Monday, July 9, 2012

Kissed by an angel...

Team Pink back together again - Carol (on my left) & I are doing the City2surf on 12th August, 2012
I couldn't have done the Paris Marathon without our other Team Pink member,
my sister Rita...& she's joining us again in the City2surf!

Do you believe in angels?

I'd like to think there are angels that flit about the earth protecting us, giving us messages from heaven, watching over us.

Recently, one of my brothers had an amazing experience with a random guy who walked into his art gallery and started describing our parents. This guy then gave each of us 10 siblings a message from our Dad who passed away 12 years ago. The messages were personal, accurate and mind-blowing. This was my message:

"Jenny stop being pedantic and stressing over little things. Keep writing, it is good for you. You can help your brothers and sisters. You are strong but certain things you have to learn to let go."

I believe it was an angel. I believe this truly was a message from my Dad. Nobody else knew the extent to which I have been stressing over little things lately. To the outside world, I always try to show my "poker face", but on the inside I worry all the time about the big things of life and the little I a good wife, am I a good mum, am I a good daughter, am I a good sister, am I a good friend?? Now that I'm back from Paris, what am I going to do with the rest of my life? Is the cancer going to come back? What will I cook for dinner? When will I get the dusting done? How is the washing going to dry in this weather? .....You get the picture: it doesn't matter whether it's a little thing, or a big thing, I've been worrying about it!

The angel, as I like to call him, also said...

"I am with you always. I see you laugh, I see you cry, I see you worry...I want to see you happy."

There were other things said, which my brother put in an email to all of us, which I won't share here, but as I read, tears streamed down my face. It was like a kiss from my Dad, a hug from heaven to let me know that he loves me even from heaven. A message to encourage me to stress less, and write more. So this is what I'm trying to do.

For some reason, I stopped writing, hence the lack of blog posts for a long time. I thought, who would want to read what I have to say? What am I writing for, it's such a waste of time? 

But I realised that writing is the equivalent of dreaming for me. My imagination runs wild with my writing, and my dreams seem to come to life. My negatives turn to positives, and the little things that tend to worry me suddenly disappear.

This angel told me to "Write, it's good for you. Write, it will help others, Write, it'll help you let go!"

So I'm taking heed. Writing really is therapy to me...

In between loving my family, working my toosh off and everything in between, I'll continue to write. I have always loved writing and found it therapeutic to be journaling my thoughts and feelings particularly during my cancer challenge. I started blogging a few years ago as a way of recording what I was going through and all that I was learning along the way. Writing became an instrumental part of my healing process - allowing me to say things I needed to say, but also helping me focus on the loveliness of life, rather than dwelling on the negative. It got mighty boring writing down my complaints all the time, so that eventually changed to writing about my hopes and dreams for the future.

I love bearing my soul and sharing my innermost thoughts through writing. I love the therapy of getting the clamor of injustice out of my head. I love touching the heart and conscience of other humans.

In the same way cancer has led me to love my life more than I ever have before, writing has led me to the realisation of how awesome this big old world of ours is. Just as reading a good book can transform your mind and take you off to new lands, writing can help you escape the daily grind. For me, it was a question of whether I wanted to constantly write all about my fears and negative stuff, or if I'd rather escape into my dreams and desires for the future. I chose the latter. I believe that our words have the power to become our reality, so I'm right into positive affirmations, and speaking things into being.

I love this quote I read once:

"The great pleasure in life lies in doing what people say you cannot do" - Walter Bagehot.

Whilst going through my darkest days of cancer treatment, I imagined myself traveling to New York City, a destination I'd dreamt about for so many years. I told myself, and anyone else who would listen, that when I got better I was going to NewYork. And in September 2011, I indeed walked the beautiful streets of the city that never sleeps. I watched my son skateboard through Central Park, I peered in the stunning shop windows of 5th Avenue with my daughter, and I snuck a passionate kiss with my husband in the back of a yellow cab in the middle of the night in New York city traffic, just like I'd seen in all the great movies!

I actually achieved my dream...I got to New York!

Sure, there may have been some who said I couldn't do it - but I did!

Then there were probably some who might have said I couldn’t go where my shoes were taking me next. In April 2012, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to the beautiful city of love, gay Paree.

Not only was it a city I had longed to visit ever since I can remember, but I participated in the Marathon de Paris to raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Yes, even with my cancer diagnosis, even with my permanent ankle and back injury, even though I've never been a very athletic sort of person, and even though I’m not rolling in cash...I did it!

So what’s next? The City2surf :) On the 12th August 2012, I'm continuing on my road to Paris journey...I couldn't bear giving up after Paris. The original Team Pink girls - Carol, Rita and myself - are going in the City2surf (thanks to a bit of a nudge from Carol!)

Together, we raised over $20,000 for the National Breast Cancer Foundation (NBCF) from our participation in the Paris Marathon. But remember there was a third Team Pink member, Sam, who was to participate in the marathon with us...sadly she lost her breast cancer battle just a few weeks before the marathon, leaving behind two young children.  This devastating loss served to ignite my passion for the cause even further, and I am committed to doing all I can to help NBCF researchers get to their goal of "no more breast cancer deaths by 2030"!

So my latest challenge is to continue to fundraise the extra $10,000 for Sam. I'm already over half way, but to give people an incentive to help me reach my target of $20,000, I'm doing the City2surf. To be honest, I can't quite believe I'm doing this again so soon, but 14kms along the beautiful Sydney coastline is surely going to be a whole lot easier than the gruelling 42kms in the Paris Marathon...although come to think of it, just being in Paris was a huge plus!!

I must admit, I'm not looking forward to the notorious "heartbreak hill" that everybody's warning me about, but I am looking forward to being with my Team Pink girls again...I'm also excited about reaching my $20,000 target with your help!

After all, the greatest pleasure in life lies in doing what people say I cannot do!

Tell me, have you done the City2surf? And have you ever been kissed by an angel?

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please support the continuation of my Road to Paris new City2surf challenge for the NBCF. You can make a tax-deductible donation online at my Everyday Hero Fundraising Page! Thanks, love ya heaps xx


Jessica Trad said...

Ah the City2Surf will be a breeze for you! How exciting. I'm really glad to hear you're pursuing your writing - as the world needs a book from you yet x

Lydia N said...

Hi Jen,
How are you? That is great news that you are doing City 2 Surf! We have a great NBCF team heading to City to Surf.
Lydia N (NBCF)

Virginia C said...

That's beautiful Jenny,

Just remember don't over exert yourself. Please allow time for yourself to rest!!

Take care!

Vin T said...

I enjoyed reading that !!! Well done Jen

Marilyn R said...

Dear Jen,
How beautiful, I love reading your stories they are very encouraging.
That is amazing how things happen one doesn’t know what happens when you start making conversation with an unknown person and he starts describing your parents.
Keep up the good work with your fundraising for National Breast Cancer.
Take care and speak to you soon.


Katrina R said...

Thanks for that Jen, we need to catch up again. Happy to join you for a Baywalk if you want to keep training.
I'd like to catch up sometime.

Jan F said...

Hi Jen,

Go you !!!! It will be so much easier than the marathon. Practise going up the Stockton Avenue Hill you will be fine. I am doing the Sutherland to Surf run in a couple of weeks it is 11.2 km. So pleased to hear you haven’t stopped, will definitely donate just on my way to bed now so soon I promise.


Bernie B said...

That's why you need to write Jenny, you are inspiring. We need more honest inspiring people that not afraid to share what they feel, good or bad, it's all okay. After all, we are human. Love the Blog and love the message, I believe it all. Thank you for sharing.

Lots of Love

Jane M said...

What a great story how amazing! I agree you should keep writing, I have really missed reading your blogs  and always draw inspiration from them. Look forward to seeing you soon. Enjoy your week off work with the kids xox 

Carla S said...

Hi beautiful,

It was lovely to read your email/blog post, and I must agree with you, I do believe in angels and God's providence. I will definitely be making a donation to your new challenge. You will do so well in the City2Surf, because you are so fit and determined, plus it will help that the marathon is shorter and you won't have to put up with strange Parisian behaviour! 

Thank you for all of the work you do for the NBCF. You are a real inspiration to me, and I take great comfort knowing that there are breast cancer survivors like you who are raising money in the hope of a cure. 

Love Carla xo

Rosemary B said...

You are a true inspiration to us all and I love to read whatever you write, yes keep it up and I pray that your next challenge in the city to surf will give you great joy!! It's not about heartbreak hill!!! Its the fun and the laughs you will have along the way!!
Blessings Rosemary