Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 5 Regrets of the Dying

When I read this article I wanted to somehow make it required reading for everyone on the planet...especially those who still have good health! Take a few minutes to read this and then take a few more minutes to make some changes in your life so you don't have these same regrets when you find yourself dying.

And you will.


We all will whether we want to accept that or not.

Top 5 Regrets of The Dying

By Bonnie Ware

For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learnt never to underestimate someone's capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn't work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children's youth and their partner's companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I'd had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realize until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called 'comfort' of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.

Bonnie Ware is the author of the new book The Top Five Regrets of the Dying. Visit her official website Inspiration and Chai.

Monday, December 5, 2011

♥Tyson ~ Forever In Our Hearts♥

It it truly hard to believe it's been six years. Hard to believe that's it's only been six years and also hard to believe it's already been six years.

I have a love hate relationship with anniversaries like these. I am glad we have them so we do remember (as if we'd ever forget!), but I also sometimes wish they didn't happen so we could forget. Not Tyson, of course, (that would NEVER happen!) but the fact that he is gone and no longer with us. And the re-living of that "day".

This year was especially tough for me for some reason. And I think Tyson knew it would be and so he sent me some amazing friends to help make the day a little easier to deal with.

Like this ↓ one!
How I love my little Kit Kat!

And my dear friends who were so thoughtful and brought me a card, a text, or a gift from the heart. I appreciate them so much. They have no idea how much it means to me that they even remember. I truly love them for that.

But THIS dear- dear friend really out did herself. She made me a Tyson's Favorite Things quilt.

I knew she was working on it, because she asked me to help choose some of the fabric for it (I didn't do a good job at getting that done and so she ended up doing most of it), but she made me think it wouldn't be done until at least Mother's Day. Sneaky woman! I was NOT expecting it at all!
It is the most amazing quilt! She is the most talented woman!

She got the FAVORITE'S idea from the talk Dave gave at Tyson's funeral. I always would write a list for the boy's to list their favorite things in their journals about every six months (or less). His favorite's on this quilt came from his last favorite's list. What a treasure to have this!

What a gift!

I can NEVER thank her enough for this. And she actually brought it over the day before, which was a much harder day for me than the actual day. Can I say it was well received! What a blessing to have such generous, caring, and compassionate friends!

Trying real hard NOT to cry!

I am so blessed!!! I love this woman!

So perfect!
And it's even PURPLE on the back! Tyson would be happy with that because he knows I'm the one that will be using it the most.

What an amazing thing to be able to cuddle up in this quilt of love and blessings and be able to feel him close. I know that is what it will do for all of us. I was going to hang it on the wall and make it sure it was untouchable to prevent it from getting worn and used, but my sister in law Karen told me to not do that. She told me to keep it out and let the boys curl up in it and it will wrap them up in the memories of their loving brother. If it's on the wall, that won't happen. And she said, if it gets worn, then that just proves it was loved and well used. She totally changed my thinking. It is now on our couch to spread the love. I guess that is what quilts are made for. To bring warmth not only to the body, but also to the heart and soul. This one will definitely do that!
Click on these to enlarge so you can read the individual FAVORITE squares.

One of my best memories is of Tyson is driving that car of his. How he loved to drive. He loved to take his younger bros driving around. His trunk was fully stocked with toilet paper as well. (I learned that after!) He got pulled over so much for under age driving because he was so small, that the cops all knew him by name!
I love the one above that says: Greatest Physical Attribute: I'm bigger than a midget.
Worst Physical Attribute: I'm almost as small as one.
That is just so Tyson! How I miss that boy!

You can't tell me he isn't with us! I found this penny that day and it wasn't just any penny. It's a 2005 penny. The year he passed away. I KNOW it was sent from him to let me know he is near. Thanks bud!

That night me and McKay and my parents headed to Salt Lake for Taylor's basketball game. We went to Bryce's house in Sugarhouse so we could take him out to dinner before the game. Dave couldn't make it that early because he was on call.

This is at Bryce's house ↓. My Mom with Gary the dog. He is Bryce's roomate's dog. He is a pitbull and he made my Mom a little nervous, even though Bryce says he won't hurt a flea. Bryce has kind of taken over ownership of Gary. He has taught him many tricks and Gary loves him. He needs a dog of his own.

Down boy! haha
I love this one!

He likes you Mom!
My Dad likes him. He loves all animals!
Gary jumping HIGH for a treat!

Some photos of Bryce with Gair-dog.
Gotta love Gary!

I didn't get a picture of it, but he will give you a high five!

At East High for Taylor's Varsity basketball game. He was a starter.
These guys were HUGE!
That BIG guy next to Taylor (#2) is named Big Eric (#50). He was ginormous!
Taylor is big, so you can see how huge Big Eric is! Sheesh!

We had an off day. None of our shots were going in! Taylor had an awesome game against Layton earlier in the week. He had 9 points and 7 rebounds!

The student body at East had THEE worst sportsmanship I have ever witnessed! They threw stuff on the floor and yelled some really bad things to our players. They boo-ed every time Shad had the ball until he passed it. I am so proud of our Bee fans. They are awesome sports!

All in all for such a bad day, it was a pretty good one...
Now go give your kids a hug and tell them that you love them!
And always remember to:

We've Adopted!!!

Yes, it's true! We've finally adopted! It is something I have been hoping and waiting for forever! Thankfully the long wait is over!
Introducing KIT KAT!
Isn't he precious???? Oh, I LOVE him!
He struts around like a King. We almost named him Ramzeys.
This ↓ is his ride home with me. He was in an enclosed box, but escaped within seconds. I put him back in the box and put my purse on top, but he still got out! He was climbing on the dashboard and all over the car before we arrived home. I finally set him on my lap knowing that would be safer. He liked that and started to just purr....

Those of you that know me and Dave well, know that this is some kind of a miracle. Dave is NOT fond of cats. In fact, he dislikes them as much as I LOVE them. BUT... I felt like this sweet little guy was meant to come to our home and so I just did it. No divorce... yet! Dave was not thrilled with the idea and wasn't super fun to live with for a week or so, but he has gotten used to the idea now ----I think. Or not... either way, this little guy needed US! And we needed HIM!
I know those of you that know Dave are in shock here, so here's how it happened.
I was Christmas shopping in Riverdale at Sportsman's Warehouse and as I was going to my car, I had a powerful feeling to go into Petsmart and check out the cats. I will do that occasionally, though very rarely, just to go see them. Cats have always made me happy and I needed a boost that day, even though I was real short on time. I tried to talk myself out of it, but something pulled me in. The cages were full of cats that day and I enjoyed just talking and playing with them. This little guy was in a cage with his brother (who was a runt) and their card said: Three Brothers. The third had been adopted. The card also said that they had been dropped off and abandoned in an South Ogden park and left to fend for themselves. I was just drawn to him. I think it's because he reminded me so much of my cat Lightning I had growing up. After a while, the worker came in and asked me if I wanted her to get him out. I said, "Sure, why not."
It was love at first sight! We played a bit and he climbed up on my shoulders and just laid there for a bit. I was immediately smitten! I wanted to adopt on the spot. But, I also wanted to stay married! So I decided to test the waters and called Dave and asked him what he would do if I brought home a dog. He likes dogs a little more than cats, so I figured I could measure his reaction to that and have my answer. If I had said I was bringing home a cat, there would be no discussion. He just said, "Not a good idea." Hmm...
So I walked out of that store empty handed thinking that if it was meant to be it would work out. The next day was Thanksgiving and they were closed. I just kept thinking that he was meant to be mine. I decided that if he was still there by Black Friday, I was going to go get him. I went shopping with my son Taylor in the morning and even bought a cat bed and a little cheap cat house. I figured if he was gone, I could return them. I bought the little house because I was pretty sure he would end up in the garage if I did get him. I explained it all to Dave and he gave me a long list of why we can't have a cat. Number one being McKay is allergic to them. I knew that, but was sure he would be okay if it was a garage or outside cat.
Later that afternoon, I called Petsmart and asked if he was still there. They told me that he had been adopted. My heart sank. I felt bad, but figured that was how it was meant to be and was grateful he went to a good home. Then the lady said, "Wait, you do mean the one with the cute little orange face?". I said, "No, I mean the white one." She reponded with, "Oh, Joe?" As soon as she said "Joe", I KNEW he was supposed to be mine. Long story, but basically Jo is my nickname and it sealed the deal for me.
I ran in and told Dave, that I was going to go get the cat and he could support me or not, but I was going to do it. He just gave me one of his "looks", but it didn't damper my determination. I arrived at Petsmart and I knew when I saw him, that he was to come home with me. I didn't have a single doubt in my mind. I took care of all the paperwork and loaded him in my car (in his box), and the rest is history! I have not regretted it since!
Skyler was also home from California for the weekend and informed that if I brought a cat home that it wouldn't live long and that he would not visit me at home anymore. Like father, like son! I was actually more concerned about that, than Dave's reaction. But it didn't take long for Skyler to also like this guy. He even said, "I don't mind this cat. He is not like other annoying ones." He even let him fall asleep on his lap! That was a sign right there it was supposed to be!

He loves to chill on Taylor's shoulders. So cute!
As far as McKay goes. He had a few sniffles the first day or two, but I bought a hypoallergenic shampoo for the cat that is supposed to prevent allergies. I bathed him the second day and McKay hasn't had any reactions to him since! SO SO happy! McKay isn't super fond of cats either and I guess HE is the one I should have worried about. He likes to torture the poor thing by holding him up in the air, among other things! The cat is so mellow, he just dangles. It doesn't bother him too much. I think McKay secretly loves him, but just doesn't want to admit it!

Taylor on the other hand, really likes him. Taylor loves all animals like me. Allie came over to check him out, and she loves him too! I even caught McKay petting him and being nice to him!

He has this thing for necks and shoulders. It's really comfy and soft to have him just sprawl across your shoulders. He is just such a mellow and nice cat. He doesn't scratch the furniture or crawl on the counters. And he purrs nearly non-stop. I think he is happy he has us too!

What a guy!

He is about four months old.

This is me with my cat Lightning when I was a little girl. I had him for 17 years!!! Can you see somewhat of a resemblance? I can!

Gotta love my Kit Kat!!!

I honestly believe Tyson had his hand in this. That is just something he would do for his Mom. Thanks Tys!


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