Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas 2015










Christmas wasn't found under our tree this year.  It quite literally walked through our front door, time and time again.  Plates of homemade cookies and treats.  Casserole dishes, crockpot meals, yummy prepared dishes of all kinds, brought to us by friends and family.  At a time when everyone is so busy preparing for the holidays- our family was uplifted, and surrounded by hope and encouragement each and every day.  

Our mailbox was overflowing with envelopes and cards and gifts that left us speechless.

And the anonymous gifts- the hockey player light- so cool- no names attached from the sender- but deeply felt surprise by us, and gratitude for the thoughtfulness and pure cool factor! 

The gift card to Target, from the Orchestra, at Horizon Middle School- we're so deeply humbled they took up a collection and picked our family as a recipient!  

And so many other things, big and small, that touched us so.


I have yet to have a full day where tears haven't fallen in sheer humility and gratitude.

"We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.. Definition of courage: Tell your story with all your heart."

My last full day in New York City, I was honored to be asked to share my story on camera.  The room was filled with producers, photographers, and hair and make-up artists- although Stella has her own thing going that doesn't adhere to change very well.

I was asked all kinds of questions about what it was like living with metastatic breast cancer?  What was the message I wanted to share?

I'm not sure the exact words I used, but I shared with them my thoughts as we had descended upon the streets of New York.

It would have been quite easy to step into the flow of walkers, and be moved along en masse with them.  But we were walking by so many points of interest.  I had to remind myself to slow down, and look around, and just be in THIS moment, instead of rushing off to the next.  One of my most favorite photos happened of the bright yellow and red umbrellas and the shiny rain soaked sidewalks, because we took the time to savor the moment right where we were. 

We can all expand the time we have- live more, feel more, be more in the tiniest moments of the day.  And feel grateful for them- instead of trying to extend our time and cross off one more thing on our to do list.  Sometimes the most important things aren't even on our list! 


I told them my wish was to "live my legacy, and not just leave one."  

At some point the room became very quiet.  The female producer had stopped asking questions, and a male had stepped in.  And when I looked up, I realized its because she was crying.   And he simply let me keep going.

I sort of lost my train of thought, and then we all laughed.  We'd been shooting for a long time, and they felt they had more than enough to use for their foundation.

I got up to go, and the female producer came over to me and asked to hug me.  

We ended the conference at 5 pm, and filled our night with a bus tour of New York, and a stop for dinner at the Empire State Building which we toured afterwards.

It was a beautiful end to a wonderful 3 full days of adventure in New York City.


*********************************

We're off for a few days of hockey.  Jim is staying with Crosby who has had a rough go lately, but seems to be stabilized  again.

MRI and PET scan results should be back soon and I see Dr. Panwalkar next week.

"All shall be well" 














16 comments:

  1. Merry Christmas friend. There's no doubt you are loved. But just in case, I love you, too. XXOO

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  2. Merry Christmas Westra Family- xo

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  3. So happy that you and family are so loved and taken care of by friends and others in your circle. A belated Merry Christmas goes out to you.

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  4. what a beautiful and memorable trip and christmas…and the message you always give to us when we come here…beyond powerful!!!….xxxxxx

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  5. I am sittimg at an appointment in Florida crying reading about the silence and the producer crying. Oh, Vickie, your message and way of living it are incredible, moving, inspiring, and heartfelt. God bless you

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  6. I am sittimg at an appointment in Florida crying reading about the silence and the producer crying. Oh, Vickie, your message and way of living it are incredible, moving, inspiring, and heartfelt. God bless you

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  7. i agree with Kass! my eyes watered as i read about all the physical demonstrations of love you've received. yay for compassionate, caring community! i believe God has given you a platform and that you honored Him with the words you spoke about being present in every moment. He is speaking through you...i LOVE it!

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  8. You are rich indeed! Surrounded by family, friends and acquaintances who love you, who are moved by you, and will eventually be changed by you. You are more brave than you can imagine, and are a symbol of hope to us all. Merry Christmas and may God richly bless you Vickie, and your family.

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  9. I have been looking forward to this update and I'm so glad to see your friends and family descending on you to bless and serve. What WOULD we do without dear family and friends when we are going through the hardest places? God love and bless them all for keeping you and the family a top priority.

    I hope your interview will be somewhere we can log in to see it but I know, without doubt, you touched hearts and made a big difference. Thank you for being brave enough to go and for sharing your message, dear Vicky. You encourage me daily just by being you. Happy New Year to you and Rick and the boys and my heart and prayers are with you.

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  10. I think that one of my favorite things you wrote in this blog post is ..."just be in THIS moment."
    Oh yes, my friend.
    I need to take heart of this myself. I need to slow down and smell the roses along the way.
    I love you and wish you a beautiful and precious-filled 2016.

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  11. Beautiful update; Merry Christmas to you and your family Vicky!

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  12. Yep, me too--agreeing with Cass. And I love your attitude--live my legacy not just leave my legacy.

    Wow.

    Loved living this moment with you, when you were sharing your story, and people teared up.

    Beautiful. Simply Beautiful.

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  13. I love, love, love the idea of Christmas walking through your door. What a beautiful picture of love.

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  14. Oh my dear soul sis!
    Happy New Year! We just returned home yesterday leaving Hawaii with 83 degrees and sunshine and arriving in Spokane with one degree and snow...LOTS of snow! 4 feet of snow! And it is ALL a gift, a blessing!

    As always, in reading your post, I am reminded of how I want to live my life. Treasure THIS moment. Be in THIS moment. Find the beauty in THIS moment! Every moment we are given is a gift. We can either rush by it or take the time to open the gift and be in awe of what is right there in front of us. That's the lesson of our retreat...don't miss a thing! Even the hardest things can be a gift...is only we pay attention.

    And you sharing your story on camera... tears from the producer and the lessons flowing, lessons you live every day. What a blessing for everyone in that room and for everyone who will hear your words...straight from the heart.

    Thank you, dear Vicky, for the gift YOU are in my life. You are a JOY and a treasure.
    Praying for you as you meet with Dr. P and get those test results back. Praying for dear Crosby too.

    Love you to the moon and back dear friend...always!
    Linda

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  15. Hoping that my Christmas wish comes true....of course, it has been the same with for the past several years....one of these days there will be a cure and my wish will come true...in fact, I have already written my Christmas wish list for 2016....may this year be the year...

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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