Monday, August 24, 2015
Monday, July 27, 2015
Today. Today my world has been blessed with two beautiful new souls. My twin granddaughters. I’m overwhelmed with the beauty of it all. The miracle of birth. The love, the strength and the unbreakable bond of family.
Thank you Lord, for Your everlasting gift of life and for all of your continuous blessings. Thank you for Joshua and Kaytie. Please continue to watch over them in the weeks and months ahead as they care for their children.
Cheyenne Julia Hayes 5lbs 2oz
Wednesday, July 1, 2015
I’m not sure where this reflective person comes from sometimes. Perhaps it’s because I’ve become more aware of the world around me. Maybe it’s all part of living and growing older. Maybe it’s menopause. But most likely it’s because I’ve learned how fleeting and precious life is, and how easily it can slip through our fingers without fully appreciating its textured value. Much like the warm sands of Lake Michigan, when summer turns in to fall.
I have the privilege to work…
I have the opportunity to work where ever I want to. I have the freedom to support myself and to pass down that strong work ethic to my children. I have the freedom to pursue a higher education, to become a veterinarian, an owner of a restaurant, or a master gardener. We are the land of opportunity, and it is my firm belief that if we want it badly enough, we can succeed.
We are entrepreneurs…
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Could this really happen to me? Yes. It most certainly can.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
I compare my partial withdraw from most things related to Melanoma to that long ago story. I’m healing, I’m processing. But you can’t run forever, Forrest. You can’t hide forever either. Life has a way of forcing itself on you, whether you’re ready for it or not. Some days I feel like I can tackle the world and dive in. Other days, I can only get my big toe wet.
With the month of May fast approaching, Melanoma Awareness Month, I feel like I’m being pushed closer and closer towards the water, and off my solitary island. I’m afraid.
I don’t do this for me, I’m doing it for you.
Sunday, February 1, 2015
Who was Don? Who was this man who lived his life on Earth among us? Every single soul has a story to tell. The unique story of their big, beautiful life and how that story keeps going on and on, connecting, moving, surging, as sure as the tide. That Force. That Being. That Soul, to be simply "Gone" is incomprehensible.
Don was born in Brooklyn and was raised in the hardscrabble streets. His father died when he was in his teens, leaving him to care for his mother. A Brooklyn boy knowing what it means to step up and take responsibility.
Don was a son.
After Don graduated from high school, he enlisted in the Naval Reserve and enrolled in City College in NYC where he earned his Associates degree in Engineering. He then went on to active duty in the Navy, where he served his country for two years in the Korean War.
Don was a scholar and a soldier.
After Don left the Navy, he moved to Ohio and enrolled in OH University. While at his first dance, he saw a very tall, very beautiful dark haired girl. He didn't care if she was taller than he was. He had RED hair, which always got attention from the girls. When he saw her walking across the dance floor, he grabbed her hand and said, "We should dance if we are going to get married".
Don married his dark haired beauty right after graduation and remained married for the next 57 years.
The life Don and his bride Cherry shared, produced a son, Mark. I've asked Mark and Tammy, Marks wife, their children Aubrey and Beatrice, to write something about this incredible man. Below are their words:
My Father in law and I fought like cats and dogs the whole 23 years I knew him. We may be the same person. Stubborn, loud, fragile. We fought and loved and fought and loved. When I married Mark, Don wanted to put me in his clan and become my leader. I was (am) bossy. He called me and wrote to me nearly every day. He bought me ridiculously expensive presents. I think he liked the challenge. We argued about politics and once when he told the girls they would make good secretaries one day I thought I would kill him. He taught me about life. I taught him about people. We turned out to be a perfect match.
I was the first person that he told when he was diagnosed. Late in 2006 he thoughy he had bad allergies or a sinus infection. Really, he had a melanoma tumor that filled all available space in his sinuses. Doctors told him that he had three months to live. His was reply, "says who? "
"Science and Melanoma", came the reply. Very quietly Don's reply was, "Melanoma has never met Don Bidwell, and Melanoma can go to hell".
When the cancer came back last April, I think we all knew...he and I spent the last 7 months together planning for the end of his life. Surgery...again 3 months. He told me he had very few regrets and the one he did have he could remember. He wanted me to know that people were more important than anything. He kept telling me to love. He was true to himself right up until he died. Trying to make the girls smile. To make a funny. About a week before he died, (he was in a hospice facility), as soon as we arrived he asked Audrey to go ask for his pain med. Audrey returned with a vial and gave it to him. He declared that it was empty and that he received not a drop of medicine. In comes the nurse. He tells her I absolutely need another vial. I did not get any medicine. The nurse mumbled something about calling the doctor to which Don replied, bring me the vial. Again the nurse was mumbling about too much medication, about calling the doctor first and overdosing. I could see the girls squirming. THEN I saw the glint in his eye and he says, so what will happen? Do you think it might KILL me? He got the medicine. ~ Tammy