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« Friday Finds - A Little Piece of Myself..... | Main | {Friday Finds} Places & Faces »
Monday
Oct142013

24 Years....... 

Plus Texture Tuesday.... starting on a Monday..... please link up this week's TT images below.
 

I am sitting beside John's hospital bed as I type this blog…. he is in a half sleep….  

His pain right now is intense. Chemo and radiation breaks down the lining of the mouth and throat…. he can barely swallow his own saliva. So thankful he agreed to the feeding tube before transplant….. as now… this is his only form of nutrition. The pain meds help somewhat…but they also cause some very strange side effect….confusion, tremors…. really hard to see….. 

Today is our anniversary…… 24 years ago we said I do. Wow….what a journey it has been…. There's been children, precious pets….ups and downs….trials, tribulations……and  many blessings.

But, I sure never imagined we'd be where we are today….. here in the hospital..... fighting cancer. 

What I know for sure…..on this 14th of October.....
I'm thankful for this man…. for his love…. his endless support. I couldn't have asked for a better partner. A lot of what I've accomplished … I owe to him….. While I've been working, building….growing…. he's been there…. believing in me…. cheering me on….building shelves, moving spaces, putting up hooks and taking them down, painting rooms white....and doors chalkboard black….cleaning the house, doing the dishes, keeping up the yard…… looking after Ben ….whatever I need; he's gives…… unconditionally….. 

Truly one of the most selfless people I know. 

So blessed….. 

Friends…. I never thought cancer would happen to us. And, I never imagined it could be this hard. 

Last night I was scrolling through Facebook ….. reading the many I am so thankful statuses….. I found myself feeling jealous….sad.... hurt…. a sense of disappointment…. When cancer hits…life as you know it stops…yet it continues, all around you…. In that moment….I felt left out…alone…and pretty pathetic. 

Gosh, that sounds sad. I know we are blessed…. I know we have much to be thankful for….. So grateful John is going to make it through.... thankful for everything....but in that moment.... all my gratitude was blurred ...... I wanted our old life back....

Cancer can happen to anyone….it doesn't discriminate…no consideration of timing …. circumstances, holidays, details …… future plans….. it simply strikes. There are no guarantees…. At any moment your life can be turned upside down….

Does this mean we should live in fear…..of.... disease, hardship….. pain ..... suffering?

NO..

Should we try our best to make everyday count? Living in Love….light….gratitude…. Faith…. trust….

Of Course!

Life is… 

laughter, adventures, small gatherings and big, family time.....Mama hugs, heart to hearts, cuddling on the couch, spills, messes.... up times and down....walking the dog, sitting on the porch, finding treasures, taking pictures, quiet moments.....a wagging tail.... a furry kiss....saying goodnight and saying good morning….
on and on I could go….. 

So much more than money and things…

Armed with Joy…. faith…. Trust... we can face the tough stuff…. fight the fight….. and find our way.

And so for now…. I squeeze my loves hand…. whisper prayers of thanksgiving…. healing…strength…. wishes of many more years…. we are in this together….….

No more bah-humbug gratitude……. no more envy whispering in my ear….  (at least for now...'smile')
I'm trusting….and believing….we are.... truly …..blessed….beyond… belief.

In celebration of our Canadian Thanksgiving….and just plain gratitude….. I invite you to share what Life is….to you….. 

Simply post in the comments….. your version of 'Life is' ……long or short…. it's up to you.

Share away….

I'd love to soak up your inspiration…..

Until next time…..

xo,

p.s. as I noted up top....I'm keeping things simple..... and adding our TT link up to this posting.... as always..... much gratitude for stopping by and sharing your BEAUTIFUL art.

Reader Comments (52)

Dear Kim, I have tears in my eyes while reading this. All I can do is send a prayer for John and you and your family. My family is my life as well, and I am beyond grateful for everything I have. I do know that life can change in an instant - so I make the most of every day. Even if it's a day that nothing extraordinary happens... a good sleep, food, shelter, a peaceful country, an ordinary life, a marriage of 39 years (we were married October 19, 1974) - all cause for celebration... Please stay strong; you have a lot of people praying for you. And have a blessed 24th anniversary today {{hugs}}
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarb
Life is LOVE- and is to be celebrated each moment. But life is one challenge after the other. And life is miracles.

That said- I'm sitting here with tears running down my face after reading your post. I am sending out a big cloud of LOVE to wrap around you like a warm blanket. You are going through something so difficult I can't even imagine- and with such grace. My prayers and love to you and John and the boys. God bless you!
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda
I have to believe, Kim, that what you're going through is 'normal' in the very 'not normal' situation. 'Normal' will return ... I know it will! The prayers and hugs and love don't stop ...

xoxoxoxo
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDotti
Life is.... Faith, Hope, and Love!

Kim and John Happy Anniversary!!! You are and have been in my thoughts and prayers. My son had cancer at the age of 21 and yes it is life changing in a split second. He had 2 surgeries and 4 rounds of chemo and still goes for testing to make sure the cancer hasn't returned. We are blessed!!
I find inspiration from these words to the song "Heartache is a Cold Place" by A Boy and His Kite
Faith, it’s more than just my words
It bends my soul to turn
Hope it’s more than just my pleas
It’s a light I choose to see
Love, it’s more than just a state
It’s a true and selfless place
God Bless you and your family.... You inspire me (thank you)
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary
life is courage and strength to face it head on....whatever it tosses at you...you have it in spades...
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteramy of four corners design
Kim, I can hardly say what I really want to say. I do understand your feelings of being left out so very well - and please know that there are so many people who go through cancer or any life threatening illness right now who have NOT posted on Facebook, who are in a similar place like you. You have so much dignity and love - it is heart warming and so inspiring. All I wish for you is that John will get better, that life will get better for you, and that your new normal will turn better. It will never be the way it was before, because you're growing through this and will see many things differently. Perhaps that's the beauty of life?

Life for me is - in every moment, even the littlest thing. It can change so quickly, as you know.

Happy anniversary to you and John - may you have many many more to celebrate together.
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarola Bartz
Kim, what a beautiful, honest post. Congratulations on your anniversary! This year, my husband was in the hospital for our anniversary. He's been battling cancer too, though nothing nearly as intense as you and John are dealing with. But it was funny to have our anniversary dinner of hospital food in the lobby, with Curt in his green gown and doctors running by. My prayers and thoughts and "hugs" are with you! The way you put it -- cancer strikes -- describes it so well. And since it struck this year, I am truly grateful for every day and whatever good is in it. No more taking a single day for granted, right?!

Life is a gift from God, given so we can love and be loved. I wish life were being comfortable and without problems, but that's just not how it is. But God's mercy and grace have held me up so far. A day at a time. Praying the same for you.
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon
Life is that which you have so transparently shared. Life at times is ugly beauty. As each step in our personal journey births a new creature, a more beautiful one. Anticipate the joy of the rebirth Kim, let your expectation and hope for what is coming be your comfort today. I am so thankful to have come upon this blog, I am made rich through your openness.

May He who is able to do unmeasurable more than all we ask or imagine bless you.
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaritza
Life is relationship, with God, with others. Oh, Kim, I can't imagine what you are going through and I do pray for John's healing and for your strength and encouragement.
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth
Life is the calm after the storm. It's the time when you hold your loved ones hands and wade through its murky depths and coming out victorious. Life is when we have people to love and those who love us. Life is as simple as holding your life partner's hands on your anniversary whispering love and gratitude. Happy anniversary to you and your husband. Our prayers and well wishes remain with you.
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHalie
Life is a gift, wrapped in so many layers, each with its own offering! Sometimes the layers are colourful,warm, comforting and joyful,others bring challenge, pain, and fear, but with faith in tact, along with valued relationships in our lives we are sustained and go forward doing the best we can! I love you Kimmy
October 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterShauna
Happy anniversary! I'm thinking of you a lot.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKatarina
Thank you for this beautiful, touching post, and for the reminder to focus on the positives.
As always, best wishes to you and John.

Life is ... the joy in the small moments
fall colours
flowers
birds
long walks, with camera in hand
beautiful prairie skies
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPrairie Jill
My heart goes out to you, I have been there too. I learned life can only be lived one day at a time. Give praise for each day and live it to the fullest.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat Mark
Dear Kim, Congratulations with the 24 years - such a bond between you two - in sickness and Health - good times - bad times ... Now - praying strenght and healing for John, and for you and your family!
I remember standing beside my mom with her struggle with breast cancer ... not being able to look around at the families around being happy and heatlhy ... yet cherishing each moment wwe had. Now, thanks be to God, she has been well the last 15 years ... Still our lifes changed - not taken anything for granted but living in the moment we have.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNina
Happy anniversary! Continuing to hold you in my prayers. x
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBecs
Happy Anniversary, Kim. Next year you and John will celebrate in style. I continue to keep you both in my prayers.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPat
Kim,
Happy Anniversary to you and John !
Your post is really touching ...
Hugs,
Sylvia
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSylvia
Kim, I just saw this post and came on here to post an image I did yesterday for today's Texture Tuesday. I feel so much pain for your post and feel so much guilt that I have gone on with life as normal while John is going through all of this pain. At a time when you all are going through all of this right now just doesn't seem right to me that I go on with my carefree life as normal. I know life goes on but really why does this all happen to such great wonderful people?

All I can really do is question, I know as a person is question and also keep on believing that everything will be ok and better for all of you in the days to come. I am so sorry you are having to go through this. I probably didn't make a bit of sense here as I feel so much at this point. Hugs to you and much love and warmth.

Barbara
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarBbara Hurst
<i>Armed with Joy…. faith…. Trust... we can face the tough stuff…. fight the fight….. and find our way.

And so for now…. I squeeze my loves hand…. whisper prayers of thanksgiving…. healing…strength…. wishes of many more years…. we are in this together….….</i>

This captures the essence of marriage. May you both find enough strength to help you through this time. Your words are so raw, yet encouraging for others who may be facing this challenge. And, as usual, your quote and photo are perfectly matched.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterlisa
Sometimes it is hard, really hard to see the blessings around you when you are meeting the challenges of dreadful diseases, sometimes it is hard to pray for that strength to come your way, and sometimes you are still wondering why?? why did this happen to us....I know all these feelings. Sometimes that faith and trust and God's love is the only thing that is a for sure...trusting that God will hold your hand thru it all. And when this is all over, go out and celebrate those wonderful 24 years together!!!
Kim and John congratulations I feel I know you both through Kim's posts, you are both bold and beautiful in your love for each other and I know that this awful disease will bring together even more all my love to you both
PS If you ever visit the UK a bed is waiting for both of you xxxx
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterViv
Kim, your inner strength and faith touch me in ways where I simply don't have the words to express them. Congrats to you and John on your anniversary - my prayer is that you will both look back on this day and be grateful that you got through it and it's now far behind you. Sending {{{hugs}}}, prayers, and positive thoughts. xo
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSherri B.
Life is...connections...family and friends, near and far...face to face...long distance...cyber friends...all those wonderful people who are part of our life and make it so worthwhile...sharing the good and the bad...giving and taking...sharing...giving our life meaning...

Happy Anniversary to you and John.

Hugs as you, my friend, and to John, as you both go through this difficult time...Kim, make sure to take care of YOUrself too! John needs you but he most of all needs you to be well, in body and spirit!
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Kittmer
Life is:
all those sweet daily things you put in your post, but it's also very much the downs and the slumps too. I try to remember that He graces me to praise Him even in the downs. When you mentioned that what John is going through is all part of the pro-cess it made me realize what a metaphor your round trip class that you teach is!! The pro-cess of creating art from lightroom to photoshop and back again. Adjusting the light, adjusting the layers, back and forth, all the while creating art. Oh my, Kim, look how God has prepared you for this journey with John. Adjusting the light, looking for the light in the darkness you feel, the layers of all of this journey, and they are layers: every experience that in the end will create art. Your life is art. It truly is. All of ours are. So many people talk of their dreams and what God has in store as if it's so far in the future. Ever since my husband died suddenly at the age of 38, I've told people, you do realize don't you that the plan for your life is happening now, right? And, for you who knows the creative pro-cess so vividly...look how closely He's holding you in this. Your art, your photography is now a living form of art. Your own very personal pro-cess getting the light just right, a round trip back and forth.
I will keep praying for John's healing and comfort! and for peace for you!
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjill
Prayers and good wishes as you face this challenge

much love...
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGillena Cox
Life is: embracing all that comes our way...love. hate. mis-understanding. forgiveness. knowing I am not alone when walking through the wilderness...
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy
Life is not what it's supposed to be. It's what it is. The way you cope with it is what makes the difference.

Virginia Satir

This is how I have lived my life...it has helped me tremendously. I have been reading your blog for awhile now...I am a fellow Canadian...Vancouver BC. I admire your strength while you are going through such a difficult time. Many prayers for you, John and your family. Hugs
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDebbieB
Kim, I'm sending both of you all the love in the world! My husband and I went through his battle with esophageal cancer 8 years ago. We were very lucky, he didn't need chemo or radiation after his surgery. Today (Oct. 15th) is our 30th wedding anniversary, and I thank God every day to have him in my life!!!

I lost my younger sister to uterine cancer on September 24th. I was able to spend the last month of her life sharing memories and trying to make her life a little brighter. We lost both of our parents to cancer in 1993. Such a cruel disease! I pray that a cure will be found in our lifetime.

Lots of love and prayers and healing mojo for John!!!

Sandi
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSandi Terry
So massively unfair for someone with your heart and spirit to have to go through this. I guess it's that Mother Theresa thing about what you can handle - because you are grace, and patience and hope personified. (and you are allowed your lows too). Bless you and John, and Happy Anniversary. I pray you'll be telling this story on your 60th. Life is love and you have it.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarol
I heard once somewhere (actually it was on Dennis Prager's weekly Happiness Hour on his radio show) from a man who phoned in during a discussion on surviving and thriving in the midst of great suffering or tragedy (he had lived through cancer treatment) this pearl of wisdom:

Life is hard.
Once you realize that,
it gets easy.

I have never forgotten it.

Much love and comfort to you both...

xoxo
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCindy Swainson
Boy did your words bring the memories rushing back in. I was in very similar shoes just six short years ago...where life as I knew just stopped. But just like in the old movies where the projector breaks and starts back up again...so slowly and with a little doubt...we got rolling again and our story movie continues...sometimes a drama, but mostly a comedy ;-). My wish this night is that your story continues. Happy Anniversary.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria
Sending you some hugs. 1 because it's your anniversary, 2 because you're very brave, and 3 because I think you need them. Stay strong. xx
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine
Happy Anniversary...to you and your love...you are traveling a true path...your writing is as good as your photography...what you said above..I should be saying...your positive attitude is what I'm going to take from this post...no more pity pot here...What's a few blood clots amongst friends...Blessing to count, babies to love, hubby to hug and my camera...oh and you...love you and Blessing on this day to you and John...xoxo
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercheryl c.
I read your entire post to my sweet husband who is just 3 years post stem cell transplant. We love the simple and quiet life we have these days and life after cancer is so sweet. But, we both remember vividly the exact experiences you describe. I held together through the crisis and then fell apart when it was all over, so these have been my re-building years. I am done with the old me and her baggage. I share these feelings in the hope that you will find encouragement. You and John feel like family to us, and we pray for you and love you. You will get through these tough times and every anniversary will be cherished. That you are in this fight together will be a great blessing - it's just hard to see it that way now.
You can do this. Donna
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDonna
Dear Kim, I know you are in a situation that is so hard - and yes it is unbelieveable that this happens to you - it is not only your husband that have cancer but the whole family because all is involved in this situation. You are a preciously human being,Kim because you overcome so much and still have the time and feeling for your blog and for the challenges you have. I know it helps you and gives you something else to think of.
For a person that sits outside and looking in it is hard as well. I got your feelings for hope and fears at the same time in your story. I am thinking on you ever so often and light you and your family a candle with prayers and blessings - Bless you KIm and Bless your husband.
Yours forever
Mariane
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMariane
Happy 24th anniversary to you and John.
Such a touching post.. thanks for reminding us all to focus on the positives.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKia and Zeno
Life is all about sharing who you are with your soul mate; building a life together. Happy anniversary to you and John. May peace and serenity surround you during this difficult time. You both are loved and in our thoughts. Your web family is there for you.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJean Goza
Congratulations Kim and John on your anniversary. My wish is that this time next year you two will be whooping it up...and deservedly so. You're blessed to have each other. I'm sending good thoughts through the universe. xoxo
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly
Life is to do the best with what God has given us.

I admire your faith and strength. My prayers for you and your family is to never give up, may God grant you with serenity and perseverance during these difficult times.
October 15, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCarolina
Oh Kim, how this post made me feel for you and John. Such pain but such hope and gratitude too. I think you would be a very unusual person if you did not have feelings of envy at times. But for you they are fleeting, which tells much about your character; kind, strong and brave. Battling through this time in your life with John with dignity and grace, still finding time to be thankful. I am not at all sure I would do as well.
Congratulations on your Wedding Anniversary. My prayers are with you and John.
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKaren White
Life is...Connection. Learning. Love. Big & little moments. Breath in between. Life is...getting to know ourselves. Life is a surprise. Life is always better with friends. Thank you sweet friend for making mine better. I send you and John my thoughts and my prayers and blessings. And love. x
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDenise
Happy 24th anniversary to you and John.

I send you my warmest thoughts and some great hugs ...

cordially isabella
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterveredit
Love for you.

xoxo
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMaria Jose
Wow, Kim, you are ripping my heart, it actually aches when reading your words! You are having not so happy anniversary but through pain and self-recognition we gain the wisdom and strenght. I wish you both lots of strenght hoping that your spouse is going to be really better soon! U´re in my prayers! Morgaine
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMorgaine
Kim, I can't even imagine what you and John are going through (hugs to both of you if that will, in any way, make things the tiniest bit better). It seems to be one misery heaped on top of the other these past several months. Still, you amaze me...you both do keep on keeping on in spite of everything that's come your way. I'm guessing the 24 years' worth of a loving, solid marriage are a big part of what is keeping the two of you strong through this enormous challenge. At this point, I only hope that each day is a tiny bit better than the one before.
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWanda
Kim - I think about you and John often these days. No one should have to go through the battle of cancer but many do and many beat it. We are fortunate that we live in a time where medicine and technology work hard along side prayers and faith to produce amazing outcomes. I pray for you as you "shine your light" through the darkness to see each day get better and better.
October 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDellen
Dear Kim,
My heart goes out to you and John and your whole family. Please know that you have people all over the world rooting for you! I went through my own cancer struggle at age 35...had a mastectomy...and am here to say - you are loved, all love surrounds you. You have helped me so much in your classes. I hope that my words can help you in some way today.
October 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara B.
Hello Kim
It's been such a long time since I wrote, posted - or in fact do anything here - that I almost feel ashamed and don't know what to say really.
You ask us what "life" means to us... After reading your words, the sincerity of them, the truth, the trust... reading about your ups and downs... about your life right now... I just had to pick up my keyboard.
I have an unsent letter to you, still lying on my desk. I wrote it June or July... it's about support and sending you love and my thoughts... I wrote it sitting outside in the sun, on a little stool, watching my first dog ever doing his silly puppy things. He brings tears to my eyes sometimes, many times, of happiness? of sadness? I don't even know.
But that moment in the sun, writing that letter to you, I realized that without your classes, without your stories about Ben, this dog wouldn't even be here.
As I write this at this very moment, he is lying beside me, sleeping his innocent doggy sleep.
As you say, cancer can hit all of us. It hit my mom a couple of years ago. The older one gets, the slower it develops. And although she has her good and her bad days, till now, she has been spared of the really sucking parts of it. All that, plus a much too demanding job, broke me down, burnt out totally.
And I remember asking my therapist one time "How could I possibly cope when something really bad would happen to me, a really nasty disease (meaning cancer but didn't dare to say the C word), when I can't even manage some ups and downs like a bad job?"
She very simply said "Then your life would become simple". I looked at her in disbelief "Simple?" "Yes, because then it comes down to only one thing - Survival, elementary survival, everything else becomes unimportant"
And that's exactly what my dog teaches me everyday: live, live now, this moment... things really can wait.
So that's what Life has become to me now: living in the day, 'cause we just don't know what tomorrow brings.

Dear Kim, and John, your beautiful sons, your family. I send you all the strength to struggle against this, you will overcome. And you'll never walk alone. There's a whole beautiful, heartwarming community in all corners of the world supporting all of you.

Marleen
October 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarl1's Images
Such a touching post kim. I am filled with tears for you and john. I have been in the US away from my husband for 29 days - I can't wait to have him in my arms. I think of what it would be like if I were in your shoes. I am not sure I would be so strong. stay strong kim,

happy anniversary.
October 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercathy @ ma vie trouve

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