Sunday, November 29, 2009

Listen to the Whispers...

I am jiggling between nervousness and excitement. On Wednesday I am doing my first Listen to the Whispers presentation on behalf of Ovarian Cancer Canada (OCC). As a genuine, official volunteer for OCC I am now expected to help turn up the volume on ovarian cancer. And, believe me, I am head over heels happy to oblige!

Because of its insidious nature and often vague symptoms of ovarian cancer, there is a movement afoot that will help women become more aware of this silent killer. And I am proud to be a part of it.

I am hoping that there is a good turn out for my presentation and that I won't fumble for words or ramble to the point of being boring.

The presentation is open to women of all ages (and men if they wish!) The hour long session is being hosted by the Senior's Centre for Excellence and is going to be held at Conestoga Crest in Drayton on Wednesday, December 2nd/09 at 1:30.

If you are in the area and wouldn't mind a free coffee and some goodies, want to hear a bit about my story and want to take in some extremely interesting information about ovarian cancer, then come on along and let's have a little visit! I'll be waiting.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Uncle Phil's Diner Therapy

Photo: Flodene and Violet discussing Chapter 7 in
my (Flodene's) book - "The Cash Register is NOT a toy!"

It's been quite a week. In fact, it's been quite a few weeks! We presented the last performance of "No Room at the Diner - Uncle Phil's Style," Sunday evening.The play is a hilarious recreation of a 50s diner with a great underlying Christmas story. I was more than honoured to have one of the lead roles. We had amazing directors and the cast really was like one big happy family!

I had been battling the flu since Saturday morning, so by the time our Sunday evening gig started, I was convinced I would lose my voice entirely. But not so. God was good and He heard my prayers (and those of the multitude in the cast!) My adrenalin kicked in and it was basically smooth sailing that evening - save a few coughs, and with the semi-medicinal help of two packages of Halls, a couple of squirts of my 'special' throat spray and two soda glasses of iced water!

We had a tough but fabulous eight weeks rehearsing and preparing for this past weekend's three performances. Then all of a sudden it was over.

As I stood on the stage at the end of the evening on Sunday, singing Silent Night with the rest of the incredible cast, I did so with tears running down my face. I was moved by what was happening on stage but something else was stirring my heart. I suddenly realized where I was one year ago.

I was as bald as a baby this time last year, and had just finished a rigorous six months of chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. And now - November 2009 - there I stood staring into the eyes of so many people in the audience who may or may not have known about me and my journey. It didn't matter. All I could do was give thanks to God. My heart overflowed with joy as I realized that for me, being part of Uncle Phil's Diner was not only a great way to get out and do something fun with my hubby (who had the role of Papa LaBamba, the famous dance instructor) but it had been plain old therapeutic for this old gray mare who surely 'ain't what she used to be!'

Photo: Momma, Uncle Phil and Flodene giving Phil his gift!

Tomorrow I am heading to the cancer clinic again to see what they think. I cannot believe it is my one year check up. But we journey on. I can't help but wonder what I will be thinking this time next
year. I'm thinking I will be twice as joyful! Is that possible? xx

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Per Mare Per Terram

I didn't know Charlie well. But my Dad did. Malcolm did. And so did all their other faithful Royal Marine comrades who faithfully visited Charlie in Blenheim on a regular basis.

Last night Dad's good friend, Malcolm called to tell him that Charlie died during the night. Charlie was 101 years young. Apparently for the past few years, this strong marine had been drifting into a land where only God treads. Charlie was preparing to meet his Maker. And last night he stepped into that glorious land.

It didn't matter to those chaps from the Royal Marine Association that Charlie didn't seem to know them when they made the long trek to the nursing home where Charlie had lived for many years. They would gather around Charlie's chair and share, laugh, play music and generally relive memories. I am so moved by that dedication and love for fellow man. It didn't die on the battle field or surface once a year...these valiant Royal Marines (yes dad, I am saluting!) kept on giving and making time and caring for their comrade to the end. What an example.

I'm so proud of my dad and his buddies. Tomorrow is Remembrance Day. We will never forget what you have all done for us. May we proudly carry your banner in our hearts!

As a dedication to the Royal Marines and for Charlie, I want to share this wonderful song created and sung by a sweet, talented friend of mine - Adele Simons. I know you will all recognize the words...This one is for you RMA!


Monday, November 2, 2009

O Canada - Here Comes Trenton!

There is just something about grandchildren that makes me forget my pain and my problems. When I gaze into the faces of my own children's children I inhale deeply and am reminded about the miracle of life. God is good!

Yesterday Trenton, my three year old grandson, sang O Canada at the beginning of the the Icemen Senior Men's Hockey game in our local arena. He had been practising for a little while but yesterday was his moment to shine. Trenton didn't bat an eyelid. He loves hockey and it wasn't a big deal to him that he should be required to stand on his little carpet and sing the national anthem for his favourite local team. He seemed just as confident singing on the ice in front of all those big uniformed fella's and the spectators as he does singing his little heart out in my kitchen for us.

Having Daddy as head coach of the Icemen is one of the reasons that Trenton loves the game. And when Daddy and Mommy asked him if he wanted to sing O Canada at the Icemen game one day, he jumped at the opportunity. I am thinking that when I was three years old, singing in front of all those big uniformed masked guys with equally big sticks in their hands would have sent me into hiding. Grandma and Mommy were more nervous than Trenton.

Of course, if you watch the video you will see where Grandma takes leave of her senses at the end and viewers get a few delightful shots of the arena ceiling amidst my screeching joyfulness. (Cheering my grandchildren on is part of my job! Oh and I do love my job!)

Incidentally the Icemen won their game. When Trenton sings...good things happen.