This treasured graphic, a gift from my beautiful Angel Family Friend Susan Stoner, Mum to Angel Kurtis Cleaver who shares the same birthdate as Jeremy.
Shortly after Jeremy's accident in November 2006 he gave me this message;
'Mum, we could not both live; I had to die so that you could live.'
I had no idea what it meant! Was I to assume that I was going to live through my breast cancer? That Jeremy had to die to allow me to do that?
During the very painful grieving process I developed new ways of learning to live with my grief.
I joined a local Bereaved Parents Support Group. At my very first HOPE meeting I was blessed to meet Sharee Carson Wright who told me about the online Memory-of site that she had set up for her beautiful daughter Dixie. I arrived home at 10pm on that night and went online and signed up. I knew nothing about how to put all that information together. I simply had a burning desire to keep the precious memory of my son alive. Is that not the desire of every bereaved parent?
My pictures had all been taken with a 35ml camera. I learned to scan them and save them to the computer, allowing me to display them on the Memory-of site.
While working on Jeremy's site I decided to check out other sites to see how it was done. I found the most amazing graphics. I asked the question 'How do I do this?' I received an e-mail that led me to Angel Families Online. It was there that I found strength, support and lasting friendships.
Over the past 18 months I have given and received many beautiful graphics and verses. There is a constant lighting of candles to keep those Eternal Flames burning brightly.
At the time of Jeremy's accident I was in the process of preparing for a new role as a Funeral Celebrant. I had lovingly prepared a portfolio of verse. 'A Child Loaned' is the one I chose to read at Jeremy's Celebration of Life Service. I have been blessed to become very close and personal friends with Diane Rodgers, Mum to Angel Matthew for this graphic befitting the occasion.
After many months of therapy setting up the Memory-of site I realised that I had always lived my life through Jeremy. Everything I did, I did for him. I had raised him as a single parent following the passing of his beloved Dad. He was telling me that it was time to learn to live for myself. Somehow I had to find the will to fight for myself and my own life.
I could not help but think back to the time of my original diagnosis. In 2003, I came home from the doctor with the news that I had been diagnosed with breast cancer. As a 20 year old Jeremy informed me that he would have to leave home. He lovingly reminded me that I did everything for him. He knew that if I learned to do it for myself I would be well. He wanted me to be well! He wanted life for me!
Did that surprise me? Actually. No! Jezz was always a very spiritual being and there are many stories reminding me of this fact. He was, and is, protected by his Guardian Angels.
Yesterday as I was preparing to visit my doctor in Sydney. I heard him say 'Mum, I cannot do this for you. You have to do it yourself!'
What was my reaction when Doctor Fluhrer advised me that my breast cancer is active and the treatment that we have been using to keep it at bay has not worked? I felt at peace with myself in the knowledge that I am surrounded by the loving light of my Guardian Angels.
I reflected on the time just over twelve months ago that I awoke from a dream with the knowledge that there was a doctor in Manly that could help me. The only information that I was given was that his name started with the letter 'F'. I knew it was a message from Jeremy and that it was up to me to find the doctor. It took no time before I was making an appointment to see Dr Fluhrer.
After twelve months of being guided by him I appreciate the fact that he did not try to tell me what to do at a time that I was not ready. He simply walked beside me on this journey. He provided the help to allow me to continue down the path of alternative and complimentary therapies.
So what now that he is recommending chemotherapy? I will spend time in contemplative prayer and meditation awaiting insight knowing that everything is just as it is meant to be and all things are possible.
As we go into 2009 I thank you for sharing the journey
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
This treasured graphic, a gift from my beautiful Angel Family Friend Susan Stoner, Mum to Angel Kurtis Cleaver who shares the same birthdate as Jeremy.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
I am aware as I write that I like each entry to stand alone. For those that have follwed me from my BigBlog Lessons4Living I do apologise.
When I married Haydn in 1996, I believed it was for 'Better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness or in health'. I packed up everything in our family home and put it into cartons to be stored. Unfortunately I realised very quickly that the situation was intolerable for me. More importantly, Haydn was giving Jezz a hard time. Everything Jezz did caused a reaction in Haydn. I knew that I would protect my child at all costs. I think it was about 1998 that I knew, with absolutely certainty, that it was time to leave.
We had moved from our family home into Haydn's and the tenants that were renting our Warners Bay home decided that they would like to purchase. Unfortunately, they were unable to get finance. On the Saturday morning that we were making the move back to the house the Real Estate agent brought a prospective purchaser. Eric loved the home and made an immediate offer, leaving Jezz and me with nowhere to call home. I never did get to unpack those cartons. I made the decision to go ahead with the sale as I had no income and needed money for us to live.
Being the type of person that gives everything my heart and soul I had given up my studies in welfare, and my Kumon Study Centre, at the time of my marriage. This allowed me more time to give to Haydn and daughter Claire who had been traumatised by the tragic passing of Leigh.
For the past 12 years my personal things have been packed away. The things selected and purchased so lovingly in Singapore have not been seen for years. I now realise that they are only material things and have very little place in my life as I follow a new path of healing and wellness.
This entry is one of the sadness yesterday of unpacking one of those cartons to find the singlet and jocks that Jezz had worn on one of his many visits to the Bairnsdale Hospital. On this occasion he had stopped breating. It was a hot, humid summer day and he was always badly effected by the hot northerly winds. He was wearing this singlet with a badge reading 'Major Cheers - Cheers Squad' when he was rushed by ambulance to the hospital
It has been in my 'Personal Posessions' for 26 years. Do I keep it or let it go?
I am very mindful of the fact that when I am no longer here, these very things will mean nothing to other family members. I think it best that the memories go on these pages knowing that it is a record for a lifetime.
These handful of trophies represent the best of Jeremy's activities during his latter school years; Soccer, Indoor Soccer, Cricket, Air League, and Kumon. Although he loved Karate, I appear to have nothing representing the many hours he spent kicking his way to happiness and good health. I was always amazed that for someone of his size he showed incredible balance as he squatted down, hands on floor and lifted his feet leaving him balancing on his hands. If only I had the digital camera in those days! As I unpacked the box containing these items I knew it was time to let go; they would go in the bin.
The memories will remain in my heart and on these pages.
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Christmas '08 brought with many blessings. I have been overwhelmed by the love and friendship that has flowed into my life over the past few days.
Some months ago I received a message from Spirit Son Jeremy telling me it was time to get in touch with a school friend Marie. We have managed to catch up only 2 or 3 times in the past 45 years. I telephoned her, promising that I would make the effort to visit as soon as possible knowing that she lives only hours from me.
Marie has experienced much pain in her life due to serious degeneration of the spine. Pain is her constant companion!
Having recently become the proud owners of their first computer she decided to develop new skills and record a Christmas album using family members. Husband Eric and wife Marie performed in a band and their three children all have natural ability making music their life. I received a copy of the CD in yesterday's mail.
The CD 'Christmas Angels' has been produced by Marie herself while the children and grandchildren all performed vocals. I was thrilled to receive a gift that touched me deeply. There is a particular song called 'Christmas Angel' in which Marie has written and performed the words and music. It came as a true gift from heaven!
Today we had a lovely day with 'The King's' family and it was with a deep sense of peace that we were heading home when I felt the area of my right breast only to discover that I have another breast lump.
As I look back on this day I wonder what will be most lasting memory?
Fortunately, I have an appointment with my doctor in Sydney for Tuesday. It was to be about my pain levels. Now! Who knows!!
Posted by Cheryl at 8:13 PM
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
At this time of year I would like to take the opportunity to say a big 'Thank You' and 'Merry Christmas'. May peace and prosperity be yours in 2009.
I am extremely grateful for the support and friendships I have discovered within these pages.
I cannot believe the change in my energy levels and enthusiasm since beginning my new regime. Although it consists of little more than green beans, zucching and parsley it has been worth the effort. Seeing David on Monday gave me the courage to make the changes. I cannot believe how easily I have managed to discipline myself. Guess I really did reach the 'point of no return.' Pain levels have eased and I feel comfortable going into the Festive Season knowing that I have regained some control of my life.
I look forward to continuing the Posts as quickly as possibly knowing that, in some ways, this has become a bit of a 'Life Line' for me.
Thanks for sharing the journey.
Posted by Cheryl at 8:51 AM
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
On Saturday I baked Blueberry Muffins to take along to my final Positive Energy Group meeting for 2008.
I have been delighted to find, since moving to the farm, that there are many opportunities to be in the company of like minded people.
We were each asked what Christmas meant to us. It was easy to see therefor, why the topic chosend for the day was 'Love' As we were asked to bring to mind those people that we felt deserved to receive our love, I became aware that my problem was my inability to love myself. Why did I feel unloveable?
As I searched for the answers I realised that, in the past, I had easily been able to love those that I felt had returned my love. I had not been successful in loving unconditionally.
Loving my children was easy. I quickly learned to understand that their behavious was not who they were.
Knowing that Mum had passed without telling any of her children that she loved them I understand that, in my lifetime, I will not know the reason for this. Thankfully she did not discriminate. It applied to all five of us. It seems that she simply 'shut down' as a 16 year old when her first and only love was sent away to work on the railway. Mum never recovered from the separation of that young love.
Having uncovered some things that were very personal, and very close to my heart, I felt that there was definitely a healing taking place. It therefore surprised me immensely to find on my return hom that I was in unbearable pain. Although I have had some problems with phlebitis and bursitis, as well as lymphoedema, this pain was like no other.
I was 'pill popping' in an effort to try to get some relief. I knew I ran the risk of taking too many. The pain would not leave me. I was distraught!
I decided to e-mail my doctor in Sydney as well as a local Naturopath/Hypnotherapist named David that I had seen approximately 12 months ago.
This is David's reply to my e-mail;
'We are physical, mental, emotional and spiritual beings. Pain, in my experience, can come out of anyone of those areas although it is experienced in the physical. Learning how to release and let go allows pain to be understood, it's message acknowledged and steps to be put in place to do what needs to be done. Without understanding we often strugle with pain and curse our body for having it.'
Unfortunately I am paying the price for abusing my body on this grief journey. Drinking far too much coffee, while not eating foods to balance it, has caused an imflammatory response.
I have been told that for each year of abuse it will take me one week of a very strict regime to alkalise and bring my body back in to balance.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Unfortunately, I am not able to do the hand mixing with my right arm and the lymphoedema. 'The King' gives me a 'helping hand.'
Pity about the mixed fruit! He says it is a good mix otherwise!
Posted by Cheryl at 6:02 AM
Monday, December 15, 2008
'Hi Cheryl. Thanks for letting me know about the tree... spewin! But u gotta do what u gotta do I spose! Can u tell me what day it will be down? I wanna go there before it's gone.'
Posted by Cheryl at 9:04 PM
Last night I attendend our Candle Lighting as part of The Compassionate Friends Worldwide Candle Lighting event.
At 7pm, on the second Sunday in December, candles are lit, around the world, making a wave a light as it goes through the different time zones. Truly magical!
Here I am with my gorgeous friend Sonya (on the right) as we prepare to release our balloons. Unfortunately Jeremy had other ideas. My first one burst - unexpectedly, it was the only one - and the second one had a mind of its own and escaped while I was taking photos. I went with his wishes and did not make another attempt.
The highlight of the evening was this magnificent rainbow which appeared. We were elated as it followed a tradition which began last year with our inaugural event.
Posted by Cheryl at 6:21 AM
Thursday, December 11, 2008
During 2006, 'The King' and I spent a great deal of time travelling to and from Dubbo to be with Mum, who began to experience serious health problems for the first time in her 82 years. She was diagnosed with endometrial cancer. I remember my phone call to Jeremy telling him that Nana was really sick; it did not look good. He simply said 'Tell Nana, I love her.'
I passed the message on. I felt my heart miss a beat when Mum barely acknowledged Jeremy's love. How could it not be possible to tell your grandson that you love him?
Mum lost her battle in October 2006; Jeremy's accident less than one month later. Although Mum had every opportunity to tell each of her 5 children that she loved us she never did. We are still waiting...
On the other hand, I was blessed to have a joyful conversation with Jezz on the morning of his accident. My last words to him were 'Love you Sunshine!'
I am delighted to find a company that operates so efficiently.
My order arrived safely yesterday; I am thrilled to have so many butterflies adorning my Christmas tree.
I am writing to advise that one of my Jeweltone Glitter Butterflies (XATJ12A) arrived with a broken wing.
The items were very well packed so I am unsure exactly how this happened.
I was also disappointed to find that the Small Silver Glitter Butterflies for which I paid $18.50 are available in House and Garden. Normal price $4.95, currently reduced to $2.99.
I had no idea I was purchasing one and the same thing.
Although I applaud you, and appreciate the convenience of shopping online, I admit that I did order in haste and have paid the price.
Posted by Cheryl at 8:31 AM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Posted by Cheryl at 4:44 PM
I left home at 7am to arrive at Garden City by 8.30am ready for my one and only day of Christmas shopping. Things were going well! I was in the process of purchasing a new white skirt to wear on Christmas Day.
Posted by Cheryl at 6:09 AM
Monday, December 8, 2008
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away the tear
I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
I know how much you miss me, I see the pain inside your heart
So be happy for me, dear ones, you know I hold you dear
I sent you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above
After all, love is a giftmore precious than pure gold
Please love and keep each other, my Father said to do
So, have a Merry Christmas and wipe away that tear
Posted by Cheryl at 6:26 AM
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
I phoned Paul this afternoon, desperate to control the pain in my arm, shoulder and back.
The discussion led to how long I had been in pain and what I was taking to control it.
When I told him I was taking Nurofen Plus I was told to stop immediately.
It contains 200mg of ibuprofen per tablet and comes with an increased risk of bowel cancer.
He was insistent that we did not want that!
I was told of a patient that had surgery after taking the medication for a period of time and the doctors were unable to close her up due to the increased levels of bacteria.
I found the information on the web interesting when I decided to Google!
Posted by Cheryl at 7:51 AM