Memorial Day 5-28-18

We may not be able to change the world, but we can always view the world differently. Marv

Memorial Day

Note that the original purpose of this special day was reconciliation. At the end of the Civil War, it was a time for coming together to honor those who had made the ultimate sacrifice. We’d like to see the dual purposes of this day ā€” remembrance and reconciliation ā€” resurrected.

“Loving God, we pray to you for people of every race, religion, language and nation. Help us always to respect and love each other for You have made us all. Let those who have given their lives for the sake of justice, peace and freedom be rewarded by your generous love. May their families and friends, and we who honor them today, remember them with love, now and always. Amen” Rev. Ron Gagne

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Iā€™m Coming Out 12-5-17

Today is a “coming out” kind of day for me. My birthday is Saturday so to celebrate, I’m flying to San Francisco to spend it with my cousin, who also happens to be my best friend. I haven’t been back for a year and a half.

I left San Francisco in May of 2015 after a long battle with Cancer. I also left a tumultuous relationship that brought so much strife in to my life. I’ve spent the last two years hiding out in my room at my mothers house. It’s no secret I’ve not only battled anxiety as well as PTSD but I’ve also struggled to heal from the side effects left behind from treatment. I’ll admit returning to San Francisco is really scary. After all, my departure was not on good terms.

I was blessed to cash in some airline miles and bought myself a round trip ticket for $11.20. What a steal!! As the time draws closer to driving to the airport I find myself nervous and very fearful. I suppose because my return to my beloved city by the bay opens the door to having to face the reality of what I left behind and why. It also means going out of my comfort zone (my bedroom) and learning to live life again.

Life happens sometimes. Occasionally we run away from reality and sweep the wreckage of our past under the carpet. We become complacent in our “safe” place. That’s what’s happened to me. I’ve become very complacent in the comfort of my room at my mothers which has become my safe place. I’m excited to go to San Francisco. I’m excited to spend time with my cousin but at the same time I’m scared. I’m not sure what the days ahead have in store for me however, what I do know is I’m ready to take on the challenge.

Diana Ross sang a song called “I’m Coming Out”. This song holds a special meaning for me today. In so many ways I’m Coming Out. As I board my flight to San Francisco I recognize I’m no longer the same woman I was when I left San Francisco two years ago. However, I really like this new me. Saturday is my birthday. The beginning of a new year and a new me. What better city to launch my “Coming Out” as the new me than my favorite city…..my beloved city by the bay. Look out San Francisco!!! I’m coming back!!

Angels Among Us 6-10-17

I heard this song by Alabama this morning. I’m not a huge fan of country music however, this song is worth listening to. I am so blessed to have many angels in my life. Angels who have stood by my side. Angels who have picked me up as I’ve been knocked down many, many times these past few years. Angels who have appeared out of nowhere to pray with me, encourage me and believe in me. My heart is filled with so much gratitude. 
As I listened to this song I thought of all the angels in my life. However, there are three angels that really stood out. Not because of anything they did for me but for how they’ve touched my life. Oliver and Audrey, my two grandchildren, are the sweet little angels that healed my aching heart. There’s nothing more incredible than the joy these kids bring to my heart. Even on the most challenging days, and believe me I have many, one kiss from Audrey and Oliver and nothing else matters. My heart feels nothing but love. 

Then there’s James. James is the homeless man I became friends with in San Francisco. His story touched me in a way I can’t put in to words. Besides being homeless, he was fighting bone cancer. James and I prayed often. I even gave him my beloved St Jude necklace. In my opinion, he was an angel. He opened my heart to being compassionate towards those in need. I think of him often and wonder if we will ever cross paths again. I hope and pray he made it. I still cry when I think of him. 

We all have angels in our lives. I would like to encourage everyone reading this post to take some time today and recognize the angels in your own life. For me I would just like to thank mine and send them blessings filled with pure light and love. 

Monroe Jackson 7-22-16

I posted this on Facebook two years ago while fighting cancer. I thought I’d blog this story. I still think about Monroe. I wonder how he’s doing. I wonder if he’s on the beaches of Brazil. If you live in San Francisco and happen to be on 2nd and Townsend and run in to a shoe shine guy….take some time to let him shine your shoes. His stories will captivate you and his presence is sure to bless you. 

Monroe Jackson!!! My new friend. He’s an African American older gentlemen who’s been a street shoe shiner for over 30 years. I met Monroe a few weeks ago after my first chemo treatment. I had seen him on the corner of 2nd & Townsend as I walked to my accupuncture appt. Accupuncture a must when you’re going through chemo. It really helps. Any way on the walk back home after my appt Monroe was away from his shoe shine post standing across the street at the corner of 2nd shooting the breeze w other people. We passed each other as I we crossed the street. I was walking slow that day. Very sick but by the time I got to Third street  I looked across the street and was surprised to see Monroe crossing the street heading towards me. I thought ” that’s weird. Am I seeing things?” As I crossed the street I took the time and asked. “Do you have a twin? I just saw you on Second street.” He laughed and said “no I just got off the bus”. Hmm weird. Chemo was Friday so Saturday I walked to accupuncture again. Monroe was at his post. We chit chatted and on the way home I decided to take time out to just talk to him. We briefly talked about many things. I shared I had cancer. Monroe said. “Girl….go shave that head!!! Bite the bullet and do it. Heck Sinead O’Connor did it. Grace Slick did it! Who cares!” I laughed but I did end up shaving my head. Yesterday on my way to my appt again I said hi to Monroe. He asked “so did you shave it?” I said ” yes”. He said. “Show me!” So I took off my hat. Monroe said “there you go. You’re perfect!” I laughed and for some reason Monroe decided to share his story. As it turns out, Monroe is a professional shoe shine guy. He’s not homeless. As a matter of fact, he has a home. He lives in the five bedroom home he grew up in with his five sisters. He’s 74 years old. He moved out at the age of 16. Unlike his sisters he never amounted to much more than being a shoe shine guy in the street. As he shared his story I realized he was dressed nice, very clean and I had the wrong impression. Monroe moved back home at the age of 50 when his mom got sick. She battled cancer. He took care of her until the day she died. Monroe said his mom was a “pain in the ass” always bitching about his girlfriends but he didn’t mind. He drove her around, fed her did everything a son should do. Monroe told me if there was one thing he’s learned in his 74 years of living is you can’t choose your parents or your family, they’re who you are and no matter what life throws at you fight hard, never give up and live life to the fullest. Monroe is hoping this will be his last year of shining shoes. He’s feeling a little old and he’s ready to pack it up and spend his last days on the beaches of Brazil. I hope he’s able to. Monroe is my blessing today. I’m always so grateful for the people I’m lucky enough to meet!

Valentines Day 2-13-16

Tomorrow is Valentines Day. I will be spending it alone w no sweetie to surprise me w chocolate or even flowers but the good news is I’m grateful. I may be lonely but this years valentines will be a heck of a lot better than last year.
My daughter and her boyfriend had bought me this dress to surprise my ex on Valentine’s Day last year. I’ll admit, while the dress was hot, I may not have been the hottest chick to look at. I was bald from chemo, Boney and exhausted. Cancer does that to you. As some of you know my ex treated me horribly as I fought the fight and in the end admitted to treating me poorly because I became unattractive. 
Well I finally wore the dress for an ad campaign at my newspaper. I’m happy to report I made the front page. So to all the “Ron Rodriguezes” out there who treat women like shit when we are fighting cancer…..kiss our ass! We do rise above this. We do get our looks back and in my opinion, we come back stronger and better & I think better looking!! And thankfully, without the likes of cruel and vain men like you!! I’m stronger, I’m better and I’m no longer swimming at the bottom of the ocean with a bottom fish anymore!!

  
This is last years story. Today’s story is so much better. Thank you lord for bringing me out of that nightmare and into a happier and better future. I think I’m ready to “Try and Love Again”.    http://youtu.be/rFDP4_X7VgY

The Stranger In My Bed 2-18-15 | fiercefabulousfunny

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2015/02/18/the-stranger-in-my-bed-2-18-15/

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

Stick This In Your Fuse Box

I love AC/DC! I’m 48 years old but I’m proud to say they are still my all time favorite rock bands. If you graduated in 1984 like me you can relate. AC/DC was a staple cassette playing in your car playing every weekend on your way to a party!!! AC/DC still has a way with bringing out that feisty, free spirit I was when I was in high school every time I listen to their music.

I’ve been in a relationship with an older man. He’s 68. Ladies, if you’re my age and you still have that feisty spirit in you, my suggestion is do not get involved with an older man. It can really drain your spirit. And the worse part is, in my experience Listening to AC/DC is not at the top of their list. Hmmm it will be interesting to see how long this relationship will last. Again…..don’t do it!!!

I live in the city. I’ve been told the population in San Francisco is over 700,000 people. And from what I understand the population can reach a million during the work week. Yesterday I took my daily walk. It was a rather warm day so I thought “what the heck!” I took my hat off and exposed my lovely “chemo” head. I figured I’d try to get some sun and I have to be honest my head was sweating. It felt so good to air out my egg head as I walked outside. When I got home, the first thing my partner asked was “Where’s your hat?” He had this look of disbelief on his face. I replied “pardon me?” “Where’s your hat? Why were you walking around looking like that?” I looked at him and said “it’s in my pocket! I thought I’d tan my head!” (I mean really, who cares? I highly doubt a million people were going to notice or care.) Unfortunately, my partner didn’t agree. In fact, he had a slight bitch fit. I didn’t care. I just brushed him off and walked away. This morning when I got back from the gym I was greeted by “grumpy”. At this point I’m beginning to feel like saying something rude or worse throwing my Harley Boots at him but I took the high road. The building I live at was hosting a BBQ and luau pool party complete with food, drinks and a live Polynesian band. I asked my partner if he’d like to go with me. He of course said no. I knew he was embarrassed of me. Any one reading this who has either gone through chemo or is going through it right now, not all of you but some of you, can relate that our physical changes can quickly put a damper on our relationship. Some men are just so vain and caddy that it’s hard for them to view us as the “hot babes” we were pre cancer. It sucks but as I fight this disease I find myself developing a thick skin and not really caring anymore. My dad always used to say. “Velma, men are like greyhound busses. There’s always another one at the next stop, going the same place for the same fare!” Then he’d hand me a 100 dollar bill and tell me to go buy myself something pretty. As I go through this journey I find myself thinking about my dads words and think to myself “if this guy can’t see you as the beautiful person you are inside, then it’s his loss!” He’s just another greyhound bus than can be easily replaced down the road when I beat this.

Fighting cancer can be challenging. However, the positive for me is as I travel this journey I find myself becoming a much stronger woman. I’m not as worried about what others think of me, especially a boyfriend. I don’t like the person I see in the mirror but it is what it is. I can’t change it. I don’t even remember what the pretty girl I was looked like anymore. More importantly before anyone judges me based on my appearance, they need to take a walk in my shoes. Fighting cancer is a bitch!!! After my 3rd treatment, my partner got us tickets to go watch my beloved Giants play baseball. It was a baseball game so I thought I’d bypass the wig and wear a hat. I had to laugh when my partner threw himself on the couch and refused to move until I put my wig on. Seriously?! What is he 2?!!! Well I put the wig on. But I’m happy to report that as I’m further in to my treatment all of the insults don’t faze me anymore. In fact, I’m fighting back with some of my quick wit, smart ass comments that I’ve been known for. Something I had lost these past 2 years. Today however I decided to keep my mouth shut and do something better. I suppose the sight of “grumpy” finally send me over the edge. So today after he said no to joining me at the pool party I walked into the bathroom to take a shower. I left the door open and turned on my favorite AC/DC playlist and played it super loud. I took my time in the bathroom to ensure I send my guy over the edge. He’s a dinosaur remember? Rock music doesn’t sit well with him. After I got ready I decided to wear what he hates the most, my favorite pair of Gap Boyfriend jeans, (he hates when I wear them but lucky for him I didn’t wear the ones with holes), I slipped on a black top, a flowey sweater, I wrapped my favorite Harley Davidson bandana around my chemo head and topped it off with a black “sleep” hat. Then I rolled out my cutest sandals so I could expose my unpolished toes (polish is NOT recommended while going through chemo) and I walked out and went to the pool. But before I walked out I made sure to be listening to “Live Wire” (cuz I’m a live wire) and I sang really loud in the bathroom. My favorite part……stick this in your fuze box! Lol. I went to the pool party and had a great time. I hob nobbed with all of the neighbors. Then I walked to my acupuncture appointment looking like this. I’m including a photo and if you ask me, I think I look cute!! Lol. In other words. “Stick this in your fuze box Mr Caddy Old As Dirt Greyhound bus boyfriend!”

I copied the links to 2 of my favorite AC/DC songs for anyone who is fighting cancer and reading this. The next time your guy behaves a little caddy, put your big girl pants on and fight back while rocking out to only the best rock band ever. You’ll be surprised at the courage a little AC/DC will give you.

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