A Few Things…

Happy 2016 to all of you!

WEI_2718--s

Snowman

We had several lovely 30+ degree days last week.

“I want a snowman,” I say to my neighbor.

Next morning, when we went out to shovel the snow, there he was. I was so happy… couldn’t take my eyes off him.

Today is cold but sunny. I’ve checked on the snowman from time to time. (Sunshine, please don’t take my snowman away.)

Journaling

I love journaling. I enjoy reading them too. Before coming to U.S., I had to make a hard decision about my old journals. I didn’t know when I would go back, didn’t want to carry them all the way here. Burning them seemed like a good choice. Sitting in front of fire, I read one page after another, cried a little and laughed a lot.

Later I regret for not keeping them. In a way, a part of my life had been wiped out by that fire.

I continued journaling (on and off), destroyed some and kept some. I like journaling, but what does it really mean to me? I didn’t know.

I didn’t know until now, that is. I recently learned that for me, journaling is a way to have a private conversation between me and myself. Sometime I want to talk to myself; sometime I don’t.

Goal

I have been living without any goal for a while. Life is relaxing and good, but I didn’t get a lot of things done ;-( Maybe having one or two goals per month is not a bad idea.

A Nightmare

In mid of November, a nurse called telling us W’s CT scan showed that he had a 1.7 cm tumor in his bladder. “Likely cancer,” she said.

I watched W’s face turn greenish gray within seconds. I remembered a cancer patient had written an article advising people what to say when hearing someone has cancer. According to her, the best thing to say is: “Thanks for sharing the news with me.” Now that W and I got the bad news together, her suggestion apparently wouldn’t work for me.

I stood there seemingly forever, couldn’t find a word to say. Fifteen years ago when my sister called and told me she had breast cancer, I couldn’t find anything to say either.

Finally I said, “Whatever it is, we’ll handle it.” Even at that moment, I knew it was a lie. It is his body that will do all the fighting. All I could do was to take care of him and support him.

We clearly were cautious with what we said on the following days: we didn’t mention the illness; we stayed away from any words that associate with cancer. I soon discovered the magic of “I” word. “I am starting writing my bucket list.” “I believe in the power of positive thinking.” I this, I that… I felt more comfortable using “I” instead of “you”.

W had a surgery in mid-December. Dr. said that even though the tumor was a good size, the base of the tumor – the part that connecting to the bladder wall – was much smaller. He also told us that the tumor was a low grade one. “It is the best situation under the circumstance,” Dr. said.

We could breathe, finally. I felt as if we were waking up from a nightmare.

Today, W is almost fully recovered (Thank God.)

And I’ve officially started working on my bucket list 😉

Thanks for visiting my blog.

Advertisements

About Helen C

A retired computer programmer who loves writing and photographing, and has managed to publish a YA novel "Jin-Ling’s Two Left".
This entry was posted in photo and thoughts, random thoughts. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to A Few Things…

  1. Shew! You’ve been through a lot! Glad to see you here, on the other side.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mother Hen says:

    Love the photo.. so sweet! I journal too but often end up with messy pages of notes, some scribbles of words..and I realize that I will need to get rid of them as my word for the year is simplify. Sooo! Life always presents challenges for we humans. I wish you and yours all the best this new year…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mabel Kwong says:

    Good to hear W is okay. Positivity always helps us get through each and every moment in life. I journal a bit, usually write down what’s on my mind if I can’t stop thinking about it and the dreams I have at night. It can be therapeutic. Best wishes for the year ahead and take care 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Mabel. I agree that journal can be therapeutic. Maybe that’s why sometime I do and sometime I don’t… 😉 Do you go back to read your journal? I enjoy reading old entries. (Just read something I wrote when my daughter was 7. Cute kid 😉
      Have a wonderful 2016!

      Like

      • Mabel Kwong says:

        Sometimes I go back and read my journal entries. But on the whole, rarely. I see journaling as another opportunity to practise my writing – a chance to basically just put down what’s on my mind straight onto paper without thinking and caring for sentence and story structure.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. joannesisco says:

    Best wishes to W through his recovery and that this nightmare from the past couple of months can be put to rest in the past.
    I love your snowman picture. For me, I always associate snowmen with innocence and playfulness 🙂
    Good luck with your bucket list. I hope it brings you many smiles 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Anna H. Wen says:

    Thanks for sharing your high and low….I am with you! I miss my friends of the memorable and fabulous Italian journey. If river cruise is one of your buckets list which is also mine, let us do it together! W, Helen, Jing and Anna!!

    You and W are so welcome to visit Houston, Texas where is way too warm in so called “winter” this year.

    Say hi to W for Jing & I.

    Anna

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      What a wonderful surprise, Anna!!!!! Thank you!!! River cruise is definitely on my list. Let’s start planning. 😉 (I just emailed you. )
      Have a wonderful 2016!

      Like

  6. Amy says:

    Thank God W is recovering, Helen. That was a nightmare, say the least…
    A beautiful smile by the snowman. 🙂 I heard about the cold temperature in North on the news yesterday, stay warm, Helen.
    I agree, “a private conversation between me and myself” is an important part of our life journey though I don’t write journal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Amy. We are grateful and, in a way, humbled by the experience. 😉
      I love snowman. It always brings a smile to my face. But I don’t like cold days… above 30 is okay. Now we have to wait for a while for 30+ days. ;-(
      Take care, and have a wonderful 2016!

      Like

      • Amy says:

        I’ve gone through some physical problems, so I understand “humbled by the experience”means.
        We don’t deal with 30s well in Texas, some days can get down to 30s like this morning. It was at around 80s in Florida when during the week of Christmas. 🙂

        Like

  7. Cee Neuner says:

    I am glad to hear that W is doing much better. That had to be a scare beyond life itself. Keep on journalling. That snow man is just so happy and cute. 😀 You both are in my prayers and thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Cee. I love snowman. I tried to make it before but didn’t succeed 😉 The snow was too cold. I am thankful for my wonderful neighbor for making this snowman after hearing how much I wanted one. Ha.
      Thanks for the prayer and thoughts. Have a wonderful 2016.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. neihtn2012 says:

    Good news about W! Keep the faith …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Happy New Year Helen! Glad to hear eveything is ok with W. I didn’t know about your passion for journaling, the talking with ourselves, I love it too! You had a such good neighbour, making a snowman for you. Have a great night!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Elizabeth. I love journaling. That’s one of many reasons that your blog attracts me 😉 I like how you use visual art to express your thoughts and feelings. That’s something I have to try one of these days 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. restlessjo says:

    NOW I can exhale! I started off admiring your snowman photo and then in total agreement about both journaling and lack of goals. But then we got serious! And I held my breath to the end of your post.
    Thank heavens for science, surgery and a fit husband! It’s amazing what can be done these days but it’s still the scariest word in the dictionary. I was so sad for Bowie yesterday, but what a legacy! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Jo. I was thinking… life is so short. W and I should walk more like your Monday walk. We both enjoy visiting parks, but for some reason, we haven’t done much of that. Can’t wait for the spring.
      (I was sad for Bowie, too!)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. prior2001 says:

    The snowman photo is just great! And glad to hear W is recovering – also – I hear you with the goals – their is this balance to where maybe. Not having some can pull in different ways – you have wisdom with your view of productivity!
    Oh and just curious as to what your people portraits are for this year? My goal is to try and get 2 or 3 per month – hm
    Also – I had something special happen when I was making my 2015 review post with my people shots (peeps) – I realized that some themes “found” me! Like a theme that unfolded naturally was “red heads” -and it felt a like like doing research where you study to the lit to see what it has found or not found – as I objectivity looked at my images – I never intended do photo so many redheads – but it unfolded / I also had more children than expected.
    so I have a suggestion for you – maybe you should comb through your work and see what patterns ore themes emerge – sometimes even clothing items might appear a lot – like hoodies or heels – well just an idea – but I am going to be more in the lookout this coming year for themes that unfold – even though now I might be in the lookout to where I impact the naturalness of it – ha! Who knows
    Anyhow / happy 2016 Xxoo

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks,Yvette. 2 or 3 portraits per month is a good goal! I did one for a father and daughter two weeks ago and enjoyed it a lot.
      Just bought Humans Of New York book by Brandon Stanton (he has two books on this subject). I like his project (this book) a lot. I think it’s doable! (You may be able to find it in your library.) But, I want to do a couple of photo-books first: one for W and one for me. Just gather some of his or mine photos that I like and put them into a book. Of course, I also want to scan my daughter’s baby/toddler/young photos and make a book of those too. So many projects!
      Soooo, I do have several I-want-do projects. Other than that, I think I am going to continue shooting photos of people and have something like Brandon’s book — photo+story kind of thing. 😉 Sounds good?

      Liked by 1 person

  12. prior2001 says:

    One more thing! The timing of this post is good also for me because I have a few boxes of my old journals – yeah – boxes – lol – and I did throw a few away – they had a few pages only or just did not seem worth keeping – but I think I will hold off and keep all of them a bit longer – but we have this in common too – I love my notebooks! And early in adulthood – a few pages in the journal were sometimes the best way to problem solve and see the bigger picture – truly the best therapy – at times – lol

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Just read an old entry in one of my journals. One day, my daughter found out that I got up earlier than she did. She told me to wake her up next morning because she didn’t want me to be by myself. I said ok, but I didn’t wake her up the next day. When she asked me how come I didn’t wake her up, I said, “I tried, but you didn’t want to wake up.” She said, “Mom, you should tickle me. If you tickle me, I will wake up.”
      That was probably 27 year ago. It brings back sweet memories. I suddenly realized that I should translate some of these stories into English. One more project to do ;-).

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Love the snowman photo. Looks like you’re trying to save him from the sun. Reading this post makes me want to take up journaling. Don’t know if I will or not, though. But I do have a bucket list I keep adding to! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thanks, Emilio. You were absolutely right! I worried about the snowman. He already lost his eyes and one arm. I wanted to keep him as long as I could 😉
      It’s really fun to read old journal, particularly the part that described my daughter when she was little. Highly recommend it and you can thank me later! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Happy New Year Helen. May this year bring more joy and happiness to your life, and you don’t have to remember about your sad past.

    It’s a lovely red photo with the snowman. Enjoy

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Happy New Year, Suyash. What sad past? 😉
      Did you go to Rice park to see the ice sculpture? I was disappointed. It used to have a lot of them (and it was so cold on that day ;-(
      Hope spring will com soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Great news Helen, that must have been so worrying and stressful. All the best to you both.. loved your snowman!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Dalo 2013 says:

    This is a fantastic photo Helen, and I hope the winter is on its way out – with the spring festival happening today, I think good news is on the way. Wish you a great year ahead, 新年快乐!猴年大吉!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Helen C says:

      Thank you, Randall. 新年快樂! 猴年身体健康, 事事事如意!
      I can’t wait for spring to come. It is getting long. I found myself checking traveling web sites more often now… 😉

      Like

  17. Chiming in later here. What a great photo, Helen. Stay the course re: Faith.

    Liked by 1 person

I would love to hear from you...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s