Thursday, December 30, 2010

Reflections of 2010!

This year I tried to wait to write my reflections of the year for the very last moment as I believe that there is still time for something else to happen. However, I know that I need to get it done NOW!!! When I welcomed 2010, I had no idea what was in store, I had my dreams,wishes, hopes and prayers on the line but as always, I kept myself open to allow things to happen and boy did they.

Where should I begin? 2010 has proven to be a year of empowerment. It was the year that my professional life took on a completely different turn. I was appointed to serve in a position that allows me to make a huge difference in healthcare. A dream position only I didn't even dream or think about it. However, once the opportunity was presented, I accepted it without blinking. It was the answer to my other dreams, the ones I actually had.

By May not only was I appointed to a five year term, I had the nerve to proclaim that we're going to do an Off Broadway Show based on the audio book series, The Day That Changed My Life Cancer an uncertain journey. I know, sounds ridiculous doesn't it border line insane. I'm sure that's what my family thought as well. However, I knew we could do it. I spoke to my husband about it and he thought it was a big stretch, but knowing me, he knew I would have to do it first and see how impossible or difficult it would be for me to be convinced not to go through with it. So he went along with me just for peace sakes.

Next up my daughter, a singer/songwriter. I told her that I needed a theme song for the play. Of course there was no script but the concept was there and that's all I needed. Being my daughter, she fell for it and in no time contacted a Grammy winning producer whom she is currently working with and the song was on it's way to being written and produced.

My other daughter, who bless her heart did not see me coming, was in for the awakening of her life - one that I recently invaded. Word on the home front was that she was interested in becoming a screenwriter and had recently taken a course and that was it for me. I found my playwright. We had a meeting, I threw out my ideas, discussed the premise and other details and by the end of our meeting, she agreed to write the play.

Next up, my brother in-law. A professional at marketing & promotions on a large scale - we're talking major in entertainment/corporate. He directed the photo shoot for the poster, worked on ideas for the web site and other areas to make it happen.

My adopted daughter worked as the assistant from placing the ads for the auditions, working on the auditions, creating flyers, doing the foot work, making calls and filling in where needed. By the time we hit the stage for opening night, it was all hands on deck. Whether it was making the audience gift bags, loading the van, setting up and working behind the scenes, everyone, all of my children and their friends were on board.

After literally pulling together the in house resources we were on board to see it through from auditions, meetings, rehearsals, photo sessions, auditions, finding a venue, auditions, costumes, props, stage manager, tickets, on air interviews, blogging, show programs,poster, make up artist, video-documentary and more. All this to say, it was in no way easy. From May to October, we pulled it off and to rave reviews -- from strangers!

During this exciting period, I traveled for meetings and conferences as a speaker and consultant. I was also the keynote speaker for a High School graduation. I worked more than I ever did and enjoyed every moment of it even through the most challenging situations. The challenges were really motivators for me. They kept me on my toes, never thinking it cannot be done but instead we're on a roll here - no time to stop. Perhaps we slowed down a bit then roll over or around it. In the end, it always worked in our favor.

The end of 2010 and my husband directed an Off Broadway Play in New York City in the Lincoln Center area, produced by me, my daughters playwright and theme song composer - my entire family can say that they had an experience they never imagined to be a part in - I sure didn't. I can tell you that there were those who wondered if anyone would be interested in seeing a play about cancer, well let me share with you, we had an audience of survivors, folks who heard about the play and flew in to see it, repeaters to see the other nights performances, etc. In fact, we have people asking for us to return so others can see.

I had planned to complete my book this year but unless I can write a book in the next 24 hours, it will have to go on the list for the upcoming year. So as usual, I have my dreams, wishes, hopes and prayers for the things I would love to accomplish in 2011. Who knows what else is in store for me? I have no idea but you guessed it, I can't wait to find out.

Reflections of 2009
Reflections of 2008

Monday, December 20, 2010

Coping with Illness & Loss During the Holidays...

♪♪Tis the season to be jolly♪♪ you know -- the songs, the smiling faces, the decorations, the gifts, the atmosphere is all in a festive mood yet not everyone is sharing in the joy of the season. There are families who are having a tough time sharing in the festive season.

This may be the first time that everyone is gathered to spend the day as they always do except that there is something different this time, someone is obviously missing. The loss may be from a divorce, separation, military deployment, illness or death. Whatever the reason, it can affect the mood of those who are facing the holidays without their loved one.
In the case where your loved one is in the hospital, nursing home or rehabilitation facility, perhaps a visit will cheer everyone up. It will definitely make your loved one feel better knowing that he/she is not forgotten.

Remembering the good times is key. Memories may deliver a mixture of emotions. One moment there may be tears as you wish that your loved one could be with you all, while the next moment may be filled with laughter as you recall the happy times. Laughter is the best medicine, I know, laughter has helped us through some very tough times during the holidays. It sure takes adjusting especially in the cases where there is a permanent loss.
There is a saying 'Time heals all wounds' which it does. However, it takes time - some longer than others. The best way to cope is to acknowledge your feelings then allow yourself to embrace the transition of understanding that while life will never be the same, your life must go on.