Hi. I’m Connie. Welcome to my blog! If you’re anything like me, you’re wondering, “Who is she, where is she coming from, what’s her story?” I wonder the same thing when I read a blog or social media post that catches my eye. I’m curious about what shaped their perspective, where they’ve been and where they’re going.
If you are too, I invite you to grab a cuppa tea and let me share a little bit about who I am.
If you prefer the cliff notes version, here’s a few snippets: #smalltowngirl #marriedhighschoolsweetheart #accountingmajor #followsJesus #homeschoolingmom #2yearRVadventure #hobbyfarmer #realfoodlover #naturopath #wantstobewell #wantstohelpothersbewelltoo
I lived the first twenty years of my life in a small town in northern Minnesota where my parents owned a local café. Picture a counter with red vinyl stools that spin in circles, a few booths and tables, a grill, milkshakes made with hand-scooped ice cream, and home-cooked daily specials. We were open for breakfast and lunch, closed in the evenings except for Thursdays – the one night each week when all the stores stayed open late.
Tuesdays were our busiest day because people came from miles around for our famous potato dumplings. But the pace of life was slower. This little business was a family affair where my dad, mom, grandma, and aunts all worked together to make a living and a life. I have fond memories of my sister and me helping out over the lunch hour manning the cash register and running the dishwasher.
But all of that came to a tragic end when my father died of brain cancer two weeks after I graduated from high school. About a year prior, my parents had gone to Fargo (two hours away) for a routine check-up (or so I thought). Four months later – after brain surgery, radiation, and rehab – my dad came home in a wheelchair never to walk again.
He spent his final year of life in a hospital bed in our living room. This was my first glimpse into the world of conventional cancer treatment. I certainly knew nothing about alternatives back then. What I did know was that I never wanted to be up close and personal with cancer ever again.
Losing my dad at such a young age was incredibly painful. With high school behind me and college ahead, it was difficult to think of leaving my mom and sister (who is two years younger). I decided to stay home and attended a local community college. This was a good decision as I could be there for my mom and sister and yet move on with the next season of life.
Though I didn’t know God in a personal way back then, He still provided opportunities for me to process my grief in various ways – one of them being an assignment to write a poem for a college writing class. Not only did we have to write it, we had to read it in front of the class.
I almost made it though without bursting into tears. In hindsight, the poem was part of my process to make sense of this whirlwind season.
It was an opportunity to remember. To write. To share.
Here’s what my 18-year-old self wrote:
The Death of my Father
February 15th of ’85 is the day it all began,
My parents went to Fargo for a check up for my dad.
When I came home from the basketball game,
My mom was all alone;
She told me that my dad was sick,
in a very solemn tone.
“A brain tumor!” I exclaimed as I began to cry,
All that I could think of was, “Is he going to die?”
She told me things would be all right,
The doctors aren’t yet sure;
But after more tests the tumor was right,
And surgery was “the cure.”
An eight hour operation which lasted forever,
Left my dad paralyzed, to walk again—never.
A four month stay in the hospital had only just begun,
And the painful weeks of therapy were not a lot of fun.
At last dad’s wish of going home was finally coming true,
Patience and hard work were next—that we already knew.
Things we take for granted were now life’s hardest tasks,
Like getting out of bed or trying to take a bath.
The tumor started growing back at a steady rate,
The doctors knew of nothing else, all we could do was wait.
My father’s bones grew weaker with every passing day,
How much time does he have left, no one wanted to say.
The winter passed and summer came, but things did not look good,
He passed away, painlessly and quietly, as we hoped he would.
June 24th was a very sad day, his life had come to an end,
The world has lost a husband, and a father, and a friend.
He was a friend to everyone and he followed the Golden Rule
Of do on to others as you would have them do on to you.
My father was optimistic, he could always see the good,
He helped us keep on smiling when no one else could.
To my father I’d like to say I think about you every day.
The meaning of life you helped me see,
And in my heart you’ll always be.
Losing my dad to cancer didn’t immediately launch me into a health and wellness career. Instead, God planted a seed deep within my heart that took many years to sprout and grow. More on that later. For now, thanks for reading.
Points to ponder:
What seeds has God planted in your heart over the years?
Have they sprouted yet?
Or are you in a season of waiting for seeds to germinate and grow?
#be well #take good care #you are worth it