Faith vs Fear

So very much has happened since my last post.  My family is the single most important thing in my life and we found out that our son-in-law Scott was diagnosed with Germinona. Germinoma is the name for about a dozen types of tumors that arise in the pineal gland area of the brain. Pineal tumor  typically experience a buildup of fluid within the brain, causing headaches, nausea and impaired vision.  He has completed Chemo and will be getting radiation.

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Our daughter, Melinda, has worked hard to keep up with Katelynn (4) and Justin (1), the house, work, going back and forth to the medical center for treatments and has just been a super woman.  This week we got the good news that the tumor has shrunk very small and an end to Chemo.  This family has had undying faith amid the overwhelming fear.

She has had support from amazing family members and friends because it truly takes a village to keep things going when your world has been turned upside down.  Even though we have good news the bills are still coming and even with insurance the cost of the treatments are daunting.  But she and her little family have kept the faith, and moving through the crisis with grace, love and lots of support.

This is not the only medical crisis to come to my family and it is so overwhelming at times to deal with just the daily things, let alone the many Drs, bills and paperwork.  So far this years has been a test of faith and perseverance.  I was laid off, early this year, along with the medical issues in my family and when I did go back to work I felt guilty because I could and I found a job.

I don’t know the reason for the hardships we have endured since this time last year, but I still believe that beyond this will be many good things to come.  It may be in a manner in which we did not expect but, there is still work to be done.  The fear will not overtake us and this too shall pass.

Work Life Balance whhhaaaat??

This amazingly isn’t just about Derby, these are personal reflections.

I have been working at my company for 32 years wow that’s a long time!!  I can remember when I first started and how ambitious and anxious to learn and do a good job and spend every chance I had working to get ahead, (whatever that means).  I probably had an idea of what that was way back then.  I was young, worked hard, played harder and then came the family.

I remember still wanting to work, feeling guilty for that but doing it anyway for multiple reasons.  Mostly because of divorce and debt and twin girls to raise but also because at that time, just raising a family was not all I wanted to do.  I have enormous respect and admiration for mother’s who take on their families as their full-time job just as much as I do the ones who work and help provide for their family that way.  But it took a long time to feel good about my choice.

Now, I am happy with that choice and most of my other choices in life.  I did learn how to spend quality time with family and how to instill the importance of family to my girls and my son.  Our reward for this is the grown children finding family traditions just as important as we do. It was my husband was who helped me to grow up and appreciate everything about me, and us.

The corporate world during most of my work life had no time for balancing work and life, it was all about working yourself ragged and proving how valuable you are to the company.  Which even then meant nothing, really.  I have seen this gradual change to flexible hours, work weeks and multitude of other ways to have a life outside of just working.  I love that I have lived during this change!

I really can’t pinpoint when I personally changed from being all about the company to realizing that I was working in order to do the things I enjoy, and have the means to do them.  In other words, I work to Live, I do not live to work.  I take my vacation days and holidays and random other days because those are the things I am working for all year to be able to do!  And believe it or not I do like my job, however, I see that light at the end of this tunnel, retirement coming right upon me. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a good many years to work but I can see myself retiring now and that used to scare the daylights out of me when I was younger.

I have a hobby (Roller Derby, DUH) that is expensive and time-consuming and the third best thing to ever happen to me.  First being my husband, second our kids.  I can honestly say I love this life and even though I will never be a CEO of anything, I am rich with all the things that matter most to me.

This journey of life is all about choices, and accepting the ones we have made and striving to make better ones along the way.  My priorities today are nothing like there were 31 years ago, or even 15 years ago.  They change, they evolve, we change and we evolve and grow with experiences all the time.  I have had to learn to embrace this instead of carrying around a load of baggage that did nothing for me but bring me down!

I have learned so much about myself, my capabilities and passions just from Roller Derby. I am so thankful to have found it and for a family and husband who supports this craziness that I absolutely love! I hope to one day pass this passion on to my beautiful Grand Daughter Katelynn! (and the grand children to come)!

Derby Love to all and remember to LIVE life everyday! Choose to be HAPPY and you will be!

Melody Kool

Derby Grandmother

Our first grandchild was born on April 14 2011, Katelynn Nicole.  I heard many grandparents rave about their grand kids and how different it was from being a parent but I was completely unprepared for this.  Words just cannot express the feelings and joy and pride I have.

It is amazing to watch another generation from you come into this world and see them grow and become little people.  Every time we babysit we come away in what we call baby daze.  Nothing else matters.  Of course she is the smartest most perfect child ever born.  The best thing is how much patience I have with her.  Not to mention seeing those little things in her that are you. You know like when she throws herself on the floor for a tantrum and your mother reminds you how you used to do that. Ha, me, not me!! Well um maybe; it is cute when she does it though. 🙂

Obviously she is also my motivation to continue my derby experience to help me be able to keep up with her.  And I cannot wait to teach her to skate.  She will love it as anything that makes her go is her favorite thing to do!

It is also incredibly awesome to watch your children become parents. My daughter has become great woman and now a mother and I watch in awe as she moves along with her life and her precious family.

As Thanksgiving fast approaches I have so very much to be thankful for.  My family is my support and my husband my rock.  Spending the time with my family is the best gift in the world and we come together in love regardless of what is going on in life.  I remind myself daily to be thankful for all that I have and all that is to come.

As our children grow up and we grow older and our parents older still, I am humbled by how short a time we have to be with them, make the most of every single minute!