The Living Desert & other thoughts…

After a long week of heavy rain storms, Friday’s forecast showed that it would be in the 70’s in Palm Desert, Ca.  Trevor, Katie, and I were excited to see this news, as we had planned a Private Safari at The Living Desert for this day.  Trevor packed up my oxygen tanks and walker and we were off for our adventure at The Living Desert!

The Living Desert is a beautiful zoo in Palm Desert, CA.  The animals are all beautiful,  the enclosures were clean and the walking paths and trails were made to look regional the the animal territory we were visiting.  We chose to use the Private Safari Adventure, as it is fully done with a guide and the complete use of a shuttle.  I highly recommend this option.  Our guide was wonderful and we were able to gain “insider” information.  Of course, conservation and and extinction is a main topic of zoos and conservancies.  I am saddened at the amount of species that are currently on the Red List of declining/endangered/extinct animals.  More information can be found on iucnredlist.org.

I truly enjoyed getting out for the morning and hanging out with Trev and Katie.  We were able to see every animal and we were able to feed the giraffes!  Every animal there is beautiful and some were very funny to watch.  It seemed like the animals were happy to see a sunshine day!

Anyway, I woke up at 2:00 am and my brain started thinking about animal extinction and my own journey with cancer and hospice.  Honestly, I’m not sure where I’m going with these 2:00 am thoughts.  Comparing species extinction to my own passing seems trivial.  However, there is the issue of loss in both cases.

What will it be like on earth if the animals/creatures  continue to disappear? What will it be like if all the bees disappear?  Many people believe that it could start the end of the world.  Because bees are primary pollinators of fruits and vegetables, this could lead to a chain reaction of crops disappearing, which could lead to limited agriculture available, which could lead to limited dairy and meat supply.  It would also lead to the disappearance of my beloved honey.  The disappearance of bees would make the world a less sweet place to live.

What is it like when a loved one disappears to death?  It drastically changes the life of those left behind.  For my children, their world will be forever changed.  I believe that they will mourn.  I believe they will be strong.  I don’t think they will forget me on their big event days:  weddings, children, deciding where to settle, buying their first home, happy moments and sad moments.  They will probably think of me at the beach or when a storm passes.

The journey of life will always have it’s ups and downs.  From the big issues that face our world (extinction) to experiencing the joys found in this world.  We all have the opportunity to choose how we encounter life.  Will we embrace the opportunities put before us?  Will we become divisive with one another as we try find and implement correct solutions for the world?  My hope and longing is that people will exchange ideas and work together to make this world a better place.

As for my own remaining time, I will continue to embrace life!  My hope for my family and friends is that, they too will embrace life.  I hope they will stop and watch the bees for awhile!

 

 

Leaping Leena the Lap Dog

Leena the Lap Dog joined our family several weeks ago.  I was wishing for a little dog to sit on my lap.  Bree had been thinking it might be a good idea for me to have a dog to take outside and keep me moving.  Leena had been living with Bree for several years, but Bree felt it was more important for Leena to hang out with us for awhile.  Having Leena here has been wonderful!

A little back story….Leena has been in our family for eleven years!  She was originally Trevor’s dog.  She was so tiny, that he would carry her under his shirt, and she would pop her head through the neck line of his shirt.  She would also hide in his shoes, so he had to be very careful when putting on his shoes.  Leena has always been one of the most patient and sweetest dogs that I’ve ever known.

Ok…back to current story!  Leena not only gives me comfort, but she also makes sure that every visitor gets a chance to have a Leena encounter.  She will sit on every visitor’s lap (if they want her).  Leena brings comfort and peace into a situation where visitors might feel uncomfortable.  When I take her on walks, she leads me with the walker.  One can see that she feels very important and in charge of our walks.  Thank you Bree for sharing Leena!  Dog therapy is amazing!

Health Updates:

The mass by my left rib has grown.  It feels like the mass is pushing against my rib, which is causing a squeezing of the other organs nearby.  I can really feel it when I’m walking, so I’ve slowed down and am using the walker when outside.

The mass on my neck is also growing.  This one makes talking difficult at times.  I will return calls when I can talk clearly.   Otherwise, texting works well for me.

I have definitely slowed down.  My energy level has been very low these past couple of weeks.  Showering is an example of how I have slowed down:  It takes at least an hour; maybe an hour and a half to shower.  On Monday and Thursdays a bath nurse comes out and washes my hair and body.  This was difficult for me to accept in the beginning.  Now, I am thankful for her help.  During the shower, I need to sit down on the shower chair because it is exhausting to stand for the whole shower.  When the shower is complete, I sit down for the drying.  Then there is the lotioning, the hair brushing, the hair drying…it all takes time because I need to stop and rest frequently during this process. It is a strange thing, but showers now wear me out and I usually end up taking a long nap after showers!

As I continue to slow down, I will be asking for more help.  There is a web-site that I will probably post next week.  It allows for people to sign up for times to help in various ways.  I promise, I won’t make anything difficult!

As much as I can, I still want to experience life to the fullest!  This Friday, Trevor and Katie are taking me to The Living Desert.  We will have a Private Safari and will experience The Living Desert with a private shuttle and driver!  I’m looking forward to feeding the giraffes!

Spiritually, I am doing well.   The Lord is always with me; I have never felt deserted by Him.  He brings me family & friends to help along this path.  I am thankful for each of you!  It feels like I am preparing for the ultimate Hiking Trip!  I know that this journey will be full of love and adventure.

If you are a person who enjoys Praise & Worship music,  check out this song:

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) – Hillsong United

This song is where I am at spiritually.  It is on the song list for the funeral!  I’m not sure it is “cool” to write that, but, yes, we have been working on that reality.  I count that as a part of the gift of time I’ve been given!  I love you all and I am thankful that you have joined in on my journey.

It is well with my soul!  Love, Cindylindy

Hiking

Hiking and exploring the outdoors has always been a favorite activity of mine.  Recently, hiking has taken on a whole new dimension for me.  It is becoming an activity that is never far from my mind.  I’ve been researching hiking trails and I’m considering joining several hiking groups.  In short, it is becoming more than a casual hobby.  I’m even thinking about buying some “real” hiking equipment!

Beginning this new chapter of my life, is much like hiking.  I find it exciting and challenging.   When I find a new trail, there is the moment of wondering, “Should I really try this?  Will it be too difficult?”  That old enemy, Fear, whispers in my ear, “You don’t have what it takes.” Then my friend, Courage, wraps around me with encouragement and affirmation and says, “You won’t be sorry for trying this trail.  Go for it!”

Once on the trail, there are decisions to be made.  There are forks in the road, so to speak. Trails split and a choice needs to be made, “Which way?  Should I go up the steep trail, or should I take the easy path?”   Choosing the steep path usually leads to an amazing view and a sense of accomplishment.   There is a sense of pride for reaching the top, even when I’m gasping for breath!    However,  I’m learning that there is joy and peace when walking the easy path.  Sometimes we need the experience of pushing forward and upward.  Sometimes we need to just breathe and enjoy the journey.

Hiking has also taught me that there are times in life when we need to walk alone, there are times we need to walk with a friend, and there are times to walk with a group of people.  I find that there are times when I just want to get out and hike, but nobody is available to join in the adventure with me.  That was difficult in the beginning, but I’ve come to appreciate time alone.  I am able to just be.  I am able to still my thoughts and take in the beauty of our world.  Walking with a friend (usually my daughter) always brings new insights into a relationship.  It is opportunity to accomplish and explore with someone and build into a friendship.  I’ve solved many world problems while walking with a friend!  Group hiking is always exciting too.  With group hiking, I can hang back and enjoy the companionship of other people, without the worries that come with solo hiking.  I’ve made many new friends while hiking with groups.

I will be creating a page on this blog, dedicated to hiking and the trails I discover.  My hope is to encourage others to get out and explore the world!  To my personal friends, if ever you would like to hike with me, let me know!

Happy Trails!

The Wildlands Conservancy- Oak Glen, CA

The Search for Fall Continued

Last week, I continued the search for Fall at the Wildlands Conservancy in Oak Glen, CA.  There had been a chill in the air, so I was hopeful.  As I walked up the path, I did observe a few leaves turning, but it didn’t meet my expectation of Fall.  True, there was a soft breeze that whispered the songs of the trees, but there was no blazing glory of red and yellow leaves!

For the moment, I was the only person on the path.  The only sound was the song of the breeze.  The song captured my soul and I wanted to hear more.  I wanted to see more.  I wanted to know more.  So I sat and waited.  The song seemed to wrap around me and my mind quieted, while my senses awakened.

The beauty of nature magically unfolded all around me.  At first, all I could hear and feel was that soft song breeze.  Then I could hear the trickle of water in the stream.  Suddenly, there was a sharp,  “POP!”  My eyes turned to that direction, and a brightly colored bird was sitting on a branch.  He cocked his head, and looked at me.  He must have decided I was ok, because he chirped and then other birds magically appeared.  Some were on branches and others were hopping on the ground; all of them eating their breakfast. An echoey, “TAP, TAP, TAP” drew my attention to the tops of the trees.  Wood Peckers appeared  in my vision and I knew I had found what I was really seeking.

I was seeking Hope.  Fall is a time of transition.  It is a transition from the summer heat that makes me melt.  My energy seems to drain toward the end of summer, as if it is merged into the oven-like air of our area.  Fall is the sparkle between summer and winter.  It is the hope that is given to let us know that even during harsh seasons, there is still the magic and beauty of life to be embraced!  I know that, deep in my soul, but it needed to be pulled out and remembered.

So, as I sat and embraced the magic; the hope, I observed a dead leaf falling.  It let go of the security of it’s branch.  Fall.  Another layer was unwrapped and I became aware that I was also seeking the Letting Go that is such a part of Fall.  I could feel the hug of the Holy Spirit, as I was shown that there is still Magic and Hope even during the Letting Go.

I realized that my search for Fall was a search for the ok to really let go of a relationship, a person, a dream…  My expectation was that I’d be able to do that with the same blaze of  glory that I expected to find Fall.  Now I know that it is a thing that takes time.  Some leaves fall more quickly than others.  Some leaves hang on until the very end, when there is nothing left to hold onto it and the frost of winter demands the leaf let go.  I think that I have been that leaf.  It is time to embrace the Magic and the Hope of a life that I had not planned.  It is time to let go…