Sleeping Angel 1-19-15

I’m not sure where to begin as I write tonight. Today my friend Lola reached out to me from New Jersey. She called and offered me so many words of encouragement and more importantly she encouraged me to use my gift of writing in a positive way. Lola is a woman of God. She is filled with so much love and is a powerful prayer warrior. I’m so grateful to call her my friend. Lola prayed for me and encouraged me to put all my faith in the Lord, trust him and pray, pray, pray. After we hung up I found myself feeling hopeful. I have to admit, the challenges of cancer and my life in general has really brought me to my knees. More often than not, I feel defeated and hopeless.

This afternoon Ron and I had an argument. It was ugly and I felt sick about it. I didn’t have anyone to talk to so I got in my car and drove to St Dominic’s Church. Somehow going to church felt like the right thing to do. St Dominic’s is so beautiful it takes my breath away every time I walk through the door. I always feel a sense of awe when I’m there. At times, I’m in such awe, my eyes begin to fill with tears. It’s such an emotional experience. I lit a candle when I arrived. I got on my knees and prayed. As I talked to God, I found a sense of peace come over me and for the first time I felt as if the Lord had actually heard me. After I prayed, I sat on the pew and just stared at the altar. Finally, I stood up and left.

As I drove home, I found myself feeling peaceful. I wasn’t worried about going home and being greeted by the wrath of Rons volatile behavior. I trusted everything would calm itself and things would work out eventually. I prayed asking God for a small sign that he had heard me, even though I knew in my heart he had. When I got home, Ron was still angry. I opted to stay in peace and trust the Lord would take care of everything. Ron was still behaving irrationally, so rather than allow him to make me feel bad about myself like I usually do, I got my sweats on and went to the gym.

I love to listen to music when I’m at the gym. I have a very extensive playlist on YouTube. Tonight I pulled up my playlist titled “Cancer Bravery”. This list consists of songs that have somehow offered a sense of courage as I’ve fought cancer these past few months. As I went through my list of songs, I noticed a song by Stevie Nicks. I didn’t recognize it and truthfully, I don’t recall ever hearing the song, much less recall how it even made it on my list. I clicked on it and as I listened to the lyrics, the words began to resonate with my own personal struggle to trust in a power higher than myself to work things out for me.

I believe in God, as I refer to him. I believe he exists. Trusting him is another story. I think I’m not alone. I believe many of us are believers, however trusting in something we can’t feel, hear or touch can prove to be a difficult task. As I listened to the lyrics of this song, I knew in my heart God had heard me tonight. The lyrics describe my thoughts and feelings that have prevented me from letting go and trusting things would work out according to Gods plan, on his time and not my own. I’m continually on this roller coaster of “trying to believe you. I’m learning all the time”. Like the song, I know I need God in my life because without him I wouldn’t be able to breathe. However, I have this “love affair” with the him that’s as dysfunctional as my current and past relationships with all the men in my life. At times my relationship is up, while other times are down. I want to believe that God loves me. I want to believe he has a plan for good, but it’s hard.

Earlier this morning, my friend suggested I write a letter to God expressing how I feel. I couldn’t express my feelings better than the lyrics from this song so here it is….my letter to God.

Dear God (as I call him)

Take me if you need me, but never hold me down. You’re asking me to trust you, well there’s little of that around. I’m trying to believe you. And I’m learning all the time. Two-part personality, the flower and the vine.

Take me, sleeping angel. Catch me, when you can. Real love affairs are heavy spells, for a woman and a man.

I need you because you let me breathe, well you’ve taken me away. But never take me lightly, or I can never stay.

Someday, when we’re older and my hair is silver grey. Unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

Take me sleeping angel, catch me when you can. And unbraid with all of the love that you have, like a soft silver chain.

I’m a work in progress, Lord God, but I pray that you won’t give up on me yet. I’m a work in progress but I’m ready and willing to give you my best shot. Thank you God for believing in me and thank you for never giving up on me even on the days, I’ve given up on you.

Love always,

Velma

Daddy Knows Best. 8-21-14

I woke up this morning at 6 am. I was rather shaken from a dream, however when I tried to recall the details of the dream, I couldn’t bring myself to remember. I sat down to have a cup of coffee but I had this feeling I needed to go to an AA meeting. I got dressed and decided to walk the Kehei strip and attend the 7:00 meeting on the beach. It rained last night here in Maui so the walk was rather muggy. As I walked I prayed asking for healing not just for myself but my children, my mother, brother, friends and even my ex. I also prayed that one day I would call Maui my second home. I love it here. Maui is a very healing place. I’ve met so many people here and have made more friends in the five times I’ve been here these past two years than I have living in San Francisco. The people here are friendly and very happy. Everyone I’ve met is healing from something. Whether it’s a divorce, cancer, addiction or even just trying to find themselves, somehow Maui is the place to be. Maui is not for everyone but it certainly is the place for me.

I love Maui but for some reason this morning I didn’t wake up to that peaceful, easy feeling I have welcomed every morning that I’ve been here. AA was calling my name. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t have this urge to drink, I just had this urge to hear the words of encouragement I can only get when I attend a meeting and listen to the words of wisdom from one of my fellow recovering alcoholics. I walked the long stretch, praying and reflecting. When i arrived at the meeting it was cancelled so I turned around and walked home. As I walked back I kept thinking about my life, my kids and suddenly I found myself thinking about the two young kids I saw outside the grocery store yesterday. Ron and I ran to Time super market yesterday afternoon after spending a couple of hours at Big Beach. After we paid for our groceries, Ron decided to run back inside to buy an order of BBQ chicken. I told him I’d wait by the car. Our car was parked in front of the store next to the picnic tables outside. I walked towards the car and there were several young 20 year olds sitting and standing next to the table. I could tell they were not much older than 21. As I stood next to my car one of the young girls turned around and looked at me. Her face was covered in sores. At first I thought it was acne. I couldn’t help but stare. As I looked closer I noticed not only was this young girls face covered in sores but so were her arms, legs and feet. She kept pulling her pants down and scratching her bottom. I was rather dumbfounded. When I looked at her boyfriend he was also covered in sores. They were both very dirty. At that point I saw the boyfriend make an exchange w someone sitting at the table. I realized I had witnessed a drug deal. I remembered a girl I met so many years ago when I was in rehab battling alcohol addiction. She was a meth addict. When she arrived her face and body were covered with the same sores. I learned at that time those were side effects from meth. I watched these two young kids walk towards their car. They got in a jalopy and drove away. My heart sank and my stomach was sick. I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them and pray they would find sobriety. I prayed for my own kids silently as we drove home. I was really bothered by this. I suspect that’s what was bothering me this morning. As we drove home I suddenly thought of my dad. As some of you are aware I have had my own struggles with addiction. I’ve also battled an eating disorder. In 1996 I beat my eating disorder and in 2002 I beat my alcohol addiction. Both times my dad was my biggest supporter. Every time I wanted to give up my dad would always remind me there were people fighting harder diseases such as cancer. They were fighting because they wanted to live. He would tell me that while my life at that time may have seemed crappy, others would give anything to trade their lives with me just for a chance to live another day. My dad would tell me I had a chance, others weren’t quite as lucky. He would say “you’re slowly killing yourself while others are fighting to stay alive!” I used to get so mad at him but suddenly as we drove home everything my dad said made sense. Today I’m fighting cancer. I don’t want to die. I want to live to see what my kids will become. I want to experience grandkids. I want to travel the world. I have so many unfulfilled dreams I want to accomplish. While I’m fighting to stay alive, these two young kids were fighting for another high, while slowly but surely killing themselves. It made me sad. My dad is no longer by my side supporting me as I fight my new battle….cancer but his words of wisdom are still the words that give me strength to fight and never give up. I hope that the two young people I saw yesterday will be blessed with someone as wonderful as my dad was to come in to their lives and give them the same words of encouragement and support my dad offered so many years ago and they too will experience winning the fight to overcome their addiction. Today I’m lost without my dad. I’d give anything to hear his words of wisdom just one more time but while he is no longer with me I’m confident he’s with me in spirit. I will continue to pray for healing for these two young kids. Of course I’ll be sure to pray for my healing too. I’ve survived everything else, why not survive this little thing called cancer too!!! If I can do it, so can you!!