Friday, June 19, 2009

Life's Little Lessons Sometimes Harsh Lessons

Yesterday my teenage daughter's best friend's Mom passed away. L's primary cancer was cervical, it is a cancer no woman should ever die of. It is one of the most curable cancers there is, but for whatever reason L is gone because of it.

My heart broke for S (16), her sisters (18, 13 & 11) and her Dad, not to mention the rest of the family and friends. I know how hard it was to lose my Mom when I was 35, I can't imagine losing a Mother at such a tender age.

I do know, however, how an illness such as this can force you to grow up a whole lot faster than was ever intended. I was ten when my Mom fought her first battle with brain cancer, fortunately she survived, but it left scars on us still. Just knowing that there is a chance that your Mom could die forces a child to come to many scary realizations. I had horrible, recurring nightmares during this dark time (interestingly the same nightmares plagued me in my adult years the next two times my Mom battled this disease, even though I was grown up with children of my own), and the fears were debilitating. I sit here with a heavy heart and can only imagine what L's daughters must be feeling, their fears; the feelings of a loss too big for words.

S, the 16 y/o and K her younger sister who is 11 both hang around with my daughters. The girls spend much time between the 2 homes. My oldest daughter spent countless hours at the hospital with S and her family, visiting with L and offering emotional support to her friend. Yesterday my daughter phoned me at work to say that S had called and L had passed away; she was calm and composed. When I asked her if she was ok (she had been quite close to L) she said she was, she reminded me that this had been expected. I smiled inwardly at her adult take on the situation.

I am proud of my daughters, they have a healthy outlook, they realize people die and it's a part of life, a sad part, but one we must all come to accept at some point. I once worked in a position where I did first removals (when people passed on I picked them up and took them to the funeral home) as well as a paramedic so my kids were exposed to many a story, usually with the intent to show how fragile life is. They have lost family members and childhood friends. Perhaps they've been exposed to death more than the average child, but I view that as a positive rather than a negative. It has given them strength. Strength that they can draw on to be there for others in their times of need. Strength to help them deal with whatever curve ball life may throw their way.

Last night was the final soccer game for my youngest. While there we talked a bit about the loss of L, and I asked her how K was. She said she didn't know. When I suggested she call K she said, "Mom I don't want to." I was taken aback, I wondered aloud why would she not want to call her friend. She told me that she didn't know what to say. How often do we as adults avoid the same type of situations for the same reasons?

I put my arm around her and looked her in the eye and told her, there is no "right" thing to say, there is nothing you can say that will take the pain of this day away, BUT you can be her friend, and right now that's all she needs... to know that her friend is there for her. You don't even have to talk, just listen... sit in companionable silence... but just be there.

She understood and felt better about not knowing what to say.

It would be nice if kids didn't have to know these sorts of things, it would be nice if we could live a Utopian existence where it was always sunshine and smiles, but reality is what it is and we can't. We can only do our best to ensure our children are as equipped as possible to handle the world.

I urge all my female readers to please PLEASE ensure you get your yearly check-up. If something doesn't feel right, get a check-up. If you think your doctor is wrong push harder for answers, get second opinions. We must look out for our best interests.

RIP L .... you will be dearly missed.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Opportunity Knocked and I Answered...Will You?

Recently a friend of mine and I were talking, she was telling me about this new venture she had found and how after only 3 months she was making enough to be able to quit her job (where she was not happy) and be at home with her son. I admit to being intrigued, I don't want to quit my job, but I sure would like extra income.

So I went over and looked at what she was doing and found myself impressed. Impressed enough to sign up and become a part of what she was doing.

She can go and work a farmer's market for one day and make $1000, so in essence if she wanted to she only has to "work" 4 times a month. She makes up baskets for special occasions and really markets herself well.

The company is called Mia Bella's, Premium Scented Gourmet Candles and Other Fine Gourmet Products. These candles are amazing, they are unlike any other you may have burned in the past. Allow me to show you a comparison:

Mia Bella Candles

Made from 100% vegetable oil, which is a renewable resource. Using renewable resources supports the economy.

Non-toxic and non-carcinogenic.
We make one of the healthiest and most environmentally friendly candles available on the market today.

Burns clean, 90% soot FREE and are environmentally friendly.

More costly to manufacture but well worth the added expense.

Biodegradable and water soluble-spills clean up easily with a little soap and hot water.

Burns cooler therefore lasts up to 50% longer!!

Paraffin-Based Candle

Petroleum based by-product of gasoline refining which is manufactured from both foreign and domestic oil.

Emits 13 known toxins and carcinogens into the air while burning.

Emits high quantities of soot into the air that can damage your health and your homes interior.

Large manufacturers have profit motive for continuing to use paraffin-based waxes.

Non-biodegradable and non water-soluble. Spilled paraffin wax is difficult to clean, damaging carpets, clothing, furniture and floors.

Burns much hotter, therefore faster.

Mia Bella Products: Are extremely economical !!

Votive Candles: Average 15 burn hours !!
Jar Candles: Average 140 burn hours !!
Mia Melts: Average 35 fragrance hours !!

Body Care Products are concentrated so a little goes a long way !!!!

Soy Body Bars
– Better than ordinary soap! Use to shower, shave and shampoo!! For all skin types. Contains soy proteins to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier, repair the collagen and restore elasticity to mature skin. A must for travel !!

Bella Hand Wash - Contains white tea extract to keep your hands protected, soft and supple! Everyone will look forward to washing their hands! Pump included.

Bella Balm –As effective cream to treat cracked, chapped and dry skin without a greasy residue! You’ll love it !

Please visit:

These are scented right to the very bottom. The simmer pot we offer melts Mia Melts and the scent goes through your entire house. I could not believe how well scented these products are!!! Some candles claim to be scented all the way through, but are not, or the scent seems to get weaker the more you burn your candle, not Mia Bella's ...the scent lasts from start to finish.

If you are looking for a second income, or a way to earn money on the side without having to be out working another 8 hours for someone else... please join!! It is your business and you will get out of it what you put into it. If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a distributor in your area please visit: and click on the "join" tab.

If you just wish to order some candles please feel free to order at my online store:

I am certain that once you try this product you will be as hooked as I am. Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I have allergies and most other candles will bother me to some degree, these don't so that is another added bonus!!!!

We have also brought out a make-up line that... so be sure to check those products out as well!!

WHOA...can you tell how excited I am about this ... I can't stop talking about it !!!!

Check it out... try it.... I guarantee you'll like it!!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009


A very dear friend of mine asked me to read a note she'd written, and to let her know what I thought. As I read what she had written, I recognized the words, I recognized the feelings... they mirrored mine almost exactly. Her words were beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. With her permission I share her words with you:

Dear Past:As I was sitting today reflecting on a passing comment made to me the other day, something came to me. The comment was "I don't even know you anymore!" This has really gotten me to thinking. You are right, you don't know me anymore. In fact, you never really did. I found the remark kind of ironic, because for the last couple of years, neither do I.

So, since hearing this remark, I have been spending most of my time trying to figure out where exactly it was that I lost myself. There is no answer to that I discovered. It was not one single event or moment; it was a culmination of many. For a long time I have been blaming my loss of self on you, my past. I thought that I had changed as a person due to the loss, abuse, heartbreak, fear and betrayal that I have endured. I had spent many hours wondering why does this happen to me, when will I be happy, what did I do to deserve this?? I now know the answer to that. I haven’t changed at all, besides growing wiser, I just forgot who I was.

Bit by bit, day by day you stole little pieces of me. Or so I thought. I learned to expect disappointment, rejection, pain, I was sure if I put myself out there that I would surely be hurt again. I created walls….a hard shell and I would rarely show what was hidden beneath to anyone. As the years went on it became easy to blame my fears on you. It was your fault. I forgot who I was too.

I realize now that it was your own fears and insecurities and lack of self worth that caused you to chip away at mine. It was life. Life is hard and situations happen. There are good people and bad people and I would allow anyone into my life, because I always felt that everyone deserves a chance. I was so arrogant that I thought I could save everyone. Pain is inevitable, everyone feels it. I was strong, confident, happy and had very clear goals. These characteristics are what drew every situation and person to me in the first place. But through this all, you broke me down into someone I no longer knew, but into someone you could control. It took a long time but eventually you succeeded, I forgot who I was.

I still really don’t know how I allowed this to happen. I was a person who had no fear, I lived life to the fullest, I loved with my whole heart and never turned away from someone in need. I loved myself and everyone around me. I knew that I could do anything that I put my mind to. I knew that I deserved respect, and I demanded it. That is who I was raised to be!

You took this from me with your mental and physical abuse, your betrayals, your lies and your lack of respect! So all this time, I have blamed you, my past, when in fact, I have no one to blame but myself, I allowed this to happen. I had become my own worst enemy. I had a choice and I chose to take this lying down. I acted like a victim. I am not a victim, I am a fighter! I fought for you, for my friends, for my family, for the little lost puppy but, I forgot to fight for the most important thing….myself.

Coming to this realization has completely changed my outlook. Life may have handed me shitty cards from time to time, but I didn’t deserve it……..I allowed it to make me lose myself. So dear past, I forgive you. And, no, you don’t know me at all! But I do!!!

Written by Joanne Schock June 7/09

Thank you my dear, dear Jo Hanna for sharing that with me and for allowing me to share it here. Thank you for giving voice to the girl inside me, the girl who sometimes wonders who am I and where do I fit.