Tag Archives: Family

Cover Reveal – The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival

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Early this month, in a comment, Diana W. Peach asked me if I kept a secret about my new book.

Not really.

I’ve been writing my book about my cancer journey since 2016. I kept organizing, reorganizing, writing, rewriting, editing, and reediting. I posted tidbits here and there but the story was still brewing. It is not a secret but it becomes normal for me to keep working on it until I call it done.

Well, my writing group at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at California State University, Fullerton, has been extremely instrumental in helping it to come into shape with clarity. I’ll introduce this group of retired professionals to my blogging community later.

Today, I’m grateful to reveal my Cover, the Foreward, and the Blurb.

The book will be available on Amazon later in the summer. I’ll let you know when I have a date.

Foreward

You know the ending before you read the story because I’m here to tell it to you. The journey was long and dark, but I survived. The ending is an important part of a story, but the process gives it meaning. At many points during this cancer journey, I felt death was teasing me. I lost most of my muscle mass, lost 20% of my blood, and almost all my energy. Yet, I was breathing. It caused me to ponder. What is life?

I had an active and productive life up until the point when I had cancer. When I couldn’t lift my feet to walk, being productive was thousands of miles away from my thoughts. Family and friends became the only value in my life. In fact, they carried me through this journey.

Life is precious, and it’s worth fighting for. If I died, my pain went with me, but I would leave pain with my loved ones. My life is worth living. I want to enjoy the beautiful earth and everything that lives on it. I want to emerge in the blessed and loving relationship between family and friends.

I’m grateful to be alive, to give to others, and to receive from them.

Blurb

In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-a dangerous, aggressive, and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received the treatments at the beginning of 2009, her cancer progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and upward winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

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Thank you for letting me share this cover with you. Now, I have to get the ball rolling!

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Family Time

Fanno Creek Trail, Beaverton, Oregon

We canceled the Mother’s Day trip to see my daughter’s family because the kids caught some non-Covid virus from daycare. The entire family was not feeling well.

 I rescheduled our trip for Memorial Day weekend. It is also my daughter’s and her hubby’s anniversary. Whenever we visit them, I offer to watch the kids so they can go on dates. Since this last weekend was their anniversary, they went on a two-day trip to the beach.

Mercy is a master planner. She made a comprehensive list of suggestions from breakfast to bedtime for us to go by. Even though I’ve been watching the kids for four and a half years, it helps to have her suggestions to fall back on.

Autumn has no problem with mommy and daddy going on dates or a short getaway. Nora is attached to Mercy. She was not happy to see mommy walking out of the door after breakfast on Saturday. Fortunately, I had a special treat for the girls to distract them, at least to calm down Nora.

It turned out that both Saturday and Sunday went smoothly. The girls painted the garden stones, read, and played together, but did something separately with grandpa and grandma. Grandpa is Nora’s favorite. Grandma is Autumn’s favorite. It is just perfect. It was easier for us to handle while they got our individual attention.

Autumn painted the butterfly and the sun, and Nora painted the ladybug

It was raining most of the day on Saturday and Sunday. Whenever the sun peeked out a little, we headed out to the school playground right away. One neighbor has some goats. Nora loves to feed the goats. The kids rode their bikes to the playground on Saturday and just walked there on Sunday.

There was something I tried to do this time around. I asked Lynton to read bedtime stories to Nora and put her to bed. Amazingly, it turned out to be a success. Yay!

It worked out perfectly because Autumn wanted me to read her many books. I could just relax to spend time with Autumn without worrying about Nora.

During the two-day trip, Mercy and Will went wine tasting, hiking, and strolling on the beach. They came home after a late-night movie on Sunday. I was happy that they had a wonderful time.

Monday was the Memorial Day holiday. We went on a family walk together. The girls rode their bikes, and Will rode his skateboard to keep up with the kids.

Family Walk on Fanno Creek Trail

By the way, Lynton and I did the cooking for all the meals from Thursday to Tuesday. We tried to cook different main dishes, such as salmon, veggie & sausage casserole, pizza, and tofu. Lynton cooked mashed potatoes a couple of evenings. I cooked the same mixed vegetables. It turned out perfectly because we could eat what we normally eat at home. Mercy and Will loved to have some days off without doing cooking.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Birthdays

This week, the theme for Lens-Artist Photo Challenge from John Steiner is Birthdays. I don’t have fancy birthday celebrations. But I love going to birthday parties, especially my grandchildren’s birthdays. My husband and I just returned from a trip to my younger granddaughter, Nora’s birthday. She turned two.

In the previous years, my daughter had outdoor birthday parties for the girls. When Autumn turned one, we had a party at the park. It started raining toward the end. Many friends helped to pack up things. Last year, when Nora turned one, we had an outdoor party. It was raining before and after the party.

I thought it was a good idea when I found out Nora’s birthday party was indoors. The mask mandate was just lifted. Many people came without masks. A few people were still wearing masks. The outfit has a nice setup of various activities and playrooms. Grown-ups had a wonderful time visiting with each other.

My daughter brought cheese and crackers, fruits, and cupcakes and bought Starbucks coffee. She made the raspberry-filled cupcakes. The staff helped to do the decoration and clean up afterward. It was a lot easier than setting up the outdoor party.

Autumn helped Nora open the birthday gifts

We had a wonderful time with the kids. We went to the nearby school playgrounds twice, but mostly we played with the kids and read with them at home. This is also the time for Mercy and Will to take a break. They had date nights while we fed the kids, bathed them, and put them to bed. Autumn loved to have me read to her at bedtime because she could ask me to read many books. Nora is attached to my daughter and prefers mommy put her to bed. We somehow managed to do the job.

Going to the playgrounds

Playing, playing, playing

Reading, reading, reading

I booked the flights to spend Mother’s Day with my daughter and see the grandkids again. In fact, I also booked the flights in September for Autumn’s birthday. The birthday after that is Mercy’s birthday, the day after Christmas. I enjoy going to these birthdays.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – Birthdays

Happy birthday, John!

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LAPC #183 – Memorable Events

The theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge this week is Memorable Events. Ann-Christine invites us to show some memorable events – new ones or delightful memories! 

Our family trip to Hong Kong and Japan in January 2019 was full of memorable events and emotions. My husband Lynton, my daughter Mercy and her husband Will, their daughter Autumn, and I traveled to Hong Kong to attend my nephew’s wedding. We took advantage to stop by Japan on our return trip.

We arrived on January 12. Three days later, I got a message from sister #12 Yolanda, mother-in-law to be. She said sister #8 Canty was in the hospital. Later that day, Canty’s son messaged me that his mom had liver inflammation, hydrocephalus, and congestive heart failure. On the 17th, the third day of being in the hospital, Canty’s condition made a sharp decline at noon. The family was rushing to the hospital by taxi. She died in the evening with the family by her side.

Canty was passionate about Ballroom Dancing. She took part in the Dance Championship Fundraising on November 4, 2018, two and a half months before she passed away. Here is the video – 1:42 minutes. She wore purple and yellow.

My nephew’s wedding was a marathon ceremony. They played Chinese traditional games when the groom picked up the bride in the morning. The bridesmaids made up the games and the groom and best men responded. When the games had favorable responses, they opened the door for the groom to pick up the bride. There was a church wedding in the afternoon. After the wedding, we went to a restaurant for a cake ceremony in the garden. We took a break to wait for a nine-course Chinese banquet in the evening. The bride and mother-in-law (my sister) changed their gowns four times during the banquet.

Here is the wedding photo gallery.

“I do”
The Cake ceremony Garden

Two days after the wedding, we were in Tokyo for four days visiting Mercy’s and Will’s college friends. Both husband and wife were engineers there on a five-year contract. We took the bus sightseeing.

Tokyo’s Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples are some of the most interesting sites in the city. We stopped by several.

We went to the top of Arashiyama to visit the Monkey Park.

In the Reindeer Park in Nara, Japan, the reindeer are used to the visitors. They were persistent in asking for food.

There were about 1,500 deer living in the park in July 2017. Wild Sika deer freely roam in Nara Park. This deer bowed to us asking for food.

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LAPC #183 – Memorable Events

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