Monday, October 28, 2013


Commuter Husband, Oldest Son, Youngest Son and I watched Blackfish on CNN last night.

Me: "You know we are never going to SeaWorld again."

Oldest Son: "Yeah, I kinda got that idea."

Through the years Commuter Husband and I have made small choices to demonstrate our views on the treatment of animals. While living in Mexico, we opted not to swim with the dolphins. We have stopped going to the circus. The boys know why we have made these choices because we told them when they were 6 and 8 years old. Now we will not go to SeaWorld again. Oldest Son was not surprised.

I did the research last night. I read many of the rebuttals from SeaWorld and official comments. Nothing in their published rhetoric changes my mind.

We are definitely not animal rights activists; I am much more passionate about other causes. However, we will continue to look for ways to respect all living things. Small steps, one person at a time because it is the right thing to do.

This is where they belong ...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Unexpected Gifts

Yesterday, I did what friends do. I was simply present. The reality of the last half of adult life is that it includes many doctors, hospitals and funerals. We are taking care of our own bodies which are just starting to age as well as addressing the ailments of our parents and grandparents.

And it is okay. There are many gifts in these kinds of days.

BFF's Husband and I spent the first half of the day in Baylor hospital's comfortable waiting area. I was juggling client conference calls on my iPhone and work emails on my laptop. In between, I received my first gift.

I have known BFF's Husband since college and that would be 30 years! We discussed how each of our jobs are going at the moment. Then, we talked about politics including Wendy Davis's campaign for Governor of Texas, the Republican Party far right leadership situation and the impact of the abortion provisions of Texas HB2. The interesting part is that I often avoid talking politics with BFF and BFF's Husband because through the years I keep moving more and more to the liberal side of issues and not all my friends (old and new) are there with me. The truly fascinating part is that my BFF's Husband's comments, thoughts and opinions had much more in common with mine than I would have ever imagined. I so appreciated and enjoyed his insights and honest dialogue and his openness to my views. While waiting for BFF to come out of her surgical procedure, a slice of time was our gift and we used it to share our minds in intelligent conversation.

The afternoon was spent with BFF in her hospital room discussing the successful procedure, sharing a heart healthy lunch and catching up on life. BFF and I turn 50 in 18 months so we used this time to plan our birthday blow out. We have the venue, entertainment, theme, location, food and drinks planned! My second gift was this conversation about celebrating life. BFF's Husband pointed out to us the irony of having this conversation in a Baylor Heart and Vascular hospital room. BFF and I looked at each and smiled - exactly!

The third gift is love. This love is why BFF sat with me in a breast surgeon's office last December as I learned what my options would be to rid my body of cancer. This love is why I was at the hospital while my friend's heart was fixed.

Over the next 30 years we will likely share doctor visits, hospital waiting rooms and graveside good byes. Thank goodness I do not have to do it alone.

Friday, October 18, 2013

An Open Mind

Turkish Prince, Youngest Son, Artist Friend's Daughter and Turkish Daughter explore with light, color, shadows, movement and touch. 
I have a friend who takes me to places I would not think to go. My Artist Friend helps me see the world in ways I would not consider. Tonight she lead us to Aurora, a free contemporary art exhibit, in Dallas Art's District.

Our dear Turkish Friends are visiting: Turkish Father, American Turkish Friend (Noah's 11 year friend for the last 9 years), Turkish Daughter (age 8) and our Turkish Prince (almost 4.) We all ventured into the perfect Texas night to view the lights, music and videos.

Youngest Son "I don't get some of this stuff." That is good. Art can make you feel or think or consider thoughts that are outside your comfort zone.

Art opens your mind. An Open Mind is a beautiful thing.

Perhaps this photo is slightly artistic ... for me anyway. Turkish Prince skirts behind Artist Friend's Daughter as Youngest Son embraces the moment.
Imagine "Singing in the Rain" and these umbrellas opening and closing to the music ... hear the snap of the nylon? This installation made me feel happy and unable to resist twitching to the beat as I thought of Gene Kelly jumping in the puddles.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Looking Different

I look different. How can I not? I no longer have double D breasts. People who have just met me are not aware of any change. I look like a woman with a flat chest who wears lots of pretty scarves and blouses with ruffles. Most of these new people do not know about my breast cancer or the breast-free choices I have made. While I do not avoid discussing, it is not something that typically comes up in casual conversation.

And the people who have known me? I am not sure what they think when they look at me. I do get many "you look great" comments which are greatly appreciated and I think are sincere. But what sequence of thoughts runs through their mind? the first time they see me? or day after day?

The after me has new clothes. And I have all these wonderful people who knew me before to thank. I have had so many friends and family make, send, give or buy me scarves. I have received emails and Facebook messages on how to tie scarves, ruching and links to personal accounts to purchase accessories. Gifts of t-shirts and blouses and undershirts have been generously given to me. Others have taken me shopping helping me find a new fashion statement. Each and ever one of these acts of kindness have motivated me to embrace my body shape.

Grateful. Grateful. GRATEFUL. This has been an important part of my emotional recovery. I did not have the mental energy to do this part completely alone and so glad I did not have to ...

Breast-free looks like this with no extra accessories.