it all, God’s love’s been revealed.

So if I needed to go where I’ve gone

To help you, it was worth it all along.

✅Your Opinion of Me Will Not Change My Life’s Mission👌🏼

Don’t get me? Ok…

Just go on your way.

I’m passionate & true,

May not make sense to you.

I speak from the heart,

That’s not the best part.

I give credit undue

To those struggling through.

I know you don’t see

How you could ever be

In a place where you’d beg,

Or be on your last leg.

Wishing someone cared,

And your pain could be shared.

But this life gives us chances,

Lonely solo dances,

When having one on our side

Could ease bumps on the ride.

I’ll continue to give,

And help others live

The best life they envision…

That is my life’s mission.

Continuing to find those

Who want wounds to close,

Pain they’re willing to bear,

As humanity’s shared.

The fake and pretentious facades of this world,

No longer matter, true beauty unfurled.

To love other people, just as they are…

Knowing that with a village, we can all go so far.

Life’s greatest blessing, don’t blink or it’s gone.

Is a chance on this journey to feel less alone.

So, I get it, I may not be your cup of tea.

But when you need an ear, I hope you find someone like me.

💙

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💖Pink Does Not Represent Cancer!💜

Most days, I’m able to focus on how grateful I am. Being diagnosed 5 years ago now with breast cancer, successfully completing treatment, and about to embark upon the last leg of this treatment journey by undergoing reconstruction surgery, I am usually able to focus on my blessings. However, because of the challenges I faced while receiving treatment, the empathy for others experiencing a cancer diagnosis and treatment occasionally permeates by being.

Today is one of those days. I picked up my phone this morning and the first thing that popped up was an obituary for and old friend who’d spent the last eight years battling brain cancer. I do not pretend to fathom the pain, discomfort, and struggles he faced throughout that time. But I do know that more than anything, he was fighting with all that he had to make it until his son graduated from high school…that didn’t happen.

I lost a dear friend to cancer over 10 years ago. What started as pain in her arm quickly became a nightmare of chemo attempts, reactions, and complications. She was so full of life and ready to embark on new journeys, but her adventure was cut short, another life ending entirely too soon.

I lost another friend from high school a couple of years ago. Because I’d fought breast cancer, she thought our battles were the same, and that she just needed to stay positive. She was fighting brain cancer that had progressed to the point that she was suffering severe symptoms at diagnosis. Her body was only able to withstand one round of chemo. She only lived a few more months. She was so brave.

My sweet Daddy was diagnosed three years ago with Stage 4 Lung Cancer, with metastasis to the brain. He passed peacefully 11 days later, with the assistance of hospice. Although the physical process was deeply maddening to watch, I never left his side. The beauty of those eleven days with him tops my list of precious spiritual experiences on this earth.

What I went through with breast cancer was not anything I would wish on one more human being. However, there is no comparison to the bravery and grace displayed by each of these precious souls who ultimately lost the battle against the enemy that is cancer.

This is why I reject the term “Survivor”, as it somehow indicates that I did something right or better than those we’ve lost. I was lucky that my body could withstand the toxic treatment. We are all warriors, fighting similar, yet such uniquely different battles.

The fact that we have a Pink month dedicated specifically to breast cancer makes me sick. I would love to see the start of an #antipink movement, and recognize that cancer is the enemy, in every form and at every stage. Regardless of the treatment, side effects, and end result, pieces of our lives are being stolen. After all, statistics dictate that we will all know someone who is affected by this disease at some point in our lifetime. It is our responsibility to hold one another up, walk arm in arm, and love one other through every stage of the process. Hope and peace do not discriminate, neither should we in our support of one another.

🙏🏻💜 peacefulahead.blog

Don’t Wait…Celebrate!

From someone who has had the give up the ordinary experiences that make life beautiful…please, don’t wait!!!

At any moment, your life could change as you know it. Plans canceled, dreams delayed, and hopes deflated. Please, don’t wait for that moment to come to start seeing the beauty in the everyday predictable moments of life.

When you can’t find the strength to get out of bed, or the courage to add one more thing to your “to do” list, it is the consistently simple things that you will miss…much more than the special events that are faint memories.

So, today, appreciate the energy to do laundry. Give thanks for the ability to plan for the week ahead. Soak in the sounds of your loved ones laughing.

Do it today! Just because you CAN!

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