Thoughts vs Memories

We all have them. We all have thoughts. We all have memories. Having a thought can lead to creating a memory. Reflecting on memories creates more thoughts. Can you have one without the other? Would you choose to? Would you care to?

One day, I had a thought to write a story. After I complete the story, I read it to people and someone thought the story could become a book. I thought, “yeah, right”. I wrote the book. The book contains memories, good and bad, but it also creates thoughts in others. Thoughts that can help other people heal and gain knowledge. When you have knowledge, you have the power to educate and when you educate others you can help change the world and yourself. Now some people think that me writing the book postponed my forward progress when in reality it pushed my progress forward. Writing, That’s All I Got!, promoted healing in a relaxed and therapeutic way. I wouldn’t have been able to write the book if I hadn’t moved forward in my healing. I wonder if the people who think I haven’t moved forward are the ones who haven’t whether they’re attached to my journey or not.

I’ve come to enjoy the song, “The Magic Store” in the finale of The Muppet Movie. The song talks about creating your story with your own ending. If we’re lucky our journey doesn’t end until God calls us home. Keep creating memories that build from thoughts and take your journey far beyond what you think it could be.

Out of Storage

For months, the Milwaukee Public Library Tippecanoe Branch (aka the Tippecanoe Library), went through a complete renovation. While a temporary location housed some of the books That’s All I Got! went to an off-site storage location. I’m happy to announce that the Library has completed its transformation and all the books have happily returned to their shelves for the Grand Opening!

Please join the Bay View community in welcoming the books to their renovated home on Saturday, December 12, 2016 from 10am-1pm! See the photos below for more information.

I know That’s All I Got! and her author waits for someone to borrow her (at all three libraries where it lives: Tippecanoe, Milwaukee Central, and Cudahy. We hope to see you there!

 

Seasonal Support

For many people, the holidays aren’t very joyous, but difficult. While normal holiday stresses exist, other not so normal unseen stresses appear. For people who have lost a loved one for whatever reason, grief joins in for the holidays. With winter settling in, the gloomy and cloudy days, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and depression become part of some people’s days. They require sources that can aid them: books, friends, and support.

Do you know someone who has been or is going through a tragic situation or life event whether or not related to this journey? Do you know anyone this holiday season that would benefit from reading, “That’s All I Got! A Widow’s Journey After Suicide”?

Why not give the gift of healing this holiday season. Why not direct them to sources that may assist in their grieving. Reach out.

Why I do what I do

If someone asked me: why do I write? why did I write a book? and why do I share my journey? I’d tell you the following.

Everyone at some time in their lives has required healing. Many people have qualifications to assist in healing. I help to heal from experience.

Some may think it’s difficult to discuss my journey and at first, I thought so too. It took a long time to talk to people without crying or getting into a lot of detail. I remember it took over a year, to utter the word widow and that’s when I was in counseling. The second time I used widow was during a discussion I had with my first chiropractor, Dr. Drew, and he was the first male stranger (at the time) that I shared my struggles with and I didn’t shed a tear. Talk about a milestone in my journey. Even now, while discussing certain topics I may become teary-eyed, but that’s almost always due to memories.

I want to educate others on what I know about traumatic grief. It’s important that I share my journey to reveal there’s a light at the end of a dark tunnel following tragedy. Part of my “job” consists of preventing innocent lives from being lost due to the completion of suicide. I would like other people to learn about mental illness because education is a life line.

The other day, a friend of a friend posted on Facebook about losing a friend to suicide over the weekend. I know what she’s dealing with so I reached out to her. I let her know that she could reach out to me because grief and emotions take a long time to heal.

This afternoon/early evening, I hosted a spot at a health fair sponsored by my chiropractic clinic, along with my book, That’s All I Got!. While I only sold one book, I shared many more conversations. Almost everyone I spoke with knows someone who lost their life to the completion of suicide. Some conversations were about mental illness. A few people knew today is World Suicide Prevention Day or that this week is National Suicide Prevention Week. I shared what today meant with a few vendors and each said, “I should know this” and “why don’t I know this?”. I opened their eyes to something they didn’t know. Yes, I wished I had sold more books, but a conversation I had with my current chiropractor that revolved around what really matters, reminded me why I do what I do. Thank you Dr. Steven for the reminder.

Suicide Prevention Week & Day 2015

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This week, September 7-13, 2015, is National Suicide Prevention week. You too can do your part to help prevent suicide. When you become educated about mental illness and suicide prevention, you help save a life or more from being lost to the completion of suicide.

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Thursday, September 10, 2015 is World Suicide Prevention Day. People will come together around the world to help prevent suicide. You can do your part by wearing blue, and placing a lit candle in a window at 8pm.

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I’m hosting a spot at a health and wellness fair to share my journey and to have copies of That’s All I Got! available for sale.

On October 4, 2015, I’m walking in the Milwaukee Out of the Darkness walk for education and prevention. You too can join and/or support a walk in your area. Let’s work to #stopsuicide ! #BeTheVoice #TalkSavesLives

You too can inspire!

On Sunday, August 9, 2015, I completed my fourth ever Sprint Tri(athlon) with this as my third Iron Girl Triathlon. My seventh wedding anniversary also took place on this day.

I knew the day would take every ounce of energy-physical, mental, and emotional – I had before the day concluded. On Saturday night, while I prepared and packed for the Tri, I pinned two Angel pins near the right shoulder of the shirt that would cover my swimsuit for the cycling and running segments of the Tri. These Angels represented my husband, Russ, sitting on my shoulder as I completed the Tri. He didn’t disappoint me as I persevered through the challenges.

Many Angels surrounded me as I swam 1/2 mile, cycled 12 miles and ran/walked 31 miles. Not only did Russ and other Heavenly Angels sit on my shoulders, but Team Phoenix members were all around me. Team Phoenix this year composed of 47 cancer survivors either in treatment or remission. Most of them survived breast cancer and all of them were first time triathletes. They rallied before starting and you couldn’t help but feed off their energy. This strong group of women inspired me to keep going even when I started tiring. I stuck around until the last triathlete crossed the finish line and it happened that it was a member of Team Phoenix. The entire team went back on the run course to finish the race with her and everyone else associated with the team waited for her on the other side of the finish line. They even had a ribbon for her to cross. Many people shed tears including me. These tears represented joy, hope, strength, inspiration, and love.

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We’ve all overcome challenges and tragedies on our journeys and continue to inspire others. We’re all thriving overcomers!