Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Amazing Strength

It was just as bad as I thought it would be. "Martha" looks so awful. Yet she was making JOKES! Everyone in the room was crying and she was admonishing them that she was "not dead yet"!!! She made fun of her boss - a huge man - police chief for one of our cities - who broke down while I was reading her Living Will to her - she turned around and looked at me and said "big for nothing!!". She was talking to me about how she had not been able to finish a scrapbook she wanted to leave for her son who is 8 years old. I told her I would come to her house and help her finish it if she wanted me to.

Obviously this all brought back awful memories and feelings from my father's fight with cancer. And yet, in an odd sort of way it was cathartic for me. My father was 74 years old - lived to enjoy his grand children, to meet some great grandchildren. Yet here is this woman who is 44 years old - who should be making plans for the next 30 years.... and she is dying not only with dignity and acceptance, but with an unbridled sense of humor. Honestly? It made me feel guilty to still be mourning my father as deeply as I am.

When you really sit down and think about all the things that bother us... weight, not enough money.... and you weigh that against what Martha is going through. Wow... talk about perspective!

I read her her Will and her Living Will. She and I had spoken about it before and I had taken the liberty of writing in them what I thought she would want. When I was done, her brother, her boss, her father, her sister.... all crying. She just took my hand put it against her cheek and said "thank you mama. That was perfect. God sent you to be my angel." Well, that did it. I was DONE.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I have a client - let's just call her Martha - who is in stage 4 cancer. She started with breast cancer and just when she thought she had that battle won the insidious disease had spread throughout her body. A few weeks after a radical double mastectomy her husband of 12 years - a man who does not deserve to breath as far as I am concerned - walked out on her and their 8 year old child stating that she "disgusted" him physically and he just could not deal with her illness. Sweet huh? He left and did not provide her with any kind of financial assistance. She continued to work until a few weeks ago.

Martha is such a wonderfully sweet and strong person. She has struggled to survive this disease for the sake of her children (she has older children from a previous marriage) and now that she has realized that this is just one mountain she can not climb, has accepted her fate with dignity and grace and the sweetest acceptance I have ever seen. It makes me cry as I write this to know that she has lost the battle with cancer.

I filed divorced papers for her asking, among other things, that the Court force her deadbeat husband to assist her financially. Recently she called to tell me that she was "not doing well" and that she did not have the energy to fight with him. (Apparently unbeknown to me, he had been harassing her about the divorce). She asked that I hold off on the divorce until she was strong enough to handle it.

Today her sister called me to tell me that she was hospitalized and was not expected to overcome this last attack on her system. They asked that I come to the hospital to prepare a Will for her. Their fear? Under Florida law, grandparents, aunts, uncles .... nobody has any rights to a child but the mother and father. Apparently Mr. Wonderful has advised the family that once Martha dies he will no longer allow them to have any contact with the child. Mind you, over the past weeks while Martha has been in the hospital the child has been with the aunt because the father did not want to care for him.

Sadly, there is nothing I can do for them. The impotence of it makes me insane. This little boy will lose his entire family because of this man who has never been a father to him anyway. They are not only losing this wonderful lady, but also this little boy who is the light of their eyes.

I will be at the hospital tomorrow. But I can't lie to her - not even to make her feel better. Days like this make me feel so angry. To sit back and see this kind of cruelness - this kind of disgusting behavior - and not be able to do anything about it makes me so frustrated. God has to have a special place in Hell for men like these don't you think?


I have always loved the idea of "dancing in the rain". Life can be full of rainstorms at times. Hell, we may feel we are going through hurricanes! We will never be totally "stress free" or free from these storms but if we learn how to dance in the rain, wouldn't that be just amazing? If we truly internalize the idea of dancing through the difficult times in our life - if we can truly internalize the old adage of "if life gives you lemons - make lemonade!" wouldn't life be so much easier?

Having lost my father this past December so suddenly and so unexpectedly has made me value life so much more. Every single day we have is a gift. It may not always feel that way - but it really is.

Think about it... if there are things in your life - unpleasant, stressful or horrible - that you can't change- why stress it? I say DANCE!!! How could it possibly hurt? Turn on your radio nice and loud and dance like no one is looking.... like you are 3 years old again and think you are just amazing! Because isn't that the way it is? I have two grand daughters. One is 3 1/2 and just amazing. My daughter and I laugh all the time saying she will never have self esteem issues!! She thinks she is one cool chick! Somewhere along the way we lose that. We forget how really incredible we are! When you were 4, 5, 6... did you CARE whether or not you were a good dancer? Hell no!! You just danced and thought you were the best dancer in the world!

Kenny Rogers has this wonderful song whose title I can't remember right now. It's about a little boy who goes out to play baseball by himself saying "I am the greatest batter in the world!". He pitches to himself and misses the ball 3 times and then says "Wow!!! I am the greatest pitcher in the world!!!:. Don't you just love that? We all believe that at some point in our lives. Where did we lose it?

I have no idea what compels me to open yet another blog except that sometimes I want a place to just sit back and talk about things that are not necessarily art related. There are so many things going on in this crazy world of ours right now. So many ideas to share and so much to learn from others.

This blog is intended to just chat. About life, issues and anything else. So sit back, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite tea, take your shoes off and enjoy your visit. Dance with me my friends! We only get one chance to live our lives... let's dance through the rain.