Tag Archives: Joyful Living

My struggle with fear … being true

14 Aug

This is my most recent article written for THE EDGE magazine.  Many of the monthly topics they have chosen for this year of 2012 resonate with my soul … http://edgemagazine.net/2012/08/my-struggle-with-fear/

 

After the sudden death of my 20-year old daughter in 2003 amazing experiences of signs and messages from her were all around me.  I was led to an amazing medium and teacher and I began to wonder if these experiences were common —  did this happen to everyone?  I didn’t think so, but I was clueless as to why they were happening to me.  I loved them – they brought me much needed peace and consolation – but why? Please keep them coming I would ask continuously, but again, why?  Eventually I quit asking why and instead my question became what?  “Dear Universe, please show me what you want me to do with these experiences!”

 

I became quite fearful and guarded.  I knew that not everyone would embrace my experiences the way I did and would hardly see them as “Godly.”  In fact, I knew there were some who would say my experiences were most likely “of the devil” – even though the bible was filled with stories of angels and visions and prophesies.

 

The journey to come to terms with my experiences of signs and messages from the dead, working with mediums and harnessing my own intuition was a rocky one.

 

I was so fearful that I would be ostracized for sharing my experiences that it was several years before I could even begin to share them with most my family – most importantly my parents.  I was quite certain they would think that their oldest daughter was delusional and most probably had “gone off the deep end.”

 

I would secretly quiz those I came in contact with to see if I felt they were open to hearing my story.  At times, it was a very lonely and frustrating exercise in futility.

I was at a crossroads.  I knew my experiences were meant to be shared with the world, but how would that happen when I couldn’t even muster the courage to share them with most of my immediate family?

 

I had no answers.  I only knew that The Universe was in charge and when the time was right it would happen.  Of this, I was completely certain.

 

Eventually, my story became “known” and I knew that it was only a matter of time before word reached my parents.  After all, we live in the same town only a block away from each other.  I knew I needed to be the one to share it with them – not some acquaintance out on the street.

 

My experiences had even become part of a book, True Stories of Messages From Beyond, and still my parents were in the dark.

 

It all came to a head at a family reunion.  Several of my cousins and an Aunt and Uncle or two had read my story.  We had no more than exited the car when they approached me and began to share how much they had enjoyed reading my story and how amazing my signs and messages had been.

I would quickly thank them and then pull them aside and whisper that this was all fine and dandy but hey, my folks don’t know anything about this – so don’t mention it to them okay?

 

By the end of the day I knew how absolutely ridiculous the situation had become.

It was clear the time had come to share my secrets.  I dropped Mom and Dad off at their home and returned to mine.  I went into my office and pulled a copy of my book off the shelf.

 

I returned to my childhood home, finding my Mom busy in the kitchen and my Dad enjoying an afternoon nap. “Mom, I said, I have something to tell you and you need to sit down.  “I don’t think you are ready for this, but I wanted you to find out from me and not someone else.”  I laid the book in front of her and she read the cover.  She opened up the pages and saw my story of Elizabeth.

 

Much to my complete shock, she proceeded to tell me that she wasn’t surprised.  She had googled my name a while back and knew all about it!

 

I returned home and no more than an hour later my phone rang – it was Mom — she had already finished reading my story and she told me through her tears how proud and happy she was.

I look back on that time now and all I can do is laugh.  I was so sure that my experiences would be discounted that I didn’t give my family a chance.  I have now come “out of the spiritual closet” and have only encountered a smattering of souls who did not approve of my experiences, and that’s just fine with me … after all everyone is entitled to their own beliefs.  I would never force my personal beliefs on anyone.  All I can continue to do is to share my journey in the hope that perhaps it will help someone else along the way … always with God leading the way.

 

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How to Celebrate Hope!

12 Mar

Welcome guest blogger — Heather Von St. James!

Finding out you have cancer is not an experience that most people would celebrate, and I was no exception. It seemed particularly unfair that the diagnosis came just three and a half months after the birth of my precious daughter. This was my first child. It should have been a time of great fun and delight.

Instead of congratulations, I was presented with the devastating diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma on November 25, 2005. This is an extremely aggressive cancer with a dismal survival rate. Why me? Why now? Then it hit me: why not me? When would be a good time?

I decided not to give in to despair, but to meet this disease head-on. I had a beautiful daughter to bring up. I wanted to be there for her first day of kindergarten and her final day of high school. I wanted to witness her walk down the aisle on her wedding day. I wanted to rejoice with her on the birth of her own children. I wanted to be there to cheer her on through good times and bad.

I had to beat this cancer in order to do that. I had to keep hope alive and well and fighting for me every minute of every day. This started with a referral to a leading mesothelioma doctor who started the process of replacing terror and despair with hope.

Along with hope, I turned to laughter. The day of my surgery happened to be Ground Hog’s Day. What better name for the tumor than Punxsutawney Phil? This was one groundhog that should never see his shadow! We began to celebrate Groundhogs Day, renaming it Lungleaving Day. That was the day my diseased left lung was removed. It left, taking with it the tumor. Good riddance. Don’t look back. It has been a long road, but each day is celebrated as a victory. We laugh a lot at our house. We love a lot, too.

Along the way I have met so many courageous and delightful individuals. I wouldn’t have known these new friends if I hadn’t received that diagnosis, awful as it seemed then. I’ve dedicated my life to celebrating hope, for me, for all other cancer survivors, and for all other people who’ve been diagnosed with this disease. Hope for the patients and their families, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters, cousins, uncles and aunts. Hope for all of my new friends. Hope for myself, and most especially, hope for my little girl.

My life has a new sense of purpose and fulfillment. I want to help others who face this diagnosis and work toward recovery. Laughter rings through the house on a regular basis. On that day years ago, I could not have guessed the joys that would come to us because we are in this fight. Hope is a rare and precious gift. It’s also free to anyone who needs it. You just have to reach out to the person next to you, give a smile or a hug, welcome the new day with thankfulness, and have a laugh ready for tough moments. Laughter and tears and the hugs of loved ones get you through the days.

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

Heather Von St James is a mesothelioma survivor and a guest blogger for  the Mesothelioma  Cancer Alliance. Her          story is one of hope and inspiration and she hopes to spread her message to  anyone who may be  going through similar situations to her own.

Check  out Heather’s story on the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. http://www.mesothelioma.com/blog/authors/heather/

Today is the day …

20 Sep

Wow … it’s September 20th … the last 24 hours have been a whirlwind but yesterday has to go down as one of the best days of my life.  My day was made by 7:30 am (if you don’t know what I’m talking about read my blog entry from yesterday).

I went to Van Cleve Park yesterday and did a story with Darcy Pohland of WCCO TV.  My two best girlfriends, Julie and Jeanne, came along and Julie drove.  It was an absolute beautiful day.  We got to the park with time to spare so I could walk them around and show them Liz’s house and show them the memorial tree.

Darcy arrived and we taped for about an hour.  It was like having a conversation with someone I’ve known for a very long time.  We went over to the house and decided to knock on the door to see if anyone was home.

A very nice young man answered the door and agreed to come out and talk to us.  Do you know what happened at this house 5 years ago Darcy asked him?  I have no idea was his response.  Tell him Kim, Darcy responded.  So I did.  He was very shocked … the landlords never told us that he said. 

We went on to talk about fire prevention methods.  We were very happy to hear that the landlords had installed a smoke detector in every room and they are hooked into the electrical system so they can’t be dismantled.

Another HUGE improvement was that the house is no longer a duplex … which means there are now two exits … the front exit and the back exit.  This is crucial because when Liz lived there, the only exit from the house was in front through the porch … which is where the fire started.

I was so happy to see this progress has been made.  If you want to watch the story the link is:

http://wcco.com/education/speckien.wencl.heiden.2.821583.html

Well, I wonder if Liz has any other tricks up her sleeve to amaze me today — time will tell … expect the unexpected … and live in JOY!