December, The Meaningful Memory Month

First December Visit

First December Visit

I swear, this is going to be the last time I post a picture of myself looking pretty devastated at my husbands final place of rest. This one in particular, hair smashed down in the windy December afternoon with a Holiday floral arrangement pretty much shows it all.

Jer was really big on the Holidays. He went with the nickname BigJer he said because he had big dreams. I know it was because he had a big loving generous heart of gold. Anyway, as long as I’ve known him making the Holiday Season and Holidays meaningful and fun with bar B Que’s and gifts was very important for him.

Any special event, whether it be the Rose Bowl, a birthday, or other Holiday you’d find Jer bar B Queing for 20, even if it was only the three of us. As I am sure many of his friends and family remember while in Sacramento his Bar B Que was the best! One friend even stated that when he died he wanted to come back as Jer’s dog, so he could snack on the fantastic Bar B Que left-overs … pretty funny.

But I must admit 2012 Thanksgiving was difficult with only good memories of my husband, instead of his physical presence. As the month changed to December, two days ago I got a pit deep in my stomache with memories of recent December’s, how difficult they have been and then previous wonderful, even magical December’s gone past. The month of December happens to be the month with all the special dates involving my late husband and our most memorable memories inside it’s days. He had driven to our secluded location in Washington State to help me pack what we could of our stuff, including our cat, Oreo into the back of the Jeep Comanche truck December 8th. December 9th was the day Lindsey & I actually arrived in Sacramento to live with Jer and start a new life together. December 24th, 2012 is what would be Jer’s 59th birthday, and Christmas, the day Jer always made the most special with our creative outside lighting, the tree just right and an overload of special food and gifts. December 28th, would be our wedding anniversary, the date we married.

As I fight back the tears (I know he wouldn’t want that) I know that this is the month to celebrate all of those good times, fun things we did and appreciate all the wisdom, among other things he has left us with. Not many people with a diagnosis of metastatic melanoma stage 4 after a deadly siezure due to a brain tumer could withstand all the grueling treatments he tried and live enduring as much pain as Jer did as long as he did. How he achieved that I still wonder. I know, in my heart he did not go until he was completely ready, refusing the powerful drugs until the very last 4 months so he could keep as clear a head as he could manage.

I know as well, as it becomes 2013 in a few short weeks it will be time to begin again, with a new year and start thinking of developing new dreams and new traditions …

Realizing I am not yet over the shock of accepting the word “widow” yet, I visit his grave and say prayers for God’s will this December and the power to carry that out.

Celebrating Being Alive; The Joy

Thanksgiving has always brought out the deep feelings of happiness, joy, and “belonging” in me. Perhaps it is due to the fact that it has always been the family gathering where most all of my family and close friends arrive every year with the sole intention of enjoying each other’s company … even if it is just for the one day.

This year we set the annual Thanksgiving tradition aside and tried something different. We stayed home and treated ourselves to a day off from our busy schedules and went to a well known and loved place called Hodel’s.

The food was great, the service perfect, cost extremely reasonable and guess what … there was no clean up after was all said and done. My husband & I spent the Holiday together and enjoyed a wonderful evening in the new home and for the day, at least there was only love, joy and happiness.

For, there are countless reasons for the joy and happiness this year. First, he has survived near death with an immobilizing brain siezure June 3rd 2010, had a brain tumer removal June 7th, which turned out to be sent by metastatic melanoma (stage 4). With the sensational Bio-chem treatments through a Dr. Gailani in Riverside, CA. my husband now has the diagnosis of being nearly cancer free.

After a 6 months left to live diagnosis I see this to truly be a miracle! It’s been nearly 1 year, so far and I am thankful for every moment, minute hour and day for this gift they refer to as living life. I love my husband! He is truly one of a kind and what we have, even in it’s non-traditional appearance is a good understanding and a good marriage. We are truly blessed.

7 months post brain surgery

Sunrise going over the Grapevine en route to Las Angeles.

Found in Courage To Change Pg. 325

November 20

Let me make this day a celebration of the spirit. There is a part of me that retains a childlike sense of curiosity, wonder,

enthusiasm, and delight. I may have lost touch with it, but I know it still exists. I will set my problems to the side for a

little while and appreciate what it means to be vitally alive.

Quote by George Bernard Shaw

“Life is no brief candle to me. It is a sort of

splendid torch which I have got to hold of for the

moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly

as possible before handing it on to future

generations.”

Thanks for reading this today, I write it with love.

SeattleGirlMakesGood

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