Mortal Coil

Found out this morning that Sunday evening, a previous manager/coworker, mentor, and friend lost his 5-year long battle with cancer.  Been blue all day.

After work, I took the dogs for a walk to feel the sun on my skin, see the landscape in bloom, and organize my thoughts.

Every time I found myself back in Michigan, I tried to connect with my friend, but the last few visits either he didn’t feel up to company or we couldn’t coordinate our schedules to meet for a meal. We would exchange calls or texts with holiday well-wishes, send an occasional e-mail, or sometimes post on each other’s Facebook pages, but haven’t seen each other in two years.

Earlier this month, I got a card and letter from him.  The letter, dated January 30th, was a full typed page of updates and musings.

When we worked together, I learned to lead by example from collaborating with him – and I still use his firm, fair, and friendly approach in my interactions with others.  He provided good counsel and professional advice by listening and even when he didn’t like what I had to say, he gave me the courtesy of his undivided attention and thoughtful discussion.  We worked through some hefty challenges, including significant staffing changes, and throughout the triumphs and the difficult situations, he had a way of maintaining calm and making the entire team feel valued and valuable.

Before I moved to California, he met me and a small group of friends.  This is how I think of him – smiling.

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May he be smiling still.  He is missed.

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Pink and Proud

So many people I love have been or are affected by the big “C”.  My husband’s lovely cousin, my auntie, my great aunt, and two dear-to-my heart friends are among those important to me bravely battling cancer and they are all in my thoughts every day.  One of my second cousins is in remission and celebrates several cancer-free years while also carefully monitoring her health.

A challenge of living on the west coast is that I’m physically far away from all of these dear ones.  While they are all in my daily thoughts, it is hard for them to know they’re receiving every bit of healing energy I can send.

When I began seeing personalized pink bracelets posted on my husband’s cousin’s Facebook page, I asked where I could get one.  It came in the mail today.

For Sweetest Day, my mom gave me a Pandora pink leather bracelet with the “Forever Entwined” bead.  She also gave bracelets to my auntie and my sister so that we could all use them as touchstones in sending her positive energy.  I added a key and a ribbon charm to my bracelet and thought I would send my husband’s cousin a picture with both bracelets.

I’ll be wearing these bangles proudly during my upcoming travels and I hope that people will ask me about them so that I can share the stories about the brave people I know and love.  I want to do something like this for my auntie, too – she’s not on Facebook (yet), but I think it would be a happy surprise to get postcards and photos in the mail.

Every healing thought makes a difference.