Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Building Inner Strength

Ms Moon forwarded an email to me from Kathleen Scott, one of my blogger friends.  Yes, friend.  I am starting to understand why so many people blog.  You are opening your heart and pouring out words and then you hit that publish post and it goes out into the ether and other people from possibly anywhere on the planet, shoot, I suppose bloggers are on the space station, so people from anywhere can read what you say.  Isn't that amazing?  And then people start to recognize something in each others blogs and before you know you are friends and it is as real as any friendship you could have.  Amazing. 

Kathleen Scott (isn't that a pretty name?) is the one that inspired me to post photos.  So she emails Ms Moon and asks her to forward the email to me and she tells me that she had gotten her husband Building Inner Strength to read my blog and he wanted to mention it in his blog.  So I emailed her back and said, OK.  Then he emailed me and linked me over to his blog for a post he had posted on Saturday, April 30th.  And there I was.  Oh, my, I just realized that I have used his name without permission.  When I gave him my permission to use my blog, now that I am linking y'all to that blog, should I have gotten approval from him?  I have so much to learn here. 

I read it and was so amazed that a man writing a blog called BUILDING INNER STRENGTH would refer to my journal of cancer on his blog.  I am humbled by this.  He said such nice things.  And his blog is wonderful and positive and offers actual real assistance in building inner strength.  

In his post he refers to inspiring each other.  I don't even know how to respond that.  Especially lately when I have been struggling with such emotional turmoil.  And as those of you who have stopped by to visit my porch know that I don't tend to answer or respond to most blogs.  Everyone is so kind, and I do read every comment and I am so grateful for the kindness.  I was going to block comments at first.  I was thinking of this as a journal.  A way to use this writing as a way to express things I needed to get off my chest.  I didn't think I could handle the comments.  

I obviously knew nothing about the blogisphere because with almost 700 posts under my belt since July 2010 I think I might have had one hurtful comment.  This is why I am so grateful for my disease.  I didn't think I had anything to say on a blog until I took my first steps on this journey.  And now cancer is just a part of me.  It is just another piece of the puzzle of my life.  

It is like walking around with a teacher inside me all the time.  I may not always get the lesson, I may not always be able to live in the moment because I am trying so hard to crowd in every moment I can into my life.  I may not always have anything interesting to say, or inspirational or anything about my cancer, but I learn and grow and remember so many gifts every time I open my blog.  

Thank you Mr. C for your recognition of my writing.  That means so much to me.  That your wife shared this blog with you, just makes me so grateful to hear about loving relationships and sharing with each other.  How very special is that.  How very special to have someone to share your life with, and to be able to surprise each other with little gifts, like sharing a book or a poem or a song.  How very special.  How very special to have Bless Your Hearts in my life.

I do not purposely mean to inspire anyone but myself.  Posting a blog for me is like sitting myself down and having a talk with myself.  Reminding myself how grateful I am for people.  I have always preferred the company of plants and rocks and non-human animals.  I have always had dear beloved friends.  But now, I am learning just how wonderful and rare it is to have such beloved dear friends.

Some like my Vicki have been in my life since the first day of kindergarten.  Jennifer came into our lives in second grade.  At the time it seemed like such a strange opportunity to meet with someone new in second grade.  And now we have been friends for almost 50 years.  And then Susan and Linda, I have only known them since my Junior year in college, a mere 30+ years.  Dear wonderful Susan and Linda.  Susan's daughter, Linda and my fairy god daughter, graduates this Friday.  Sweet, beautiful, loving, funny, smart Annie.  Annie and Jessie, so much a like in that life seems to be brighter, happier, sweeter, lovelier when you are near them.  And these 2 very special young woman, graduating from college this year have amazing sibling(s) too.  I was able to be with Jessie on Sunday to watch her and Vergil as they floated around their adoring family.  I will not be able to see Annie.  But Susan will send me photos, and hopefully we will work it out to meet in Philadelphia this summer before Annie heads to her first job after college in Dublin, Ireland.  Amazing girl.

When Annie was in like kindergarten or maybe first grade she asked me the difference between  a trade mark and a copyright.  What?  Oh that girl, she keeps me on my toes.

And then I have friends from 20 years ago, Sioux, Mij, Lynnie, Kathy, Teresa, Peggy, Nancy and so many more.   Dear precious friends that celebrated life with me on Pine Island.  And now here, Bob, Debbie, Carlton, Judy and Judy, friends for 25 years from the Department and EPA.  And so many other amazing wonderful people I work with that I love so dearly.  

Now, Mary, Rich, Glen, Boone, Jack and Jan, Marcy, Ron and Pat, Carolyn, Jane, Isabelle, Georgie, and so many others who I have only known since I moved her to Monticello.  And I love those friends as fiercely as my friends from kindergarten.  Learning as I grow older that it is not how long you love your friends, but how fiercely you love them.  How safe and loved you feel with them.  

As I have said before, The Wizard of Oz gave me a strong moral belief on what made a good person.  The line that tormented me for years, "It is not how much you love, but how much you are loved."  And here, at 55, not that old, but for as long as I will have on this journey, it is late in my life, and now I realize that when you stop trying to make people love you by loving them as hard and fiercely as you can, and start accepting the love they are offering you.  That is when you truly learn about love.  How to love yourself and how to love others better.  And Mr. C's post stopped me cold and made me evaluate what I am doing here.  And my answer?  I don't know.  I just know that reminding myself of what is important, which is what this blog has turned out to really be for me.  

Yes, it does help to write things down and then send them out into the ether and let them go.  But more important each time I write is to talk to myself and remind myself how one person, this person, has been so blessed.  My whole life, everything good and bad, all gifts.  All opportunities to learn about myself.  And what bigger gift can you give yourself then to learn about who you really are.  Not who you want people to see, not who you want to be, but who you really are.  And by looking at yourself, and seeing yourself as you really are, then over lay that with who you want to be.  How can you not learn to be better, learn to love yourself more, learn to be a little more gentle with yourself.  Because so many of us are so hard on ourselves.  I have so much to learn.  And thank you, each of you, for giving me the gift of learning.  From your comments, your love, your support.  Thank you.  And Kathleen Osgood, thank you for finally learning to love yourself.  You have a long way to go girl, but you are on your journey.  Enjoy the view, the adventure, each step, each skip, each dance on this journey.


  1. I don't care what you say, Kathleen - your writing has an inspirational effect on me. Think of it as a bonus!

    And thank you for the link and kind words about my blog. I'm sure your readers are wonderful people like you, and if anything I write is helpful, then that's great.

    Thanks for sharing your view, your adventure, the steps and skips and dances of your journey :)

  2. Wonderful words about learning to love on this post. I am glad that you are on this journey to write your thoughts and that you let others travel along too. You are lucky to be so loved by so many.