August 2014: Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard

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Chronic Pain flare-up

Despite the fact that weeks before this scheduled trip, I was dealing with a pain flare-up in the right knee; I was going on the annual Mother-Daughter Vacation in Martha’s Vineyard.

I have struggled with chronic pain since 1993 related to diagnosed conditions of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Fibromyaglia.  Over the years, I developed various self-management tools to control the pain levels.  However, my bone-on-bone knee pain needed either an injection or surgery.  And, neither was available before this vacation.

Since there was nothing I could do to make the “Pain Go Away”, my only option was to “Grin and Bare It” 

Wheelchair Transport Through the Airports

Since Hubby was not going, he ordered a wheelchair to transport me through the Orlando Airport.  This is a long walk through one terminal, a short train ride, and a longer walk through a second terminal.  Trust me the need for a wheelchair was the topic of more than one discussion in the days leading up to my departure.   Finally, I gave in.

My son picked me up at the Milwaukee Airport and we were off to meet-up with the daughters.  After the traditional hugs and kisses, they said, “Mama, you are limping.”  While the limp was noticeable, I am certain Hubby had telephoned with his concerns.

After discussing the pros and my cons of a wheelchair; I lost and they ordered one for the next leg of my trip.

When I arrived in Milwaukee, I was an “Unhappy Wheelchair Traveler”;  but, I left as the “Grumpy Wheelchair Traveler” as my 14-year-old grandson pushed me through the Milwaukee and Boston Airports.

Was it not just a few years ago that he depended on me to push him around in his stroller?  I was not ready for this.

Having someone push me around in a wheelchair was not a pleasant experience; and, I felt —

  • Stressed
  • Powerless
  • Depressed
  • Angry
  • Embarrassed

The Airline Flight

On the airplane and seated comfortably; I closed my eyes, breathed deeply, and let go of the negativity.

Through Self-Talk, Self-Awareness and Self-Acceptance; I embraced and accepted the gift of wheelchair transports from my hubby, son, two daughters and grandson.

No longer did I feel —

  • Stressed, I enjoyed Relaxing
  • Powerless, I gained Power
  • Depressed, I discovered Peace
  • Angry, I achieved Happiness
  • Embarrassed,  I reflected Pride

 A Few of My Favorite Mother-Daughter Vacation Photos – 2014

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The 14-Year-Old Grandson, CJ with His Friend – Lunch on the Ferry
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The Ferry Deck
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First Night. First Order of Business – Glass of Wine
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My Play Daughter from Another Mother, My Youngest Daughter, and Their Two Boys Playing Monopoly on a Rainy Day
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The Moms Won
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Could This Be The Reason The Moms Won At Monopoly? IPhones, IPADS, Laptops, X-Boxes, etc.? I’m Just Saying!!
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Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff
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Oak Bluff Pier
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Love The Old Vintage Homes on Main Street – Downtown Oak Bluff – Facing the Atlantic Ocean
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Lunch on The Upper Deck of Nancy’s Seafood with Grandson, Two of His Friends and the Daughters
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Surprise from The Daughters – My Favorite Appetizer Before the Crab Leg, Lobster and Shrimp Boil
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The Grandson CJ – Adding Crab Legs to the Boil
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It’s Crab Boil Night – Because CJ Hates Seafood, He Had A Burrito. His Friend Enjoyed the Crab Let Boil and the Burrito.
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Relaxing and Sitting on The Oak Bluff Pier
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Look Up In The Sky – Air Force Helicopters Flying Over Prior to The President’s Vacation Visit in The Next Several Days.
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Beautiful Sunset View Sitting on The Front Porch
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Last Night. Busy Week. Grandson Massaging Mom’s Feet. He Is Special!!!
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Goodbye Rental House – See You In August 2015

A Grateful Breast Cancer Survivor – Part IV

Celebrated MY 71st birthday on Monday, November 11; and, I declared this as MY Sabbath  Day.

“Sabbath as that uncluttered time

and space in which we can

distance ourselves from our own activities

to see what God is doing.”  (Eugene Peterson)

This day of solitude was “to see what God is doing” in my life.   Did He hear my prayers for happiness, peace, love, and tranquility?

In celebration of MY 71st Birthday, I selected 71 Statements from MY 2013 Daily Journal to confirm why I believe MY prayers were heard.

And, I AM GRATEFUL to God for…..

  1. Waking me up this morning after a restful night.
  2. The beautiful day.  Sunshine and nice weather.
  3. The daily calls from each of my children.
  4. The love of my husband.
  5. Manicure and pedicure today.  So grateful to have this biweekly outing with my Hubby.  It’s a time for both of us to relax.
  6. Lunch with Hubby, tasty broccoli cheddar soup from Panera’s for only 300 calories.
  7. Peaceful and enjoyable day.
  8. This day of acknowledgement and recognition of the President, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers, Rosa Parks and other civil rights leaders.
  9. Living this season of my life in our Florida home.  Today it was 75 degrees in Florida; and, 4 degrees in Wisconsin.
  10. Identifying MY Purpose during this Season of MY life.
  11. Meditating, listening to music, so relaxing.
  12. Love my hour daily respite.  It rejuvenates and revitalizes ME for the remainder of the day.
  13. Completed weekly wash – devote remainder of weekend for self-development
  14. Audio books when I am lazy and need somebody to read to me.
  15. Beautiful and relaxing Sunday.
  16. Two-dozen red and white roses for Valentine Day from Hubby and bouquet of flowers from children.
  17. Five-year anniversary as a breast cancer survivor.
  18. God answered my prayer and returned ME to a good place.
  19. Giving a ride home from the hospital to our next-door neighbor who is battling Stage IV breast cancer.
  20. Avoiding conflict and not letting anyone steal my joy.
  21. Abundant love of my children.
  22. Enjoyable outing at the Holy Land Experience with friend and sister breast cancer survivor from Milwaukee who is visiting her son in Orlando.  Great Day.
  23. Beautiful sunny day spent at my desk putting the final touches on this week’s post while at the same time taking peeks through the window at the green trees in the conservation area.  Patio door open and a cool breeze flowing through.
  24. Venti, skinny decaf hazelnut latte from Starbucks.
  25. Showering and going to the YMCA.  Really felt terrible this morning – up good part of night with excruciating shoulder pain.  Followed Hubby’s expert advice to do something to distract and not to focus on pain.  Worked.
  26. Hot oatmeal, fruit and turkey bacon prepared by Hubby.
  27. Re-starting my monthly breast exams.
  28. Controlled pain levels most days.  This makes today’s excruciating pain easier to manage knowing pain-free days are ahead through the grace of God.
  29. Beautiful Friday.  Enjoyed outing to Home Depot to check out plants for the lanai and house.
  30. Staying calm in the face of negativity.
  31. Loving and forgiving God who guides and watches over me.
  32. Opening the door to my creative side.  A little scared but I will not be swayed by the FEAR of criticism.
  33. Starting second week of Oprah’s and Depak’s 21-day meditation challenge.
  34. Enjoyable telephone conversation with older daughter.
  35. Stretching before going to exercise this morning eased joint pain.
  36. Cleaning laundry room and hall closet.
  37. God’s unconditional love.
  38. Granddaughter, 21-years-old, place a hold on her life to love and be in the presence of her paternal grandmother throughout her stay in home/hospice care.
  39. Words flowing while writing this week’s post.  Hope the re-read makes sense tomorrow.
  40. Moving toward living peaceful and productive life.
  41. Dinner out with Hubby celebrating 53rd Wedding Anniversary.
  42. Restarting morning gratitude project and this journal.
  43. The beautiful flowers and plants that surround and comfort me daily.
  44. My home it is my haven and brings ME peace, joy and serenity.
  45. Beautiful “Be Still Day” following morning yoga class and grocery shopping.
  46. Sunshine after days of clouds and rain.
  47. Beginning MY de-cluttering project by unsubscribing to the outrageous number of emails I have to plough through daily.
  48. Living, learning and loving today.
  49. Taking the time to write in this journal.  This is a stress reliever.
  50. Living and enjoying this season of MY life in Florida.
  51. Spending time to focus on inner peace.
  52. Restarting healthier eating habits.
  53. Pacing my activities today.
  54. Getting up at 5:00 a.m., sitting on lanai, enjoying a cup of coffee and listening to audio book, Simple Abundance:
  55. Following the path to find joy, peace and serenity.
  56. Joining on-line early morning service at Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois.  Enjoyed sermon..
  57. Serenity and tranquility in my warm home environment.
  58. Sixty minute massage – so restful and relaxing.
  59. DVD from Arthritis on water aerobics.
  60. Aqua Zumba class.
  61. Embracing the present moment and eliminating the fear.
  62. Opportunity to express MY views and voice MY opinions through MY blog.
  63. Spending time with Hubby today.  Enjoyed the movie.
  64. Outing at Home Goods my favorite place to buy things for the home.
  65. Exercising one hour at the YMCA.
  66. Honoring God and expressing appreciation to Him for watching over and protecting ME.
  67. First yoga class.
  68. Stretching before starting my day.
  69. Cortisone shot and knee pain relief.
  70. Celebrating MY 71st Birthday in fairly good health striving to improve the quality of my life.

Listed under one Gratitude Statement, the 71st thing that I am Grateful for on this 71st birthday is that I am . . . 

  • Walking  – but, it is sometimes painful;
  • Breathing – sometimes allergies make it difficult;
  • Seeing – while eyeglasses needed for distance, they are removed for  reading;
  • Hearing  – though my left ear bothers me, the right ear is fine;
  • Feeling – loved by God, Husband, Children and Grandchildren, extended family, friends;
  • Learning – to live in accordance with God’s plan;
  • Journaling – expressing gratitude at the end of each day; and
  • Blogging – I am not a writer, but I have a lot to say and a desire to connect with like-minded people.

Closing this post with MY favorite quotes for the week:

  • Gratitude  – “Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer and let faith be the one bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.”  (Maya Angelou)
  • Happiness – “… is not something ready-made it comes from your own actions.” (Dalai Lama)
  • Peace – “If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to others.”  (Mother Theresa)
  • Love – “I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, but only love.” (Mother Theresa)
  • Tranquility – “Only the development of compassion and understanding for others can bring us the tranquility and happiness we all seek.” (Dalai Lama)