Wednesday, 30 March 2011


This morning I went looking for a ribbon to put on my blog, for my mom-in-law who has leukemia. I've discovered that Leukemia Awareness is an orange ribbon...

...and Fibromyalgia is purple.

I've looked at a lot of ribbon graphics this morning, but most of them deal with childhood leukemia, which won't work for my mom-in-law. I did find this lovely one below on an equally lovely blog written by KittyMama. She has this ribbon up for a little boy in Texas.


Finding cures and winning the battle are constant themes on most of the disease/cancer ribbon graphics. It's wonderful, but this morning it left me feeling frustrated and even a little bit sad. What do you put up for those you know aren't going to survive, like my mom-in-law?

Now don't get me wrong - we really can fight any disease and there is always hope, but what about the people out there who face a different outcome? All that cheering you on is good, but I just worry that the focus is on those that are winning the battle at the expense of those that aren't. It's like the school sports teams that only cheer the winner and forget everyone else who tried their best, but just weren't fast enough or strong enough.

We need to cheer them on too.

We need to support those who are preparing to 'go' as well as those who are fighting to 'stay'. Everyone needs ways to find hope and happiness in their own life story, regardless of how long or short their stories may be.

Hope lies in a million different things. It can be a religious Faith that comforts or a legacy of love handed on to future generations. It can shine through the darkest moments and bring all sorts of miracles.

Hope isn't just for winners.


Thursday, 24 March 2011


Last month we watched a sweet romantic movie where the romantic lead challenged the girl of his dreams to see what she truly valued in life. He posed her a question: "What single item would you run to save if your house was on fire?"

Trying to figure out what is the one thing you value the most is fairly easy, people or pets in the house come first for me, but what do you save when you're not saving it for yourself?

This thought comes about through watching a completely TV show - The Hairy Bikers, Mums know Best. It's a recipe/cooking show with a twist - all the recipes are family favourites that real mothers share on the show. This week one of the mums cooking was Ruth Joseph, who has a very special story to tell. Her favourite baking tin is also her family legacy.

Ruth's mother was one of the children rescued from Nazi Germany and sent out to Britain by the Kindertransport. All she brought with her was the cake tin her mother gave her before she was taken away, but wherever she was sent her mother's cake tin went with her.

How important is a cake tin when it's all you have of your mother and your home? How much worth are the cakes that are baked, generation after generation of mothers to daughters, in such a cake tin? Pretty priceless, I'd guess!

It made me think... it's hard enough trying to choose one item to save from a burning house, but what would you save when you knew you weren't going to be saved yourself? What would you choose if you were Ruth's grandmother, knowing you were saying goodbye to your child who you'd probably never see again? What do you pick to be remembered by and to have your family remembered by? Jewels or recipes? Gold or tin?

What would you pick to be your legacy?

Monday, 21 March 2011

Reach Up

...I took this photo last week in the hospital parking lot. I like the way the bare branches are stretching up. It's like they can feel Spring is in the air and are reaching up, ready to grab it.

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!


May love and laughter light your days
And warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
Wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
With joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
Bring the best to you and yours!

~traditional Irish blessing~


Wednesday, 16 March 2011


Like most people we've spent the last few days watching the news updates on the earthquakes and tsunami that have struck Japan. There are no words of sympathy and sadness big enough to encompass such tragic loss of life.

It feels as if the planet has gone a bit crazy lately, with earthquakes and other natural disasters making the news every month. It can start to feel a bit overwhelming and frightening, but then I think of the way I saw the Earth as a person in 2009 - a wonderful woman made from all the elements and all living creatures. She was overwhelmingly beautiful and powerful, but not in the least bit frightening. She only seems frightening to us because we expect her to stay static and unchanging.

I think the problem is that our lives are so short in comparison. Mother Earth thinks in millenia - we think in decades. The planet is and always has been constantly changing, evolving and growing, but we are here for such a short time that we don't really cope well with planetary sized change.

We could learn a lot from plants and animals. They cope with change by kind of "going with the flow". After the tsunami of 2004 almost no dead animals were found and several people told stories of animals fleeing before the tsunami arrived. Animals trust the warnings of Nature and they react instantly without questioning.

"Danger is here - we run now."

We could learn a lot from remembering we are a part of those natural rhythms as well. We really are all connected.

We still have those instincts buried within our modern minds, we just need to relearn how to really listen and really see. We need to trust that Mother Earth can keep us safe if we treat Her with the respect and awareness She deserves. We talk about 'Saving the Planet', but truth is our planet is far more powerful than we are. We need her to save us as much as she needs us to listen her. We are as much a part of Nature as the animals and the trees, but we forget that fact as we dash about in our cars and cities. We are a part of Mother Earth - She holds us all.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Earth Mother Blessings

I received a wonderful email recently to say that my Mother Earth Prayer has been accepted by World Prayers for their Invocations section. I'm really thrilled. I love the multi-faith/spirituality of I feel really honoured to think my words will be up there for the world to find.

I wanted to find a nice 'Mother Earth' video to celebrate my good news with. After a morning pottering through YouTube I finally narrowed it down to two videos by NiaramAngel. I really liked the first I found, which has a lovely section of prayer candles floating on water, but I think this second one fits the power of Earth Mother better...


Monday, 7 March 2011

A Very Personal Sunset

I know I've been scarce the last few weeks. My mom-in-law is in hospital and visiting her takes about three hours out of the day, longer if we stay to talk to family. She was taken in to hospital at the end of February and she won't be coming home. The doctors ran lots of tests... she has acute leukemia. The doctors guess she has between 2 to 5 weeks left.

She's 87 and frail, aggressive cancer treatment would kill her faster than the illness, so she's chosen to not have any treatment and to let things take their natural course. At the moment we're taking things day by day, visiting as much as we can. It's hard to see the life-light within her fading, but strangely inspiring too - to watch someone waiting to step from one world to another. It's like watching a very personal sunset.