Posted in Armed Forces, Faith, family, Freedom, Holidays

REFLECTIONS ON MEMORIAL DAY

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We gather on Memorial Day with our families and friends, and food and celebrate and laugh and talk and just enjoy ourselves. Many of us are glad that we get a day off of work. Others are glad to sleep in a little later than normal; still others go about their day doing what they do.

But on this Memorial Day, let’s make it a point to stop and reflect on all of those who gave their lives so that we can sleep in a little later, so that we can gather with our family, friends, and food all around this great nation and relax. Reflect on the fact that we have laws that protect our freedoms that may not be in other countries. Reflect on the fact that we have the privilege to worship God. Reflect on the great privileges we have and please never take them for granted. 

More than all of that, reflect and bow in humble gratitude at those men and women who gave their all so that we can have this wonderful freedom. It cost so many all, now let’s all give praise and thanks to God for these brave ones who made it all possible.  

Remember we promised not to forget them nor take their sacrifice for granted.

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DEAR GOD THANK YOU FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR ARMED FORCES WHO MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR ME TO BLOG TODAY. BLESS ALL THOSE WHO ARE IN THE SERVICES AROUND THE WORLD TODAY FIGHTING FOR OUR WAY OF LIFE. BLESS THEIR FAMILIES HERE AT HOME WHO MISS THEM. CARE FOR THEM AND BRING THEM SAFELY BACK TO THEIR OWN LOVED ONES. WE ASK IT IN YOUR NAME, AMEN!

Posted in daughters, humor, siblings

DAUGHTERS!

Johanna, Erika, Jennifer

You know, I have three grown daughters. I love them each with all of my heart. But can someone tell me why it is that when you and  your daughters are basically the same size, that you can’t keep any clothes in your own closet??!!  I mean really. Case and point. Yesterday, my daughter Johanna came over and asked me if I had some pants for her to wear because she needed them really bad for someplace she had to go. Well, as a mom I said yes I did. About an hour later, I watched as my last two pair of pants walked out the door without me and a pair of my shoes, and two of my tops. Those clothes left me with this message, “I’ll give them back when I’m finished.” I just sat there wondering what I was going to wear. Then, to my relief, I found a pair of beat up Capri pants in the back of my closet. I’m not giving those up. I tied them to me with a chain!

Last Christmas when offices have their Christmas parties, my daughter Jennifer was smiling and grinning on Facebook. She looked lovely to me, until I realized that the dress she was wearing was the one new one I had bought and had never worn. I don’t know how she got it out of the house without me seeing it! She was styling in it so daringly. She still has it and it’s May.

I bought five dresses last year. I usually wear them to church, so they don’t get a whole lot of wear from me. Well, Erika called me several times last year and early this year needing some dresses and shoes to wear for her business events. I had to threaten her to give me back just one of those dresses. 

I am currently looking in a catalog to see how much a barrel and suspenders cost! Daughters, you gotta love ’em.

Rosa

 

Posted in Illness, Ovarian Cancer, Praying, siblings

GOOD NEWS!

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HAPPY DAYS ARE  HERE AGAIN – DADDY, JOHANNA, AND ERIKA

Well, I am so glad to announce that my daughter who spent 10 months fighting with Ovarian Cancer, started back to work yesterday, May 8, 2017. That’s good news! She will have to keep seeing her Oncologist quarterly to make sure all remains well, but that’s minimal to what she went through last year and the first of this year. Her first post checkup came out wonderful. Thank God. 

Through all she went through, she was able to finish book 2 and 3 of her Ruby Eyed Devil Series, and has started on a book of short stories to be published in e-book format. She laughs a lot more now. She is busy regaining some of the happiness that she lost during those months. She smiles a whole lot more, too. I think that she has embraced life so much more since her ordeal with cancer. She is still teaching Sunday School every Sunday at church and cleaning her house, running errands, fussing with her sisters; (some things never change), loving her grandmother and seeing about her. Sounds like normal stuff, you’re right, but when you come away from an affliction that others don’t make it through, those ‘normal’ things become great privileges and you love to do them.

As for me, only God sustained me while watching my daughter suffer. Chemotherapy took all of her hair out, but I guess the stress of watching her made a lot of my own hair fall out, too. No matter, both of our hair is growing back. 

Thanks for listening and blogging concerns and encouragement when I shared with  you for those months. I appreciate you all more than I can say. 

It’s May, 2017. Make sure that you embrace this uncertain life you have and break down barriers if you can between you and anyone you love. Mend broken relationships, too. It’s worth it. I’m happy and joyful today and I am not going to analyze those feelings either. Tomorrow may be different, sure: but I’ll deal with tomorrow when I make it there. 

Rosa

Posted in Health

GOTTA GET BACK HEALTHY!

Well, I am focusing on myself a bit more, just like I said in my last blog. So, I went to the doctor. I am so glad that I did go to the doctor. I truly didn’t know how bad I had gotten until I received a call today from the doctor’s office that my hemoglobin was low, and I had to come in again with stool samples and give another blood sample. SHUCKS!

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Not only that, but my pressure was up. You’re gonna like this one—because of the stress of Johanna’s health problems, my hair began falling out. So, I think it is time that I made sure of my own health, now that I can think. I am no good to anyone else if I’m no good to myself.  

Give me some suggestions on what to eat or drink to help my hemoglobin levels. Again, thank you all for your prayers. We got this!

 

Rosa

Posted in Ovarian Cancer, Praying, Something to think about, support system

WE’RE CONNECTED TO OUR LOVED ONES

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This is the face of a young woman who is taking her last round of Chemotherapy, yesterday, Tuesday, January 24, 2017. I am grateful to God for all of His mercy. 

Guess what? I didn’t realize until yesterday how much my daughter’s illness had taken a toll on me, too. But when I knew that she wouldn’t have to be extremely sick for days on end; when I realized that she wouldn’t blow up any more (she got bigger from the 3 different chemo medicines they were giving her), when I knew that I wouldn’t have to hold back my own emotions when she would say to me, “Mom, I’m just sick, so sick,” after she took those treatments; when I saw that she smiled genuinely in this photo; when she called me and said, “Mom, in two weeks we are all going to Red Lobster, and I am going to eat and enjoy it,” (she didn’t enjoy eating for months because she said that all she could taste was the medicines they gave her). When I could see that she wouldn’t spend hours just lying in the bed trying to rest from those treatments; when I knew that eventually her hair would grow back; when I knew that my youngest daughter had changed tremendously during this ordeal and that she’d never be the same; she had grown up that much more; when I knew that she was planning for the future when she said to me, “Mom, I want to move to another state…” When I weighed all of these items, I realized that I was weak with relief. I really couldn’t do much yesterday except thank God. 

Friends, we’re connected to those we love and what happens to them affects us. You may say, “I know that.” But when you have to stand by and helplessly watch as the one you love suffers, whatever the issue, be it physically, mentally, emotionally, financially, or spiritually; you’ll see even more clearly that you suffer along with them. 

For the first time in months I am focusing on myself. But if I am to be honest, I still have one eye on her. She will still have rounds of tests to do and blood to be drawn from time to time, but on a whole I have to say WE have come a long, long way.  

 

Rosa

Posted in Illness, Ovarian Cancer, support system

BREATHING EASIER EACH DAY NOW!

Well, it has been a while but I am able to say that my daughter  Johanna, has taken her last Chemotherapy treatments and just a few more tests and then a CAT Scan and I believe she will be in good health. 

I have to share with you that she has changed since last year. The baby-like daughter that made me laugh because she loved to be babied, has gone. In her place is a young woman who told me just today, “Mom, I’m alright.” I smiled at her and thanked God for His mercy to her and to all of us, her family. She wants to move to another state now. I can see in her eyes she wants a different future, and I can tell she isn’t afraid of it either.  She still has to be checked out every three months for the next five  years to ensure her health remains, but we’ve all come this far and we’ll go even further. Her journey isn’t completely over, but the road isn’t so rocky now. Praise God!

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5-year old Johanna
5-year old Johanna

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To Johanna and all others who have battled cancer of various types, and their loved ones who supported them the best they knew how…

To everyone who whispered a prayer for my daughter, Johanna, and rooted for her…

To everyone who said a comforting word to my blogs and gave words of encouragement…

THANK YOU AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Rosa

Posted in family, inspiration, Jesus Christ, Winter

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU ALL!

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To all of you I want to say a heart-felt Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. 

So, I must confess that this year has had its share of challenges for our family and relatives, too. But I also have to say that we  have made it this far into the year, and we’re looking at the end of 2016 and glimpsing the beginning of 2017. It stands to reason that God has brought us each and every day of this trying year to this very day. 

I think that if He carries us further, we’ll be able to weather the storms that may be ahead of us; and bask in the times of refreshing that lie ahead, as well. 

So from my family to your family, God bless you and have a wonderful holiday season. Make sure to hug someone and genuinely smile. 

Don’t be bullied by this politically correct atmosphere, please. Christmas is a time of family, friends, laughter, crying and more.

Always remember, too that….

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Rosa

Posted in family, Ovarian Cancer, support system

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 5

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Johanna and her older sister Erika brighter and happier days
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Johanna and her sister Erika difficult days

 

You  may or may not know that Johanna is a writer and has published two books. She has publishing contract for 3 books. The problem with the 3rd book isn’t that she cannot write it. The problem is getting the strength and stamina to write it. I said that because when I saw how sick she was last week, I really thought she was going to have to go back into the hospital. Not only that, but twice she said to me, “Ma, I can’t think straight. I can’t think.” I was so concerned about it when she said that. We both found out that her not being able to think clearly is what the Chemo nurse called “Chemo Brain.” Have you ever heard such a thing?! The treatment makes her fuzzy for a time. I have been totally helpless as to what to do. But after about 2 days, she’s sharp as ever. When she’s clear-headed, she can think once again. 

I confess that her illness has taken its toll on me, too. But, my own feelings aside, I’ve seen my youngest daughter blossom under this affliction of cancer into a much more mature  young woman who is already thinking about relocating to begin her life anew after she wins this battle with cancer. I love the human spirit that God gave. It never gives up. It may get down at times, but it never gives up.  

More tomorrow.

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Johanna at Chemo clinic for her treatment – sad days

 

Posted in Child, Illness, Ovarian Cancer, Praying, support system

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY – PART 4

I CAN FINALLY TAKE A BREATH!

Late last night, Sunday the 11th of December, I spoke with Johanna before she retired for the night and I could tell that she wasn’t so strained. I asked as I always do, “Johanna, how are you feeling?” When she spoke I could immediately tell that her voice was a bit stronger. She said, “I am a little better, Ma.” When she said that, I took a long deep breath. I smile as I think about it now. I really didn’t realize that when she and I spoke I was holding my breath. Most of last week and the weekend she was terribly sad and sick and she had little to no strength. When she would cry a bit, I wouldn’t really know what to say. It’s normally easy to speak when not sitting in the hot seat. But it wasn’t easy for me, so I just sat quiet and she began talking. That did my heart good. I just listened. I think the short talk was therapeutic for me, too. 

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I can breathe easily for a few days as she is stronger than she was all last week. When you love someone, especially your child, and they are going through difficulties and illnesses that you can’t take away or cure, you’ll find that everything gets in perspective. All of those “other” things that were so important before are quite unimportant. In fact they are an insult to the present circumstances. My desires fade away into one request: “God please let her get a little rest tonight.” That has been my one desire and the Lord granted my request. She is even laughing and talking more. I can finally take a breath.

More tomorrow.

 

Rosa

Posted in family, Illness, inspiration, Jesus Christ, Ovarian Cancer, support system

JOHANNA’S JOURNEY PART 3

This past week of intense Chemotherapy has left Johanna, in her own words: ‘SICK.’ She has been heaving every day. When she gets up she up-chucks, during the day she is throwing up. At night she can’t even take the medicine to help her stop heaving because she can’t get anything in or keep it down. It’s been a long week for her.

Johanna has an angelic voice. She writes music and sings it. She wrote a song some years ago and she sang it in church once, too. Here are the lyrics. I hope you are encouraged and inspired by them as you go throughout your day.

 

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LIFE WILL BE BETTER

Verse 1

So you’ve got problems, I’ve got some, too.

Feels like the whole world is against you

Like there is no one who knows what you’re going through

Well, I’ve been there and I can tell you.

Chorus

When you learn to trust in Jesus

When you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better.

Verse 2

Feels like there’s no hope. I’ve felt that too.

Pain is your present, your future, too.

Just want a day when your heart’s not in two.

Well, I’ve been there, and I can tell you…

Chorus

 

Verse 3

Cried through some long nights, I’ve cried some, too.

Praying for the moment when dreams will come true

Life ain’t so easy. It’s harder on you

So just do as I tell you to do.

Special Chorus

Life ain’t the best and you’re just living

Things can’t get worse but then it is

How can you see the forest for the trees

Well, I know just what you mean

Chorus

But it’s when you learn to trust in Jesus

It’s when you give Him your all

When you show your faith won’t waver

Then life will be better. Then life will be better

(Written by Johanna Parker, who lovingly gave me permission to reprint it.)

More tomorrow.

Rosa