Category Archives: Gratitude

PRINTABLES Thank the People who Support You

Hello Readers!

November is Caregiver Awareness Month, when we honor the people in our support system. Three years ago, on this blog, @aBodyofHope named November 13th, Caregiver Appreciation Day, otherwise known as Supporter Appreciation Day!

On this day, we can reflect on the ways people around us make life a little bit brighter!

It’s rare to find those who care, even after tragedy strikes. In crisis, our circles tend to thin out, and only the very special remain in our lives, trying to fight along with us.  We try to convey how much we care as often as we can, but words can feel inadequate at times to express what their presence means. A sweet little reminder always helps to drive the point home! 🙂

Your support system may include a friend, your spouse, a family member, a physician, a home care nurse, a neighbor, an online support group, or people from your church. How touched they’ll be when they’re sent this surprise from you!

Consider the small and big ways they bring light into your world. Share one of these specially made images to convey your gratitude.

Because of my personal losses in the last couple years, I didn’t know if I could continue doing this campaign each November. In time however, the people who remained in my life cheering me forward, reminding me of my strength, now appear sweeter and stronger than ever. More than anything, I wish I didn’t need any help at all because giving is simply easier than recieving… It’s such a learning curve, but I try to be more grateful than guilty as much as possible. Any way to inject more kindness and smiles into this world is something I want to fight for. I hope you will help spread the word! 

If you are a caregiver to someone with a chronic or terminal illness, if you’re in the support system of a loved one with mental illness, or if you are supporting someone going through a major crisis, this is a reminder how much you matter. We can’t run away from the hands we’ve been dealt. You might have that choice, yet you’ve chosen to stay and fight along side your loved one. You lend your own emotional, physical, or mental strength at times. Someone like you is so very rare. Thank you for being you!
This collection was created as a collaboration between charcoal artist, CRPS and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome sufferer, Robyn Triscari and myself as a gift to you! Robyn wanted to give the chronic illness community a way to thank our supporters and “champions” so we worked together on this year’s Supporter Appreciation Day! Thank you, Robyn for your generous idea, and for sharing your artistic talents!

To my readers: It’s so meaningful to me that you follow this page, leave such encouraging comments, and share these messages with your friends. I treasure your readership and continue to pray for you. You challenge yourselves to learn all you possibly can from your lives, and your comments continue to challenge me.  You make my world so much brighter, and bigger! I want to thank you on this supporter appreciation day for your impact on my life!

You may save these images to your phone or computer, share them with your loved ones on social media, and we would love for you to print them if you’d like to frame one as a gift or send as a special card.  

We encourage you to include your own personal message of thanks along with it.

 

Image and quote by Robyn Triscari for RSD/CRPS

http.Download You Hold My Heart Image

Cloud Photograph by Marie Hunter

Download Thank you for being a good friend Image

Download No words can express Image

 

Collaboration between Robyn Triscari and abodyofhope

Download Hand in Hand Image

 

Collaboration between Robyn Triscari and abodyofhope

Download Thank you for your part image

 

If you have a “champion” in your life, someone cheering you forward, this is the perfect occasion to say, you’re the best.

We hope you will help us pass on the Caregiver Appreciation Day message!

For your convenience, I have also made these images available to share individually from the Facebook page,  https://www.facebook.com/groups/chronically.inspired  

Please share in comments who you are appreciating today!

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If I Ask You for More: Poem to a Caregiver

Learning the Gift of Gratitude

More poetry, Quotes for Caregivers, and what it means to have a Home Health Aid here

 

This is my first attempt at linking downloadable printables here, so your feedback is appreciated.

Cure Worship, Illness Gratitude, & Finding the balance between

To be thankful while you are suffering is one thing, but to be thankful for suffering….

Once in a while in the support group I administrate, there is someone who makes a statement that is so powerful, it catches me off guard and it sets my soul on fire. In truth, this isn’t a rare occurrence. I guess you could say that those suffering so deeply every single moment of the day have some profound insights to share. One thing that inspires me the most is when people say they are thankful for their illness. That is a bold statement that I believe one would never come to lightly- and no one would EVER openly say something so provocative in a support group setting among a band of individuals with severe chronic diseases, unless they truly meant it. That’s why it always gives me pause whenever I hear such powerful expressions.

It’s not unusual for those who go through a near death experience or a serious short term illness to find deeper meaning and purpose. It’s no less real, but it is more common when the storms have an end, and suffering can be left behind. While it’s not rare for those with ongoing illness to eventually find new ways to appreciate life again, to say they are grateful for their illness, it is so much more rare in cases of chronic disease. Why? Because an illness that is daily, constant, and does not see an end- is far easier to hate than to get excited about. A condition which may be degenerative, becoming more painful and physically or mentally compromising over time, isn’t easily beloved…as you can imagine. To me, it’s almost a miracle hearing that anyone would be happy or thankful that they became so sick. Others with chronic illness can find statements like these offensive, even. These ideas of “illness gratitude” certainly border on the extreme, but make one wonder where their personal journeys have lead them to truly embrace their infirmities.

 

I’ve heard people claim to be thankful they are in pain and chronically ill because it transformed their lives. It made them see the world in a different light. Their conditions allowed them to shake off the clutter and stress of a life that they realized didn’t have substance, and focus on a life of greater meaning and value. They once believed losing their career meant losing their purpose, but I’ve spoken to those who say that they are so thankful they became ill because now they found their true calling. Some have said that their new life of chronic illness has enabled them to be there for people in ways they never could have in their “healthy” life, so they are forever thankful for their new sick bodies, and how useful they can be to others through deeper compassion and connection. Sometimes people are grateful they are in pain because it has brought them closer to their faith, and they cherish a higher spiritual connection they never could have had without constantly being pushed to the edge of what they can endure. They are forced to cling to God instead of their own strength, and in that comfort, they find gratitude for suffering that brought them more enrichment spiritually.

Again, these are extreme statements, but thought provoking and inspiring nonetheless!

Most often, people I encounter long for a cure or pray to be healed. That’s normal, and that’s not at all unhealthy. Research in psychology equates the loss of health or a limb to losing a family member or spouse passing away. It’s earth-shattering. The losses just keep coming. With chronic illness, the grief starts over again and again. It’s cavernous, and there’s no end to the emotional roller coaster or the physical fight. Hoping for a cure, for healing, or for remission is what we all are desperate for, and that focus can at times become crucial for survival. But for some of us, restoration of health becomes a worship in itself, and begins to supersede everything else. Seeking a cure or healing can become such a focus that illness becomes nothing but a betrayal of God, of government, of doctors, and family. Nothing feels real except wellness and full restoration.

Obviously these are 2 opposite sides of the spectrum, and balance is always the goal.

When I was diagnosed at 22, I spent the first years asking God WHY? Staying up every night in excruciating pain, my leg felt as though it was breaking, nerves like being electrocuted and burning pain like nothing I could have ever imagined before. Full body spasms, tremors, the room spinning, my heart racing and palpitating, wondering how I had planned and worked so hard for everything that had lead me here, just to lose it to this “incurable degenerative” condition that no one seemed to be taking very seriously to help me try recover from. It didn’t make any sense. As much as I tried to analyze it, I couldn’t crack the code. It only made sense for me to get better, so I searched for my panacea, and prayed (demanding) that God must heal me. At the time, I wasn’t a big prayer person, but illness has a way of connecting you to your higher power. In the Bible, yes, there is healing, but there is also so much pain. The importance of learning through pain, finding ways to share strength or comfort inside of infirmities, these are scriptures that have been so encouraging to me.

I eventually felt lead to make a decision. I believed God would heal me, and I still do believe that is true. But, I decided that if I was going to spend any period of time living a “sick life” I was going to explore it. As much as I was desperate to go back in time, moving forward is all I could do, it’s all any of us can do- Even if it’s slowly, frightened, and with tears in our eyes. 

I cannot go as far as saying that I am thankful I am chronically ill. I can say that at almost 12 years, I’m so grateful I made that decision to press forward and try to find myself inside of this life. If I had stayed so distracted by my past, or so focused on what I might be losing in the future, I would have missed every bit of the beauty, the miracles, the blessings, the generosity of others, the opportunities to be of use, and purpose found inside of this pain.

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More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5

 

I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10

 

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8:18

 

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. Psalm 94:19

Grateful in ALL things??

Show my Gratitude poster
It’s easy to be thankful for your home and your family. Most people are thankful for their health and their careers or education. We should always treasure the people who are good to us, the comforts of home and our abilities, as life is so fragile. Those familiar with serious illness or tragedy understand that better than anyone.
But what if you lost everything?
What if tomorrow it was all gone?
What if you were left with only your physical pain and all of your loss?
How then would you have gratitude?

When I set out to write about gratitude this year, it was only through the eyes of my faith that I could write it.

The Bible asks me not only to be thankful for my blessings, but to be thankful INSIDE of my struggles, in my weakness, in my illness, in my loss, to be thankful in my…mess.
Sometimes all our eyes can see are the broken pieces. Sometimes all our bodies can feel is the pain. At times struggle and burden is all that our hearts will allow us to hold.

Let’s be serious, I’m not thankful for my illness or my loss! But the thought of being thankful INSIDE of it is a concept I can lean into. Maybe I can embrace these challenges because I am being changed, transformed. Maybe I can be thankful through it because I know there will be good to come of it.
What if tomorrow the broken pieces of your life as they are now can be used for something better than the pain you feel today?

What has come out of a dark time in your life that you can now be thankful for?

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Thank you to the wonderful writer,  lifeinslowmotionblog.com and admin of Changing the World when you are Chronically Ill, Disabled, or Homebound for encouraging me to dig deep and write this.

An Act of Kindness

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This is just a sampling of years of photographs that my good friend has taken and shared with me since I can no longer enjoy the outdoors.
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Now, my friends on Facebook who are also home-bound look forward to her photographs.
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She has been snapping and sharing pictures of her nature walks for the past few years because I have been confined to a bed and unable to go outside due to chronic illness. She brings the outdoors to me through the art of photography.
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In our friendship, nature has always been an important aspect, so we connect now through her breathtaking cloud photos, landscapes, and plants. Without her, I wouldn’t see the wondrous sky, I’d never know when the leaves were changing, or get to experience the colorful spring flowers. I write that with tears in my eyes for all of the beauty she lends on some of my darkest days. Even though I tell her, I doubt I have aptly expressed how deeply her labor of love has truly meant to me over the years.
She inspires me to do more creatively, she exemplifies the importance of meeting small needs, and she is a reminder how acts of kindness can make huge differences in people’s lives.
10457963_10202353246604935_5388975173777239688_nI hope she has encouraged you to find the opportunities and needs around you, and find ways you can make an impact. Be well!

Chronic Pain Time Machine

If I wish away my pain, I will wish away my life. And time is too precious. | "A Word on Time" article about chronic pain slowing down time. And how that can be a benefit to cherishing small moments in life. #Spoonie #Pain #ChronicPain #RSD #CRPS #CFS #MS #Fibromyalgia #Arthritis #abodyofhope #Migraine

When we are children, time goes by soooo slowly- sometimes we have more vivid memories from youth than just last week. In High school, I remember dating someone, feeling as though we were together for years when in reality the time may have only been months, but the value of it was just as great as many years. Was it the focus perhaps? The undivided attention? Was it the emotional impact? The relationship blew out a canyon of feelings and memories… like nothing you had ever felt or experienced before.

“Time is an illusion.” -Albert Einstein

“Time is what you make of it.” -unknown

I think about things like this from my bed now. I feel time slipping through my grasp at an alarming speed when I think about how long I’ve been chronically ill. [Especially] When I think of all of the missed celebrations gone by. The weddings. The births. All of my best friend’s son’s birthdays missed. My baby brother’s sporting events.

Only one life

Once in a lifetime

Don’t look back

Crane your neck

*

Only one life

Sand in a bottle

Sand so quick

Sand like diamonds

Every single moment

So damn precious

*

Only one life

Slow down time

Ticking on by

Once in a lifetime

Time like diamonds

Moments shine

Around your neck

But there’s another side to experiencing time. Now this is a secret that people with chronic pain know that I’ll be letting you in on:

Time slows down when you are suffering. The more pain you are in, the slower time goes.

Slow time in pain is definitely NOT like the gift it sounds like, however. Mostly, we are wishing for the minutes to speed up. But time going by faster will not diminish the pain, unfortunately. I used to push myself to get through each minute. Watching the clock, I would be relieved I got through another minute gone by- another day passed. Congratulations to me- I got through the day! The problem with that is wishing away time. Before I knew it, so much time had gone by and my condition was only worsening, treatments weren’t helping, and ticking away my life’s minutes was only getting me closer to worse problems in my future.

I cannot control so many of my circumstances, and I cannot go out and DO all that the world once called from me. However, I see a new opportunity presented. Precious moments with loved ones can be truly cherished instead of rushed through. I’m not implying everyone in pain has a surplus of time on their hands. No. In fact, what this means is the pain is so outrageous that I’m fighting not falling asleep, passing out, or screaming out loud. This very physical fight between my will and body is where the precious moments lie between. Where my best friend holds my hand at my bedside whispering to me about her son’s new toys at Christmas with a twinkle in her eyes. This is where time slows down and the moment seems to go on and on.

Life is a gift. We only have so much time. And we each only have one trip. If your current time feels it has slowed down, maybe it can be an opportunity to focus on the moments that matter.  Looking back, time will always feel like it went by too quickly. No matter your present circumstances, you always have a choice in how you spend your moments.

Time Quotes

The featured poster is original: You may share it as you wish.

Dear Readers, You Rock!

U r Totes awesomesauce. Cereal. So Jelly. Too Adorbs. "Dear Readers, You rock!" Favorite new blogsSince my blogging experiment began this past August, I have met some fascinating individuals who have injected so much color and warmth into my little world…even without needles. I just want to take a quick sec to say, Hey beautiful (or Hello there, handsome sir, if you are a gentleman)! Thank you for taking the time out to read my mind splatter. Thank you for leaving your own bits and pieces of brain in the comments section. You’ll never know how much your thoughtful words propel more ideas, more writing, and how you breathe rays of excitement into my life. In such a short time, we have started building friendships or we are getting to know one another through our mutual blogs. When I haven’t seen you around for a while, I get concerned you might not be doing well, or have become lost, wandering around a very, very large shopping mall somewhere (it can happen). You have left a mark my heart (in a good way) and I just want to make sure you know I think you are the bees knees, gorgeous (or good show, jolly old chap)!

Three bloggers who are not only a few of my favorites for their wonderfully honest and insightful writing, but I’m also extremely thankful for their support: Finding out Fibro, Life in Slow Motion, and Escharae inspired this post. As we do here every month, I’d like to give a shout out to few fantastical, fabulicious blogs that I’ve fallen for more recently, and I hope you will as well.

Creating Through the Pain: Kathleen is working on finishing up her first book while she blogs about her family, her faith, and her personal experiences managing CRPS/RSD. Kathleen has a creative whimsical touch to her writing which I always find heartwarming.

The Sick Diva: is a brand new blogger who brings a splash of sass and a big dose of wisdom right out of the blogging gate! She mixes original poetry with posts about her life adapting to Chronic Pain and all of its new challenges.

In the Blink of an Eye: Author, Mary Jane Gonzales is well known in the chronic pain community for her intimate and inspirational books, but she also has a very informative blog to help those with RSD/CRPS, along with their caretakers. She is active in the Facebook community where she shares her freshly-written pieces almost every day. She is a gem!

Mum C. Writes: Is a fantastic poetry page brimming with powerful verse daily. Mum C. writes about love, humanity, pain, hope and everything in between. She is full of passion for African issues and is so generous with her talent.

Sublime Mercies: Shares her witty perspectives on walking aids and being disabled while raising awareness for disability issues, PTSD and child abuse. She always shares bright colorful images and celebrates vintage fashion and femininity.

Thank you to all of the readers who have followed and whose comments encourage, and thank you to the amazing guest writers and fantastic featured artists whose work has appeared here thus far. I’m so uplifted by the creativity and hope messages I’ve seen surrounding this page. This has been a lovely fall of creativity, new discoveries and making new friends in you lovely peeps. I look forward to a fabulous new year of writing along with you!

If you would like to stalk me or share your story, you can find me on Twitter @aBodyofHope or email me at abodyofhope@inbox.com.

Learning the Gift of Gratitude

Gift of Gratitude poster "Gift of recieving" abodyofhope.wordpress.com #gratitude #spoonie

Have you ever thought that you are the best friend you know? Are you the most responsible, caring, compassionate, shoulder-to-cry-on kind of friend who drops everything to be there for the people you love? Have you ever wished for a friend like yourself?

I used to think that. Although I so adored the people in my life, there were times when I felt some of the things I did for them went under-appreciated. When I had problems in my own life, when I needed someone to make me feel better, I felt empty handed. Sound relatable?

I was a doer, a giver, I needed to be needed. I set my life up so that I was the go-to person for all of my people. I was the Olivia Pope of my world. Even when I moved to a different state, within months I was the one person anyone who knew me could count on. I constructed a safety net for everyone else, but when my own life turned upside down in the form of chronic illness, I felt there was no one to lean on.

Even after illness set in, things did not change. In fact, I felt that no one had a grasp of anything I was going through. For the first time in my life, I was desperate for some care from others and it seemed that no one knew what to say or do for me. Looking back now, some people were generous, and a few did reach out to me. I think it’s because I never learned how to ask for help before, I couldn’t recognize a gift of compassion and I was too prideful at the time to see when people were trying to be there for me.

I was so programmed to say, “No thanks” and “I’m fine” when people tried to help me out. I think I probably pushed them away without meaning to. I didn’t fully learn the gift of receiving until later on.

Sometimes tragedy is like this. The harder things get, the more clarity we can find.

You get so accustomed to being self-reliant and needed by others for so long that when it is time to accept help from another person, it’s like a foreign object that you naturally repel.

People who cared about me wanted to be there for me, but I usually shut them down. There were those who never knew what exactly to do or say, but they tried to just be in my life. I know now that the people who stick around in uncomfortable times are keepers.

Letting loved ones know how exactly they can help makes the people around us feel less powerless. If you give your loved ones specifics, they can learn how to better help with your complex needs. Hints and mind-reading definitely doesn’t count.

I know from personal experience that receiving help and asking for what you need can be a humbling experience. It’s lovely to help others but it can be humiliating when you’re the one who needs the help. That is the first thing I had to try to accept. You will have anger about it…try not to take it out on those giving to you. Don’t say things like, “I’m sorry you have to do this for me,” or “you will get tired of helping me,” or “I can tell you don’t want to be doing that for me.” Don’t critique their attitude, or predict future resentments. Instead, lead with gratitude. Say “thank you.” Your appreciation makes others feel positive.

Gratitude isn’t only an emotion, it’s also a state of mind, and a form of personal expression. The great thing is you can choose to be grateful even at times you don’t necessarily feel that way.

You already know how good it feels to do for others. Learn to be a gracious receiver.

Remember, you are worthy enough to accept the very thing you do all the time for other people. If the situation were reversed, would you be there for your loved one in the same way?

It has taken me a while to learn that lesson. I am still learning… Those who give of themselves are always teaching me to be humble.

I had to consider why my life had always revolved around being helpful, yet I could not receive the help offered to me. To top it off, I was too prideful to ask for help.

When I was finally able to say “thank you” and mean it from the bottom of my heart without resentment, anger, shame or fear: gratitude swept over me and lit up everyone in my life like Christmas lights.

Before, giving and being needed was how I defined myself. Learning to receive showed me the love everyone around me had to offer.

This lesson has been such a challenge; I am still learning to receive and to appreciate the blessings in my life, but the gift of gratitude has been a life-changing lesson. I believe learning to receive with a grateful heart makes a person a more understanding, more compassionate giver.

People love you and are there for you, too. Maybe not in the way you want them to be, but they might be exactly what you need. You are worthy of their love and their help.  Please don’t miss out on receiving the blessings that God is trying to bring into your life.

How Years 16-22 Changed my Life at 28

“What’s with all of the appreciation? Isn’t pain and illness miserable…aren’t you suffering every day and lonely in bed? Don’t you hate that the world is spinning without you?” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had plenty of pity party time over the years. Plenty of my own misery that I’ve crawled into. I still do from time to time. But, I have more gratitude now that is helping me along more these days. Why? How?

I was living my life, being an over-achiever, free-spirit, planner, optimist, perfectionist, social butterfly, spontaneous young person (yes all of those things at once). And boom: gimpy girl, doctors are your new BFF’s, your plans are a joke, and spontaneity is only reserved for your malfunctioning body. Adult life had just begun. The pieces had just fallen into place when they shattered apart so suddenly. I had so much fear about the future. Between all of the doctors ensuring me what a dim future I would have added to the horror stories I would read online, plus my own excruciating pain- equaled a young person very ill equipped to emotionally handle the fallout.

In the beginning, when I happened upon my first story of a child going through the same thing I was, I couldn’t help but draw strength from it. Knowing a child was in so much terrible pain every day, and still going to school and trying to walk or play- had me reconsider my own desperation. In all the times I was so ready to give up, there were definitely moments I would look up stories of children with the same pain disorder and remind myself that they don’t even realize they can check out. They just have to be strong- so they are. Because I’m in the same fight, I should also be strong beside them. Maybe you think it’s perverse, but it helped me. It helps me.

[One note: Others’ suffering does not negate one’s own trials and battles in life. Hopefully though, it can help us gain better perspective. We still must face our own pain intimately. A million other people in pain does not lessen my own struggle or yours. I just want to clarify that is not what I’m saying.]

It wasn’t until more recently, a few years ago when a myriad of other conditions floated my way, including a nasty one called POTS that changed my thoughts even more-so…

Even though I personally became chronically ill at 22 and then bedbound at 28, it is very common for young women of 16 to get POTS, unfortunately. There are teen girls at home and in hospitals all over the world hardly able to stand or sit up wondering what kind of future they will have. These young women are my heroes. Not only have they been teaching me how to better manage my condition using food, technology, and lifestyle choices, they also teach me through their attitudes. They keep pushing, keep trying, and they never give up hope.

When my POTS began something clicked for me. Even though my POTS entered my life with so many other conditions and more pain, making me more debilitated than ever, I’ve felt less grief for all I’m missing out on in life. It opened my eyes to how much I had done from 16 to 22 when my first chronic illness set in. In those 6 years, I finished high school, worked several jobs, had been in love, traveled the entire country, I learned how to do so many things with my hands, I used my body to go on many exciting adventures, and made amazing memories with my friends. I found the love of my life, lived independently, got married, bought a house, started college, and got the opportunity to spend quality time with my family.

For a very long time, I looked back at my life and memories and thought it wasn’t enough. I couldn’t even look at a old pictures without the memories crushing my heart- so I didn’t. It was like losing a loved one; losing myself. But if I can appreciate from 16 to 22, then I can appreciate all of it. What about the children whose illness inhibits their freedoms in life from a very young age? It changes the way I look back. Now I can look back at my memories and pictures and say, “Wow, I’m so blessed! God really allowed me to do so much!” Instead of, “I wish life could be as good as it used to be.”

Being thankful changes everything. Focusing on gratitude takes work though. And I have to avoid that which spirals me into my darkness. If you are toward the beginning of your journey, I don’t believe that mourning the loss of your life is negative. It’s an appropriate response and grieving is a valuable part of the illness journey. It has just taken me a long time to get here, and I have required a great deal of grace to find my way. Blessings to you on your own path.

 

“And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High. I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.” -Psalm 77:10-12

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Thank you to Mitzi Sato-Wiuff at Aurora Wings on Etsy for allowing her very special original Skull Image to be featured here. Please go check out her shops linked below and purchase one of her awesome prints or instant downloads as a gift for the holidays!

www.aurorawings.com

www.etsy.com/shop/AuroraWings

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WordPress Blog Prompt: Salad Days. Looking Back.

Salad Days

Round Up! or something….

I had to look up the definition of a “Round Up” newsletter since I’m new to this bloggy thing; this will be a little recap of the past few months: Best of links, What’s to come, and 7 Bizarre/Lovely blog things that have happened since I started up. And I’m also sharing a few favorite blogs again as I often like to do ‘round these parts (get it, western? Round up??).

Coming up: Is November. (Aren’t you glad I’m here to tell you that?) Well, November happens to be an Awareness Month I’ve participated in every year for 10 years, but THIS YEAR for RSD/CRPS Awareness Month, 3 cool things are converging:

  1. I am able to read and type again more freely.
  2. I just started a blog to share inspiring survivors stories on.
  3. I just got a new orange shirt to wear. Boom.

Not like awareness month is all about ME or anything… But truly, I’m very excited to be participating in awareness month as it’s so very important that people understand this disease is less rare than MS, Lupus, or HIV even though so many of the general public have not heard of CRPS/RSD. I hope you will enjoy what I have planned for November. It won’t be all about Complex Regional Pain Syndrome though. It will be about how we conquer pain from those who have beautiful inspiring stories to tell: and every person has to conquer physical or emotional pain at some point.

Being Thankful: Going into November, a time for showing our gratitude to others, I want to thank you, readers for taking the time to visit, leaving your encouraging thoughtful comments, and helping build a network around aBodyofHope. I’ve met so many warm, vibrant, talented individuals since I’ve been here at WordPress. You’ve inspired my writing and have made this a wonderful, welcoming process. For each Like on the page, I send you out a little mental Thank You Note.

Shoutout: I also want to thank my sweet beautiful poet friend, The Optimistic Cynic for nominating this page with One Lovely Blog award. She writes uplifting smart powerful poetry and creates remarkable artwork, so receiving an award from a blog like hers means so much. Thank you for your support and for the nomination! 4. Actually on the same morning she awarded me this, I awarded her a Leibster Award and we left messages for each other at the same time! It was a totally adorable blogging coincidence.

Another Lovely/Surprising Blog Thing: 5. I have not shared this yet, but just after posting my very first entry to this blog: How Robin Williams Saved Superman, I received a message from Robin William’s daughter Zelda thanking me for the kind post. She and her family read it and being the day after his passing, she said it meant so much to them. How did she get my first ever entry? Apparently, we have mutual friends on facebook, and it got passed along… You literally had to peel me off of the floor!

I tell you this now because Zelda Williams has had backlash thrown at her for nearly everything she has tried to say in the media and on social networking. It has been a disgusting display of human compassion and bullying and there is never an excuse for such behavior. Here is the hummingbird tattoo she got in honor of her father. I think it is a beautiful tribute. I just wanted to give Zelda a holler since she was so kind to me on likely the worst day of her life.

Zelda William's Tattoo Tribute. Hummingbird Tattoo. Inspiring Blogs for people with chronic illness

Zelda William’s Tattoo

Something Bizarre: 6. After I posted Crutch Life, a collaboration post with College on Crutches, we got a message from an admirer of ladies who live on crutches apparently… He specifically asked for pictures: “lots of pictures, full body, showing your crutches.” Eeeek!

A Blog Jinx: 7. A couple weeks ago, I posted my first article on POTS: My Toothbrush, My Trophy. I shared about how I had met an important goal and discussed some of my improvements I’ve made this year after the past few years of battling the disorder. Well, within an hour of posting it, my POTS and heart issues sent me to the Emergency Room. It was a total Blog Jinx! I feel like my body got the memo October was POTS awareness month and the memo was my blog post!!!

Call to Action: If you have an inspiring story to tell, if you are a sassy Spoonie, if you are a survivor, an artist, a poet or family member of physical/mental illness/disability and like to write, or if you would like to collaborate: please contact me at abodyofhope@inbox.com

I am Paying Forward One Lovely Blog nominations to:

Low Wire: Poet, short story writer, pilot, orphan, world traveler… This man has touched my heart with his words and his story. Here is one of his pieces I cannot get out of my mind: Sin Nombre

Defy Gravity: A young woman passionate about raising awareness for Dysautonomia and giving a voice to others with chronic illnesses.

Project Naked: A collection of stories submitted by women from all over the world who explore the relationships to their bodies. Consider submitting yours.

Escharae: A young woman sharing healthy, mindful tips, and an honest refreshing perspective on life with Multiple Sclerosis and chronic illness.

Popular posts: In case you missed it.

Party Etiquette for Sassy Spoonies

In Her Shoes Poem

Pain Pills: Chronic Pain Sufferers Speak

You Know You’re a Spoonie When: fun list

Praying: Can You Hear Me Now?

Popular Reblogs: 

Be a Blessing

Proportional Pain and my Guilty Genes

The Question of Human Suffering

Everyone have a Happy Halloween! If you are unable to go out to celebrate, I would love to hear what creative character you would have gone as. I love Halloween, even from bed. Thank you for reading!

********

I did my One Lovely Blog acceptance a bit different, but I never have been very good at following instructions (or rules). That isn’t my #8, that’s just bonus. If you want to accept your nomination, here are the courteous things to do:

– link back to the person who nominated you

– Post One Lovely Blog Award picture on the acceptance post or using a widget on your page

– 7 facts about yourself

– List a number of blogs you are nominating for the award

– Contact your nominees and let them know they have been nominated.

Congratulations!

Green Tree / Fall

Tree Photo| Green Tree / Fall Poem #loss #death #sympathy

Tree Photo by Marie Hunter

~Green Tree / Fall~

Thank you, Green Tree.

For stretching out to meet each day unafraid.

Your leaves reached out to touch the morning rays.

Courageous branches held the birds and squirrels as they played.

You appreciated the spring rain, Green Tree.

Soaking up only what you needed.

Surrounding plants shaded by your un-impeding canopy.

Now, as you break and change, don’t be afraid, Green Tree.

Don’t hold back your leaves from color.

No one will question your strength, Green Tree.

Your beauty will remain.

Your life was not in vein.

As your last brown leaf exhales to the ground,

The forest will remember how you stood so proud.

Don’t fear the change, Green Tree.

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