Where is Home? What is Home??

We’ve seen plaques in friends’ homes, maybe even hanging in some of your homes:

Home is Where Your Heart Is

Home is Where You Hang Your Hat

Have you ever considered Winter being the time for home?  Dame Edith Sitwell wrote:

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”  

Being smack dab in the middle of the holidays, surrounded by family spanning in age from 2-98 and friends ranging from sane to mildly crazy-fun and everything in between, I found myself asking, “Where is home?”

Is it where my roots are in Central Texas?  Is it where I hang my hat in North Texas?  (For those who are unfamiliar with this very large state of Texas, you may be wondering, what’s the difference between Central and North Texas?  Isn’t it all Texas?  Well, YES AND NO….)

And is there such a thing as a ‘time’ for home, like Winter?

For me, home isn’t a specific place or a time, but a feeling.  It’s where I feel most like me.  I’ve felt it in a cafe in Scotland, as well as in a hotel room in London.

Home resides in my skin as an energy, surrounding the periphery of my body and encapsulating all of my organs, holding me together in my solid form, allowing me to walk.  Allowing me to embrace others.

Being in my skin as the energy force that it is, home goes with me wherever I go….

… until the time that the energy force leaves me.  I know when it happens.  I can feel it.  Home has evaporated in all sorts of familiar settings.  Most recently, it happened Christmas Eve during a church service I attended.

Afterward, back in the car driving home, I felt the energy force slowly begin to return.  I found it interesting how I was able to feel my body shift, how noticeable it was, right there in the moment.

I prefer to have home be with me and stay with me; no doubt I’m more comfortable that way.  But when it doesn’t, I’m guessing that maybe that’s where some learning occurs.  In the less than comfortable feeling, my mind gives pause long enough to look for the lesson that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.

So I ask you, “Where is home?”  Better yet, “What is home?”  I bet there are as many different responses as there are people reading this right now.

Care to share?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Steve Jobs’ 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

Yesterday when my husband came home from work, he told me that Steve Jobs had passed away.  He figured I wouldn’t know because I don’t watch the news.  I don’t follow the Who’s-Who or the What’s-What, but I do follow quotes.  And every single quote I’ve ever read by Steve Jobs I remember liking.  It was actually his name that I ran across more than any other when I first started studying about Trust.  That alone intrigued me at the time.  Not LaoTzu?  Not Buddha?  Nope.  Steve Jobs.  Perhaps it was the material I was reading, but I seem to recall pulling pieces from all over the place, not one place in particular, and his name continued to appear.

It was during that time that I read his 2005 Stanford Commencement Address.  This morning in my inbox, a girlfriend sent me the same commencement address on YouTube, stating that, “Trust Life rings from his message.”  I believe she’s right.  And looking back, I remember really digging his whole philosophy on “Connecting Dots”.  In fact, I wrapped up my “Serendipity and the Law of Threes” article with a seed Steve Jobs had planted in my mind years ago and I have since allowed to grow.

Steve Jobs on connecting dots:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards.

So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

You have to trust in something…  your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.

Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.

And that will make all the difference.”

~ Steve Jobs

I realize many of us lead these crazy, busy lives and 15 minutes may seem way too long to watch a YouTube video, but I promise you, it’s well worth it.  Even if you’ve read his speech in the past, there’s nothing like watching Steve Jobs tell these three unique and powerful stories.  I highly encourage you to watch it, even if you have to give yourself some sort of reminder and do it later.  You will not regret it.

Thank you, Christy, for sending me this video and in doing so, reminding me to pause for a moment and reflect, to truly acknowledge the role of such an inspirational icon and fellow human being.

Human Touch

Does It Hurt?

I get asked all the time, “Does it hurt?”  I typically respond, “No,” not knowing specifically what it they’re talking about — and also knowing it really doesn’t matter.  I mean, hasn’t everyone heard breast cancer doesn’t hurt?  And besides, I don’t hurt.  I feel a certain amount of discomfort, sure, it’s been less than three weeks since my double mastectomy, so discomfort after any surgery that invasive is normal, but hurt, I can honestly say: No.  True physical pain has only occurred twice since this whole process started.

The First Pain, Accompanied by Human Touch

The first time I felt true physical pain was during the initial biopsy, before I was officially diagnosed.  I tell you this not to scare you — let me be very clear:  my particular biopsy issue should NOT happen to you.  I just happen to be one of the very rare people who is allergic to pretty much every ‘caine’ out there: lidocaine, carbocaine, novacaine.   These are the drugs which are commonly used as numbing agents in a needle biopsy.  So, please don’t worry that you will experience the same thing.  From what I understand, you won’t feel a thing.

Anyway, I did feel a thing.  I felt lots of things, and I can definitely tell you that what I felt I would classify as pain — close to unbearable actually…until a nurse named Stacy put her hand on my shoulder.  The simple act of her touch, her hand delicately placed on my shoulder while the biopsy was taking place was better than any local anesthetic.  The tears that were initially streaming down my face as tears of agony became tears of gratitude.  Up until that moment, I had no idea how another’s touch could impact me so profoundly.

Bless you, nurse Stacy.

The Second Pain, Also Accompanied by Human Touch

Fast forward to the day of the surgery.  As part of the prep for the actual procedure, for the specific type of cancer I had, it was necessary to find what is called the Sentinel Node.  I won’t get into the particulars about it, but I will say that in order to find the node, each nipple was given four separate injections of radiation — while I was still awake.  After the first four injections I wasn’t sure how I would endure the other side without passing out, literally.  Then a nurse came and stood beside me.  As the radiologist started on the other side, the nurse gave me something to bite down on, and began to stroke my forehead with her cool fingertips, stopping at my temple, applying slight pressure, then repeating.  If I said the difference was like night and day, it would be a gross understatement.

What is it about human touch?  We use it to soothe crying babies.  We stroke someone’s hand in times of pain.  We stroke someone’s hand in times of love.  We do it so instinctively, we teach our children to do the same.  I remember my older son standing beside my hospital bed, unable to hug me, so instead he caressed my cheek with the back-side of his four fingers.  Fingers which were not yet those of a teenager, yet also not the fingers of a little boy.  He didn’t say a word.  He didn’t need to.  He simply stroked my cheek, over and over, as my throat swelled with emotion and my heart swelled with joy, with overflowing love.

Words aren’t necessary to convey love.  During the biopsy, during the radiation/node procedure, during the special time post op with my son, love was transferred each and every time, and no words were necessary.  That’s how powerful human touch is.

Take hugging.  Hugging is an act that we do on a regular basis.  However, we often treat embracing another as more of a deed or a ‘supposed to do’, rather than an expression of love.  Next time you hug someone, really feel the other person.  Allow them to feel you.  Exchange love through your human touch.

Human Touch, Mark Nepo

“Touch bleeds the heart of its pressure.”

~ Mark Nepo

Ironically, this quote by Mark Nepo, from his book The Book of Awakening was included in his July 15th essay, the SAME DAY I received my cancer diagnosis.  It was *this* quote that snapped my memory back to the recollection of how I felt when nurse Stacy placed her hand on my shoulder, thus resulting in the writing and sharing of today’s article.

Thank you, Mr. Nepo, for the beautiful reminder.


Leaky Eyes

I can’t seem to stop crying.  At first I was unable to identify what was happening, taken by surprise by the sheer flood of emotions.  I open cards from sweet friends, sending their love and support, and burst into tears.  I read emails from many of you, and again, the tears appear, uncontrollably.

Although somewhat disconcerting, I wasn’t overly concerned.  Not until it started happening in public.  Lately I’ve found myself greeted by those who have ‘heard the news‘ and spontaneously hug me as I pass them in the grocery store or in the hallways of my boys‘ school.  “How embarrassing,” I thought.  Get me out of this situation.  So I would rush away, cry in private, then later think, “Man, I bet I made that person feel really uncomfortable.”  And then there’s the secondary thought, “What the hell?”

Not until one such person sent me an email apologizing for upsetting me (based on my bizarre behavior, no doubt), did it dawn on me to stop and question the root.

My Ah-ha moment is summed up in my email response to her:

“Thank you for checking on me.  No, you didn’t upset me… quite the opposite.  What I’ve noticed is when people are so loving and sincere, the way you are, I become overwhelmed with gratitude.  I see myself as such a blessed person, one who people care about deeply.  I am able to feel the love radiate from the other person, and in each instance, I become choked up and can’t talk (hence the running away….sorry).”  :-/

It’s an overwhelming feeling.  I believe it’s the feeling of Love, specifically when Love is being exchanged between two souls.  And when I feel it, I’m reminded of just how fortunate I am.

So if you happen to see my leaky eyes, please smile in your heart.  You can rest assured that I’m feeling Love at that very moment…and it’s probably coming from YOU.


Found on my doorstep last week - - on the day a friend knew I had three doctor's appointments back to back; it came with a card explaining specific symbolism involved. Tears of gratitude, JW. Thank you.


Thank you for joining me as I share my thoughts and feelings through this healing process.  Tomorrow’s post will include a short update on where I am now (medically speaking), including surgery date/information.