Thursday, December 24, 2009

What Christmas Means to Me


What does Christmas mean to you?

What it means to me is a bride doll from my mom, the Christmas songs that we learned at church, my daughter saying her first word, which was S-S-S-anta!

Christmas means thinking of my son having so many presents from me that he got overlayden with gifts and then got bored with opening them.  Until I realized that Christmas wasn't about how many toys...  but about the beauty of the moment.

But whatever Christmas means to you, whether it be happy or sad.  One thing I do know is that Christmas can be anything you want it to be from this day forward.  It's a day for love and laughter and the recognition that the world is a beautiful place.

We need to remember the reason for the season;  which I believe is about love, peace and angels wings.  

And my little loved ones whom I adore.







Thursday, December 17, 2009

From My Home to Yours


From My Home to Yours;
Wishing You a Very Merry Christmas Holiday Season.

With Much Love and Aloha,
Tara

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ask and You Shall Receive




I believe that when you want something, you have to decide WHAT you want and put it out there to the Universe.  If you don't know what you want and ask for it very clearly; then how can you possibly receive it?


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thankful for My Wonderful Friend, Lotus


At this time, I am still reflecting upon Thanksgiving and what it was and is and in fact; hopefully will always be present in your mind.  

The presence of being thankful is an ongoing attitude that I believe when we can adopt that mode of thankfulness it can bring so much joy to those around us and decidedly to ourselves.  After all, it is WE that need the thanksgiving spirit; because it's only when you give that you receive.  

I have a dear friend, who I endearingly call Lotus that has been kind of a mentor of mine.  She has the ability to be thankful for nearly everything in life, mind you it is not an always thing, but it is truly an attitude that brings her so much joy that she cannot help but attract many people into her sphere; just by being that way inclined.  

This dear friend I have come to know extremely well.  We have an incredible relationship that has spiraled into something that brings both of us into lovely and deep conversation, which I enjoy greatly.

I am ever so thankful to have my friend Lotus in my life.  And, I believe that she is thankful to have me, her Lilikoi in her life.  We are a wonderful and fulfilling duo!


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Oh, But for the Love of a Mother!


Today I want to say a piece about my son and what he is enduring at this point in time.  
He is enduring one of the scariest times of his life (and mine) as I am his loyal and faithful mother.  He has the swine flu and it really scares me to death! 

I remember so distinctly another time my son Matthew scared the life out of me. Matthew had essentially broken his face.  My son was a crazy guy who had no fear, just the need for speed.  And, he exercised that need to the nth degree.  He wanted to live life to the fullest, and he would fall and hurt himself constantly.  He was ten when he finally had crossed the barrier of doing so much to himself that he nearly died.  

He had gone over the edge of a concrete curb and had broken all the bones in his face and head.  It was the worst thing for a mother to have to live thru.   My Matthew had done a major job on nearly dying from his need for speed.  

And so, I am remembering him today in reference to what his last crazy thing that he has done; which is to get the swine flu.  

He has never stopped scaring his mother!  I guess my lot in life is to learn how to love him, just love him for all that he is; as he will probably always break something or another and cause me to worry.   

He has given me the most difficult task, and yet he has given me so much more.  

He has essentially been the love of my life for 20 years.  And, I would not give a day back for all the tea in China!  

Only a mother out there would truly understand this love that I'm speaking of, as it is so indescribable!  Only God Himself could have created such an astounding love;

The Love of a Mother. 


Friday, October 30, 2009

The Silent Message


Listen to what you cannot hear, because what you can hear, can and often does lie.  Listen to what you feel in your heart, because it does not lie.  It is your truth.

So often in life, you really need to listen to your inner voice.

There have been many times that I could have fallen into harms way, but because I listened to what my inner voice was telling me; I did not go down that path that made me feel uncomfortable.  Instead, I walked around the other way because I somehow "knew" that the other space was not where I needed to be.  Whether it's a man, a certain scent, a feeling that speaks silent volumes...  it happens in so many ways.  

Listen to your inner strength talking.  

This is what has brought me into safety and away from harm.  



Love Yourself First


Always remember to love yourself first, as you never know who is watching...  
Or listening.  In fact, it may be  your own ears that are listening intently to your thoughts. Make sure that your thoughts resonate with the love that you have in your heart.  

Love, honor and cherish yourself in such a way that those around you stop and turn their head at the brilliance of who you are this day and this day forward. 


Thursday, October 8, 2009

Speak Thy Truth

Speak Thy Truth is what I like to say in reference to confusing times.  Speak thy truth clearly, and calmly and always be true to yourself.

I have mentioned many times how into honesty I am, and it drives me a little crazy when people don't open up and just be honest.  Basically, I'm allergic to lies!

I've had, like all of us I'm sure at one point or another; people lie to me when they stand to gain from those lies that they are telling.  

Do not lie, cheat or steal; for they are vexations to the spirit.  I revere honesty and expect nothing less, because in the eyes of God, whomever you deem Him to be, I believe that He completely expects nothing less than the purity of spoken words.  

In my life, I have experienced many a time that people often say what they think you want to hear, but unfortunately, that is not doing them any favors at all.  We all need to speak about truth and what that truth is and not 

   












Thursday, September 24, 2009

Humility Always Pays Off


Today was a day of somewhat extreme pain mixed with the acknowledgement that my pain turned into something good.  So, you see; what I did was go to see the physical therapist, otherwise known as "THE PT".   At first, this particular physical therapist, seemed to be a little bit like Hitler; but this Hitler has remarkably lovely bluish green eyes.  (I just love looking at people's eyes, even if they are extraordinarily difficult to deal with)  Oh, I guess Hitler was kind of hard to deal with too!  HA HA  :)

In any case, I completed 3 weeks with this gal and I feel like I have accomplished GREAT things with her.  In fact, in the end she turned out to be a "softy" in a way and I was able to give her a big hug.  At that point she told me that she was pregnant with her first child.  I think about how much I would have missed had I given up and told her to get lost those three weeks ago.  One thing I learned is that humility always pays off.

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's My Birthday


You Say It's Your Birthday!  (da, da, da, da, da, da, da, duh)
It's My Birthday Too, Yeah!  (da, da, da, da, da, da, da, duh)

And, what a fine birthday it is going to be.  I have beautiful friends around me, one of them my friend and my mentor, my coach and my person who I am continually amazed by.  There is so much more I can say about Estee, but leave it at this, that I love her and I love her communication with me and along side me.    :)

My long time and wonderful friend Lotus Flower is coming for my birthday over the long weekend.  We have known each other through helicopter accidents and so very much more.  To say that she is dear to me is minimizing the awesomeness of the friendship that we now hold so dear.   I am *delighted* and excited to see her; and so flattered that she would fly to see me, her Lilikoi.






Monday, September 7, 2009

Lanai, And All It Has to Offer


Lanai is one of my favorite islands because it boasts of many of my personal favorite things to do in Hawaii; namely, the incredible snorkeling, scuba diving and astounding beaches.   Also the incredible views of the spinner dolphins doing their thing. (spinning)  It's just a fun site to see!

The resorts on Lanai are fabulous.  They are the Manele Bay and Koele Lodge; which offer two totally different experiences.  The Lodge is like a country manor; set amidst lovely hawaiian landscaping.  Manele Bay is truly a combination of paradise and beach.

I have often heard of Bill Gates being sited enjoying all that Lanai has to offer.  And, it's no surprise; as in my opinion, Lanai is one of the most private and serene of the islands.

Also there are two championship golf courses that would entice even the most experienced of players.

Ultimately, what Lanai is to me is nearly perfection.  It is perfect in it's astounding beauty.  When I close my eyes, just the thought of the views take my breath away. 

My memories of Lanai go far and wide in their ability to take me to the most lovely of all paradises.  It is "da bess"  (as Hawaiians would colloquially say) meaning THE BEST.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Molokai; The Friendly Isle


Molokai, known as the "Friendly Isle" is one of the least developed islands in the Hawaiian chain.   It is the island where Father Damien was laid to rest after he came down with the horrific disease known commonly as leprosy or Hansen's disease.    He gave his life to the people of Molokai and is heralded as one of the greatest and most unselfish men of his time.  

Probably the most interesting and beautiful, yet difficult thing to do on Molokai is to visit Kalaupapa Peninsula; which is where Father Damien had his mission.   What makes it difficult is its lack of accessibility.  You can only get there by mule or airplane. I have only visited by airplane and I do recommend this trip. 


Monday, August 24, 2009

Exploring Maui's Outer Islands


Did you know that there are additional islands around Maui that are absolutely gorgeous?  And, you can get to most of them via a boat ride.  I recommend that you take notes, because if you don't know about these islands at this point; then I have some really neat information for you to jot down.

Firstly, there are a few islands you may not have heard about yet.  The first one on this list is the island of Kaho'olawe  (p.s. the w sounds like a v) It is a remarkable island in that it boasts of the name "The Target Island,"that is because it used to be occupied by the U.S. Government.  There also used to be a lot of what looked like fireworks coming from Kaho'olawe, but it was not fireworks at all; it was the exploding land mines.  

Today, what is on Kaho'olawe are what I jokingly refer to as a lot of paranoid goats. I've never seen the goats, but I've been told that they exist.  Throughout time I have had friends that have spoken about them.  My son did a humanitarian day with his college, where they did a big clean up of the island.   According to Wikipedia - access to Kaho'olawe requires escort and careful attention within areas know to contain unexploded ordnance.  I do NOT recommend that you go there.  It is best viewed at a distance.  

Instead of going to Kaho'olawe, you can go to the very popular Molokini.  Molokini is a very beautiful and interesting snorkeling destination.  It is interesting because it is in the shape of the crescent moon and you can go there via several different carriers depending on how much you want to spend and how long of a trip you want to go on. It is best to go with your family or at least as a couple.  Most think it is well worth the cost of the trip.

Stay tuned for my next blog, for more gorgeous travel destinations; including the incredible island of Molokai, also known as "The Friendly Isle".




Thursday, August 6, 2009

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda


If I coulda, woulda, shoulda; That's what folks always say...

Have any of you out there heard that old and luscious song that Lou Rawls sang a few years back?  Well, I'm here to tell you that it is one of the most profound messages that I can think of to speak about in this blog.

What I think Lou is saying is; if I woulda or if I coulda or ultimately, I shoulda done this thing that I was going to do, than maybe my life would have turned out differently.  
Have there not been times in your life when you just thought, "Gosh, I should have gone to the store before the hurricane hit."  Or, "If I would have just been ten pounds thinner, he would have loved me more."  Or maybe, "If I could have just invested a little more wisely; then I..."

The meaning of this song, I believe; speaks of how we all at some time or other feel like we've made a mistake and could have or should have done something differently so as to have an outcome that would have been far greater than what it turned out to be.  

I know for me, that I have said those words many times, although not so much recently.  Honestly, that song changed my way of thinking in such a big way and I am grateful to that wonderful song writer for choosing those words that helped me to expand my horizons and understand that the way I speak needs to be very well thought out  because what you say may very well become reality if you're not careful.

Ultimately what I believe this is about, is living without regrets.  We must try not to regret a single thing that we do and instead, trust ourselves that it is okay to do, to be and to have those things we create; as those things ultimately become weaved into our life and enrich us, so that we can be who we need to be.

Another thought comes to my mind about my very own mother.  She is forever repeating that she should have done something differently and gets extremely irritated with herself, thus creating an unhappy atmosphere for her to have to live within.   She has lived for eighty-seven beautiful and happy years.  In my estimation she only has reason to click her heels in joy for her tremendous fortune, due to her long and beautiful life.

P.S.  Congratulations Mom, for you have been incredibly blessed.  
Happy Birthday.


Self Worth


As I contemplate today's blog; there are so many words in my head that continue to scroll by.  These words are all about self worth; my own, yours, his, hers, every body's.  

Self worth is very necessary.  It is an intrinsic part of who we are.   At times, we all fail to recognize our self worth.   Sometimes we may wonder if we have any worth or value at all.   And, if we do have worth, what is it?  At this moment I have been struggling with discovering my own value and my own self worth.

I have had an incredibly difficult time today. (and in fact, not just today) but I've had such a difficult time today because painful words were used by one of my dearest loved ones.  I cannot comprehend how any child of mine whom I have loved so tenderly and deeply all of his life could turn around and verbally devalue me so as to strike me from my innermost core through to my very soul.  How could you my son strike me so thoroughly and completely?

As I must answer my own questions, I realize that the answer obviously lies within me. The answer to the question is that God has made him to be this incredibly wonderful man/child and it is my duty to teach him and let him fly free to his own destination; whatever he chooses it to be.  What I can do is Love him, Love him, Love him and let him know that he is accepted regardless of what pain I might feel from his words.

-But getting back to my original thoughts which are about self worth.

I know I need to remember my self worth in this time, in this hour, in this day.   Just like the trees and the stars; God gave me the right to be here.

I also need to realize that no one can take my worth away.  It is mine. 



Monday, July 27, 2009

How Important is a Friend?


How Important is a Friend?  How important is it to BE a friend?  What IS a friend?

Are we a rock or an island?  (I love that song)  "and a rock feels no pain and an island never cries... "  

Who would you be if you had no friends?  If you weren't a friend to someone else?

What I do know for certain is this:
I do not want to live as an island anymore.


Make Sure You Say It


This is just a little thought from Tara; 

If you care about someone, tell them.  If you think something nice about another, make sure you let them know.  If you love someone, speak the words.

It's just so simple to say those wonderful words that can make someone's day.  When you make someone's day, the amazing thing is that it travels in a circle and spreads around the world, we don't know how far it goes.  Imagine all the good that you can do by just the simple act of speaking that kind or positive word.

Let people know that they are beautiful, that they are loved and that someone cares. Let them know that they matter.

Too many times we think things and don't say it.  Put it into words.  

Make sure you say it!


Monday, July 20, 2009

The Gift of Sound


Music can lift our hearts and take us to heights that we never thought we would climb to; heights we never even knew existed!  It is that spirit of music that I wish to applaud. 

Music has always charmed me, it has been there through tough times and blissful times.  Music has been such a wonderful friend.

I would just like to honor all the sounds that have warmed my heart through the years. I love the way that music makes me feel.  I love that God gave us ears to hear so that we can enjoy the incredible gift of sound. 
  
I am so pleased that I have an understanding of the bliss that music can bring.  Music has taken me on incredible journeys, it has filled my life with so much joy and has fulfilled my life in incredible ways. 

I love to listen to the calming sounds of the river as it flows across my pathway.  I cherish the sounds of a young child laughing with so much joy that it almost brings tears to my eyes.

Doesn't it bring you joy to hear a child giggling?  Or a baby cuing? How invigorating it is to hear the clap of lightning and thunder.

I wish for everyone to find some time in their day in which to sit quietly and listen. 

Sounds can invigorate; as well as make you laugh and make you cry.  The sound of music, be it classical, popular, rock and roll soul, jazz...  whatever moves you, whatever grooves you.  It is amazing to let your mind flow and your ears hear the incredible songs of life; the music of life.

The sound of music comes in all forms and everybody has their own song to sing.  I love to sing.  I love to hear it when someone is singing from their soul, from the heights of a mountain top or the depths of a valley.  

I encourage everyone across the world to have their OWN song and to sing it loudly.

So Sing It, Baby!!!    ;)





Monday, July 13, 2009

Today's Life Lesson


This afternoon I came upon a huge life lesson that I'd like to share with you, My Readers.

I hadn't heard from one of my dearest friends for a long time and I suppose that I have had some sorry feelings about that circumstance.  You see, I'm sure that some of you would agree that it's very difficult coming through a major life change such as having a stroke or some other major life incident.  I have felt sad for myself that after having SO MANY FRIENDS all my life to after having had the stroke; now having FAR FEWER FRIENDS.  It has been a painful thing to grapple with considering that I haven't changed at all, other than the dealings of the aftermath of having a massive stroke and all that it left me with.

The good news, in fact, the great news is that I am one of the most persistent and go for it kind of chicks you might ever meet.  I am delighted to stand before you now as a very strong and capable lady who has come a thousand miles.

The lesson that I'm speaking of is that I heard from my friend and found out that the father of her child had a stroke and other complications which led to all of his limbs being amputated.  He's only 54!  And, he has no close family, other than his one daughter.  I have a lot of respect for my friend; respecting him and coming to his assistance for the benefit of his daughter, my "niece".

Isn't it interesting that we have our own crosses to bear and in looking at the situation from all sides, I realize that this man is going through an incredible crisis in his life.  It gives me warmth inside that my friend would be so kind and giving as well as my "niece" being so strong to deal with her dad going thru this crazy situation that would have most people on their knees.  

In fact at this moment I'm saying a prayer to Our God in thanks for my realization that we all have our separate painful things we must deal with and that we need to offer ourselves up to help one and all for the blessings that we get and for the strength that we can and will endure all that we need to, because this is the life he has given us.  And, we owe our thanks for all that he has done for us and will continue to do for us, until such time as we pass the baton to our children and our children's children.




Friday, July 10, 2009

What Might You Like to Hear About?


To My Dearest Audience,

Today I'm thinking hard about what it is that you My Audience might like to hear or know about.  I have so much information in my head about subject matters from it seems like soup to nuts.

You have heard me speak about the massive stroke that I endured as well as the longing for travel, I cannot wait to tell you about in future blogs.  That means that I can't wait to talk about the times in the future that I have not yet had.

I have been told by many mentors of mine that I really need to talk about those things that have been very difficult to write about, such as; the tremendous pain from my Sjogren's disease/disorder, my extremely painful nueropathy, the difficulty in coming to grips with the fact that perhaps I don't have the readership that I want to have, because perhaps no one wants to hear about my woes.  

Frankly, I would prefer to talk abut my happiest of times where I've traveled through the world having had incredibly blissful times hanging out in Greece, Florida, Italy, Paris, France, The Bahamas...

So, My Dear People Out There, Somewhere...

What is it that you want to hear about?  Know about?  As I have so much to share.  May I tell you about some of my happiest adventures?  Or shall I beckon you with my deepest and darkest secrets?  Only you can let me know.

So, please do.  Let me know.
I look forward to hearing from you.

Monday, July 6, 2009

HEY MAUI! I'M BACK!!


I guess most people that are reading this blog are aware that I had a massive stroke about 4 years ago.  There are so many things that I could say in order to express the enormity of what happened to me in this horrifically challenging time.

One of the things that happened was that I lost most of my hair due to the fact that I was moving my head from left to right, and right to left, left to right and right to left ... with great and increasing speed; so that my hair fell out in crazy clumps.  It must have looked absolutely awful!  For I am one who took a lot of pride in how she looked, with my thick, long, flowing mane.  

What I was left with as I have my earliest memories in my recovery, was a gruesome mess of hair that had been all but stripped out and looked like a sad excuse for a homeless creature.   At the time, my husband left a note on the door of my hospital room asking all people not to say anything to me about what my hair looked like.

You see, everyone knew the pride I had in my hair and my husband knew that I would be nearly destroyed if I were to find out that I was looking like such an urchin.

But that was nearly four years ago and with all of the therapy, both personal and physical; as well as having an attitude for self improvement; I am back!

The therapies I chose to do included strength conditioning, walking, a tremendous amount of lap swimming, working out with a trainer and lifting weights.   Now, I can move mountains!  

I feel very proud of what I have achieved.  Most people would have died.  The only way that I have succeeded is having the attitude of success with no other possibility.  I had nothing else but success in my mind.

As you can see from the picture on this blog; I have a HUGE head of hair, that is thick, long and blonde again.  Who woulda thunk?  ;)

HEY MAUI!  I'M BACK!!


Monday, June 29, 2009

Personal Freedom


What does freedom mean to you?  

What freedom means to me is the ability to speak freely from my mind and from my heart.  What freedom means to me is the ability to go where I please, say what I please, feel what I please.   And, to be exactly who I need to be.  

I believe that we are ALL entitled to have the life that we were given or that we have worked hard to have.  I believe that we all have the right to have the life that we have created for ourselves.

In this life, let no man nor woman get in the way of our pursuit of happiness or our right to be exactly who we decide to be.  

Side Note:  While searching for a picture; came across this quote that is so appropriate for this blog.

The secret of happiness is freedom and the secret of freedom is courage.
- Thucydides

HAVE THE COURAGE TO BE FREE!


Friday, June 12, 2009

It's Me, Tara; Standing Independently




Something very exciting happened to me this last weekend.  It was the first time in a long time, that I have gone out to a party and visited with a number of my friends from my daughter's school.  

All these people were around at the time when I had the massive stroke on both sides of my brain.  I have spoken to you, my faithful readers, about this before and I have relayed a lot of the sadness that has been connected with this event.

However this time, was so wonderfully different.  The reason for the difference, firstly was that during my daughter's graduation I had actually walked up a flight of stairs on my own!  Yippie!!  This was so exciting to have people turn around and stare at me because they had seen me only in a wheelchair.  

Following the ceremony, the party was in full form.  It was during this time that I surprised myself as well as many other people.  I was actually standing independently, that is without the help of anyone.   This was beyond exciting because of my plans for the future.

My plans for the future include some travel to the Greek Islands, Paris, Venice, the  South of France, Spain...  and several more exciting destinations.  

I can't wait!


Monday, June 8, 2009

Did You Know?


Did you know that if you have problems with having a greasy face; the good side of that is that you won't become a wrinkled up prune?

That's Just the Way it Is


I'd like to introduce the ladies who help me produce my blog each week.  They have become my dearest friends and confidants.  I gladly present the ladies to you, my faithful audience.  

Jennifer, April, Debra and Estee; these are the woman that help me thru this process. 

I realize that one of my blogs last week was very serious.  It was very difficult to write, but I think it was an important one.  My mentor in this reminds me how important it is for me to tell the truth as I see it, even though at times the truth is very painful to write about.

There are times when my blogs seem very blaze', subdued and unimportant.  Then there are times when I feel like I'm really on to something.  There are difficult blogs and there are funny blogs.  There are times when I just want to post beautiful flowers that make my heart sing.  Then, there are times when I feel more serious and I can only speak of how heavy my heart is feeling.  

I suppose that what this speaks of, is just a mirror of life.  Life can be a big bowl of flowers and it can be a big bowl of caca poopoo.  And, that's just the way it is.   

Sounds like a song doesn't it?  Oh Yes!!  It IS a song.   Remember Bruce Hornsby?  He sang Mandolin Rain and That's Just the Way it Is.  

Write in if you like Bruce Hornsby and want to see him come back to Maui again.  We'll let him know.

Stay Tuned.






Friday, June 5, 2009

My Wonderful Life, Turned Nightmare From Hell, Part II



Four years later...

What I am dealing with now is the aftermath of the aforementioned events.  On the bright side, I can speak as well as I could before:  Thank God!  I can also walk. Improvements seem slow, but I never really cared much for running anyhow.  I plan to be snow skiing in the next couple of years, and spreading good cheer to all those who are less fortunate than I.  

What I really think I need to do is let it go and get on with the life that I now have.  It's just that the life I now have sucks in comparison to my old one due to a list of continuous infirmities.  The worse part is, IT NEVER SHOULD'VE HAPPENED, but, thanks to one bad doctor and a poor excuse for a hospital, it did.  Suing is too tough, because in medical malpractice it is nearly impossible to prove unless you have a lot of connections and/or cash, neither of which I have.  It has cost me and the insurance companies countless millions already.  

It is truly awful, and I have no one offering me the kind of empathy that I feel I need and deserve.  It seems that empathy should be the least form of comfort from the people in my family who are aware of the extreme nature of my pain, and yet I am sad to say that I don't receive it.  So what I do is take the medications I need to take to have help enduring this awful nightmare that has become my life at least a good portion of the time.  

I am still vision impaired, so it cuts to my very soul that I can no longer read and write. The persistent, sharp pains in my feet are like bolts of hot lightening that shock me and at times make me lose my train of thought.  I wish that I could say that this was the end of the list, but sadly for me it is not!  Let me tell you, this is all really frightening to me.  

You see, when you have one autoimmune disorder, you are subject to getting all autoimmune disorders.  When the body goes through so much trauma, especially in my case as a woman, it is common for autoimmune disorders to become amplified. My Sjogren's syndrome does nothing other than further aggravate the situation because now my mouth, my nose, and my eyes are terribly dry. My voice is altered depending upon how much moisture is being created.  On top of that, in the back of my mind I fear that the malignant cancer that was in my right kidney could return.

It would be remiss to not include the fact that I broke my hip in an unfortunate accident, and not mention, of course, the spasticity in my right side from the massive stroke I had four years ago.  Once again, it would be silly if I were to skip mentioning the thyroid near total removal a few years back.  

You can image that I thought the worst had been experienced!  Ha!  Guess again, buzzard breath, I say with tongue in cheek laughter.  Gosh, let's see, is that all?  Oh, I'm sure I fail to mention that my family looks to me as the head of the household and therefore everyone expects that I will stand up, brush myself off, and say the rehearsed words, "I shall prevail!" and not let this world get me down, meanwhile I really feel like I could crumble at almost any time.  

They all think of me as being so strong, but I just shake my head and think, "So strong... yeah."  What makes me so strong is the amazing love I have for my two children.  It's amazing how much love one can have for their children, while interestingly enough, you're really raising your children to stand on their own feet and leave you at some unannounced time. 

I just want to tell my story and not sound like a whiner.  So that is my story.  Please write on my wall with suggestions about how to deal with the enormity of this, I would love to hear any thoughts you might have.  

Aloha nui loa, a hui ho!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

My Wonderful Life, Turned Nightmare From Hell


I want to tell a story about a lady who had a wonderful life, a life filled with all kinds of love and laughter, healthy children, and good times living on the gorgeous island of Maui. What a glorious dream I created for myself! 

One day the dream crashed into a series of indescribable nightmares.  I had a massive stroke on all sides of my body, leaving me comatose for at least a couple of weeks.  During that time, some of my dreams consisted of being tossed into a large vat of human feces.  I believed that I had died.  When I awakened from the coma, I found myself paralyzed, blind, and in indescribable pain.  My life resembled a horror film. 

I keep attempting to awaken from the horror of this nightmare, but I don't seem to have the capacity to let it go.  I desperately want to, but the more I try the more I realize that in fact this is not a dream, this is real life--that is, my real life.  

I am so tired of the pain, so tired from the endless medications I have to take.  I'm so tired of not being able to see my wonderful son and gorgeous daughter, and at times it brings me to tears in a single moment.  The tears don't seem to go away, they just continue to haunt me.  At times I have frightening flashbacks of my nightmares. 

To be continued...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

for your kicks and ha has!




Sending you a day filled with bliss, joy, laughter, and unabashed giggles!  
:)

Monday, June 1, 2009

Laughter Is the Best Medicine


How many times have you heard "Laughter is the best medicine"?  

Has it made you kind of want to rip their throat out?  Or instead, has it given you pause for thought about the genuine good wish that hopefully was intended?  

My way of thinking is to learn to laugh like the tinkling sweet laughter of a friend of mine.  She has what I presume is a lovely good nature to her, that brightens up her smile and the day as well.  It is honestly sweet to be in her company and I can only wish that  I might learn from Estee  how to capture peoples hearts as no doubt she has always done.  

Indeed, it is my belief that to remain in good cheer and in fact "fake it 'til you make it" is truly the best medicine.  (even when you don't feel it all)  This my friends, is how I have been able to cope with the enormity of having had a stroke at what seemed like the best time of my life.  

"My Word" may I say that I have had to learn to "Fake it" for up to a year at a time, so that I could again learn to live with the pitfalls I have had to overcome.

You know how people often say these days "it's all good"?  Well, I'm sick of people saying  that.  You know,  it isn't "all good."  That saying is overused.  "It's all good" with a plastic smile made to look like you really believe it.  

Truthfully, it's NOT all good.  But, we can learn to fake it and if it doesn't work the first time; fake it again.   And, then maybe, fake it again. ect., ect,...

My Mom Was Right


You're going to be able to swim with the turtles.

Just remember Tara, that someday you will be swimming with the turtles!

My Mother was right.  Although I have not put my snorkel and mask on yet, I am absolutely certain that I will be doing that very thing soon.

So Mom, you see, that I really do listen to what you say.  (at least much of the time)  

It may not seem as though I have listened intently, however, I suppose you could say that I just do it in my own time.

The stroke that I suffered still stings and I suppose that it will sting for as long as I hold onto the feeling that I have lost something.  What I think that I have lost is time-time being a younger person perhaps.  Or, maybe it's just time.   All of a sudden I blink my eyes and I'm another year older.  And, I don't think I like that.  But, I say to myself somewhat caustically (with Billy Crystal voice),  "What can you do about it?  It just is what it is." 

I guess that Good Ol' Mom didn't get to be Good Ol' Mom in a day, she too had to go thru the "Mommy Ropes" in order to give sound advise at times such as these.  

I only hope that I don't pass on the legacy of having a stroke or any other such calamity to my beloved daughter Malia, who, by the way, is the apple of my eye.  God love her.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

To be Cherished


What it is to be in love, not just to love but to be in love.  It is a magical feeling, and if you have it you are among the blessed.  If we do not consider ourselves among the blessed, then how do we find ourselves a way to be in that right relationship?  It is a dream of mine to cherish and be cherished--may I say or even think the word unconditionally, or is that too much?  I have not felt loved for so very long that I wonder whether it is among the possibilities.

There is an old french saying, and it goes something like this:  "Love, she can burn and she can last.  But she cannot do both."

I would treasure the thought that there is someone who would blow my socks off.  Here it goes, dare I say it, I want this so much that I don't know whether to even ask for it.  But oh my goodness, I long to know if that will ever be in my life again.  I want to feel that amazing hunger where you just can't get enough of the scent of his skin, oh yes, this will be bliss when next I stumble upon it.   

Stop and Smell the Flowers


I ask myself with some regularity why do I feel that I need to rush?

It seems to me that everyone is in some kind of rush, whether it be rushing to meet someone, rushing to eat so that we can rush to get to our next appointment, so that we can rush to see if we can find another way to save money in this crazy marketplace of downturn and, shall we say in a whisper, a depression?  Phew!  What I'm really getting at is that everyone is in such a rush and feeling in such a hurry to get somewhere and when we get there we realize that we've spent our finite time on this planet hurrying and scurrying.

I ask myself at this juncture what is it all about (like that Alfie song some of you might remember)?  Am I achieving anything by rushing?  Or am I just feeling like I'm achieving something because I'm rushing to get there, when I'm not even sure of where I'm going.

How about if we stop and smell the proverbial flowers--oh yes and I do love gardenias :)--and recognize that we are already just exactly where we need to be.  These words may be profound enough for me to attempt to follow my own advice.  :)  

Stop and breath deeply of your favorite scented flower.
Aloha, Tara


Friday, May 22, 2009

The Ups and Downs I Must Endure


I am feeling a mixture of glee for having met 9 wonderful ladies that could potentially decorate my life in a whole new way. These are things that I am very pleased about and therefore I am also very, very thankful.

On the other hand I remain frustrated at the pain that is yanking at my feet every second of the day. I want to have more mind control so that I can forgo thinking about the pain and instead slot the pain into a different place, so that I don't have to think about it 24/7.

I nonetheless feel like breaking down and weeping because I have so much to deal with, but for the agony of the neuropathy and all that comes with it I at times don't know how I can go another day or month or year, etc. 

The addition of the Sjogren's syndrome is all a big pile of caca. It's just so damn hard and there are times that I think that I am going to find the means to end this game. And then I think about my wonderful children, whom I adore more than life itself, so there I go in the midst of what should I do...then there's the realization that there's nothing that I can do, but go on and pray that my spouse does not make life more difficult. 

On Losing a Loved One


In my belief system I find it extremely difficult to imagine and even empathize with someone who has recently lost a loved one.  Every time I have tried to console someone, I have found myself in a bale of tears.  

I so deeply wish to hold those people that are hurting, so to take away the pain.  However, there is beauty in the pain, if you spend time looking at it that way.  I believe that there is beauty because in my life I have known much pain and have had to really get down and deep with it until I realized that I am one with that pain.  It really doesn't kill me, it offers me a lesson on life and its longevity.  

Basically, none of us are going to get out of this life alive.  And that is how it was designed originally by our God in heaven.  

In the past, I have felt myself tongue-tied when I was really striving to help someone who was grieving.  Unfortunately, what I have always ended up doing is crying so hard and that I needed to have the other person console me instead of me consoling them.  

I really don't have an answer to this question.  I merely have heart-felt pain for those who are suffering so.  In the final analysis, I think that none of us has a good answer for how to be or how to think, whether to laugh or to cry, to bang a pot or to yell to the mountains that THIS LADY LIVED! 

  

Honor and Truth


Without honor you have nothing. This has been my belief system, which has become my staff and my shield that I have come to live by. 

I am so enraptured by truth and what it means to me, as well as what it means to everyone in their own individualized way.  I once did a paper when I was at UCLA in my sophomore year and it was by far and away the best paper I have ever written.  The reason for it being the best in my belief is that it was the most utterly life changing bit of prose that I've ever written.

I might add that I did receive an A+ for that incredibly insightful piece of work.  In summing it up, it truly became a way of life that I have followed through all the years of my life.  It was huge : )

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Lovely to be Mentally Exhausted

How lovely to be completely mentally exhausted. What it is I would like to say this afternoon is that it is wonderful to be tired out from learning so much. These past few days have been incredibly tiresome, yet exhilarating. I am delighted that I have had the opportunity to meet several lovely women that may help me decorate my blog in the future.

How it will be decorated, we are going to discover in the next few months. How exciting could that be? Answer: "As exciting as I want it to be!" I want it to be a thrill in whatever way it flows out. 

The sense of satisfaction I feel when I accomplish a rather difficult task is wonderful because I know that I have come such a long way since I had the stroke. The stroke is the bane of my existence. And I wish to have it take a lesser part of my day with all of its incredibly difficult and shitty things that are interwoven in it. 

What I want is the boon of my existence to be how I let my fingers out on all sides and say, "Hurrah, I'm alive and I've made it through." This is the way that I want to finish out my days, hand and hand with my best friend. And a smile and a wink for the greatness of this life, such as it is. When I open my fingers to grasp the air above me and take in a gulp of fresh air and say, "Hurrah!" And, so it is...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Sjogren's Syndrome


As for the latest and definitely not the greatest information regarding my ever changing health issues---I have now been diagnosed with Sjogren's Syndrome. I now understand what I have been fighting all of these years. What I'm having to deal with is incredibly difficult. Some of those things that I have been dealing with are; dry nose, massively dry mouth, dry skin, extremely painful peripheral polyneuropathy, and electric shooting pains that feel like I'm sitting in an electric chair.

There are so very many symptoms to mention and these are just a few. I now need to carry with me a squirt bottle of saliva stimulant, which tastes like sh.t. 

There is a medication that I can choose to use or not. It's called Plaquenil. Obviously, there is a lot more that I could say about this, but at this point in time, I shed yet another tear due to the ever mounting frustration with what has become of my life.

If any of you out there have any kind words to pass my way or great jokes,  please send them to me and I will look very forward to reading your comments. Please note that I still have the most wicked sense of humor. : )

Sending loads of aloha, Tara.

Matthew's Arrival


I am writing because I am so madly in love with my son, Matthew. He has become an incredible human being. In fact, he is the kind of person that I knew he would always be. He left for the University of Hawaii at Hilo and I cried my eyes out. I felt that I would not see him for far too long. 

And far too long was exactly what it was. If fact, he ended up falling in love with a young lady from Minnesota. My heart is broken and yet I am filled with pride that he has grown to be a caring and intelligent man with empathy for others. I am over the moon that he is learning those essential lessons like how to take care of himself and how to do his laundry and how to feed himself and how to spend 6 months on his own with no one to share anything with. These lessons are so important to me as I believe that you can not love someone else until you really like and enjoy yourself. And I believe that this is what I am seeing in him today.

He left as a kind of teenager and came back to me as a man. And, my God, I can't believe that he is such a great man. Do I sound a tad bit proud, like a mother cackling about her brood? I definitely think that I am over the top about him, but I think that I have so much to be proud of. 

The lady that he has fallen in love with, Katie, is going to the University of Minnesota to be a veteranarian. My son, Matthew, will be a businessman with his major in business. I think that I taught him well, because I said to him, "Matthew, if you want to become wealthy, here are the ways that you can do that. Firstly, you need to major in business." I was surprised by his agreement with me, as he often chose an opposite path from me. 

Here's hoping that Katie turns out to be everything that he was dreaming that she will be. And here's to that beautiful, tall man that he has become. My pride shines like a beacon.

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's about how you look at it

If you want to have a nice day, make a decision that this is what you want. It really is just about making the decision to be happy. For instance, I have many reasons to be sad and teary eyed. Because in my life I have suffered more than anyone could possibly imagine. And yet, I believe that what I really want to be is unincumbered and blissful. Therefore, that is what I will be...blissful and full of life.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Me & My Big Toe


Today I had the wonderful privilege of having half of my toe nail sliced off due to a severe infected in-grown toe nail. The reason why I continue to have such problems is that I have tremendous swelling in my right foot. The really troublesome part of this is that it keeps happening. It seems to be on one foot and then the other and then it happens on the other foot all I can say is yuck! I am sick of all these problems with my feet. On top of that I also am working with just one kidney, which is making my life such a joy!!! :/ ha-ha!! That’s all for today, I hope you found joy hidden between the lines. :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Dreams of Santorini


If I had a wish, what I would wish for is to be at sea sailing for the island of Santorini. You may ask why I might choose to visit Santorini, when I live on the beautiful island of Maui. My answer would be that there is no place in the world quite like Santorini. My first trip to Greece was many moons ago...

At Santorini, the ship pulls up to let off the passengers and opens its doors to reveal probably the most exciting place on the planet. Or at least, so I believe. Santorini is full of historical monuments, great hiking trails, gorgeous black beaches and views to die for. 

After you arrive at the dock on Santorini, you are met with easily 100 young boys trying to sell anything from fresh squid to rooms for rent in funky hotels. Once you escape the young boys, you must find a way to get to your room near the top of Santorini. Be ready to open your wallet and pay the necessary drachma to someone who will take you on the journey up, up, up, up, up  the hill to find a room that will hopefully be perched on the side of the hill with an indescribable view. You usually will use a donkey for this journey, which is part of the excitement of Santorini. Make sure you plan a sunset with your favorite beverage on the side of the hill, where most of the views are. 

Santorini is so incredible because of the astounding views it has of the Mediterranean and of the crater in the distance. Once I arrived and unloaded my bags, I got to see the whitewashed walls and the views of Thera or Fira. The volcano blew up and formed a massive caldera. To this day there is still a tiny cloud of smoke rising from the volcano. You can also hike up to the crater. It's very hot and you need the right shoes for this steep volcanic hike. 

There was a small town called Ia. 3000 years ago the people of Ia, also called Oia, made fabulous frescos depicting the everyday life of the people of this time. These frescos were beautifully drawn on the walls of buildings, including the most famous fresco called, "The Fisherman."  When the volcano blew up 3000 years ago, the people obviously had advance notice, because the island was completely vacant. Crete was the new location for the ancient Minoan civilization.

Plato spoke of an island of Atlantis and he believed that the actual location of the island of Atlantis was Santorini.  Jacques Cousteau too believed that the island of Santorini was the location of the lost island of Atlantis. He believed that the eruption of is what covered it up. My fervent hope and plan is to one day return to Santorini and its special magic.