Finding Joy in the Darkness

IMG_8657

A moment of pure joy.

This is what it feels like to be with someone who has known you since middle school – who knows your dreams, your struggles, your heart, and who always has your back.

Yesterday we got away from the heavy things happening in the world, and looked for simple joy and wonder at the Oregon coast. The day before, my best friend had been randomly attacked by someone driving down the road because she has a rainbow sticker on her car. The person screamed horrible, hateful things at her until she pulled off of the road.

What provokes people these days to be so outwardly and boldly hateful to others? This is a person who has spent her life helping others. Having a rainbow sticker on her car made her deserving of hate speech and threats?  The climate we are living in is causing this infection to spread and become more direct and vile. She was shaken up, but otherwise is okay.

IMG_8590

So much hatred, over this sticker.

We decided getting away for the day was the way to go and it was the right choice. We found agates, jasper, barking sea lions, and even these giant floating whales. Everywhere we walked, we found treasure and yes, so many heart signs that I lost count.

IMG_8605

I want to encourage you to take time away from whatever is weighing on you and look for joy in the simple and unexpected.

Call or write the person who gets you and spend some time catching up. If you don’t have that person, and many people don’t, comment here or message me. Talk about something good you saw or experienced, instead of just repeating the bad things happening around us.

IMG_8618

Let’s share more of what we see that makes us smile, or gives us a glimmer of hope, and create our own joy. How can we put more love out into the world, to minimize the random hatred and darkness that’s causing people to act like monsters?
We can change the tide if we try. Keep sharing the good. Keep being the good and showing others how we should be treating one another. This is how we lift one another up and keep going. ❤️💛💚💙💜

Advertisements

The Missing Piece

IMG_6545

Copyright 2018 – Kelly Keigwin

“The wound is the place where the light enters you.” – Rumi

When you’re looking for that missing piece, the thing that will make you feel whole, complete, and happy, know that it’s there, waiting to be discovered. You may not see it today, but keep opening yourself to life and your journey, and you’ll find it.
This is what I’ve found through my journey – it’s you. It was me, the entire time, holding myself back from feeling at peace. The light, the joy, and the “missing” component is within you. Healing, finding peace within the chaos of life, and appreciating the privilege of whatever time we have here, lies within us.
No possession can give you that, no matter how much you collect or own. No matter what your status. No person can give us happiness, and once we see that, we can then walk into relationships and friendships without needing others to fulfill that role. Relationships then exist from a completely different place, one of selflessness, mutual love, and respect.
You are enough and you deserve to be happy. Please know that. ❤️

You Are Beautiful

IMG_1455

A thought for today, and every day.

When you open your heart and share who you really are with the world, you will find connection with those who resonate with you. This is where you will find genuine beauty and happiness. They are found in letting go of society’s expectations and embracing the truth of who you are.
The pressure to conform makes us harden and protect ourselves from being different or standing out. It’s crippling and kills our opportunity for happiness and self-love. How can you experience real joy when you’ve buried who you truly are?
We are all shining stars, and are interconnected with those around us. When you let go of hiding, hating, shame, and acting out of fear, you soften and people see who you really are. That’s what true beauty is – being authentically you and shining brightly in a dark world. Step out and be seen. Know that you will find those genuinely attracted to who you are through your vulnerability.
What steps would you like to take to move in this direction? What is stifling your voice? When you look at people you admire, what attracts you to them?
Confidence? Bravery? The things they create or the words they say? That they’re not afraid to admit their flaws? Or talk about tough things honestly?
You are seeing yourself reflected in them. Embrace those qualities in yourself and let that guide you into using your voice to inspire others in your own way. You have that within you.
You are beautiful.
It’s not about makeup, your weight/body type, the things you own, or the right clothing/styling. It’s about loving yourself enough to be who you really are, and to say what you need to say, without fear of repercussions of others. Would Beyoncé or even Brené Brown be where they are if they hadn’t stepped out and allowed themselves to be seen?
I’m 50. It’s never too late to start this process. Take baby steps if you have to, but do this, for yourself and those who are waiting for you to connect with and inspire them to do the same. Let your beauty and light shine through.

✨🦄✨

Let Your Freak Flag Fly

IMG_1129

This is the reality of trying to take a selfie outside of your childhood home, in the desert sun. My eyes watered for ten minutes after I attempted to get this shot.

I love seeing outtakes and real life. We are all so busy trying to look like whatever we want to convey on social media, we often miss the moments of seeing one another being imperfect.
Real is charming, unexpected, and rare.

I admit that I delete the photos I don’t like of myself, but then, as a photographer who documents life, I have taken so many of myself, it would be a bit crazy, and narcissistic, to keep everything I shoot.

The point is this – trying to be so perfect that you’re no longer yourself is harmful. We are all flawed. Perfection is a myth. The more I open my heart and show myself to the world, the more I get back in return. Don’t be afraid to do the same. The world needs you, and your voice.

When we think of icons – Maya Angelou, Beyoncé, David Bowie, Bill Murray, Betty White, Madonna (for example) – how do you think they became iconic? They stepped out, took chances, were authentic to themselves, and blew us all away.

There is a reason people have such strong responses to certain individuals. It’s what we see of ourselves, and who we want to be, or what we want to say, that’s shines through them.

Dare to be you, to use your voice, to express yourself in a society that wants you to fit into its mold. Be weird, imperfect, and different. That’s where greatness lies – in digging in and figuring out who you really are at your core, and being unafraid of what others will think of you. I guarantee you will find more admirers than haters when you show yourself to the world.

We are waiting to love you, just as you are. Show us what you’ve got. ❤️

Gratitude

Most people are celebrating Thanksgiving today. I’ve been reflecting on my Native ancestors and in honoring them, I decided to live today in a place of gratitude. I enjoyed the morning with some of my local community, hugged a number of people who mean a lot to me, gifted essential oils to a friend, had a conversation with my brother about our mom’s health, and now am watching movies and working on pottery. Along the way I also messaged a few people to tell them I love them and appreciate them, and shared a blend of oils I researched for emotional support with others in my life.

I use essential oils every day. I only use one brand, because as a cancer survivor, it’s very important that I know what I put on or in my body. I will not use synthetic products if I can avoid them (in shampoos, lotions, soaps, and yes, scents I wear). I’ve done my research about where different companies source their oils from, who has consistent medicinal value and quality, and which company is not only environmentally responsible (they don’t take more than the plants and land can come back from) and socially responsible (they work with local farmers and families in each region they harvest oils from and are investing in improving every one of these areas for the people who live there), These things matter.

If you’d like to learn more about them, please visit this site. I am also happy to share information and research I’ve discovered and studied. They are the only company that John’s Hopkins, Vanderbilt, Sutter Heath, and other medical and cancer research facilities will work with, because of their quality, consistency, and ethics. I will be sharing more about my journey with the oils and how I’ve improved my health journey, and how we created a miracle using western, eastern, homeopathic, and natural medicine together.

My gift to you all today is this diffuser blend I created last night. It is meant to create a space that will allow you to sit in gratitude for the things in your life – large and small.

What do you have to be thankful for today? What brings joy into your life or allows you to give that gift to others? From having a roof over our heads, to knowing where our next meal is coming from, to a pet that gives us unconditional love, to friends and family who enrich our lives, we all have something to be grateful for.

Gratitude for what we do have is the first step in receiving the things we want more of. Today, or any day you want to reflect on things in your life, and open your heart to gratitude, this blend is a great one to diffuse. 💚

Emotions associated with these oils –

Lime – The ultimate gratitude oil. It helps you begin to appreciate even the little things.

Wild Orange – Helps us taste the sweetness of life. Reminds us that there is much to live for and supports gratitude and abundance.

Frankincense – Helps you see your beauty and value to the world.

Douglas Fir – Teaches us to learn from and value others’ experiences, especially from our elders.

Arborvitae – Helps us find balance in our lives, to know what we should hold close or release. Encourages peaceful surrender, relaxed grace, and trust in the flow of life.

Patchouli – Brings you into the present moment and deepens appreciation for what you have.

If you’d like to connect about essential oils and how they can help support you physically and emotionally, please connect with me. I’m happy to share what I used through treatment, and beyond.

A Day of Reflection (You Only Turn 48 Once)

Today is my birthday. The birthday wishes started last night via text and social media. I woke up to 68 birthday wishes on Facebook, which has now jumped to 127+. Seeing all of the well wishes and comments, and feeling the love, it’s priceless. It is beautiful, uplifting, and makes me realize how fortunate I am to have so many wonderful people in my life who want to reach out to me today. This day also reminds me that my doctor told me that if I hadn’t been diagnosed and rushed into treatment, I probably would not have survived another year. Above all things today, I am extremely grateful.

Last week I found myself trying to answer the question, “What are you doing for your birthday?” I looked at my calendar and realized there was nothing planned. It was a bit odd, to not have anything to do, after the crazy cancer fundraiser/birthday party that was planned last year. In contrast, today has been a quiet and uneventful day, which has made me reflect on where I was last year and how much things have changed.

birthday_2014_flyer

My 2014 birthday party.

I look back at the photographs of me, bald and smiling, being embraced and held up by my friends, family, and community. It makes me realize how fortunate I am, both for the people I am surrounded by, but also to be here today, feeling relatively healthy. I am asked often by people, when the subject of my treatment last year comes up, “Are you in remission?” or “How are things?” (which usually leads to people asking if I’m done with treatment). I welcome these questions and know that it simply means people want to know how my health is. I look at their faces and see how awkward it is for them to ask me about it. I see the worry, the concern. I tell them, as I’m now telling you, my doctor says my type of cancer, aggressive endometrial cancer that had traveled out of the uterus to the lymph nodes, will usually come back within 2-3 years if chemo didn’t zap all of the remaining cells. If I make it past the 3 year mark, it probably won’t return. I finished chemo in September of last year. I’m looking forward to celebrating my one year anniversary and every time I see my oncologist for my 3 month checkups, he says time passing without any changes is what we want.

birthday_2014_2

2014 birthday love from friends and family.

birthday_2014

Making a wish and blowing out the candles.

I should tell you that I am rare, both for being diagnosed with endometrial cancer so young and for not having any blood markers. That means they cannot draw blood to check to see if the cancer has returned. Instead, I am the gauge. It scared me a bit when my doctor told me that. If I start to feel “off”, I am supposed to report it immediately, so a CAT scan can be performed to see what’s going on inside. We are trying to avoid exposing me to more radiation, unless necessary, so we are erring on the side of caution. To be honest, I really don’t think about this on a daily basis. I don’t want to. If I did, it would affect my life and my peace of mind. Instead, I choose to wake up and be grateful. I look for what makes me happy and I focus on that instead. Focusing on the possible return of a cancer diagnosis seems like it would be exactly what cancer cells would want. I won’t give it to them.

Simplicity is something I appreciate these days. For my birthday my wife asked what I wanted for brunch (blueberry pancakes, veggie sausage, and fresh peaches). We took the dogs for a little ride in our new/used car that has made my life much less stressful. I went and got a haircut. For dinner we shared my freebie birthday veggie burger from Red Robin and a vanilla milkshake and then went to a place we hadn’t been in a while and enjoyed a soak and sauna under the stars. While I was there, sitting in silence and staring at the big dipper, I tried to make a list of things I’m grateful for in my head. I came to the conclusion that it would take an entire blog post to say everything I would want to say and even then, I’d miss something and want to revise it later. Instead, I will just say that I am grateful for everything around me that makes up my life. You can’t have the good without the bad or the light without the dark. To me, the point of waking up every morning is to keep breathing, trying, learning, and moving forward.

Today I am 48 years old. I am married to someone who would do most anything to make my life better or easier. We know what unconditional love is and appreciate one another. We know what it is to endure a life-threatening situation together while keeping each other smiling and sane. I run two businesses doing what I love – creating art and helping people with health and nutritional support. Both things make others (and myself) happy and I get to work with people I genuinely like. I “beat cancer”.  I am surrounded by love and compassion. People in my life are constantly rooting for me and that feels pretty darned good. I feel comfortable in my skin for the first time in my life and I like who I am. It’s taken me most of my life to get here and I am not finished. We are all a work in progress. I believe we have to do the work to accept ourselves, to find our purpose, and then to give of ourselves with kindness and gratitude. The rest will come.

I will never take for granted that I am still here, alive and kicking. I’m thinking today of two beloved friends we lost to cancer. Both of these people contributed so much to our community and their presence is greatly missed. It’s hard to process it all. I really wish we could be celebrating together today. Cancer is a jerk. I am painfully aware that every day is a gift. I am thankful that they graced this world with their presence and left a mark on so many hearts, including mine. Happy Birthday indeed. ❤

birthday_2015

Birthday self-portrait, 2015

Yoga and Continued Healing

It took a little while after finishing treatment for me to feel like doing much. Even though I had endured chemo and radiation without too much drama or sickness, my body decided it wanted me to spend some time on my sofa, watching dvds, and not doing anything productive for a while. It felt good and I really enjoyed the quiet time without having to think about nausea patterns or doctor appointments. I don’t really have any obvious residual issues, other than my scar from my port still hurts at times.

Eventually, I knew I needed to do something with myself and decided to try taking some basic yoga classes. I did decently well keeping up, but it became very apparent that I was weak and my muscles would shake during any pose that required balancing or holding myself up on all fours. I took a break during the chaos of holiday sales season with the intention of returning once things calmed down.

During that time I was offered the opportunity to do cleaning at a local yoga studio in exchange for classes. I said yes. When I started looking into which classes I wanted to try I came across a yin restorative class. Reading the description, I knew it was the class I wanted to try first. It is a class that takes place down on the mat and involves holding very doable poses for longer periods of time. Transitions are slower and the emphasis is on deep stretching, or opening, affecting joints and ligaments. It is ideal for someone recovering from an accident or injury, or someone slowly trying to get back their strength and flexibility (or all of the above, like me). By the second class, I was addicted.

yoga_unicorn

Supported child’s pose, when done by a unicorn. Yes, I drew this. 😉

My instructor closes the blinds, dims the lights, lights candles, and plays music that is a combination of relaxing and gently stimulating. Before class, most students lie on their mats, quietly letting go of their day and the outside world. The mood is set. We use props and slowly move through poses as instructed. After class I usually feel as if I’ve meditated while enjoying a gentle workout, mixed with stretching away my sore muscles and stress. As cheesy as this may sound, I never, ever want to give it up. I kind of want to swear my undying devotion to my instructor as well. Yeah, I’m in love.

One of the things my instructor talks about with new students is the tendency to have emotional experiences during class. The work done can release stress or tension held in various parts of the body. Each person experiences the class differently, but for some it is very cathartic. Personally, there have been two or three classes where I found myself having intense emotions and was slightly tearful at the end. I actually didn’t want to get up off of my mat and just wanted to savor the moment as long as possible. I always am left feeling transformed in a way, but I can only describe the emotions I experience during these classes as a mix of happy, sad, connected, grounded, transported, joyful, and oh so very grateful, for everything in my life.

This is the white board in class, so we know what to put next to our mats before each class. Feeling the love. <3

This is the white board in class that tells us what to put next to our mats before each class. Feeling the love. ❤

We are always in such a hurry – to finish our to do lists, to get to work, to make appointments, to make money, and so on. We rarely slow down during our day to day and most people are never able to get out of their head, even if just for an hour or so. It truly is a gift to be able to attend these classes and to let go of physical, mental, and emotional stress. I feel as if yin restorative yoga was the perfect activity for me and the connection I’ve made with my instructor is priceless. I feel stronger, happier, and more focused and relaxed than I’ve ever been. Yep, it’s a keeper.

Embracing Full Nudity and the Art of Chelsea Rose

I should have posted sooner about the day we collaborated with our friend and artist, Chelsea Rose. I got so caught up in my radiation treatments and everything else and let it slip by. Today I want to re-visit it and share the experience with you. Chelsea is a painter and has been working on her “Goddess” series, which involves her painting on fully nude models and then photographing them, either in nature or in a studio setting. I had been tempted to volunteer to model for her for a while, but once again, let my fear of my body image get in the way. It’s been there for a lifetime and yes, I’m working on it, but these things take time.

Okay, I’m fat. I’ve always been chubby or plump or had baby fat or whatever else you want to call it. I’ve never been skinny. I’ve always had a belly and was always made to feel ashamed of it. When I look back at myself now, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Because I was made to feel bad about it, I hid and ate more and got bigger. I had a long-term relationship with someone where eating was how we bonded. That and watching tv. I ended up weighing over 300 pounds and felt horrible about myself. In my late 30’s I started realizing I had to change things. I stopped eating fast food, stopped drinking any kind of soda, and started doing more exercise. It was a start.

Because I had been on diets from childhood, I decided I would never again be “on a diet”. It was a lifestyle change and I was going to take things slowly. Weight did start to come off gradually. That was around 2006 and now my total weight loss is around 74 pounds. I did lose 13 pounds after my hysterectomy surgery and during chemo, but everything else came of gradually and I’ve easily kept it off. I know we are all looking for the quick fix, but it doesn’t work and doesn’t last unless you are willing to do the work on yourself and figure out why you are using food as a way of comforting yourself, instead of to feed your body. I was that person. I still am, but now I make sure I get enough nutrition to be as healthy as I can. I am in no way eating the way I wish I was, which would be lots of fresh veggies and plant-based protein. I feel amazing when I can eat that way, but I admit that I am lazy and the time it takes to prepare meals often gets in the way. I do my best and that is all we can ask of ourselves.

Moving on – I have spent a lot of time working on my body image issues. Meeting Sam was a big deal for me because she doesn’t have body issues and hangups like mine. Our relationship has been the key to me moving to the next level in facing my fears, getting out there to enjoy life, and learning to love myself more and more. She loves all of me. She passes no judgements and has never once made me feel awkward or like I “just need to do… and she will love me more.” It truly is an unconditional love. I know how rare that is and I am grateful for it every day. It has enabled me to do things I never would have done before and to face things from a more confident place of strength and happiness. I’m not “cured” and certainly am still self-conscious about my body, but, I am doing a better job of living my life and if I died tomorrow, my regrets would be few.

It is a BIG deal for me to place my trust in someone to 1. See me fully naked while they paint my body 2. Allow that person full control of the photographs that would be taken of my fully naked body and 3. Be okay with whatever she chooses to do with those images in the future. Once I was diagnosed with cancer and survived surgery, I decided it was time to ask Chelsea if she wanted a “bald, cancer lady” for a model. She immediately responded and our mutual excitement grew. Sam offered to be a part of the photo shoot, which was wonderful because Chelsea hadn’t worked with a couple yet. I was excited and nervous as we planned the weekend and location where we would spend the day doing this.

Chelsea often spends 3-4 hours painting just one person, in fine detail. You can see her work at www.chelsearosearts.com. We were dealing with two people and entering fall, so the sun was setting earlier. It was going to be a race against time. We picked Chelsea up and headed to the beach location we had decided on. She set up and we took off our clothes and she began painting – first Sam’s face and then mine and back and forth until we were both fully covered. It took around 4 hours to complete. Because of the time constraints, she used more bold lines and fewer details, but I think the emotion and feeling we wanted to capture is just as significant. We are a couple brought closer together through cancer and this was a great way to honor that. Chelsea did a great job with the photographs and having us relate to one another. Seeing the finished images blew my mind. She converts them to black and white and the effect is striking to say the least.

Yes, I am naked and I am learning to see these images in a way that helps me to look  past my shape and the fact that I am aging and sagging. I am trying to embrace the fact that I have earned every wrinkle, stretch mark, and imperfection and that I have survived everything that life has thrown at me, so far. I can now joke about the fact that I have lost most of my weight in the lower part of my body, leaving me with what I call an “old man butt”. My hips and butt have disappeared, yet my stomach has lost nothing. Having naturally large breasts means they will sag. I am who I am and this is the package that it comes in. Learning to accept that in a society that shames everything about everyone until we have little girls talking about diets and criticizing their bodies, is hard. I am so much further down that path than I ever was before and that is something to celebrate. I am also honoring myself as a survivor and this body that keeps on ticking. I’ve been told I am a warrior. I don’t know about that, but looking at myself covered in Chelsea’s paint sure makes that seem more real to me. Thank you again Chelsea, for celebrating us in this way. It is a day I will never forget. ❤

02

Me, in the beginning.

01

Sam, just getting started.

Sam, almost finished.

Sam, almost finished.

Me, almost finished.

Me, almost finished.

I took this image of Sam as Chelsea was finishing painting on me.

I took this image of Sam as Chelsea was finishing painting on me.

In the woods.

In the woods.

I can't wait to see this in black and white and to hang it on the wall at home.

I can’t wait to see this in black and white and to hang it on the wall at home.

My view of Sam during the log photo. <3

My view of Sam during the log photo. ❤

Relaxing together.

Relaxing together.

Finished black & white images, selected by Chelsea.

Finished black & white image, selected by Chelsea.

Another selection by Chelsea.

Another selection by Chelsea.

My favorite of the Chelsea selections. This sums us up pretty well.

My favorite of the Chelsea selections. This sums us up pretty well.

After we got home, Sam and I orchestrated this photograph in her chicken coop.

After we got home, Sam and I orchestrated this photograph in her chicken coop. An awesome collaboration.

All images copyright – Chelsea Rose Arts or Kelly Keigwin, 2014. These cannot be re-used for any reason without the written consent of the artists and models.

That Time I Met Lucinda Williams

I love and admire many female musicians. They are varied and work in different genres – rock, folk, country, pop, and even a few rap artists. This summer I was fortunate enough to see a number of them as part of my “bucket list” – Tori Amos, The Indigo Girls, Joan Baez, Amy Ray, Melissa Etheridge, and Lucinda Williams. This past week, Lucinda Williams made an in-store appearance at Music Millennium in Portland, OR and I was fortunate enough to get to see her again.

They had announced on the radio that there were 200 guaranteed tickets available, if you came in and bought Lucinda’s new cd or album. We stopped by and bought the cd and I received my ticket for the appearance. The day of the event, I had a radiation session and by the time I arrived at MM I was feeling a little bit off and not up to standing in line outside. I asked the guys at the counter if they had somewhere I could sit down and they graciously offered me the barber’s chair in the shop to hang out in. One of the employees told me his wife is currently battling cancer and he completely understood. After I sat in the chair, another gentleman stopped by to tell me they had arranged for me to have a chair upstairs for Lucinda’s performance. I hadn’t been there before for an event, so I wasn’t sure where that was, but I thanked him.

lu6

My ticket and cd.

Just as they started letting people into the store, I was led up the stairs and shown my spot for the evening – a chair diagonally across from where Lucinda would be performing. I was in awe and thanked them again. “I think it’s safe to say you’ll have the best seat of the night”, the gentleman told me. I couldn’t really argue. Everyone else was down on the lower level, looking up at the performance area. There were a few photographers and other folks upstairs near me, but I had an unobstructed view. Another employee stopped by and told me he needed to make Lucinda’s tea. I looked next to me and there was a teapot, mug, and selection of teas. Pretty darned cool, right? I heard cheering and then looked down to see Lucinda walking up the stairs. She took her place, with her guitar, and began to play.

Lu's tea.

Lu’s tea.

lu10

The view from my seat.

She played new songs, older songs, covers, and at one point I found myself crying, just a little bit. She was playing “Joy”, a song that usually gets me riled up, but one that I have connected to on a deeper level during treatment.

The sound was awesome and I couldn’t believe how everything had worked out. I was so grateful to be there, in that moment. I knew there was a possibility that I would be able to meet her after the show, but I knew I would start crying and look like a babbling idiot. Next to me were pieces of scratch paper and a pen. I decided to write a note for her, just in case I did get to meet her. I told her that her music had helped me to get through chemo and thanked her. I said a few other things and then added some drawings, one of a unicorn in a boat, gazing at the moon, and one of a little bird chirping. I folded up the piece of paper and placed it on my copy of her cd. I went back to enjoying the music and then the show was over.

The set list.

The set list.

Lucinda's guitar and such.

Lucinda’s guitar and such.

They announced that Lucinda would come down for a meet and greet and I realized that I would be at the end of the line. There was no hurry. She moved past me and downstairs, so I walked over to where her guitar and things were in order to take a photograph. I eventually made it downstairs and got into line. The employees continued to be very sweet and kind and checked to make sure I was doing okay. The line moved very slowly and I’m not even sure how long it took to get up to the front – at least an hour.

I handed my cell phone to the fella who was taking photos for people and when I got up to the counter Lucinda smiled at me. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I handed her the note and told her I couldn’t say what I needed to say or I would start crying. She asked if she could read the  note and I said yes. She read it and looked at me with that look, you know the one, and I got teary-eyed. She said something to me about if I cried, then she would cry and she said, “You’re beating it though, right?” I replied, “Yes, these are happy tears”. She then came around the counter to hug me. It wasn’t one of those fake hugs, it was a genuine, “I care” hugs that I often get from my friends. It was pretty awesome. We then took a few more photos together and then she signed my cd. There were a few people still in line behind me, so I told her I would get a mug for her out of my car.

Our first moment meeting one another.

Our first moment meeting one another.

Lu, reading my note.

Lu, reading my note.

The hug. <3

The hug. ❤

All smiles.

All smiles.

I went out to my car and chose three mugs for her to choose from. When I got back into the store, I placed them on the counter and she chose the green monster with the singing bluebird. Somehow, I knew that would be the one she would want. I said goodbye and thanked her and the employees one more time. The fella who had told me about his wife shook my hand and we wished each other the best with everything. It was an evening of kindness, amazing music, and compassion – the name of one of Lucinda’s new songs that I love. If you get a chance, check out her new cd/album. It’s a wonderful collection. I can’t wait until she comes back to Portland in February. ❤

She chose the mug in the middle. I kinda knew that was the one.

She chose the mug in the middle. I kinda knew that was the one.