Tag: Blessings

What’s a Soul Mate?

What’s a Soul Mate?

As the American writer Richard Bach said, “A soulmate is someone who has locks that fit our keys, and keys to fit our locks. When we feel safe enough to open the locks, our truest selves step out and we can be completely and honestly who we are.”

Not just anyone can fulfill you the way your soulmate can. There’s a world of a difference between your soulmate, your heart’s other half and a life partner — a person who lacks the elements to mold perfectly to you. Your soulmate makes you feel entirely whole, healed and intact, like no piece is missing from the puzzle. A life partner, on the other hand, can be a great supporter and long-time companion, but is limited in his or her capacity to enrich your spirit.

Today Eric and I drove to the Mayo Clinic, on our way home I had one of my playlists on. Soulmate by Josh Turner came on.  As I listened to the words,  I turned to Eric and said “We’ve been through so much together haven’t we?”  He agreed and we decided through the good and the bad we have made it through. Has it always been easy?  I will have to insert here HELL NO. No relationship is perfect, and even soulmates will experience ups and downs. However, because of those time the bond will be much harder to break. I believe Soulmates seem to have an easier time accepting, even learning to love, each other’s imperfections.  It took me along time to realize we needed to accept and love each other for exactly the way we are, accepting both the great and awful tendencies we all have. This is so hard sometimes especially if we have expectations beyond what our soulmate can deliver.

After 37 years together Eric and I have learned those triggers that can sometimes have us jumping to conclusions. We usually know exactly what the other’s reactions or thoughts are when someone speaks or something happens.  A soulmate is not someone you can walk away from that easily. It is someone you can’t imagine being without, a person you believe is worth sticking with and fighting for.  Over the years we have seen each other through some pretty hard situations-some that last for years.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qH9hNKO4lOU

I can’t imagine my life without Frenchie-he truly knows my faults, weaknesses and fears yet still loves me through it all. Not a day goes by that he does say “I love you, You are Beautiful”

XOXO Monya

 

Living With Autism

Living With Autism

My amazing daughter Kayla is our oldest, she and her husband Jeremy have three boys diagnosed with Autism. Recker is the oldest 8 and 1/2, Ezra is 5 and Theo just turned 2. We love these boys so much, our entire family is in love with them, but even being the ‘grandmother’ (Bonbon) I don’t see the day-to-day struggle, the melt downs and the emotional rollercoaster Autism creates in a home.  Kayla does such a great job creating awareness on social media and within the walls of our home, still I can’t imagine the 24 hour care she gives them individually.  Each one of these special spirits come with their own needs, Recker is amazingly sweet and kind but is non-verbal, still wears a diaper, has to be constantly watched and shows his frustration by taking it out on mom or dad with a fist once in a while. Recker also loves to be outside, swims like a fish, is intrigued with fire and loves Disney movies.

Ezra age 5

Ezra, boy oh boy, this guy is talking up a storm but deals with emotional break downs daily, he can be irrational and moody it’s a constant wining problem. Ezra loves to be around family, plays well with other’s and wants to be an ‘ar thist’ (artist) he’s also scared to death of creepy crawly things, spiders, bugs etc. He is probably the most literal child I have ever met, if I said to him “You are cute” his response most likely would be “No, I am Ezra” This sounds like typical                                                                        behavior and yes, it could be however you’d have to see how he reacts to understand the emotions behind his fears. When he leaves our home he always comes up to me and say’s “I sad” I already know what his response is but always say “Why are you sad?” He comes back with “I going to miss you, I not want to go home” but if his parents were to leave without him there would be a total meltdown. So we hug, say “I love you” and off he goes.

Theo age 2

Theodore, Theo, Teddy….those are his names.  No matter what we call him he comes running.  Theo is on the spectrum, at what level we don’t know.  Kayla say’s he shows signs just like Recker and Ezra did, so right now while he seems typical we enjoy every minute of his cuteness because we never know when or if regression will start.  This little guy is pretty content, he points and shows us things he wants, takes our hand to lead us to rooms to play and is just starting to say a few words.  Sunday night he took all the Disney magnets off my freezer one at a time and brought them to me saying “who that?” and as a typical child would do at age 2 he is constantly asking “what that?” while he points to something he wants us to explain.  If I ask him “Do you want a popsicle?” (or just about anything I ask if he wants) his answer is “uh huh” while shaking his head “yes”  He also loves the outdoors, but does not like to swim in the pool like Recker and Ezra do.

Kayla and Jeremy are absolutely involved in these boys lives, caring and loving for them no matter the circumstances.  I know they have their moments when they need space to cry, I also know they sometimes just laugh because what else can they do? Even as Kayla’s mother I will never understand the constant emotions they endure. I’m not sure I could do what they have and will continue to do, but I am eternally grateful for Kayla’s openness and honesty when teaching me about ASD. She is the mom who constantly researches and studies, wanting to know everything she can to help her boys process and deal with their diagnosis.

This is something she recently posted, it broke my heart but it is the reality of any parent who has children with Autism, oh and let me interject here one of the things Kayla kindly taught me–people with Autism are diagnosed it is not ‘who they are’ saying a child or person is Autistic is defining them.

and my personal favorite post, I don’t live in ‘judgement’ so this does not offend me, if it does offend you I’m sorry but it is the real life of so many families dealing with Autism. I’d like to also insert at this moment children with or people who are diagnosed with Autism are not defined by the disease, it is something they ‘have’ not ‘who they are’ Autistic defines them, being labeled as a person who is  Autistic is hurtful and not politite

This was her post and her comment was “We are literally getting our asses kicked over here.”

 

XOXO Monya Bonbon

 

 

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Memory Of Cleveland Clinic

Every 3rd of July I am reminded of fighting for my life in The Cleveland Clinic. Four years ago today I was in surgery, literally hoping for a miracle. Little did I know the miracle was sitting right here in Arizona, with Doctor Lettieri.

On July 3rd 2014 I was rolled into surgery, Eric gave me a kiss on the forehead as they wheeled me into the operating room. Tears rolled down my cheeks onto the pillow, nurses kindly asked what they could do to help; shaking my head, watching them walk away I knew there was nothing anyone could do. Not even with the best surgeons on the face of the earth, no one could be able to bring my smile back.

The worst was still ahead of me, waking up in the recovery room after an eleven hour surgery I felt my head. It was full of staples, like a train track from one side to the other and down the back of my skull. My ear was pounding and swollen. I just wanted to see Eric and go home; after seven weeks in Cleveland I was depressed, sad and disoriented.

The next day, the fourth of July 2014 is a day I will never forget. No attending’s were in the ICU, the residents were in charge for the Holiday. Pain beyond my belief was surging through my body; a senior resident forgot to put orders in for pain medicine; I thought I would die on that day. I was prepared with letters to my children and dear husband. When the resident did not answer page after page to come to the ICU-I went further and further into a deep dark place, actually wanting my life to end because the pain was so bad. Nurses rubbed my legs and listened to me sing “Be Still My Soul” and “I am a Child of God” over and over again. It was an hour and fifteen minutes the senior resident finally make it to my room, followed behind him were other junior residents. He questioned my pain like I was faking; wondered why I was crying, and asked me too many questions; which I believe now was a senior resident showing off for the junior residents. I was gasping for air I couldn’t speak without trembling, he finally gave me the pain medicine. Even after the pain medicine was in my system my body shook like a baby, composing myself was difficult.

This is one of the junior residents Brendan Alleyne-he came to visit me after that incident and held my hand. The compassion he showed was nothing I will ever forget, I wish I could tell him what his acts of kindness did for my faith in the future of medicine. I’m thinking about him today, Dr. Lettieri is constantly telling me about the ego’s of residents, just like the senior resident I encountered at Cleveland Clinic. They forget who they are serving, I often wonder if he would have treated me different if I had been his mother, wife or child. Thank you Dr. Alleyne wherever you are today, I believe you are caring and sharing for your own patients now and hopefully learned something from this experience that will help you always remember patients are real people, with real families and a story to tell.

XOXO Monya

The Risks

The Risks

I spent 5 days in Las Vegas, which is probably my least favorite place to be.  I was there for a conference on how to grow my network marketing business through social media.  While I found the event to be highly effective and I learned a crap load of information about marketing, I seriously hated walking through the smoke filled casino just to get a bite to eat.  I will never understand the attraction people have with gambling their money away.  Some of these people stay up all night long, just hoping for that BIG win only to walk away empty handed, shattered and depressed.

As I walked through one morning I wondered “Did these people get any sleep at all? Do they have any money left? Where are their families?” I’m certainly not a ‘debbie downer’ I like to have fun, but not with my money or my future.  There is a lot of money in the world, plenty for everyone but working for it gives a sense of accomplishment and joy. I could not imagine sitting hour after hour putting money into these slot machines, money they probably worked hard for.

This is a danger zone…..with gambling addiction rising, people losing their homes and families this is not a life I would choose.  Boy was I grateful to get home to my safe haven, quiet and calm without the constant ringing and clanking of change dropping into the machine.  I decided I’m all about the sure thing, like a new pair of shoes….yes, I will take my money and buy something tangible and useful.

Las Vegas can be fun, but for me one day is enough and I want to walk away with some value being taken from it.  If I spent on shoes what some lose in those machines I could own a shoe store!!! Bottom line, what I learned?  I love my life and wouldn’t trade any of it, not even for a billion dollars.

Monya Bonbon

Parenthood

Parenthood

I love this picture of Frenchie (Papa) with 5 of the 7 grandchildren–the joy on his face was priceless.  Most of you have probably heard this “Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.” I think this is a true statement My birth father was not around when I was a child, but I believe if he could do it all over again, he would have been an incredible dad. I have been blessed with some very good examples in my life of strong courageous men who didn’t have much to offer financially to their children, but provided them with love, and kindness. They taught their son’s to work hard and play hard, and taught their daughter’s to be bold, brave and to go after their dreams.

I have three son in-laws and a son who I’m proud of, they teach their children to go forth in faith-learn to laugh and enjoy life; but also give them the discipline they need to grow to be righteous and live with  integrity. Children have a respectful amount of fear for their father’s because they don’t want to let them down, their father’s are the super hero’s who they strive to become; a healthy amount of respectful fear is ok. I was a stay at home mom; I remember when my children were little they were so sick of me they’d run to the door to greet Eric yelling “Daddy is home” by the time they were teens it was a different story when the garage door opened and they knew he was home they scattered like mice to make sure they had homework done, rooms cleaned etc.  This is not to say Eric was a bad father or that they didn’t love him he told them everyday how much he loved them and still does but it’s that ‘respectful fear’ I’m talking about.

My oldest daughter Kayla and her husband Jeremy are  amazing, as I watch them raise their children with Autism I am in awe at times and wish I would have lowered my voice and softened my heart more. Blake, my only son has a good mixture of myself and his father in him. I’ve never seen a daddy more interested in his little daughter as he is, if I am watching little Weslie, Blake calls for me to do a Facetime or asks me to send pictures. His wife Chloe is a doll, I love her so much and am eternally grateful she is part of our family; very funny, smart and knows how to communicate, something I struggled with at her age. Kaitlyn, will forever be Phoenix’s and Archie’s mom….they love her and I love watching her, she is the most like me. When I watch how well she is with her boy’s I once again wish I’d done somethings different. Apparently it is true dad’s are their son’s super hero’s just ask Phoenix, he’d rather be with his dad than anyone else in the world. In his eyes’s Brian can make no mistakes and can do anything.  Haleigh is our youngest daughter, she has a son with her husband Scott they are such patient, soft spoken parents. Of course I understand little Ellis is only 8 months old but I’ve never seen them upset or filled with anxiety like I was with my first child. I look forward to seeing the personalities of all my grandchildren grow as they watch their parents and learn from example.

The truth is, I have no regrets every moment of motherhood I’ve loved.  Did I make mistakes? Ummm…YES I did, many, but right now at this moment I am in love with being a grandparent. I can’t have a ‘do over’ so I go from here, I still make mistakes, say too much, react too quickly then say “I’m sorry” Parenting is hard, according to the handbook I received when they were born I did everything wrong; but all my children are perfect to me, they found their way I did much better than my mother did and they will do even better….it’s the circle of life.

Monya Bonbon

 

His Grace

His Grace

 

So Much To See

I remember taking this picture in 2015, just a year after being diagnosed with facial paralysis. Frenchie took me on a trip between surgeries; funny I can’t remember where we were. We’ve been on so many trips together trying hard to mark everything off of my bucket list. I do recall looking out of the window far above the clouds and seeing this breath-taking view; it was at this moment I realized I have taken so much for granted; our world is beautiful so many nooks and crannies we will never explore, but just knowing they are out there gives me hope and a sense of a spirit much larger than my soul can imagine.

There is so much to see in this beautiful world of ours; but my favorite place to be is with my family, there is no other joy and peace I feel watching my children grow into happy, healthy adults who cherish one another and understand the importance of time, time together making memories to last for eternity.

I started back to work yesterday, it was physically painful however I’ll take the pain over depression any day any time. There is something about being through so many surgeries, procedures, pokes and tests that make me wonder once again what I am supposed to be learning.  I am well aware of all my weaknesses-I say damn and hell every once in a while, I judge people when I should be reaching out to them, I’m simply not perfect and not ready to die. I try daily to be better than I was the day before and so often fail in my attempt; but one thing I never do is leave my Heavenly Father out of my daily routine. He guides me and helps me to become the woman I strive to be.

This was me on May 1st, 2014 I thought I was so happy, look at my smile, my beautiful teeth. Oh how I loved to smile.  I’d finished chemo, radiation and several surgeries and was well on my way to being ‘ok’ with living with cancer. I see some wrinkles, but mostly I see joy in my eyes for the happiness I felt being alive. Then life came to a screeching halt and I was once again faced with an unfortunate life altering transfiguration.

On May 15, 2014 this was me lying in the Mayo Clinic hospital fighting for my life.  There was a sadness I had never experienced. My life would never be the same, my face would show the sadness and sorrow. There was simply no one on earth who could possibly understand what it felt like to hear my surgeon tell me “I’m sorry to tell you, your face will never be the same again, you need to get used to the new you”

That task seemed daunting and unachievable I didn’t know how I could face a world where physical beauty had become the main focus for so many people. I never realized I was one of those people, I was vain I wanted my smile back I wanted to be normal, heck I’d even take typical. With help from Dr.Lettieri teaching me grace comes from within, I have been able to somewhat come to accept who I am, what I am meant to do here on earth; and it is definitely not to be a fashion model. My Heavenly Father has so much more in store for me and I’ve come to understand true authenticity and absolute beauty comes from knowing who you are and where you are going, it comes from first loving yourself no matter the circumstances life throws at us.  It certainly sounds easier than it actually is to do, I have spent 3 years working on myself, studying and trying to teach our  youth to love their life. If all of us could see ourselves through our Father in Heaven’s eyes I think we would be surprised to know what He sees in each of us; I believe He knows my heart, He feels my pain but mostly He understands I am trying everyday to become a worthy woman of infinite worth in His eyes.

This was me just a few days ago at Shane Wright’s luncheon after his funeral; I love this picture with Archer, still bruised and swollen looking at this picture I realize my grandchildren will never know the face or person I used to be they only know Bonbon exactly how I am today, and they love me unconditionally as I do them. The woman in this picture has come a long way with still so much to learn about herself and other’s. There is no better Hope than knowing I have many years to learn and teach other’s how to cope with unforeseen circumstances and to accept to love themselves in away no one on earth can understand. I am truly blessed and Amazed at the grace He so fully offers all of us.

Monya Bonbon

See You Later

See You Later

To say it’s been a whirlwind of emotions the past 6 weeks would be an understatement. This is Shane Wright, his son Brian is married to my daughter Kaitlyn. Shane celebrated his birthday on May 24th with his wife children and nine grandchildren; two of which we share grand parenting with. Kaitlyn said his birthday was so fun, they played and danced together ate pizza had ice cream and cake. Shane sat watching his children and grandchildren laugh and play together from his own words “We’re told by Heavenly Father we may have joy in our posterity. Nothing compares to the joy that I feel when our family is all together. It’s the purest joy a parent can have. My heart is full” On Wednesday May 30th this giant of a man left this life to live with his Heavenly Father.

Shane’s posterity, such a beautiful family.

The first time I met Brian I knew he was a special man; most parents think their daughters are too good for most men but Eric and I are were so impressed with Brian we were afraid Kaitlyn would scare him off. When Brian asked Eric for Kaitlyn’s hand in marriage, he actually told him no twice. Poor Brian was living in Utah and chose to drive to Arizona twice to get Eric’s approval. I explained to Eric it is always hard on father’s to finally hand their daughter’s over to another man for them to care and love for, but it was time. We had the opportunity to meet Shane and Dee Dee Wright before they were married and immediately our hearts were bonded to them. Kaitlyn and Brian were married and had their wedding reception in our backyard in November of 2009.  I was diagnosed with cancer during their engagement and started chemo therapy just two days after their wedding; I will never forget Shane and Dee Dee’s constant prayer’s on my behalf.

Shane (grandad) Phoenix and Dee Dee (Mimi)

Over the years and two grandchildren later we grew to love this man and were so proud to have the opportunity to co-grandparent with he and Dee Dee.  Shane was a stone mason, he had an eye for perfection when it came to his profession. He also raised his children to have respect for other’s and to share the knowledge they had of the Gospel of Christ. The last time I spoke to Shane he was visiting in Arizona and had helped pick out stone for a fireplace in Haleigh and Scott’s home. We stood outside next to his truck while Phoenix played and ate snacks from his granddad’s truck.

He asked me how I was doing and told me he never misses a day of praying for me. Then he looked at me and said “Perspectives change when you know you are not going to be on earth forever, we have truly been blessed.”  Shane knew he had some time left but was also realistic enough to know what he was diagnosed with was incurable and unless he was struck by lightning or hit by a car, he would definitely die from his diagnosis.

It was evident when I sat in the Chapel at his funeral and watched over 300 people sit and listened to his family speak of Shane and his incredible accomplishments in life; and when I say accomplishments it had nothing to do with money. Shane helped youth, many young boys grow and become fine men, husbands and fathers. They testified of Shane’s undying sacrifice’s as he served others unconditionally.  I don’t believe Shane had an enemy’s, everyone loved him. His smile and attention to details lit up any room he entered. Each and every time Eric and I saw him he looked at us in the eyes and asked about us, how we were doing, how each of our children and grandchildren were–simply put he cared genuinely for people.

When Brian spoke at the funeral, he was speaking about his father but was describing himself in every way. I love Brian, I love everything about him we are blessed to have him in our family and know he will miss his father deeply but will carry on the traditions of his father and pass down his work ethic and compassion for other people to his own children.

I will miss Shane and still have a hard time believing he is gone from our lives for now; so until we meet again I will do my best to be a good person, share memories with Phoenix, Archer and their future children about the amazing grandad they had.  I never say good-bye so see you later Shane

Monya Bonbon

Dr. Lettieri Post Op

Dr. Lettieri Post Op

This is the REAL Dr. Lettieri–my Flip Phone Doctor is back-with his Converse, humor and beautiful blue eyes. After assessing my bruising and clotting, we have decided to wait a couple of weeks to see how it looks-we are not afraid of the blood clots traveling. My face feels like it did when I had Capsular Contracture in my breasts–extremely hard to the touch–but the bruising is almost gone. Dr. Lettieri said because of how much work he needed to do my face will take longer to heal. I will be undergoing a few more surgeries this year. My sinus reconstruction will be toward the end of the year, and Dr. Lettieri referred me to someone he said he would “allow to operate on his family’ If knew Dr. Lettieri like I do that is quite a compliment. He picked up  his handy dandy flip phone and contacted Dr. Howard’s office to send me asap. It’s nice to have a surgeon who is humble enough to understand there maybe another doctor (who was trained by Lettieri) he trusts and admires. I told him how nervous I was to see a different surgeon, he explained to me on the next surgery Dr. Lettieri will be in attendance, but not for the nasal reconstruction, to perform the rest of the facial reconstruction. (and possibly to check in on me) So three surgeries in one if if works out.–Can’t wait for that recovery;  if it wasn’t for my perfectionist surgeon he would have kicked my out and given up on my by now.

Dr. Lettieri is Italian and loves Canolis–so this is what I brought him today. The plate says “Be Happy Always”

As I waited for Dr. Lettieri, I realized they brought me into a surgical procedure room. This is the bright light he uses to see EVERYTHING–it’s pretty bright.

One time on my way to MIHS to visit with Dr. Lettieri, I watched 2 teens having full on sex under this tree. I honked; many times yelling at them to stop. I seriously would have given anything to have a hose and spray them down likes dogs in heat. I told Dr.Lettieri since it was happening just outside his window but off campus; his answer “Nothing surprises me here, I’ve seen it all” I shouldn’t have been surprised either; it did shock me. Today as I was leaving the Clinic I watched a van open and police officers escort a prisoner in an orange jump suit and shackled by his feet, secured with handcuffs on his arms.

I didn’t judge him, he was typical looking nothing to scare or offend me, in fact it made me want to show compassion for him, especially not knowing is story or the journey he has been on.

Yes I am definitely in a surgical room–what are they going to do to me today?

Bored……? Yes, soon Dr. Lettieri entered the room, stuck his large hands into my mouth to feel for the blood clot, and I’m pretty sure created another bruise. However, we are getting close to perfection he was very happy with the surgery outcome; still he has some follow up-but we need the swelling and bruising to go down, he thinks he can work on it at the same time Dr. Howard performs my nasal reconstruction; not crossing my fingers on that one. Dr. Lettieri hugged me and said “I will see you soon, we have been through a lot together but remember I’d let Dr. Howard work on me, you need to listen to me she’s good” I now have an appointment with her in the end of June–but l’m not having another surgery until I decide.

Monya Bonbon

 

(more…)

My Tribe

My Tribe

Ellis is our youngest grandchild almost 7 months old. Haleigh brought me soup and Ellis–he took one look at me and started to cry-remember he is only 7 months old I think he is teething, usually he is joyous and happy with everyone. I couldn’t hold him but seeing his face was enough.
These brothers are Kaitlyn and Brian’s boys, Phoenix and Archer. I didn’t really want them to see me all bandaged up, or worse with the bandage off.  One day I was in the hospital and our little Phoenix who is 3 years old decided to Face Time me I only answered because I thought it was my daughter calling. This was our dialogue ” Phoenix: “Hey Bonbon where are you? Me: “Where is your mom and dad? Phoenix: “Sleeping…Bonbon what is that blood?” (it was my drain) Me: “Uhh, yeah it’s a little blood, Bonbon has a boo boo” Phoenix: “Oh did you get a owie?”  Me: “Yeah just a little one, but the doctor is taking care of it so I can play with you again do you want to play?” Phoenix: “Oh Bonbon thank you, yes we can play…..today can I come to your house?” Me: “I’m not home, I’m staying at the hospital” Phoenix: “Is Papa with you.? Did you get a shot?” Me: “I did get a shot, but I am good now and yes Papa is here. What are you doing today?” We talked for over 30 minutes before it was time to hang up, I dreaded hitting END on my phone.  Yesterday he came to see me, not startled by the bruises or stitches that make their way like a train track from one side of my face to the other. He sat next to me on the bed, told me about leaving on an airplane today, going to see all his cousins and for his grandads birthday.  His animation and excitement are really contagious, he reminds me of Kaitlyn when she was a little girl curious, silly faces and totally in awe of his dad (his hero) as it should be. Archer was not phased at all with how my face looked. When it was time to leave I asked Phoenix to send me a Face Time while he is in Utah if he thinks about it his response “umm…We will have to see” from the mouth of babes
Our only grand daughter Weslie comes from my only son Blake and his darling wife Chloe. Blake brought me an acai bowl, it was a nice break from eating everything from a straw. Weslie is not feeling well so really stayed close to daddy. She did give me a huge roll of the eyes for a good laugh and waved “bye-bye bonbon, I love you” and off they went.
This is Ezra, he is Kayla and Jeremy’s middle son. I was Face Timed with Ezra and Theo.  Ezra was playing with Phoenix at his house and really just wanted to know if I would buy him ‘buzz lightyear’ and ‘woody’ apparently Kayla said everytime he leaves playwing at Phoenix’s house he asks her for them….and her standard answer is “No not today, you need to earn it” then he says “Well Bon bon will get them for me” So basically he was calling to know if I’d get him Woody and Buzz next time I’m in Toys are Us.
Recker is our oldest grandson also from Kayla and Jeremy. The only one I haven’t had immediate contact with is Recker….I have a feeling he would be picking out all the stitches on my face one by one, like he did when I had the nerve removed from my calf to my face.  I couldn’t feel it, but he was protecting me ….. he hates stitches and has picked them off of himself so in his mind if he doesn’t like them then of course Bonbon won’t either.
Theodore is Kayla and Jeremy’s youngest son. Theo did a Face Time with Bonbon and didn’t seem weary or worried about my facial appearance. He just kept saying “I wuv you Bonbon” and smiling the entire time.

It’s been one week today since my surgery with Dr. Lettieri. He has text me several times–people may think that is weird getting text messages from your surgeon, and maybe it is a little. I don’t believe he has the time or capacity to do this with every patient he see’s but I’m blessed he checks in on me on a regular basis. Not only to tell me he needs to do more work on my face (really?) but he is also checking in on my spirits–I adore him. I even tell him “I love you” he’s been with me through half of the surgeries I’ve endured always hopeful always happy to see me. I’m not sure what it is like to have a genius mind working overtime 24/7 but boy am I glad he does–although I think he needs some rest, relaxation and a break. Funny thing is I don’t think that is physically possible for someone who does what he does.

Now that I am home, resting has been really hard for me. I got bored with television and could not concentrate …. or the shows were absolutely lame. I miss my grandchildren, they each bring a different type of joy to my soul.

Seriously? I’m a 55 year old grandmother with 7 beautiful grandchildren each bringing a different level of joy, laughter and respect from me….I don’t want them to grow up, I would like time to stand still, well maybe not this week–it needs to go fast but the faster I heal the sooner I get to play. I promised to teach them how to make my famous sugar cookies. I need to be healed and out of this bed looking normal–well really what is normal? Normal is boring too? I’ve learned so much about having facial paralysis through the eyes of my grandchildren–they never knew me looking any other way so they don’t stare, they don’t judge they just love their Bonbon. People can learn from children, I have unconditional love.

XOXO Monya Bonbon

Are You a Friend?

Are You a Friend?

My Sisters Will Always Be My True Friends. Me (left) Sonya (right) and Kris (middle)

The past few month’s I’ve had to make some decisions, hard but freeing decisions. During my recovery I’ve had time to myself the silence has been cleansing. I’ve been pondering friends, who they are, and how to define them.  These are my thoughts, ‘Good friends’ care for each other, ‘Close friends’ understand each other, but True Friends last forever…beyond words, beyond distance, beyond time.  Some friends we make as children and then lose contact as we grow older. Other friends we make as adults and stay in touch with as long as we are in close proximity to and it is convenient to keep in touch but then over time one moves away or busy schedules slowly pull us apart and we start to lose touch.  Those friendships fall into the ‘good friends’ or ‘close friends’

But then there is that last group of friends – those we call ‘true friends’ – they are those we have a mutual caring for, and we understand each other’s hearts, and where bonds are formed between us that span any distance, and where the bonds run so deep that no amount of time apart or lack of words will change the way we feel about that friend. These are our true friends, and when one comes into your life cherish it!  A strong friendship does not need daily check ups, it doesn’t require togetherness as long as the relationship lives in the heart, true friendships will never part.

During challenging times there have been individuals who came into my life I consider my ‘truest’ of friends. They are individuals who saw me through tough times and who always saw the best in me despite any of my shortcomings. They picked me up at times I was down. They stood by me when I felt alone. They taught me things about life and about myself with patience and understanding. They lifted my children’s spirits and made them laugh when they were going through tough times of their own. They forgave me at times when I was grumpy or obstinate. They loved me without judgment and without expectations. They gave me hugs, even at times that I may not have deserved one. These true friends were individuals who were there for me…maybe not always in person or in word every time, but always in heart…and knowing I had them helped me through incredible challenges.

Recently I had a ‘close friend’ who chose to disappear from my life because my morals and standards did not align with our CEO’s.  I made an actually really easy decision to walk away from the company. With that being said, I quickly learned who my ‘true friends’ were.  In retrospect I realize this particular friend did not have my best interest in mind, you see I never changed ‘who I was’ or ‘what I stood for’ anyone who really knows me, knows I am as transparent as it gets and I care deeply for every person I meet. I imagine our paths will never cross again, and that is ok because I am strong in knowing who I am and confident in my decisions–I remember this person saying to me “It’s sad that I will NEVER know who my friends are.”  That statement never set well with me, so every once in awhile I do a reality check on myself.  1. Do you love your life? ✔︎ 2. Are you being true to yourself in all you do? ✔︎ 3. Do you have regrets ✔︎ 4. If you do, are you willing to forgive or ask for forgiveness?✔︎  Truth bomb; If you don’t love or trust yourself, you will never know who your ‘true’ friends are because you are not being true to you, you may be allowing another person to dictate how you feel, or you’re choosing wealth over integrity….don’t hate the people who live free, who want to make a difference in the world and maintain their integrity. I will always choose honesty, authenticity and true love over money….any day any time.

When someone is genuinely your true friend they leave an impression on your heart that will never go away…not with time, not with distance, not even with differences of opinion. True friends secure a place in your heart forever.  I am forever grateful for the true friends in my life, both those who are alive and those who have passed away, thank you so much for being my true friends, thank you for taking the journey with me, thank you for praying for my family and most of all I thank you for allowing me to be me….silly ole’ me.

XOXO Monya Bonbon