I shared a favorite song “on your porch,  by the format” with my friend Barb, who’s Dad has Alzheimer’s which has a profound affect on her entire family. Barb and I both shed tears as we listened to this song. I am so inspired with the love her family shares, their sense of humor and the many ways they support their parents through this difficult time.  Their is a part in the song where he sings “my dad is sick, my mom took care of him…. if you failed you failed, but not to us”.

It was later the same day that my sister called to tell me that my Father has both lung  and colon cancer. I called my Dad that evening– to get more information and then visited him in San Diego while in California last week.

It saddens me when I think of what a close family we once were.  Both my parents came over from Europe on a boat after the war– they met and married in Edmonton, Alberta Canada and had the first four of six children. Four years later in Toronto my youngest brother was born and then seven years later my sister was born in Kendall, New York. 

Our parents were tough on us and they worked hard to keep the six of us in line. They felt hard work was the key and always drove us to do our best.  I can remember Sunday afternoon’s my parents dancing in the living room to music from the play “Jesus Christ Super Star” and other various albums. Later conversations become more competitive around sports and career; my father believed it took commitment and hard work to be the best – and he felt if you carried our name you had to be the best! His methodologies were not always easy to swallow, however I believe his intentions were good.  My brothers were high-school wrestlers and most of them went to college on sports scholarships and for me; I  took the nationals in Judo at the age of 17.

My family is made up of mostly engineers and it seems communication can be tough. I feel we can often be judgemental which has become the most difficult in our relationships.

It’s been an interesting year for our family with Tim receiving and me donating a kidney and now learning about my father’s cancer. I do hope we can find a way to support each other in this world. The thing about family is we’ve shared so much and have known each other from the beginning.

Good night. Wendy

Lesson’s learned from donating a kidney…

If you have read my posts since the beginning, you know how donating my kidney has impacted my life. This particular journey continues for me; however to date here are the lessons learned over the past five months since the donation…. 

Lesson one- Giving my kidney to my brother is never a good time, but absolutely the right time in my life.

Lesson two- Truly understanding compassion. The problems that one is facing are small compared to saving a life. Look in the eyes of those you love and don’t run.

Lesson three- Then the miracle sets in and you are actually saving your own life. Broken open, seeing more clearly.

Lesson four -Broken glass, looking in the mirror and not seeing your life’s path and trusting not to look for a quick fix, just allow it to unfold. God’s plan is bigger than yours could possibly be.

Lesson five -Just stop. Feel, listen, don’t judge, be present. Life happens and it’s all about how we choose to manage the present moment.

Lesson six. – How do you move forward and continue to stay mindful?  Back to lesson five.

Lesson seven – Pay attention to your gut! It may start screaming at you and this time listen and trust in yourself

Lesson eight – Finding my spine, confronting those who are close to you in a clear and loving way.

Lesson nine – Finding love for myself,  this is  my biggest lesson. I always felt that choosing love over fear meant doing the right thing for someone else. I’ve since learned it means doing the right thing for yourself.

Lesson ten – Being vs. doing regardless of the consequences. Not always easy, not always safe but definitely worth it! Follow your passion, follow what brings you joy.

Rochester, Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Los Angeles,  Japan, back to NY – home at last.  Truthfully — home is you, you are home….

And always knowing that this too will pass.

With gratitude! Wendy