That being said, last month my sister was also diagnosed with medullary cancer of the thyroid. She had extensive (6 hours) surgery to remove almost all of the cancer and is recovering well. She will start radiation treatments before long. Again, I am so glad that she lives close to me and that I can be available to offer support as needed. But I still wish cancer would just go away.
With all of this going on in my family, I find myself down quite a bit. I don't like to talk about it because I feel like people will think I'm being too negative and need to look at the bright side of things. Believe me, I try. I am able to find the sunshine in my storms about 75% of the time but some days it just feels better to let the rain and gloom soak me through and through.
That being said, there is so much sunshine to be thankful for. There are so many HUGE, life-changing events in our lives here that I am behind in writing about on my blog! For one, on the day my mom was diagnosed, my oldest daughter Elle married this awesome guy:
Meet Calvin, my new son-in-law. He is awesome. They are a perfect match and seeing them together makes me so happy! I love how much they love each other.
Also, my oldest son Allen TY and his sweet wife Kia gave us the best gift ever at the end of October:
Yes, I am now blessed with the much anticipated status of grandma. Isn't he the most perfect baby you've ever seen? In the moments that I get to hold him nothing else matters.
Another one of the sunshine moments has been helping design, make and rent costumes for my high schoolers' production of The Little Mermaid. If you know me well then you know that I have been obsessed with Little Mermaid for many, many years. (27, to be exact) All-a-Boy was cast as Sebastian and Cowgirl has roles as a chef, a lionfish and a flamingo. It is the most beautiful version of this musical I have ever seen and the amazing sets and costumes along with talented cast and crew are more than anyone would expect from a high school show. I have been to every showing and I am not even close to sick of it.
I had this fantastic idea the other day, which I would love for someone to take and make happen. I'm sure there are a good number of people like me who used to love musical theater in high school and would love to continue to be performing on stage, but life circumstances prevent it for now. All of my dream roles are ones I am too old to pull off anymore. So, I propose (for lack of a better title coming to mind right now): "Oldies Theater". We should have entire shows cast with "more life-expereinced" actors and actresses. Then we can still fulfill our dreams of playing certain roles later in life, even if we're "past our prime", so to speak. I think it's brilliant.
On a different note, I have been profoundly affected by the influence of music in my life lately. Including finding new, deeper meaning to the lyrics of many of the songs in Little Mermaid. I wrote this on facebook one morning when a song on the radio brought out some emotions I didn't even realize were bubbling just beneath my surface:
"Music is on my mind today. And I tried to find a quote that expresses what music does for me, but there wasn't one. I grew up in a home with two Deaf parents who both loved music. It was played at full volume for the appreciation of everyone in the family - a whole beautiful mix of oldies and songs from whatever radio station we were tuned in to. Some of us loved the beats more than the words, some just loved the freesytle dancing involved, but we all loved music. No matter where life has taken me, music has been there. It helps me to understand myself. It helps me to express myself. When I want to be happy I can turn to music. When I need to remember (or forget) I can turn to music. Sometimes music helps me realize there are emotions just under the surface that I need to let escape. Often the words of a song will speak straight to my heart, or the peaks and valleys of the music will express what I'm feeling. In that moment when a song is playing, I remember who I am or who I want to be."