My dream was to write and publish my book, Creative Healing Places: Stories of Hope, Comfort, and Inspiration. My intention in writing the book was to improve the human experience, no matter what we may be going through, no matter how traumatic. The creation of this book began at a very dark and painful time of my life, when my wonderful Father-in-Love was waging his battle with brain cancer, a battle he did not win.
However, there was a silver lining from this experience, the intense desire to create the Healing Environments Program and write my book, to help others suffering similar dark times.
Did I accomplish small steps and little victories along the path? Absolutely!
Did I also experience times of despair and hopelessness when I wanted to forget the whole thing and give up? Definitely!
So why did I continue to strive toward this goal?
What kept me going? Why did it matter so much?
Why put myself through learning curves that often felt like climbing a mountain? Or maybe a mountain range??
Because the DREAM of creating the Healing Environments Program and subsequently my Book, and honoring my Father-in-Love, Harry’s memory were far more important than all the frustrations, aggravations, and setbacks!
And because I knew in my heart, that writing this book, sharing Harry’s journey with cancer, and subsequent stories gathered as I and the volunteers conducted The Healing Environments Program at St. Mary Medical Center, could positively impact the lives of many others experiencing traumas in their own lives.
I’ve written this book…so one could assume I’m a writer. But having ideas, notes, concepts, and forming them into a reality can be miles … even years apart. I’m living proof of THAT! Writing this book, (editing and re-editing, more editing), developing my marketing plan, navigating the arduous and mysterious journey of finding my ideal publisher, all these steps and so many more went into having a printed book. It also took a great deal of perseverance.
That is the first of 3 P’s I’ll be writing about in this and the next two blogs…
Let’s consider this word…Merriam-Webster defines it as:
“Continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition: Steadfastness.” It has taken vast amounts of perseverance to bring forth this book. But sharing these human stories is more important than the trials I faced bringing them to life.
The experiences witnessed as I journeyed with Harry, the enhancements I made to his hospital room and then later, as the volunteers and I visited with seriously ill patients during the years of the program’s existence, these aspects of our journey have great potential to bring so many others the hope they desperately need.
When Harry was first diagnosed and was existing in that cold, sterile hospital room, none of us knowing what lay ahead, I felt so hopeless. As his Daughter-in-Love, I wanted to ease his suffering, bring him comfort, support, and encouragement. As an interior designer and Feng Shui practitioner, I knew it was vital to uplift the energy in his surroundings.
I asked his nurses and received permission to bring in some personal items to accomplish this goal. A colorful afghan hand-knit by my Mother-in-Love, Sylvia, who had passed away two years prior, kept him warm but also brought her loving energy to him. Family photos and get-well cards brought cheerful greetings that let him know he was being thought of. Harry couldn’t take his much-loved daily walks in nature, so the addition of a live orchid plant, brought nature to him.
He also loved to read and listen to music. The answer for that was cd’s, his Walkman, and headphones. Now, cell phones and tablets can answer these needs. These seemingly small improvements helped take his mind off his medical issues and enabled him to pass the long hours more pleasantly. Transforming his room into a place of warmth, comfort and healing became the seeds of the Healing Environments Program.
So, when the challenges of bringing the book from dream to concept, and then to reality became overwhelming, what kept me going, you ask?
and the deep desire to help others by sharing the knowledge gathered during those years.
What do I mean by LEGACY? It’s not a word we use frequently. But it holds deep significance for me. I felt inspired to tell my Father-in Love’s story, not only as an important part of our family’s history, but also because the way he bravely faced his cancer diagnosis and the nine-month journey that followed was such an inspiration. I felt certain his story could benefit others living through similar trauma. I further realized that having lived these encounters…
I was the ONLY one who could do it.
Next week, I’ll talk about the second P – Passion.