Wednesday, October 6, 2010

To all those reading....

My blog just got easier to follow.

Please paste this link to your brower:

I ask those who are reading will share this new link with the people in your lives.

Keep hope alive, share it.

Love, L

Friday, October 1, 2010

This week continued....

To those questions asked by a reader, here is my detailed description:

I remember that Isabelle's voice was very proper. She had a loud, almost British tone to her words. She was a determined and funny in her demeanor. She spoke for some time to my parents asking about my health, I remember her speaking to me as if I was her grandchild, with care and concern. She laid in the bed closest to the window and I in the other bed close to the hallway door. We had curtain that we never really used between us, only at times when we were sleeping. I recall starting to regain my appetite at the end of my stay and still not being able to eat. Isabelle would order meals that smelled just like Thanksgiving dinner...well at the time, and I was frustrated only having jello or water ice to choose from on my menu.

This stay was my first memory of being overnight in a hospital bed. It was lonely at night. Except for the noises of all of the monitors and patients yelling "Nurse...Nurse, every so often." My parents knew the rule was that they could not stay. Of course that did not stop them. They slept in the chair the first couple nights and then the visitors suite...Everyone was hoping that my white blood cell count would start to go down, it was at around 36,000 when I entered. During the day, it was very busy...I was seen by my surgeon who could not determined what I was fighting. I was sent down to other floors for diagnostic tests. There were a few doctors that came to examine my case, including an infectious disease doctor. I remember that my abdomen was distended. I looked about nine months pregnant, and I could barely walk. I recall walking like an ninety year old, up and down the oncology floor for the first time a week after I was admitted. My dad actually saw a man who was a patient on the floor with the same exact name of him, and he introduced himself, he was suffering from lung cancer.

I had a few family members and a close friend who came to see me. I do remember being too sick to really acknowledge how grateful I was for their visit. I remember hearing my parents voices with them and the pain that my parents were feeling. They had no control.

At the time, we did not know what was wrong and what I was fighting. However, after I was released we were informed that this was peritonitis. It happens usually after a gunshot wound or a ruptured appendix, although I contracted this infection as a result of my surgery. I heard on the radio the other day that one of the main causes of deaths from hospitals is postoperative infections. Most of my family and friends did not see me in Memorial so they did not know how terrible the pain and the infection was in my body. However, when I arrived home they sent gifts and made visits to see how I was recovering.

I felt lucky to have so many people in my life that loved me and cared for me so much, I felt so loved. I also felt so alone, the pain was so raw from having just gone through that trauma. As time went by the memories of the pain of my stay started to fade. What I do remember is not the pain...its that there were so many people who cared. Starting with my parents, who did not leave my bedside for almost two weeks. My roommate, Isabelle, who helped bring a piece of my heart back. The nurses who my parents and I became close with as a result of my extended stay. My brother who came home from college to be by my side....The friends and family who called, sent cards and made visits when I returned home. And my future husband who changed his mind and cancelled a wait for me.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Ten years ago this week....

Ten years ago on the last Thursday in September, my future husband asked me for my phone number. I was out with a girlfriend, Melissa, who knew him from grade school. I spotted that curly hair, big smile and dimples a mile away and we hit it off that night, although he was shy about asking me for my number. Andrew called me a few days later and we spoke on the phone for over an hour about our lives. He wanted to take me out on a date that weekend however I had to pass. I was going in for surgery in a few days and wanted to rest up. I felt compelled to be honest with him rather than make up an excuse not to go on that date. Andrew called me the day after my surgery to see how I was feeling. I felt physically fine when I spoke to him the next day, although I was a bit surprised that he took the time to call me....we had only exchanged numbers less than a week before.

Over the next day, I started to develop a lot of pain, I then had a very high fever of 104, and I was becoming dehydrated. A day later, I found myself in the hospital for a week and a half with a major infection. I don't remember the first two days in the hospital. I remember my parents sleeping in the chair by my bedside. I remember not being able to walk on my own or eat the whole time. That was one of the hardest moments of my life. I was fighting for it. I did not know how sick I was at the time, however there were all sorts of doctors in my room, often. A few days before I left, I was starting to feel like my strength was coming back. I was taking small steps around the oncology floor that they had me on. I had a private room until that day, they placed a woman named Isabelle in with me. She was in her late seventies, married to a man named Jasper. Her son and his wife would visit her often. Isabelle, knew I was very sick. I did not know why she was in the hospital at first. They had moved her to the oncology floor from another one. Her son told us that she had a brain tumor.

As the next couple days went by, and I started to regain my personality, I found myself in conversation with Isabelle. She was such a loving, strong and determined woman. I found my own self feeding off of her ability to be strong in her life, she was amazing. The day before I left the hospital, I knew I was going to leave her, we had become friends. I wanted to give her a piece of my heart, something that she gave to me during those dark days. I wrote a poem entitled "Isabelle the Great". She was so honored and touched when I read the copy of the poem to her and her family on the day I left.

A few years ago, my parents received a letter from Isabelle's husband, Jasper. It was at Christmas time. He wrote a note to me and my parents wishing us happy holidays. He told us of Isabelle's passing the year before to the brain tumor. At the end of his note Jasper wrote, "We had a wake for Isabelle where we read your Poem for all to here "Isabelle the Great." I began to cry, was this possible? How brief my meeting was with Isabelle and her family, I was able to thank her for bringing me back to life when she lost her own. She gave me my heart back, when I felt so weak. I found my ability to love during that time in the hospital, and for that I will forever remember.

And so on the last day of my stay in the hospital, my father came from home. Dad said that this guy Andrew had left a few messages on their answering machine. It was a Friday, so he brought Andrew's number with him...I picked up the phone and dialed it. Andrew answered on the other end, I told him where I had been and that I was coming home. What I did not know is that Andrew thought I had blown him off...he had made plans for that evening to go on a date with a friend. He hung up the phone with me and cancelled that date. That was the beginning of my life with my future husband, my soulmate...and a moment meeting an angel in heaven, Isablle the Great.

Friday, September 24, 2010

The story of Mia

This weekend marks my dog Mia's seventh birthday. It was November 17th 2003, my Mom's birthday, when we brought her home. I had just gotten engaged three weeks before to Andrew. He was going to propose to me down by the river walking his roomate's dog Yaeger, that we all adored. The night Andrew asked for my hand in marriage to my father, Yaeger was killed in a hit and run accident, it was devastating to all. He was the first dog that we ever had in my parents house. There was one night when Yaeger thought the back screen door at my folks was open, and walked right into it...he was such a goof. He was only a year and a half when he died, it was a difficult loss because he was so loyal to all of us.

Two months before her birthday, my Mom's father was diagnosed with terminally ill lung cancer. My grandmother had gone into a nursing home the year before with a condition called "failure to thrive." And so when we heard that my healthy, active and most of all loving Pop-Pop was sick, it rocked our family to the core. He was our strength, it was not expected. Never once acknowledging that he heard the doctors say he was dying my Mom's dad went to his chemotherapy appointments and made friends with all the nurses. My mom on the other hand was torn. It was her father, the man she adored, she was going to loose him to cancer, soon. She put on a brave face around him, and when the time came a month later when Andrew proposed, she was joyful. Although somewhere in the back of all of our heads we knew Pop would not be around to see that day, on earth at least. So when her birthday arrived, my brother James, asked the question...."What do you think about getting Mom a dog?" I rushed home to pick him up to travel up to the Barn to search high and low for the dog that would take away her sadness....or so we hoped.

As James and I lapped through the barn we came across two puppies. They were labeled "Husky/Lab/Mini-Eskimo". We took them out to play with them, the male dog had patch over his eye and seemed to be much smaller than the other. The sister pup, had wolf like mask around her face...piercing blue and brown eyes....and white gloves on each of her paws, with floppy ears. James and I debated over which one we could choose. We even called my father to get his opinion, he only said the words "Do what you think is best." We pretended not to understand what he really meant. On our way out of the store, the female pup stood up on her hind legs and walked towards both of us. We knew...She would eventually come home with us later that evening. As Andrew, James and I walked in to my parents home, my mother asked repeatedly "Whose dog is that? Whose dog is that? " She was in a bit of denial that night as we all were enamored by the little five pound puppy that looked like a doll. Three days later, my Mom called me at work and told me that she wanted me to return the dog. She said that she was not one of those people who could love an animal. Mia never went back to the barn. I have this imprint of my mother a month later at Christmas laying on the floor as Mia playfully kisses her face... and my Mom's voice saying the words "I love you Mia..."

My Pop-Pop passed away later the next spring, never once asking why. My mother grieved, we all grieved. Two years later my grandmother passed when her body decided to shut down the day after Mother's Day. Through all these moments, our dog has stood by as our loyal family companion. Through it all, Mia, has been a ray of sunshine for all of us. I really truly believe that God only puts dogs her on earth for such a short while because they are so perfect, he needs them back.

WIth life comes love. Even when we loose it, we find it the unexpected places....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I attended a talk last night. The speaker said something that resonated deep within....."Everything begins with love." If you can love, it can reach into every pore of your body and spill over to result in a bigger better version of the person inside. It sometimes seems as though the world shows every other emotion so easily except for love. We keep it tightly wrapped in a box waiting to be used when we deem fitting. What I have begun to realize by choosing adoption, I have released this love I kept in that box. Embracing this life and seeing its beauty, gave me the strength to begin to love. Where did I begin? By accepting to love the most crucial piece of this equation. ME

For loving myself became my way of life. What comes as a result of this love is gravy. This trickle down effect has had momentum. Love is the beginning...Love is what life is about....Love is what gives us meaning....Love is how beauty exists....Love is what gives us Hope....Love is what brings Empowerment. Love is sharing with others the beauty of adoption. For me...adoption is is ME.

So my hope for those reading..... Begin with LOVE. Begin with yourself....that love in the box is waiting to be used....

"You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection."

Saturday, September 18, 2010

There Goes The Fear....

After reading your comment Heather, from the last post....I began to consider that word "scared". Where does real fear originate? I feel that fear is the unknown, fear for me is indecision, and fear is not letting go of life. When I took an acting class last summer one thing that came to mind was what my instructor Robyn said...."We are not are emotions, we choose which emotions to have in any given situation." Fear is an emotion that encompasses many stressful physical responses. Choosing to let go of fear is a choice.....We cannot choose many things in life beyond living in the moment and finding beauty.
I think for me fear brings the inability to DO. It's thinking about something and not acting on it.

For me last summer that is literally where it began, acting. For many years I had always wanted to take acting classes. Last summer, in the midst of our infertility stalling, I decided to DO. I took a class in New York, "In the Moment, The Art of Being". This was a workshop referred to me by a family friend who had been acting for years in the Big Apple. At first this decision seemed a bit daunting...How would I travel to New York during the week at night? How experienced would the other actors be in the class? Would I be able to stand up and perform for the first time in fifteen years....And then one day, I leaped.

I leaped into the class, letting go of my fears, letting go of my expectations, letting go of my life outside this class. It was for me, and only me. This was a decision to DO something that I had wanted to for a decade, instead of finding a million and one reasons why not to DO it. One night in the middle of our three hour class, I went up in front of the other fourteen actors and did a prepared monologue. I had been in front of the class ALONE several times, this night was different. I stopped thinking and just gave in to the words, the meaning behind my monologue. I chose to feel the emotions I believed the character was feeling. It was in that moment, that I felt a myofascial release. A purging of my fears run out of my body. I let go. In the moment, I realized that this night was a new start. I became the woman who was overcoming fear, I stopped thinking and I started to act. At the end of my monologue the class stood in silence looking at me...I began to realize that this out of body experience was real, and I saw their faces. My amazing instructor quietly said, "whatever you have been through in your life is the reason you are have a gift to tell a story in your eyes". What I felt she meant, is that my eyes are the gateway to my heart. By letting go of fear, I began to follow my heart. I have a vivid memory of this night of class, this new way of life that began months before we decided to adopt. Acting became my strength....however it was not just the was the ability to DO and not just think. The ability to LET GO....and not hold everything inside....and the ability to CHOOSE my emotions, which is the only control that I ever needed all along....This experience was the first chapter to my discovery of hope...and what hope has given me is empowerment....

Thank you Heather for recognizing that Andrew and I are united as a family and a marriage in this hope to become parents. There were times when fear was the emotion I chose during this process, and in other aspects of my life, when I felt paralyzed to move forward... to enjoy the moment. This leap of faith became our Acting Class in our world as a couple. Which is how we came to let go of fear....

The Doves "There Goes The Fear".....great song
"You turn around and life's passed you by
You look to those you love to ask them why
There goes the fear, Let it Go."