Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Never Have Loved at All?
Is it Better to Have Loved and Lost Than to Never Have Loved at All?
Recently, I lost my faithful doggy side kick and best friend, Mya.
We did everything together....walks everyday, and often bike rides. Being a four pound Chihuahua, she easily fit nestled into the basket hooked to the steering wheel, and especially loved sticking her nose in the air as we sped down the hills on the mountain.
She slept with me, on my pillow every night, and followed my every move around the house.
Mya could always sense if I was going to be going somewhere, and always parked herself by the door so I wouldn’t miss taking her with me. I spent way more time with her than my husband or children.
I knew her health was failing due to an enlarged heart, but with medication our vet said it was difficult to say how much time we had left with her. I knew she was on borrowed time, but you are never prepared to say good-bye.
On Monday, we drove up the hill to our favorite walking spot. I could tell she was more listless because normally she can’t wait to get out the door, but on this particular morning she just looked at me.
I picked her up thinking a walk would perk her up, but sadly no....she took a few steps and lied down. Her panting and labored breathing began to escalate and I just knew this would be our last trip up the mountain.
I began to sob uncontrollably as I picked her up and held her in my arms. She seemed more content with me holding her so I did our usual route carrying her. Tears streamed down as I feared this would be our last walk together, and it was.
Our vet said her lungs were filled with fluid and her little heart has given up.
After eleven years, it was Mya’s time to rest in peace.
Needless to say, I was a mess, and our whole family was too. I walked around completely vacant for days, feeling so lonely not having my sidekick beside me. The doorbell rings and there’s no barking. My hand lifts above my head on the pillow in the middle of the night and there is no Mya there to comfort me. That welcoming smile and wagging tail at the end of a stressful day is gone. Walks and bike rides are empty and lonely.
Life is not the same.
In time, the tears will get fewer and further in between, and smiles will slowly replace tears as wonderful memories allow us to adjust to our new normal.
My mom says she has loved and lost too many animals and that is why she will never get another one. I get that....I have lost many of my cats and dogs in my life that I loved dearly.
Perhaps we get to a point when we say, “I’ve lost too many and I just can’t do it anymore.” You never get used to it, and you can never get prepared for it.
I can’t say if we will get another dog....the pain of losing Mya is too raw right now. However, thankfully most of us humans have this wondrous gift to eventually dull out the pain and fondly remember the fun times we spent together. I thank God for this ability to know time heals our wounds.
Scars may remain, but if we look at it in a positive light...those scars can be a reminder to live in the moment and enjoy the time we have with our loved ones, and fondly remember the ones who once were.
Tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, so let’s make the best of everyday and everyone.
Why Are We Afraid to be Vulnerable?
Why Are We Afraid to be Vulnerable?
Canadians may be known for being the ‘polite people’ because we are always so quick to say sorry.....even if we sometimes don’t think it’s our fault. It seems however, we have an easier time saying sorry to a stranger than a family member or loved one.
Somewhere down the line ‘sorry’ became associated with vulnerability, and we see vulnerability as a bad thing.
Heaven forbid we say sorry....it will reveal a major character flaw that we were wrong.
I know this isn’t an issue for all of us; there are many people that say it all the time...maybe too much. Do you know someone that says sorry a little too often?
Often it is the insecure type of person that tends to overuse the word. Perhaps this is why some of us have our guard up when there comes a time where sorry may be the appropriate word to say to someone. And not just any sorry but one said with sincerity.
It’s okay to be wrong; after all, we are only human.....aren’t we??? Well I think most of us anyway....The jury is out on a few people I know.
But seriously, listen to your heart and not your ego sometimes and take that leap to say sorry, with heartfelt conviction. You may just shock the %8#%@ out of someone, and as for yourself, you might be surprised to find a pleasing sense of nobility come over you.
As I see it, many people have deciphered it wrong; vulnerability isn’t a bad thing, it is a wonderful attribute that when allowed, can open us up to learn and grow more than we ever thought we could.
As some of you know, I do public speaking. This was a great fear of mine ever since my teacher humiliated me in school and I froze in front of the class. Well, that vulnerability transformed me into a person willing to face her fears in order to spread her message of the value to love, to be happy, and to rise above adversity.
I am not perfect. Actually, far from it, but that’s okay...we are always a work in progress. It’s knowing that we are a work in progress that allows us the freeing experience to overcome our obstacles.
It’s a great feeling to conquer a fear, or step outside our comfort zone and be vulnerable. You will be surprised at how you will feel.
There’s that famous limiting belief, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.’ Well, if that’s what you believe then yes, it’s true. But if you believe you can, then let me tell you.... that old dog will learn some new tricks!
So step out of your comfort zone, expose your vulnerability in some manner, and be amazed at what you find.
And please feel free to share your experience with me. I always love to hear feedback from my blogs. It helps me to know that there are people taking the time to read what I say, and affect someone in a positive way.
Good Luck and God Bless!
Gratitude in the Most Unlikely Places
Grateful in the Most Unlikely Places
The most interesting thing happened to me on my bike ride the other day. I was on my usual route through the suburbs of Little Mountain and through the path along the graveyard.
I love this route because it has beautiful mountains and trees all around, and the hills are a great exercise. Plus, I always find great adventures on my travels, whether it be meeting new people, seeing some deer munching on leaves, or often finding little positive affirmations from the Universe like feathers and four leaf clovers.
Each time brings a new adventure and I always look forward to what may unfold; it really is one of my favorite things to do!
Well, on this particular ride, I happened to see an old and dear friend of the family, and one of my dad’s best friends, Wally. It made me remember how the anniversary of my dad’s death had just passed...19 years already. He was sitting on the passenger side of a vehicle parked on the path at the graveyard.
I hadn’t seen Wally for years but we recognized each other right away. I jumped off my bike and went over to give him a big hug. I asked him what he was doing here, and he said his grandson was placing some flowers on his wife's grave for him. Since his health was failing, he couldn’t make it up the hill to her resting place.
It was so great to see him. We reminisced about many wonderful memories and for a moment it felt like my dad was alive again. Wally has always been a very fun-loving and passionate person.
As we laughed about some great stories his eyes began to well with tears. He said,
Kim, don’t ever stay mad at anyone...it’s not worth it. Life is too short and goes by so fast.
His words sunk to my core like a lead weight and profoundly affected me. On this hot summer day, his 90 years of wisdom gave me goose bumps. I will do my best to live by his advice.
We have all heard things like this before, and we all know it is not healthy to harbor negative feelings, but we often don’t follow the golden rules we are taught. Things are all too easier said than done.
However....sometimes.....someone, or something, reaches your soul and changes you a little bit.
I don’t believe there is such thing as coincidences, and when we are ready......when we are open to receive the wonderful graces of the Universe, we will be amazed at where our adventures take us.
Good luck on yours and God Bless!
Lots to be Thankful For, Even When We Don't Think So
Lots to be Thankful For, Even When We Don't Think So
“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” Nelson Mandela
There are many quotes I find inspirational, but I would have to say this one is my favorite. Maybe it’s because I, myself, fell so many times......I think most of us do throughout our lifetime.
Today, when I look at that quote, the reason I am most proud and feel accomplished of my life, besides raising my children, is that I kept getting up.
Oh, there were times I wanted to crawl in a bunker.... a cold, dark bunker. Sometimes I didn’t want to get back up and am not too sure how I did. Was it a determination that I was born with? Was it genetic? My dad was a professional boxer and he always kept getting back up.
It wasn’t until years later that I figured it out. I kept getting back up because I could. It’s a choice. It’s always a choice.
We can wallow in our defeats or we can say with conviction, “Tomorrow is another day, and it’s a brand new one.” It sounds simple, and it is. We often make things out way more complicated and difficult than need be!
Not only would I get back up but I chose to learn and grow as a result, making that fall worth it.
Always, always, always look at the alternatives to every situation.
For example, I was watching the Children’s Hospital Miracle Telethon one day many years ago.
This one interview struck me like a lightning bolt, and changed my perspective on life! A young couple had recently lost their four-year-old little boy to cancer. I felt beyond devastated for them, and the tears were streaming down my face.
I think, on a much smaller scale, I could relate to them. Not long before that, I almost lost my baby on many occasions when he was battling his critical heart defect.
As I was watching this story and becoming more and more grief stricken for this poor couple, things began to change once the interview started with the parents. My entire feelings shifted and it was almost as though something magical happened. They began sharing their pain of losing their baby and how everything would be changed forever, but how they felt blessed. They shared special stories of fun times and talked about how lucky they were.
At first, I thought I heard them wrong. How could they feel blessed and lucky??? They must be heavily medicated or something.
But then they explained why they felt blessed and how those four wonderful years spent with their little miracle were the best. Four years of pure joy with him.
At one point, my body became numb and my heart started to race as I began to relive the memories when Avery was only about a month old. This was a time when my dad had just died from a sudden heart attack, and Avery’s little body was beginning to shut down, too.
I remembered praying for Avery, “If only I could bring him home, even if only for a year. If all I could get was one year, I would be the happiest mom....... Just one year to take him home to snuggle, cuddle, laugh and play.” I then clearly understood what they meant.
During their story, they said, of course, there were many times they wanted to disappear into nothingness, but that was the alternative they decided NOT to take.
You see.... it is a choice.
Instead, they chose to keep their son’s memory alive and rejoice in all the wonderful memories they had in those short four years. What happened couldn’t be changed or ever forgotten, and their only control was their ‘take away’ from it all.
Their attitude, and if they ‘got back up,’ would determine whether they would have a bright future or not.
Since that day, my outlook on life considerably changed and I began to decide my path by looking at the alternatives.
When my dad died at 59, everyone said things like, “Oh, he was far too young...life isn’t fair sometimes.” I didn’t see it that way at all.
Of course, I wished I had more time with my dad. After 19 years, I still miss him every single day. But I don’t feel ripped off. Instead, I felt blessed to have had the best father ever. He was there for all my milestones growing up....graduation, walking me down the aisle at my wedding, and the birth of my first baby.
People used to say to me things like, “You poor thing....you have been through so much with Avery’s heart defect and Jesse’s autism, yet you always seem so happy.”
They just didn’t get it. They were feeling sorry for me and I was feeling blessed. But that was okay because it inspired me to change my life’s journey and help others understand how life can be wonderful, even if it doesn’t go as we expected or planned.
Avery and Jesse are young and happy adults who tell me every day that they love me. It doesn’t get much better than that. And that’s my ‘take away.’
Whatever brings you to my blog, and whatever you have gone through or may be going through, take a bit of time and think of the alternatives. There is always a choice.
When we choose to be positive, more positivity surrounds us. Look at any positive people you know and look at who surrounds them. I bet it's more positive people.
Adopting an attitude of gratitude will ensure many more sunny days ahead!
The Chance to Meet David Foster
The Chance to Meet David Foster
I have been a big fan of David Foster for many years..... 19 to be exact.
Until 1998, when Avery was born with a critical heart defect, I didn’t even know that a hospital for sick kids existed, let alone one that saves thousands of children’s lives each year.
That was the year I learned that there are a lot of heroes; from the doctors and nurses, to the little patients they take care of, and to all of the philanthropists who generously support the hospital and provide much of the state of the art life saving equipment.
That was also the year I came to understand that there are more generous people in the world than I thought, and one of them being BC’s own David Foster.
Back then, I knew of David and how he was a great composer and that he’s worked with the most famous singers in the world. But I would find out that he was much more.
I kept seeing his name, as well as many others, on plaques along the hospital walls. That's when I found out about the David Foster Foundation.
His non-profit charitable organization is dedicated to providing financial support for non-medical expenses to Canadian families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants.
For the past 30 years, the David Foster Foundation has assisted over 1,000 families with children in need of major organ transplants and provided much-needed dollars in direct family support. In 2006, the Foundation became a national organization, expanding to help families across Canada.
This is such an important foundation for many reasons. Often, young parents live paycheck to paycheck so when a child becomes critically injured, or sick, the last thing they need is to worry about how they can afford all the expenses involved with their crisis.
I know this all too well from our experience following Avery’s birth. Suddenly, our lives were turned upside down and we found ourselves living in the parking lot of BC Children's Hospital while our baby fought for his life in the ICU. To know that there are generous people out there like David Foster provides a relief that parents so desperately need.
Thankfully, Avery didn’t end up needing a transplant, but it is sure a comfort for many parents to know his foundation is there to support whoever needs it!
One of the many reasons I wrote my book, Bravery, was to shed some insight to all the heroes who support BC Children’s Hospital. Heroes are exactly what they are in the eyes of a parent with a critically ill baby or child.
I wanted a parents’ perspective to let the doctors, nurses, and all the supporters of BC Children’s Hospital see how immeasurably valued they are. So, when I found out that Peter Legge was hosting a networking event and interviewing David Foster as the main guest, I dashed to my computer as fast as I could to order the best tickets available.
I was lucky enough to get VIP seats on the front row!
Determined to meet David, I wanted to give him a big hug, thank him for all his generosity, and perhaps even have an opportunity to give him a copy of Bravery!
When the day arrived, of course I tried on fifty different outfits.... what does one wear to meet one of their mentors and hero??? I picked a light summery peach blouse with off white capris and my new sparkly high wedged heels.....then wondered...... how tall is David Foster?
Well, I’m only 5’2”, so even with four-inch heels I will surely be shorter than him.
Then I grabbed a copy of Bravery and signed it, along with a note thanking him for his generosity to all the sick kids and their families.
On the drive to the city I must have looked funny to passer-byers. I had this ear-to-ear perma-faced grin the whole drive in; talking to myself with affirmations and conferring with the Universe that I wasn’t leaving the hotel until I met David Foster!
I wasn’t sure how it was going to happen, but knew it would!!
Upon being seated, I was delighted to find out that my seat was near centre stage and I would be 15 feet from David Foster!
For two hours, David talked candidly about his successes and faux pas. He told us how the inspirations of many of his songs came to him. He spoke to how networking and finding what you’re good at, what you’re passionate about, are important keys to success and happiness.
He told stories about some of the stars he’s worked with, and an argument with Barbra Streisand (they remain best of friends). He joked about being a hopeless romantic and he is looking for wife number 5. At one point in the afternoon, the cutest little boy came on stage to say “Hi” to David. As it turned out, that boy was the recipient of a heart transplant who the David Foster Foundation supported.
There were so many entertaining moments that it is difficult to remember them all. But I will mostly take away that David Foster is a talent, a legend, with a charm and wit that I could listen to all day. And, by the way, he also remained a very handsome man.
When the interview came to close, I wasn’t sure what was going to happen. Would David go out the door? Would I have to stock him throughout the hotel?
He came right out into the audience and started talking to people. I patiently waited for that moment of opportunity and jumped on it.
I said, “Hi, I’m Kim, and I have to have a picture with you."
Ughhhh, why did I say that???
He said, “Oh, you do, do you?” Then he said, “Are you Irish?”
I wanted to ask him why he thought I was, but instead blurted out, “Yes, I kissed the Blarney Stone last year and now I can’t stop talking!”
What???? Why on earth would I say that???
Oh well, he smiled and chuckled. I then told him I had a copy of my book to give him, and he said, “Oh, okay. Thank you, but I’m not a big reader.”
He must have saw a look of disappointed on my face and said, “Well, I promise to read yours, Kim.”
I briefly told him what it was about, and why I wanted him to have a copy. He seemed quite interested and we talked about his foundation for a bit, then I got my picture!!!
What a fantastic day. I had that same funny looking perma-grin for the entire drive home, fantasizing about David reading Bravery on his flight home to Malibu.
CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS...... CHANGE YOUR LIFE
CHANGE YOUR BELIEFS...... CHANGE YOUR LIFE
We all have good and bad days. The contrast is valuable. We could never appreciate true joy if we didn’t have the contrast to know what the alternatives feel like.
Recently a lovely friend of mine was having a bad day. Well, as most of my friends can attest to, and I think many of us have the same reaction, we instinctively want to help them feel better. So, I go into fix-it mode because I have noticed that she has had a stream of bad luck and events happening to her lately.
I would hear her say things like....”I just can’t catch a break” and “Everything keeps going wrong.”
I decided I was ready to share what I have learned over the years of studying and reading about the Law of the Universe, or Law of Attraction as some call it. How there is a pattern to our lives sometimes....like people who say “if they didn’t have bad luck, then they wouldn’t have any at all”....and that’s what they get. Or saying, “they always pick the longest lineups”, or “they can never find a good parking spot.”
Well, they are right. That’s what they put out into the universe. God is perhaps obliging their orders.
I have another friend who says that she walks with a cloud above her head and how her life is full of misgivings and calamity, and it’s so true. Catastrophes are a regular part of her life.
But then there are the people who repeatedly have great things happen to them.
These people continue to succeed in every aspect. It’s as though their confidence and positive attitude can’t steer them wrong. They are always happy and never complain about anything. Some chalk it up to just being lucky, or hard work, but there is much more going on behind the scenes.
As a child, I remember grocery shopping with my mom and she would always say how she picks the longest lineups. Well, that is exactly what would always happen......there would be a price check or a lady with a hundred coupons. Years later, as I became a shopper myself, I found myself saying exactly the same thing!! And that’s exactly what happened.... pretty much every time.
It’s what I believed would happen and therefore it did! Thankfully, one day a friend told me to YouTube Earl Nightingale’s ‘The Strangest Secret’. So, I did.
It was the beginning of a new awareness for me.
I started to understand how thoughts and, even more importantly, feelings, become things! It took me a while because we are so conditioned to believe otherwise, but I thought, “I must give this a shot”.
Slowly over time, I began to see the significant worth of this ideology, and real manifestations of its truth. I started practicing with little things like saying and believing with a conviction that I will pick the quickest lineups....and I did. I kept saying to myself, “I always find four leaf clovers”, and I did.
Slowly, more and more good things began to manifest for me as I would practice these positive beliefs.
One example I love to share is the day Avery went to his first rock concert with me....Bon Jovi.
My friend had given tickets to me as a present because she knew I loved Bon Jovi. She couldn’t afford the greatest ticket seats, but that was okay. We were just excited to get to go at all!
On our one hour drive to Vancouver, I decided to try out my new found belief in the Law of Attraction with Avery. I said with the most enthusiasm and vigor, “Avery, something very special is going to happen to us today!!! Can’t you feel it??? Let’s believe this with all our might and know it to be true!!”
He was so excited, laughing emphatically and agreeing wholeheartedly!
Arriving in the city, we dropped our car off at my sister and brother in law’s house. They had tickets too, only one’s with very good seats. Together, we all took the SkyTrain to the concert.
Once we were inside and getting into the elevator, they teased us about our seats and said, “We hope you don’t get a nose bleed.”
Avery said to me, “What do they mean by that Mom?” I replied, “Oh never mind them, that’s just a phrase for people who are high up and don’t have great seats. We’ll be fine, they have big screens everywhere.”
Well, soon after that, a young man approached us and said, “I work with the promotional department in the band and have two extra floor tickets if you would like.”
Avery and I look at each other, then at the man, and I blurted out, “Sure..... but really????”
He said, “Yes indeed”, then proceeded to hand us the tickets as we thanked him very much.
After giving a smug grin to my sister and brother in law, I press the down arrow on elevator button. On our ride down, Avery was beaming and bursting with excitement, and whispers in my ear, “Mom, The Law of Attraction really does exist!!!”
What a wonderful moment, and what an incredible night.....we ended up being so close to Bon Jovi that I could see his armpit hair!!
As I shared these stories and beliefs with my friend, I saw the sparkle in her eye begin to return, and gratefully she said, “Thank you so much Kim, I really never thought of it this way before, but it makes perfect sense. I surely see how I must stop this negative mindset I have been holding.”
I thanked her as well because one of the best and rewarding gifts we can offer each other is the hope and inspiration to see better days ahead. I look forward to seeing how she makes out and will keep you posted.