Tag: Heavenly Father

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

Father’s

Father’s

This is Ray Williams, my father in law on his graduation day from Mesa High in Arizona. Oh how I love him, he passed away October 1st 2008. Today I sat in church holding Frenchie’s hand, listening intently to the speakers who gave incredible tributes to the father’s in their lives. I teared up thinking about how blessed I have been to also have men in my life who have been great examples.

Thinking back I remember Stan Johnson was one of the most influential men in my life during my teen years. He was my seminary teacher, no matter what was going on at home I always knew for one hour a day Monday-Friday I was able to get away from the stressful life I secretly lived and listen to things that were good and wholesome. I will always be grateful to him for his soft, kind demeanor and for helping to ground my testimony of Christ.

My brother in law Greg Watkins, another incredible man but often misunderstood. I always felt protected by him and knew he would do anything to support and love me in all my decisions. Sonya and Greg took over important roles in my life as I stumbled through difficult times of life.

Bob Turner was my bishop when I decided to speak up and tell about my abuse. He was gentle, patient and compassionate. Bishop’s are not trained to be psychiatrist’s or paid to give advice on the troubles that some people, like myself have gone through or are going through. They are not marriage counselors, no Bishop’s are called by God to guide and sometimes discipline those who come to them with undeniable problems. Bishop Turner suggested books for me to read, kept close touch with me weekly and referred me to a well trained counselor. I will always remember how sweet he was with me before and after I faced the stepdad–Bob is a good man.

Stephen Phelps, is another source of light in my life. I watched as a young mother not exactly knowing how to do this mother thing–I wanted to do it right but had no guidance. I watched many men an women in our church congregation raise their children Stephen and his wife Carolei are amazing parents I wanted to immulate many of their traditions and parenting skills. Interesting enough I found out later Stephen knew my mother and father in law Viola and Ray Williams. He had so many nice things to say about Viola. When I was diagnosed with cancer so many people were praying for me, Stephen wrote me a few emails that I will treasure forever. I love this man, he is an example of strength and humility. I cherish our talks and his ability to always lift me up when I know he is the one who needs to lifted during his battle with extreme back pain.

Ray Williams, was one of the most influential men in my life–He loved me and he showed that love by not only telling me but with words. Often times he would call me and ask “How’s my oldest son treating you?” There is no doubt he changed after Vi died, still he never forgot to let his family know they were loved–I loved having him as a father, he’d softly put his arms around me and whisper in my ear “thank you, I love you” I learned to love freely and unconditionally from Ray. Recently a dear friend of ours shared a story with me about Ray and Vi that didn’t surprise me knowing them, but it reaffirmed what I’ve always thought about them.
He said “Ray and Vi were the BEST parents I know. So loving and caring. They had the perfect amount of balance in their parenting and lived the gospel of Jesus Christ with so much vigor and quiet dignity.” He continued by saying ” I’ll never forget a seminal moment in my life in regards to the relationship I had with them. A teacher at Mesa Jr. High told Ray and Vi “You should be wary and careful of that boy Kurt hangs out with. He’s not a good influence and may lead Kurt astray.” He said “Despite the fact the teacher was friends of theirs Ray and Vi took this man to task and defended me. The thing is, I wasn’t a good influence on Kurt. But when I learned of how Ray and Vi had stood up for me I decided right then and there I would NOT disappoint the ‘Williams’ and I straightened up. They raised the bar for me and I instinctively raised my character to match their sentiments of me. Being Tongan many adults were suspicious of me because of my upbringing and being so poor. Ray and Vi treated me like I was one of their own son’s. I could eat whatever was in the fridge and sleep in their home anytime. I became a better person because of them, I owe them such a debt of gratitude…I LOVE Kurtie, Doran and Eric for always treating me EXACTLY as their parents had taught them. Those boys exhibit so many of their parents best characteristics. What a legacy!!”

One of the interesting facts about this story is the young man went on to play in the NFL, marry a beautiful woman and raise some amazing children. I was in tears hearing this story, it was so moving and true to the character of Ray and Viola Williams, everyone loved them.

Finally, my husband Eric aka. Frenchie has been the father I always dreamed of having for my children. He has a good mixture of humor, kindness, hardworking, and goofy. Many times I know he has not understood why I do some of the things I do, but he is still here.

Monya Bonbon

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

I’ve been asked by several people “How did you learn to forgive?” This question has caused me to really think about the process of forgiveness. I’m not quite certain there is a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question.

When you are hurt by another person, especially if it is someone you are supposed to love–there is a confusion between doing what is ‘right’ and holding onto every bit of vengeance and anger you have.

For me personally I had to go through the emotions of, hatred, anger, sadness, depression, fear, shame and guilt. Each and every one of these emotions took years to overcome and I took it out on those around me. I rationalized how I felt by saying “He needs to acknowledge what he has done and ask for forgiveness.”

When I finally decided enough was enough, I realized I was allowing the person who offended me to still be in control. I didn’t want my life to be ruled by him any longer. I began by taking time for myself everyday to say out loud “I can forgive you” even if I didn’t honestly feel like I had forgiven I did this anyway. This was not any easy practice many times I stumbled on my words with tears running down my cheeks.

I read a book called ‘The Miracle of Forgiveness” and began to soften my heart. I believe, just like there are different levels of sin, there are also different levels of forgiveness. For example, if someone were to lie or steal from me I could forgive and move forward, I may not ever do business with them but I could accept them in my life. However, if someone where to abuse one of my children or grandchildren, it would take some work on my part but I could forgive them but I would never invite them over for dinner. There has to be a separation sometimes for safety and sanity.

I started to feel sorry for my offender, I even wondered if he had been hurt as a child. Slowly but surely I began to see myself through the eyes of God and knew He loved me and wanted me to heal, completely. The only possible way for me to rebuild my life was to fully forgive. I prayed for my offender everyday, and asked for peace to fill my heart. Remember this was a daily battle I fought for years, this did not come over night.

When I was finally able to let go of the expectations I had, I discovered all the wonderful possibilities I had been shutting out. Instead of living in a dark lonely place, I saw each day as an opportunity to make a change, to shift directions and to get a little closer to the things my heart desired. This was no longer about forgiving the offender. I now had the knowledge of how to do it, this was about my happiness. Once and for all I was able to say “I forgive you”

I think the only advice I can give now is live in the present, do not lose it to past regrets or future worry.

Monya Bonbon

Phoenix is Innocent and Honest

Phoenix is Innocent and Honest

Kaitlyn and Phoenix- so dang cute

Kaitlyn and Brian’s little guy Phoenix is incredibly sweet, inquisitive and loving.  This week I was sitting with him watching old pictures of our family pop up on the computer roll.  Phoenix took my hand and said “Chair” so I sat with him and watched as the pictures rolled–oh so many memories. He pointed at each family member and announced their name in his own way.  I noticed several pictures came up of me myself when I could smile, he pointed and said “mom” I said “No that’s Bon Bon” he then replied with ‘No, mom” When a picture appeared of me in Mayo hospital just after my facial paralysis, Phoenix said “Bon Bon” Talk about a dose of reality, I love Phoenix, I loved that moment with him.  The innocence and authenticity of a child is unmatched and sacred to me.  I love his honesty, he has nothing to gain or lose by simply saying it like it is.  In that moment I realized I’m not crazy what I see in the mirror is what everyone else see’s, and it’s ok I wouldn’t want an adult to tell me what they really see, it would be rude and hurtful, but having this moment with Phoenix has been constant on my mind.

I am grateful the Lord hears me when I tell him I want to fight, I want to be reassured by Him. His loving arms have surrounded me when I want to give up.  I live in such a lonely world, not having anyone to relate to has been difficult.  I know I have changed in so many ways, I’m not as out spoken as I used to be, I listen in a different way.  I realize there are no human eyes that can understand what I am going through–it literally has been the hardest experience I have ever had.  Eric has been a great care-giver THE BEST but still he does not understand the loneliness I feel at times. I am so thankful for Mark Christiansen who has been a great friend for Eric to lean on.  I do not eat in public, it’s a hurdle I am trying to overcome. Eric and Mark spend time together especially on days or nights when I just don’t want to face the world.

As much as I understand the Lord knows what I am going through, it sometimes has not been enough for me to get through lonely nights of sorrow.  There are some heart aches that I know I have to work out on my own–in the end, when I’ve done all that I can do to get through–He finally rescues me, He carries me through to the next challenge, just enough to give me some peace. I count each new day as a blessing but I am not afraid of death.

I remember nights when Blake was on his mission I knelt at his bedside and poured my heart and soul out to the Lord, begging and pleading for him to lift the heavy load at least long enough for me to see Blake return home.  Now I want so badly to ask “Why is this happening to me, how do I endure and why am I still alive?” I’m tired, really exhausted trying to keep my mind on happy things only to be surprised with more bad news, more surgery and the fear of one more recovery.

I’ve felt forgotten at times and wondered if my prayers were being heard, many times it takes the tears and pain to pass for me to realize He needed to withhold immediate relief because He has bigger and better promises for me.  With all that I’ve gone through I know He has a purpose for me I know if He always gives me everything I want I would not grow and learn.  It’s so easy to write those words but quite another story to live through it.  There have been so many blessings that have been disguised and difficult to recognize.

I’m still trying to learn how to trust and believe in myself, it’s so hard to have heartbreak over things I have no control over.  Trading off earthly needs or wants for Heavenly promises that are unknown at the moment has been hard to succumb to.  I am so happy but there are times I let the world define my circumstances; at those times I wonder if I have let the Lord down by not fully trusting in Him and His plan for me.  I’ve come to realize the natural woman in me will always have doubt, fear and tears but no matter what He loves me, even when I hold back my heart for people who really do care about me. In spite of all my faults and mistakes He will always love me.  It may take me more time to truly understand I don’t have to earn His love He loves me just the way I am. He knows me, all of me my thoughts, my fears, yet He is always there for me.

Theodore is born

Theodore is born

 

 

Recker had a hard time leaving his mom at the hospital

May 31st Kayla and Jeremy welcomed Theodore Arthur to the family.  Theo is our 5th grandchild, 4th boy 3rd boy for Kayla. Being a grandmother is still a little overwhelming.  I look in the mirror and don’t see a grandmother looking back. Can I be old enough? Am I good enough to be blessed with such beautiful children?  It’s strange…. getting older, thinking about the days when my children were little and I thought it would never end.  We had 4 children in less than 6 years, those were both joyful and hard years.  I think I took so much for granted, we all do.  I remember being so tired thinking I would never have a full nights sleep again–an older woman said to me one time “This too shall pass” I remember thinking I wanted to punch her in the face…This was not going to pass, at least not quickly.  Guess what?  She was right, I was wrong those days are long gone however it feels like just yesterday I was rocking my own babies to sleep.
Today as I sat at the hospital and rocked Theo to sleep I couldn’t help but wonder what wonderful memories he will bring to our family.  He is perfect, I simply love him. It’s interesting when siblings are born into the same family with the same genes but all turn out looking and acting so differently.

Abundant Blessings

Abundant Blessings

Today a whirlwind of emotions over powered me and allowed me to reconnect with what is really important in my life.  Kayla came by with the boys, Recker is now 6 and a half years old.  He is non-verbal but I believe he knows exactly what we are talking about, he has emotions and feelings. He came in and hugged me, I said “I love you” and in his own way he showed me he loves me too. Then little Ezra hugged and kissed me. I said “I love you” he replied “I l@#$% you” interpreted it says “I love you too” he now says Bon Bon, Papa, all the families names, mom and dad he will also repeat anything we ask him to…..he is trying so hard.  I took them all to lunch enjoying every moment I had with them. Kayla is 9 months pregnant, she will be giving birth to her 3rd son our 4th grandson.  Ezra is so cute he smiles and laughs at everything and everyone.  On his hand he had a happy face and a sad face drawn I asked him what they were he said “Happy” and smiled really big with his huge cheeks I wanted to squeeze. Then he pointed to the sad face and said “Sad” and quickly showed me his sad face. “Very good Ezra, which emotion do you feel now?” “I happy” I left them feeling blessed with these special boys Heavenly Father has entrusted our family with.  I say sincere prayers daily asking the Lord to help me know as a grandmother how I can better understand how to love them and help them.
When I arrived home Blake was getting Weslie out of his car, happy thoughts rushed through my body.  I hoped I could spend some time with both of them.  I of course immediately grabbed Weslie, she is absolutely beautiful. When Blake let to go get food for he and Chloe who would soon be arriving I took Weslie in my arms and sang her a song I used to sing to Recker when he was her age.

I love you Weslie,
Oh yes I do.
I love you Weslie
Oh yes I do
When you’re not near me I’m blue
Oh Weslie I love you.

I walked and rocker her for several minutes singing over and over the same words, when she finally fell asleep on my chest I laid down with her on the sofa. Examining every inch of the miracle straight from Heaven.  Her eyelashes perfectly shaped, long and lush. I could feel her heart beat on my mine the smell of her skin angelic.  An enormous amount of pride rushed through my body thinking about Blake, Chloe and Weslie they are a cute family.  Watching Chloe mothering little Weslie is so refreshing I love her as a daughter, I consider her my daughter.  Watching Blake being so involved as a father warmed my heart. Tears fell from my eyes, I have so many blessing to be grateful for. Nothing else in the world mattered at that moment. I was in awe.

I’ve wanted to transition the toy room we have upstairs to the downstairs room—this is a huge undertaking for me.  Still recovering from my last surgery has been slower but I really want to get this change done. I began by going through all the pictures and separating them out. In the mess I found several letters from my mother.  Now that she has passed on those letters are read by me in a different context. I believe she and I were trying to resolve a difficult situation however, seeing it from different perspectives  was difficult for both of us.  I feel good about the way I handled the delicate situation, just reading these old letters dredged up some old emotions I was not prepared for. I quit reading the letters realizing she is gone now and there is nothing I can do to bring her back. Heavenly Father is in charge and he will deal with this perfectly I have no doubt when it’s my time to leave this earth the Lord will have this taken care of, take me in his arms and say I love you.

I rummaged through some letters from Blakes mission, he always has a way of putting me back in the right frame of mind. He really was a great missionary. Then I found a book Kaitlyn wrote about her brother she couldn’t have been more than six or seven years old.  She illustrated the book with her and Blake on bike rides going to the Library and then to water and ice…the illustration showed them bicycling and her yelling out to him “Hey wait up” Her sincere love for her brother came out when she said how much she loved him over and over, and also how grateful she was to have such a ‘cool’ big brother. My heart was again swelled to capacity, I was never the ‘perfect’ mom but my children turned out perfectly beautiful to me.

To end my night tonight I read a talk given by a religious leader Elder Neal A. Maxwell–the title of his talk was Enduring Well.  I came to the conclusion it is impossible for me to completely understand.  Because I believe there is an Atonement of Christ it makes it easier to comprehend why suffering and trials are about trusting in God to keep his promises.

“Rather than simply passing through trials, we must allow trials to pass 
through us in ways that sanctify us.”

I have been stretched at times in my life to the point of doubting my Faith and Hope in difficult times.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh wisely cautioned: “I do not believe that sheer suffering teaches. If suffering alone taught, all the world would be wise, since everyone suffers. To suffering must be added mourning. understanding, patience, love, openness, and the willingness to remain vulnerable.” 

I have allowed trials to pass through me and sanctify me in ways I never thought I had the ability to endure.  We all suffer in our lives, but do we mourn those trials, do we go forward with patience hoping for the Lord’s hands to guide us through?  I believe I have been open and honest with my entire life, my book is going to expose truth in trials and how I have allowed those spooks to over power my life..I am so grateful for those hardships and enduring them with grace it has allowed me to grow, love others and serve unconditionally.  I have not regrets, I love my life.

My Happiness Experiment

My Happiness Experiment

 I’ve always wondered why so many people who work in a customer service atmosphere whether through, text, an actual phone call or face to face; can have such lack of empathy.
I’ve worked in the Airline Industry for over 30 years now.  Currently I work for American Airlines (formerly UsAirways formerly America West Airlines) Through the years of working with the general public I’ve learned to be a problem solver.  Yes, I’ve been called every name in the book.
Many times I try hard to keep from laughing when a snow storm keeps a passenger from getting from point A to point B they are furious because the planes are obviously grounded for take off.  I can appreciate the frustration however God is in charge of the weather not American Airlines.  Finding some balance with people is sometimes a challenge especially when voices are raised and tears are falling. My heart usually reaches out and I am able to help them understand the reality of their situation. It’s not always the ending they were expecting but showing a little understanding for their inconvenience whether American Airlines has a maintenance issue or nature decides to rear her nasty head of rain, snow or sleet it helps them feel validated.
Today instead of ending my calls with “Thank you for calling American Airlines have a good day” I chose to say “Thank you for calling American Airlines, I hope you have a Happy Day!” In making a conscious effort to do this the cadence in not only my voice changed but the passengers noticed from the moment I answered their call.  In my job I have heard every heartbreaking story, every white lie and excuse in the book.  Today was no different, I just chose to hear things with a smile on my face. Call after call each and every passenger made a comment about my positive attitude, they thanked me for listening, apologized for attacking me and I hung up feeling happy myself.  I was less stressed, full of energy and excited to do it again tomorrow.
When I started working in the airline industry I was a totally different person than I am now in fact I am a different woman than I was two years ago.  I shutter when I think about how many times those heartfelt stories went on deaf ears as they would explain the tragic death of a child, husband, wife mom, dad, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, cousin etc.  I was so much about the business at hand I forgot to take into consideration these are real live people with real problems.  Perspectives have changed, today a woman started to cry when  I asked how I could assist her.  She proceeded to make arrangements for her son who would be flown home from the war–in a body bag–I tried hard to keep the tears from falling but was unsuccessful.  Her choice of words was shocking to me, however the pain in her voice was something I will not soon forget.  So, do I say “have a good day?” or “have a happy day?” Neither, because I knew the trauma she was experiencing I asked her if there was anything, anything at all left I could do to make this easier for her.  Her response was, “You were the person I needed to talk to today.  Thank you for listening.”  It was a simple reply to a complicated relm of emotions she was feeling.
I had choices today, lots of choices.  I’m happy with the ones I made.  I promised this mother I would be thinking about the sacrifice her son made on Memorial Day in just a couple of weeks and hoped she would feel some relief knowing he was serving his country.
Happiness is a choice, but I also believe we all have a triggers within us that can cause an uproar of emotions, they can cancel out any feelings of joy.  It would be inappropriate to be happy and jubilant with the death of a child or family member.  Having the knowledge of hope for a brighter tomorrow helps me to flow through difficult emotions, I’ve learned to literally feel the emotion but not allow myself to invest or linger in the immediate sorrow for more than necessary.  Losing a child, divorcing, being diagnosed with a terminal disease, having a child with a special need these are just a few examples of life altering situations and will surely take time to process and learn from.  My hope is that the people who are experiencing these hardships will take the time they need to mourn, get mad, be sad, feel fear, anxiety and depression then pick themselves up, don’t look back and never ever give up on the living.

Surgery March 28th Dr. Lettieri

Surgery March 28th Dr. Lettieri

I had a hard time sleeping last nigh with only 3 hours before surgery I at least tried.  I’m not anxious about the surgery or Dr. Lettieri. Again this morning  doctors and nurses all had positive things to say about him. One nurse said  “Oh My Gosh, I would not have any other trauma surgeon work on me. The anesthesiologist  and his assistant mentioned him as colorful.  I know he tries to come off as a hard butt, I’ve seen it with the residents when they make a mistake.  However, I know Dr.Lettieri and know he wants to teach these young up coming Doctors how to do procedures the right way, the first time.  He explained to a resident at Mayo if he had not known what I was going under sedation for or understand where I’ve been, my history, fears and anxiety this cute little resident could have cut off the wrong ear, or with other patients the wrong arm or leg.  Yes, he was a little rough with him but respectful in showing him the correct way.  At that very moment I knew he was the surgeon for me.

So he gifted Frenchie  and I with his presence explained exactly what he was gong to do, then they talked real estate—blah blah blah. When he left for the surgery room Frenchie sat next me to and held my hand telling me how beautiful I was.  Seriously, my skin has never looked or felt better.  Several nurses hearing him talk about my beauty were so interested and rushed over to our little pod.  He then told them how beautiful they were and how refreshing it was to work with such happy women and men today.  All three of them were shocked, it was as if no man had ever told them. Frenchie snapped a picture with me and them for my blog.

One nurse said when I walked in, there was aura around me, she could feel my energy was one of happiness.  This made me smile without hesitation, she was seeing past my own insecurities. She then asked me to go remove my make-up…very proudly I announced “I don’t have any on” she quickly grabbed by chart and sighed…”you are 53-year-old?” me “yep and proud of it” her ” I want to try it, and even sell it if I can.” me “Of course you can, I will get you a sample just as soon as I can get your phone # and email address. (email sent before I entered surgery).

She then asked me about my journey with my home based business, I told her the truth, my life, just like everyone else is full of trials, most we cannot see.  I started in Network Marketing 2 months before the facial paralysis.  I told her it was an inspired intervention, I’ve now had 10 surgeries with Dr. Lettieri and 31 total in the past 6 year at Mayo Clinic with some pretty special surgeons.  I have never slowed down sharing everyday, magazine, bottles, videos, 3 way calls, etc.. The most important things she loved about me was the Happiness Movement and the Night Cream.  I wish the person who told me “If I spent more time on my home based business than I did on #happyacts for the #marchtohappiness I would be making a lot more money, would have heard this conversation. Home based businesses graciously allows me to do all of them at once. I do, I am always prepared with samples.

I always do at least one #happact a day and feel uncomfortable sharing those on social media, I’ve always been taught acts of kindness should be done in quiet with a reverent heart.  But since it was the challenge  for March 20 being the international Day of Happiness–they asked us all to do an act a day and post it until March 31st.  Surround yourself with like-minded people, I happen to enjoy sharing my business and sharing a cookie or two.

This reminded me of a story told in Church yesterday by a bishop who visits the men in Prison. This young man we will call him John made some mistakes as teenager, drinking, drugs etc, but was finally able to reconcile with God and be forgiven. He moved from where he lived to get a fresh start his brother and wife invited him to live with them in their barn until he could get a job. He did and was grateful to them. His brother’s oldest daughter told them that John had sexually abused her. This went to trial, but during the trial the little girl told her mother she lied, that it never happened. Johns brother and wife never told anyone, and John was sentenced to 65 years in Prison at age 22. He begged and pleaded with family to help, all of them including mom and dad, brothers and sisters wrote to him and encouraged him to forgive. He’s never heard back from his brother or sister-in-law. It took John 10 years in Prison to finally come to a place of forgiveness and allow the spirit to help him survive. Last month when the Bishop visited him, he asked the Bishop to lay his hands on his head and give him a blessing, but in this blessing he wanted the Bishop to ask the Lord to forgive his niece, brother and sister so that they could get on with their lives. I entered the Maricopa County Hospital this morning for my #31 surgery, as my husband and I walked, in front of us was a young boy probably in his 20’s coming from the prison. with guards and shackles on his arms, hand and feet. Tears rolled down my face, looking at Eric (my husband) he immediately thought I was anxious or scared about my surgery, I then smiled at the young boy, said “hello, have a good day” and my husband said “don’t talk to them” My tears were both for all of us who immediately judge, it’s a natural reaction, and for this young boy whether guilty or not, we are not his judge our mission it always to cheer up the weak and show compassion for the wounded. What if that were your child?

Because He Lives

Because He Lives

Today is Easter 2016.  I enjoyed every minute of the day.  Eric and I attended church, partook of the sacrament and listened to Cindy Packard and Kyhle Powell eloquently speak about the resurrection of Christ.  I was deeply touched by Cindy’s talk, as she spoke of our lives in Heaven I closed my eyes and imagined being in a perfect state of mind, perfect body, no scars and being embraced by Eric’s mom and Dad.  I so look forward to that day!  My life is beautiful right now, I am finally beginning to be ok with who I am, what I look like and how I speak to people.  I have 4 darling grandchildren and one to arrive in June, these sweet little angel’s bring so much joy to my life. Recker is 6 year’s old now, today he was so excited to take my phone and watch movies he does not have at home. As I watched him swing the bat at the traditional Williams Easter piñata his smile was pure and refreshing, he is perfect in every way.  Ezra is 3 year’s old now, his laugh is contagious when he walks into the room we definitely KNOW he’s here! He will run into any of our arms hug us tight and give us a big kiss on the lips….then smile with those big huge eyes of his.  He say’s a few words now we relish in those moments because we know children with Autism can regress, as Recker has at times and we may not hear a word from them again for months.  Phoenix is a blondie just like his dad and his mother were at his age.  He just turned 1 year old and is making a name for himself.  He is darling walking around saying while pointing “that….that…..that….” He say’s mom, dad, papa, bye bye while waving and an animated Hi to everyone he see’s.  Wesley is our little princess among the boy’s.  She is 6 weeks old and purely angelic.
Because I know He Lives I can face tomorrow.  I love these hopeful words, tomorrow I will enter once again into a surgery with Dr. Lettieri.  I’m hoping to see Eric’s mom while I am under sedation no one brings me safely to my comfort zone like she does.  It’s late I’m tired and need to get rest, I have no anxiety, no fear going into this surgery I never have with Dr. Lettieri he gives me strength and helps me to see the big picture.  This surgery I am having is because a sore on my neck where the drain was placed during my last surgery will not heal,  that surgery was on December 2nd.  I have a problem with infection.  Sonya explained to me this week that my mother died from an infection she battled for 3 year’s, seems I have her gene’s running through me.