This post is an entry in the ActiveRain February 2022 Challenge
What's Your Personal Story?
I was born in Burlingame, California at Peninsula Hospital, the youngest of six (6) children, thereafter, rendering me the “baby” in the eyes of my five (5) siblings. Being the last-born child played a huge role in my personal story of caring for my mother in later years. I was the only one she trusted to honor her wishes in caring for her as she grew older. Sadly, my other siblings were either incapable and/or did not care.
There won’t be a book written about this. I have no desire to write and publish a book. My book is what I write and publish online.
We lived in a 3-bedroom, 1 bathroom 1,000 square foot home, 5,000 square foot lot, with a one-car attached garage.
My parents had a room, my two eldest brothers shared a room, and my three older sisters and I shared a room. The girls’ room had two bunk beds.
I grew up in a time when kids played outside, and it was safe. My mother made all of our clothes and being the youngest, I wore a lot of hand-me-downs. We sat at the dining room table every single night for dinner.
Were we poor? If we were, as a child I certainly did not know it. We had food, we had a warm bed, clothes, routine medical and dental checkups, and went to church every Sunday. No doubt my parents did the best they could with what they had and loved us with all they knew how to love.
Did my upbringing influence who I am today, and who I am still becoming?
You bet, absolutely.
I went out on my own at 16 after graduating from high school a year early. Not the formal graduation, just getting my diploma after finishing up summer school at a Jr. College completing the courses I needed to graduate.
At age 16, I was working full time at Nasa Ames Research, had my own car, and was 100% fully responsible for myself and continue to be to this day.
A Nasty Divorce that rendered me a single parent with shared custody of my son. Working full-time as a paralegal, with my son in private school, I worked part-time as a waitress during the weekends and evenings I did not have my son just to make ends meet. I would do it all over again for the blessing and gift of my son. We have a very close bond. I love him beyond what any words could describe.
You Have Cancer is a story I have shared before. It changed the way I look at life, what I eat, and how I live. Toxic people and energy vampires must go!
I learned how completely unimportant hair really is and that a bald head does get cold.
Caring For My Mother was a humbling experience that I count among my most treasured gifts. I thought raising a child was the hardest thing I would ever do in my life. To date, it may actually be among the hardest things I've done.
Caring for my mother like a child, managing her financial matters, and making medical decisions was a task she knew I would honor. During this time, I really got to know her. When her ashes were delivered to my door, I literally fell to my knees in my living room. I held her for hours and just talked to her. I never stopped missing her or talking with her.
Losing So Many Friends to cancer has on many occasions brought me to my knees. The most recent was one of AR’s own, Lottie.
The battle they all fought, the physical and mental anguish of wondering if all the harsh treatment they endured will save them, saying “I do not want to die” as they are put on hospice care is life-changing. Every person that has died has left me with a treasured gift of their friendship.
All of my life-altering experiences have built strength, character, resilience, and a deep understanding of the importance of humor. Even in dark times, I will find a way to laugh. Anyone who knows me has likely heard my roaring laugh.
Every single day, through meditation, I feel immense gratitude. The elevated emotions of gratitude bring me to tears. It is felt by the body, heart, and mind. Tears of joy for the blessing and gift of life.
Humor - this post is long and it feels somewhat deep for me so why not end it with a real estate joke?
“An elderly client bought a new home and the enthusiastic real estate agent sent flowers for the occasion. When the new owner read the card, it said “Rest in Peace”. The owner was furious and called the florist to complain.
After he angrily told the florist of the obvious mistake, the florist said, “Sir, I’m really sorry for the mistake, but it could be worse. Somewhere there is a funeral getting flowers with a card that reads: “Congratulations on your new home”.”
As for what I will (no hoping) still accomplish in life – continue to live my life’s purpose, which I have grown to know more fully over the years, to help people, and count each day as a blessing.
This post is Kathleen Daniels entry in the ActiveRain February 2022 Challenge Co-Hosted by Carol Williams and Miss Anna Banana Kruchten CRS, Phoenix Broker