Top Social

Now Choose Life

This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live- Deut 30:19 A 50ish woman who has chosen to live in the midst of tragedy and move forward by choosing life. Welcome to the journey!!

Image Slider

April 24, 2019

Peak Of The Week- 4-24-19

It's spring and It's the Peak Of The Week!! 
Here are some things piquing my interest this week!!

This week is the hardest week of the year for me personally!! It marks the worst week of my life. The whole month of April is a hard month leading up to this last week which is painful!! April 26th is my anniversary with my late husband. It would have been 33 years this year!! We were only given 26. April 29 is the anniversary of his passing. I know it's coming. I try to prepare, but I have found that the preparation of facing the day of psyching myself up for it ends up being worse than the actual day. I'll be with my mom and sister this weekend. That's nice and it will just be a good time. We will talk of what was and dream of what is to come just like we always do!!

With that said, I haven't felt at all like writing. I missed my Poetry Tuesday yesterday because I just couldn't find the strength to write and share what I wanted to share- a song. I'll share it at the end of this post!! It's my favorite!!

Chicagoland Independent Bookstore Day 2019 Field Trip-  My daughter lives in Chicago. I want to do this field trip with her sometime. She will love it as much as I do!!

How to Track Down Hard To Find, Out of Print Editions- More books!! My father has a pretty extensive collection of "hard to find" books- mostly about Texas!! I want to remember these websites. I still believe a book is always the best gift to give someone!!! You share so much more than just a story when you share a book. You share an experience, and opinion, a life in most cases!!

20 Home Organization Hacks- This list incredible!! I have big goals for complete organization!! Hopefully, I'll remember these when it comes to these individual jobs.

As an Amazon Affiliate, I make a profit when you buy from my links

Contact Paper Finds- I have been looking for shelf paper for my shelves and drawers!! I found this link on a blog that I follow. There are several cute prints and good prices!!

Why the Mueller Report Has Two Spaces After Every Sentence --Not double spacing after periods was new to me. I learned not to do it when I was asked to submit a post about myself for the Design Mom Blog. We learn that is wasn't a young staffer who typed up these findings. It was someone my age or older!!! Who Knew!!! Technology is the great divide I guess!!!

Judith Viorst has never been happier- I love Judith Viorst!! I shared one of her poems last week for my Poetry Tuesday poem and Instagram and Facebook. I have given her books of poetry on aging as gifts to many friends. I was able to give her Unexpectedly Eighty to my mother for her 80th birthday!
My favorite is How did I get to be forty and other Atrocities.

I just ordered her book, Necessary Losses!!

I'm sharing what I should have shared for Poetry Tuesday yesterday!! Only you die-hard readers who always read my posts will know what it is. This song is my favorite song!! It was the first song sung and my late husband's memorial service. It is what I strive for in my life!!

The words inspire me every time I hear them!! 
"Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering 
Though there's pain in the offering 
Blessed be Your name"

Will I praise Him as much in the bad times as I do in the good? 
I hope you've enjoyed your Peak  Of The Week!!! It's all downhill from here!!!

April 22, 2019

What I Read- The Unwinding Of The Miracle

As an Amazon Affiliate, I make a profit when you buy from my links.

The Unwinding Of The Miracle

I follow several celebrity book clubs- Oprah's Book Club, Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine, and my newest, Jenna Bush Hager's Today Show Book Club. I have found wonderful books on each of these book lists.

If you have followed my blog very long, you know that Memoir/Biography is my favorite genre!! I'm am fascinated by peoples' lives and the twists and turns that influence their lives. So when I heard that Jenna's pick for April was a memoir, I had to read it.

Her pick for April is The Unwinding Of The Miracle. This is a beautifully written and brutally honest book about a Vietnamese American woman who although she was legally blind beat the odds and graduated from Harvard Law School, fell in love and started a family only to find out in her late 30's that she had stage 4 colon cancer.

The above explanation explains the title, doesn't it? I was captivated by this book from the prologue where she lets us know that "This story begins at the ending. Which means that if you are here, then I am not."

Julie Yip-Williams recounts her early days in Vietnam. Her grandmother thinks it is best for her to be killed than to face life as a blind girl. Her family flees Vietnam and settles in California. Here her life begins to change, and she chooses to live life to the fullest.

Her life is successful and abundant until she receives her cancer diagnosis. She then begins her honest and heart-wrenching discourse on how she copes with life as a dying young woman.

My biggest take away from her writing was the despair and hopelessness she felt. Although she was raised with a Buddhist background, she has no spiritual faith. As a Christian, it was a hard read at times because my belief system is so different. As a Christian, there is always hope. Maybe not the hope of this life after a while, but the hope of a glorious afterlife!!

At one point she shares, "As I prepared to die and the invisible wall between me and the living grew thicker and taller, I mourned my own impending death in an ever-shrinking bubble of isolation, loneliness, and darkness."

She later does come to terms with her reality and writes, " For me, true inner strength lies in facing death with serenity, in recognizing that death is not the enemy but simply an inevitable part of life."

I can't imagine facing death at a young age knowing I was leaving my husband and children. But, I do hope that HOPE would be part of my journey. The hope that I would see them again, the hope that my prayers would be answered and my children would go on to live happy productive lives. These are just a couple of blessings that come from my faith.

Other thoughts that were meaningful to me:

"I will miss the simple ritual of loading and unloading the dishwasher. I will miss the smooth patina of my cast-iron skillet, brought on by cooking countless meals. I will miss making Costco runs. I will miss watching TV with Josh. I will miss taking my kids to school. will miss this life so very much. They say that youth is wasted on the young. Now, as I approach my final days, I realize that health is wasted on the healthy, and life is wasted on the living. I never understood that until now, as I prepare in earnest to leave this life."

"But then, once my summer of grief was over, my perspective shifted, and a sort of peace came over me. I was sad to be leaving my husband and my daughters, but I felt something else, too: awe at what was happening to my body. I couldn’t watch myself be born, but with eyes open, I could watch myself die. And that is no less a miracle than any other. It is hard to find the beauty in dying, but I’ve learned; I’m learning still."

She comes to the end of her life on her terms:

"I have lived even as I am dying, and therein lies a certain beauty and wonder. As it turned out, I have
spent these years unwinding the miracle that has been my life, but on my terms."

"I will eagerly greet the end of this miracle, and the beginning of another."

I highly recommend reading this book. It is a raw and honest look at the end of a person's life.

It is a story that requires thought and reflection on one's own life.

I would like to think that my story would be written differently. I would hope that my story would end where it began with HOPE. Hope in my God who I believe controls all things. Hope in my choice to believe that I will see my loved ones again someday. Just Hope in general about my life and my journey.

I anxiously await Jenna's report and thoughts on this book!!

Have you read The Unwinding of the Miracle? If so, I'd love to know your thoughts!!