Last night I had a vivid, memorable dream:
I was out to lunch with my girlfriend Susan. After lunch, she bought a bunch of dessert, picking pastries out from the glass case. She bought me a yummy pastry, for which I thanked her. I thought she was buying it all to take home to her family. She had it all put on a tray and then she gave it all away to people eating at the restaurant! So generous! And she just did it because it was a nice thing to do! I laughed and felt very happy.
Then I woke up giggling and smiling and thought what a great thing to do for people. After thinking about it for awhile I decided to do it myself. After Tai Chi class I dropped by Kneaders to buy some treats for my son Sid. It’s his birthday today. I ordered a dozen tarts, 9 to go and 3 to stay. I would give away the 3 to stay. As I waited, I looked around the restaurant, a little nervous, figuring out who would get the tarts. I saw a lovely family of 3, which would be perfect, since I had 3 tarts. I saw a couple about my age and knew I would feel comfortable approaching them. And I saw 4 young women eating lunch together. Looked like a “Girls Day Out.” I ruled them out because I only had 3 tarts. A couple minutes later I saw them praying over their food, right in public. I thought how brave they were, and that they should get the tarts. So when my order arrived I took 4 tarts (Sorry Sid, one less tart for you) to their table and said, “Ladies, I don’t know what you were praying for, but you’re getting free dessert.” One of them said, “Well, from now on I will pray for free dessert!” They all said thank you and one grabbed my hand and looked deeply into my eyes and said a very heartfelt thanks. They were thrilled and I was elated. As it turns out, they were missionaries. I bowed and said, “Bless you” and left. Oh my, I was on Cloud Nine! It’s true what they say: Small things can make a big difference. And helping others makes the giver feel good. I felt great and laughed all the way to Sid’s house. I am still giddy about it. What a great experience. I’m going to do it again! Having that dream last night was a huge blessing. Seriously, ain’t life great? Yippee!!!
Interesting side note: When I got home my friend Debbie brought me some home made potato soup, “just because we’re friends.” Talk about paying it forward! I gave away some food and then someone gave away food to me. The circle of life!
Patti, Carol, Jeanne
I am a blessed woman. I just spent 4 days in sunny San Diego with 3 girlfriends whom I’ve known since we were in the 7th grade together in Whittier, California. What wonderful women! I feel loved and safe and accepted when I am with them. So relaxing! We went whale watching and saw literally hundreds of dolphins. We went shopping together in the last mall before entering Mexico. So fun! But the real fun was just being together and chatting about life and love and stuff.
I am seriously surrounded by wonderful people in my life. And they just keep coming. Today I met a professor where I work in the College of Nursing at the University of Utah. She is having surgery so I am going to take over her Epidemiology course. She was so warm and fun and open, it was a delight working with her. And I have a fabulous mentor there who is sincere and caring and dependable. When I left campus today I met with my Tai Chi instructor. So wise and loving and clear, especially for such a young man. And next month I will be going to a retreat in Costa Rica with some holistic nursing friends that make me feel grounded and loved. And I have a great family. Can life really get better than this? I am a blessed woman. I look forward to meeting more good people. I guess that will be easy if I look for it.
Brad and Avery with home title papers
I am at long last free of my mortgage payments. I paid off the house and did the Dance of Joy. So exciting. Steve would have loved it. Coincidentally, the day I made my last mortgage payment, my son Brad and his wife Avery bought their first house. I finished and they began. The Circle of Life.
I had my annual brain MRI today and I am also free of tumors. Yippee! The neurosurgeon said my brain looked “outstanding.” Top that! He also recommended against surgery to control my pulsing vision. It looks like scar tissue is filling up the hole in my eye socket so the pulsing should stop within the next couple of years. This is great: No mortgage, no tumors. What could be better? I’m free!
A couple of days ago I was playing with Lincoln, my 2-year-old grandson. We were taking turns shooting things with a plastic gun (OK don’t judge me, it was fun). Once when I had the gun, Lincoln said, “There’s Grandpa! Shoot Grandpa!” as he excitedly pointed to a place in the family room. Honestly, I didn’t think Lincoln ever really thought about Steve anymore, even though they saw each other every day for all of Lincoln’s short life. So it made me wonder, did he really see Steve in the room?
The next day Lincoln and his 4-year-old brother Storm
came up to my bedroom, the room where Steve spent his last months. We were talking about something else when Storm suddenly said, “Grandpa died.”
I said, “Yes he did.”
Storm said, “Yeah he died but he still takes care of us. He is watching us.”
I agreed with him and he changed the subject and went about playing.
Both boys made these statements with nonchalance and confidence. It made me wonder what children know, and why we adults don’t seem to be as in tune to spiritual matters as our little guys are. I sure appreciated their insights, and their calm acceptance that Grandpa is still in our midst. I think adults want to become wise as they grow older, but I’m thinking that we were wise when we were children, and we long to return to that way of being.
Yesterday I gave a talk at church about the lessons I have learned from going through brain surgery and losing my husband to cancer. I was touched that my family came to hear me speak. A close girlfriend also came. I think there were about 400 people there because it was a meeting of several wards, called a stake conference. I just spoke for 9 minutes and hope I made a difference. Here is my summary statement:
When we have trials we may be tempted to give up, maybe taking a break from church activity, withdrawing, not letting others know about our needs, dwelling on fear and doubt and negative thoughts and emotions. We may feel too tired to pray or read scriptures. We may feel overwhelmed with fear or depression. I learned this is not the time to give up, it’s time to look to the Savior, hold to the Iron Rod, rely on our ward brothers and sisters and hold tight to our families. I am thankful for the trials I have had and I love my Savior for allowing me to learn and grow.
Sid, Melissa and kids
After church my family came over for lunch and we had a lovely visit. Sid (pictured) was there with his fiance, his three kids and her two kids. They are getting married in March aboard ship on a cruise. They seem very happy, and I felt loved because all 7 of them came to church to hear me. In addition, my other son came (bringing two of his sons) and he was pretty sick.
This morning I got a call from a lady who heard my talk. She felt inspired by it and wanted me to visit a friend of hers (who also heard me speak) who just learned that her husband has terminal brain cancer. Of course I am happy to help. I have found it very beneficial myself to talk to people who have gone through the loss of a spouse. I often ask them if how I am reacting is normal or not. It just helps to talk to someone who has traveled the same road. I hope I can be of meaningful assistance to this lady when I visit her. So this is a bit of a landmark. I am on the “other side” of my trials and am now in the position to help others. It’s payback time, because so many people helped me and I can pay it forward by helping others. Aint life great?