Archive for October, 2012

My Personal Thanksgiving

It was twelve years ago today ~ October 31st 2000 ~ that my life changed forever ~ as I heard those fearfully dreaded words, “You’ve got Cancer.”

First the shock, then the denial and then the reality that I am going to have to learn to live with it.

Well here I am today twelve years later and living a wonderful and blessed life in spite of having cancer.

Today, October 31st 2012, I invite you all to share with me as I Celebrate “12 Years in Remission.” I am not celebrating getting cancer ~ I am Celebrating Being Alive ~ being a Cancer Survivor.

Being the optimist that I am, I had to turn living with cancer into a positive experience and so had to find the gifts that it brought with it:

Steve & I Crossing the Finish Line of the Rock n Roll Marathon    5 Days after Completing 6 months of Chemotherapy June 2001

A conscious awareness that life is fragile and only loaned to us for awhile, so I live each day as if it were my last. This allows me to enjoy every day to the fullest, to love the people in my life that mean the most to me ~ my family and friends. I am also thankful for the new people that come into my life and the opportunities that I am given each day to help others, to make a difference in someone’s life, to have a positive impact in my community, my country, maybe even the world.

My Joshua and Jonathan with Me at London Heathrow Airport

Living  life  with  the  attitude  of  gratitude  and being thankful for all of the blessings in my life. I thank G-d when I wake up in the morning for a new day, and at night for a great day, for my good health, for the strength and energy to live my life “to the max.” To continue to watch our sons grow up into amazing young men. To be at their weddings ~ Jonathan & Elizabeth were married February 26, 2011 and will soon be talking about having children, our grandchildren and I look forward to being at Joshua’s wedding in the future and more grandchildren. To watch them turn their dreams into reality as Steve and I have done over the past 32 years.

Joshua, Maxine, Liz and Jonathan

Our life is a story, our story made up of many memories that we create along the way. The more memories, the fuller the story. I am working towards creating a big book, please G-D.

A Family Cruise on the Love Boat

But all we really have is “Right Now” and I am “Thankful” for one more day to see the sun rise, to love my husband, my sons, my daughter-in-law, my parents, all of my family and my friends, to sing my favorite prayers, to see the leaves change colour, to see the sunset, to feel loved by all, to feel peace in the world. To experience one more of “Max’s Magical Moments.”

My Boys ~ Joshua, Steve, Jonathan with Me

Steve, Joshua, Jonathan and My Dad

My Brother-in- Law Larry, Me,  Steve & My Sister Susie in Las Vegas

Here’s to all of us Living Life to the Fullest ~ Loving Many People ~ and Laughing A Lot every day!

Me with My Boys Joshua & Jonathan

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Every Picture Tells A Story

While clearing out and organising my Mom & Dad’s house for them (which has taken me nine trips home now), I came to the closet that has all of their picture albums and loose pictures in boxes and envelopes that filled one half of an entire closet.

My Mom & Dad’s Wedding Picture, January 20, 1955

These were before digital cameras and many before colour film. At first I was very excited about the idea of going through all of them, partly to reminisce and partly to realize all of the memories that our family had created throughout the past 50+ years.

My Mom & Dad Before Kids

By the time I got to the thousandth picture the excitement began to wear off a bit. You see I tackled this task as I did all of the others in their house, by setting up a system to sift and sort, deciding which ones to keep and which ones to get rid of (there were many doubles as my Dad used to order doubles of each picture on the roll: one to keep and the other to give away).

My Mom & Dad on the Navy Ship that My Dad Was On as a Navy Officer

After looking through every album, box and envelope in the closet one by one I estimate that I have been through a few thousand pictures. This was a process that took four visits home over a period of a year.

My Mommy Holding Me as a Newborn Baby Just 8 Days Old

My goal now is to scan most of these photos into my computer, organise them and then create digital photo books for the family.

My Mom, Dad & Me

In addition, I want to put all of the pictures on DVDs and give them to our sons Jonathan & Joshua to have for when they have children.

My Daddy With Me

This way they can be passed down from generation to generation, keeping the memories alive of those we have lost along the way, but also those of us that are still here continuing to make more family memories.

My Mom With Me and Holding My Baby Sister Susie

Pictures can fade, get lost and be damaged, so by making DVDs it makes them easier to save, store, view them and pass along throughout time.

Our Family of Four

As I sat scanning our family pictures covering so many memories created at family gatherings, vacations, holidays and many other life’s celebrations covering a span of over fifty seven years, I couldn’t help but wonder where the years had gone.

Our Family of Four

My emotions kicked into high gear; many pictures making me smile and others bringing tears to my eyes. It reminded me that time is flying by and it waits for no one.

My Mom & Dad With Our Sons (Their Grandsons) Jonathan & Joshua On a Family Cruise

By just clicking a button on my laptop computer, I started a slideshow of pictures. Within a few minutes I have clicked through 57 years of my Mom & Dad’s life together – my parents young to old.

My Mom & Dad On Another One of Their 20+ Cruises

What happened to the time when my parents were vibrant, energetic people living a full life travelling the world?

Another Family Cruise ~ My Parents With the Four of Us

Now they spend their days at home, their own home that they have lived in for 50 years. I still have a few big boxes of pictures to go through and scan into my computer to complete the scanning process (for now).

The Four of Us ~ Maxine, Jonathan, Joshua & Steve

I am very focused on this project and am hoping to complete it in a few weeks so that I can begin creating digital photo books for the whole family.

Wedding Family Portrait ~ the Bride & Groom, Jonathan & Elizabeth with Steve, Joshua & Myself & Both Sets of Grandparents

Remember that life is brief and very fragile and only loaned to us for awhile. So live life to the fullest every day, take pictures to capture the moments and create loads of memories.

Jonathan Dancing with His Bubbi (My Mom) at His Wedding

Family is everything, so make time for them today as they may not be here tomorrow.

My Mom & Dad as They Are Now ~ the Aging Process Has a Funny Way of Creeping In

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