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Getting to Know You - October 28 (Courtesy of Snowflake)


Ann

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Have you ever felt an actual turning point in your life? An epiphany, experiencing or realizing something and knowing that it is going to change your life forever - an act of kindness you witnessed or received, something someone said to or about you, a feeling of absolute calm, an everyday hero you admire/d, or whatever it was for you, please share.

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Well, there are many epiphanies in my long life, but the one I'll share here happened in 1966, when Lucie was pregnant with our third child. She was threatening to miscarry all along, and one time she landed in the hospital while we were visiting her mother out of state. A chaplain held a private communion for both of us. I realized then that I was not in control of my life, so I gave up that illusion and handed it to God. I put it in His hands, and we both were ready to accept whatever happened. The baby was born prematurely, but survived to be a healthy tot. I have never taken back the illusion that I am in control, although I want to many times. It gives me peace. Don

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Well there is one moment that comes to mind. John and I had been trying to have a child and nothing had happened. I was talking to someone I worked with at the time about trying to get pregnant. I said something like we didn't necessarily need to have children. He looked at me and said "but maybe a child needs you" and then talked to me about adoption. That conversation changed my life...I contacted an adoption agency and pretty soon we were picking up a little boy from South Korea.

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Having my daughter was/is the best thing to ever happen to me in my life. Everyone would ask me what did I want a boy or girl? - I would say a girl. They would say what happens if it is a boy, I said it is going to be a girl I just know it. I was fortunate at the time to be home in the day time since I worked nights and was able to experience her growing up first hand, something most men do not get a chance at. There is nothing better in this world then watching a child grow, it's a experience of a lifetime - the diapers I could have done without. She is my pride and joy, has never given us any problems and I'm so proud at how she turned out.

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My dad had just been diagnosed with lung cancer with mets to the liver.

Everything I read on the net was awful and I was so terribly afraid, and I felt so very lonely.

I found a "message site". It was really simple and just this weird blue page where people posted on "stings"- no separate forums or way to catagorize or find anything. It was the first time I "met" anyone else with lung cancer...and the first time I didn't feel alone. But the dang thing kept crashing and the messages didn't save. I remember slamming my hands on my keyboard the billionth time it had crashed (and this was all in the first day I found that website!)

I just sat in front of the computer and cried...and that's when Rick said he'd make me a place. Our own place, where no one would ever be alone.

Our lives haven't been same since. HA!

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My turnign point.. after 10 years of drinking, one night at 26, I remember having drink after drink and not being able to get drunk. I looked in the bathroom mirror, and will never forget the feeling that I had, in AA we call it our spiritual awakening. All of a sudden, I saw everything clearly, what my life had become, that I was sick and needed help. It sounds like it should have been so simple to see to start with.. but alcoholism is a disease of denial.

That night was my last drink, and I checked into a rehab a week later. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that if I hadn't stopped drinking I would have ended up dead a long time ago.

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The thing that changed my life was something a high school teacher said. This guy was incredible. His name was Tom Thornburgh, and he was my sophomore English teacher. He only taught at our high school for one year, and I heard that he had gone to some college and was a professor.

In class one day, someone had just given the most horrible oral book report you ever heard. Mr. Thornbugh was quietly pacing the room and suddenly began to speak the names of the really, really smart people asking why they weren't criticizing this report. He called everybody Mr. or Miss. He said something like "Mr. Hadley, Miss Marling, Mr. Jones, Ms. Smith, Ms. Yohler (that was me), why are you so quiet? Why aren't you critiquing this report?" It seems like a stupid thing, but he included ME in that group. It knocked me off my feet. I had been an A-B student, but from that day forward I became a straight A student in every single class for the remainder of my 2 1/2 years of high school. I worked my butt off to do it, but I did it.

I heard an expression one time that said, "I'm not what I think I am, I'm not what YOU think I am, but I am what I THINK you think I am." Boy, was that ever true. I became what I thought he thought I was. It was amazing.

Peggy

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The day my son was born I knew I was born to be a mommie. He and my daughter were always the most important things in my life. They turned out well and I am very proud of both of them.

In l988, a tornado blew away a business building that I was in alone after hours. Everything was torn all to pieces and I was left with only a few bruises. While it was all happening I felt a presence with me. I stayed calm and somehow knew that I would be ok. There have been no real moments since then that have let me know why I was left alive, but I know that shortly thereafter I met my husband. He has been my soul mate and we hold each other up in many ways. Maybe that was the reason. I just know that I physically felt God's arms around me and I know that they will be there for me no matter what.

Nina

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I have been blessed with several such moments.

UPDATE: the partner I very often butt heads with just walked into my office and handed me a check for $100.00 for the LC walk I am doing next weekend, so there you go.

like Debi, the one that changed my life most dramatically was when I identified with a room full of people twice, even thrice, my age and started to stop drinking, a day at a time. (I can't believe I am posting this on the internet, you guys inspire me to be my true self...I also know there are many of us here :wink: ) they accepted me and nurtured me into a new life with astonishing generosity. eventually, this lead me to a relationship with the god of my understanding that is the foundation of my continued sobriety, to which I owe my life.

the first time I heard "Black Dog" by Led Zeppelin was pretty life-changing, too. :lol:

there are so many more I would love to tell you about, but it's too self-indulgent. at least one grew directly out of my exposure to the amazing, brave and deeply spiritual people here.

so thanks.

xoxo

bunny

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My epiphany:

The day I found GOD! What a day to remember! It was a feeling of complete calmness and joy. I finally realized why I was here. I have never experienced anything like it. It changed my life. I can't remember what my life was like before him except that I felt as if I was wandering hopelessly and not realizing where I would end up. Now, I feel I am much closer to knowing what his purpose was for me. Now, I can truly LOVE AND LIVE!

GOD BLESS!!

Jamie

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My life changed on Jan 3rd, 1989 thats the day I realized I was an alcoholic and entered rehab. My 1st AA meeting was that same night. I remember sitting in the car with my mom (God bless her support and that of my entire family) and I was crying so hard. I knew when I crossed the threshold of that door there was not turning back, I was not only admitting to myself, but the whole world I was an alcoholic. My mom offered to go in with me, but I knew I needed to do this myself, so with all the inner strength I could muster I walked through those doors, into the loving arms of the most wonderful women I have ever met (it was an all women's meeting I attended). My name is Debbie and I am an alcoholic. I happily live life one day at a time.

The 2nd life changing event Jan. 10th 2005 4:10pm the date and time Alan was dignosed with Lung Cancer.

Debbie

Husband Alan DX small cell lung cancer Jan 10th 2005

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Although there have been so very many good and positive things happen in my life, none of them had the impact on me that I received when I heard Dennis had lung cancer. To that point in life, I had pretty much been in control over my own destiny. Things hadn't always been easy but there was always something that could be done to "fix" the things that went wrong. When I heard the words inoperable, incureable but we can try and buy some time with treatment, I realized that I was no longer in control. I realized that this was not something I could fix. I realized the entire situtation was in hands more powerful than mine. From that day, my entire attitude has been different about life.

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All of my life I was always there for someone else, never myself. If someone was sick I cared for them. If I was sick I cared for everyone else and never took care of myself. My whole life always seemed to be for someone else. I let people walk all over me. If one of my kids asked me to baby set I did it. It didn't matter if I had made other plans or if I was tired from working all day. I would never say "no". When my husband and I would argue about something I would just cower down and not stand up for myself. One day something happened that changed all of that.

I was on the phone with my daughter in law. She had had a very rough childhood and I had helped her through some pretty rough times. You would think that she would have wanted just the oposite for her chidren but it didn't seem that way. My granddaughter was 10 at the time. Well while we were on the phone Bridget tried to ask her something and she got angry and started yelling at her. She had been talking to me for half an hour yet she was telling Bridget that she couldn't help her with her homework because she had lost her voice :!:

I didn't want to make her or my son mad so I just hung up and didn't say anything. That got me to thinking about my life and the way I handled things. I decided then and there that from then on when I had something to say I would say it. I would never let anyone walk on me again. If I thought I was right I would not back down. It was a real life changing experience.

I thought my new determination would help my marriage, instead my husband couldn't handle the real me an my marriage really started to fall apart. It was a very difficult time in my life but I was to learn there was a reason for it. I know now that absolutely nothing happens without a reason.

As my marriage was unwinding I kept asking myself when had I ever been really happy and not stressed. On October 3rd 2000 I got my answer in a dream. I doubt I would have ever had that dream if I hadn't finally decided that I couldn't live the way I was anymore.

I think I have mentioned that dream before but here it is again. I dreamed that I was looking for something and couldn't find it. I was running away crying then I felt arms around me. Johnny's arms :!: I hadn't talked to him in over 40 years. I didn't even know where he was. In the dream I never saw his face nor heard his voice. I just knew it was him. Later when we found eachother again and he told me what happened to him that same night I knew that my destiny was guided by God and not myself. That same night Johnny had been overcome by fumes and had gone outside. He thought he was dying and started praying. He asked God to not let him die alone with no one to care. He asked for something to make his life worthwhile. He always swore that my dream and us finding eachother again was the answer to his prayer.

I know now that he was right. I also know that our lives are sometimes out of our control. God does answer our prayers. Sometimes we may think he has said "no" instead of "yes" but if we really think about it we will realize that the answer was yes and we didn't recognize it at the time.

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I feel like I am copying Ann's post almost word for word, including what the doctor told Dennis, as those were the exact words Jim's doctor used.

Jan 1st, 2004, at 4:00am, after being in the ER for 8 hours trying to identify Jim's pain, the ER doctor told me he had a mass on top of his kidney (was the adrenal gland tumor) and a very large mass in his lung. Thankfully, Jim was finally catching a few winks after a long night. We were admitted to the oncology floor and met his oncologist-to-be on New Year's Day. What a party! :cry:

It dawned on me that however this turned out, life was never, ever going to be the same again. I had always told Jim how much I loved him, how he was my ROCK, how cute he was, etc......and I loved to make him play the "Who loves you most in the whole wide world?" game. (He tried to act like he hated those games but I know he didn't. And he would come up with some really interesting answers.) I knew that I would continue to show this wonderful man how much I loved him until he, or I, took our very last breath. I hope I accomplished that.

And, the world did turn upside down on March 31st, 2005, and it isn't, and never will be, the same again.

Thanks Ann (and Snowflake)

Lynne

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I did this post earlier and lost it to cyberspace - no I didn't copy it and clicked the wrong key and puff it was gone.

When I started the post I was only going to tell you about a car wreck that we had on November 10, 1997. We rolled a Suburban and travel trailer on the I 10 in Texas (on our way home to Fort Worth from Alabama) this was courtesy of a trucker playing silly buggers at high speed.

Anyhow, we walked away from a wreck that should really have killed or at least injured us. While I was recalling this incident and how I felt afterward I realised that this was not my only life altering event on November 10.

Flash forward to 2001 and the real life changer, I was admitted to hospital with pneumonia caused by small cell lung cancer.

To say that I have changed my life would be a stretch but there is definitely a difference. One thing should have ended my life and the other still may, but there has to be a reason that neither took my life.

November 10 really seems to be my day, I wonder if this year will bring anything of significance.........it's 4 years again!!

Looking forward to November 11th!

Geri

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It is reminders for me from all of you and your epiphanies that only strengthens and validates my own brush with the highest workings of my soul as it connected directly to God.

I was stricken with some kind of still unknown virus that wreaked havoc on all of my major organs. Everything was shutting down. I didn't have medical insurance, so I didn't think I could go to the hospital! June 15, 1995. I knew I was dying.

There were no words spoken, yet the message was clear. Nothing in this world matters but LOVE. NOTHING. Not fortune, not work, not intellect. nothing. Only Love.

God is love and life.

That life is God.

That love is God.

To love and be loved is the purpose of my existence.

It seems so simple now. At the time, it was the greatest and most powerful event of my life.

Cindi o'h

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If you have read my story in the MY STORY forum, you know what my answer will be.

I imagine the first life altering experience was Sept. 20, 2004 when I first heard the words, "Looks like lung cancer." I lived from that day on with no hope of survival. No doc here had ever seen a pancoast tumor. The problem was that no one referred me anywhere else. I did find myself Sloan Kettering for a second opinion and Fox Chase in Philadelphia for a third. I was offered nothing either place. My tumor was a very bad one, indeed. I was told I was going to die - and probably by spring!

A very long story short....Nov. 12 , 2004, while googling like I did all night, every night because I couldn't sleep, I stumbled across this website because of a pancoast survior listed. That event changed my life forever. In fact, it GAVE me life. Somehow DonnaG DID get my attempt at contacting her and she gave me mhutch's name as another survivor. Mhutch gave me her doc's name. The story goes on and on.

I went to NIH, mhutch's doctor, and was taken on and SAVED!!!! What more can I say!?

Once again...these girls hopefully will NEVER be tired of hearing this...THANK YOU...Katie - for this site, DonnaG for your quick response, and mhutch for the gift of the most magnificent surgeon known!

And now thanks to ALL of you who have supported and loved me!

Kasey

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Mine would have to be Christmas Eve 1997. I had decided to go to the evening service at my brother's church. I was newly pregnant with Nicolas and was so worried something bad would happen and I would loose him. As I sat there listening to the sermon my mind started to focus on another voice. I heard a voice tell me this, I'll never forget it as long as I live," You don't have to worry about him, I am taking care of him, trust in me, all will be well." I kinda woke up and felt as if everything was going to be fine. I can't expain the feeling. It was like a complete calm had washed over me and the fear was gone. I told my mom that evening that I knew I was having a boy and she asked how I knew. I told her that God had told me that night at church. And I never worried about him again, or having Connor 2 yrs. later. That night I learned to put my trust in God.

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Cindi O'h said:

. . . .There were no words spoken, yet the message was clear. Nothing in this world matters but LOVE. NOTHING. Not fortune, not work, not intellect. nothing. Only Love.

God is love and life.

That life is God.

That love is God.

To love and be loved is the purpose of my existence.

It seems so simple now. At the time, it was the greatest and most powerful event of my life.

Cindi o'h

_________________

WOW! I get that! Just WOW!

Love,

Peggy

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