Sunday, November 27, 2016

Saturday ride after Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving 2016

Thanksgiving weekend ends. This time of year is always very emotional for me. (sorry so long, my feelings won't be hurt if you don't read this.)
I am so grateful for life, friends, and family. In 1997 I left a 30-day rehab the day after Thanksgiving. New Directions in Costa Mesa took me in. My doctors told me that I was dying of multiple myeloma, but at that point, alcohol was taking the lead in my demise. My liver was done and I was in the ER at Hoag Hospital.
I had no hope, no medical insurance, no hair, and the list goes on. I called a cab and snuck out the back door of the hospital. Within a few hours, the detox doctor from Hoag called me and was not happy that I left on my own out a backdoor. I told him he was too late. He said they found a place that would take me on a grant, and that was New Directions for Women. The bone marrow transplants might have worked better had I taken care of myself Dr. V told me. They told me to get sober and get my affairs in order, after all, I had a daughter to think of. If it were only that easy.
Surrender has come to me many times on many levels since then.
A fellow court reporter (we went to school together) stayed at my house for those 30 days and cared for my daughter. Christy commuted from Newport to Long Beach courthouse every day. My friend Janet took over my work and the rest of any life I had left, which was not much. I did not see a reason to fight anymore. I owe my life to so many people who had hope for me and never gave up on me. Friends, family and loyal clients, who stood by me and are still my clients today. You know who you are.
That was the start of my new life. Thanksgiving 1997. A friend picked me up three days a week from the rehab and drove me to the cancer center for chemo and interferon. I was in pain in every direction of my life.
My daughter and I have had an extraordinary journey together. I am so proud of her now. That little girl I thought I would never see graduate high school is married with two amazing children. We have come a long way from her throwing away all the alcohol in my house and packing my bag and sending me to rehab.
Danielle Echavarria called me a few minutes ago and thanked me for sweet potatoes, of all things. She sounded so happy.
As a mother/parent, there is nothing better than hearing joy in your child's voice, absolutely nothing. I love you, Danielle. Thank you for never giving up on us.
Happy holidays to all my friends here who continue to love me and Dani and support us.