Svaha Spirit Series ~ Surviving the Treatment: The Return of Myles McLellan

A good friend of mine Lawrence Thomas shared the link to the video below when I posted ‘Stepping into the Ring with the ‘C’ Word”. I was overwhelmed as I am sure anyone who watched it was. Social isolation was something I never even considered a child might go through while dealing with cancer.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think of children is play, laughter and silliness. Imagine for a moment being a child and not having anyone to play, laugh or be silly with simply because nobody understands what’s happening to you, while you fight for your life! Myles McLellan was only 9 years old when he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. Myles not only had strength, but the confidence to express his feelings and emotions for all his peers to see with the help of Billie Mintz president of arc, Artists Raising Consciousness.

The focus of arc is to help raise awareness of those who make a positive impact on society by using storytelling and social media. Arc Institute aims to assist organizations with their philanthropic goals and their social responsibility mandate by telling stories through cinema and by helping illuminate the human question “Why are we here?” It just doesn’t get much better than that for me!

Myles faced his fears head on like a true warrior but sadly passed away at 13 when his tumor returned, but he left this world a difference maker. He helped educate other children and taught them awareness. The stigmas that are associated with cancer from a child’s eyes are important to talk about and by doing so, Myles made change.

Education is key to understanding what strength really is! Your kids should watch this video with you! You were a leader and hero Myles!

Surviving the Treatment: The Return of Myles McLellan

Thank you so much for sharing this with us Lawrence, I felt it wasn’t enough to just have a link posted! xo

Here is the link if you would like more information about Artists Raising Consciousness or if you would more information about president of arc Billie Mintz.

Check out Myles Miracle Mission Website!

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Postcard Stories from Tara Cronica “To Dance”

My good friend Lawrence Thomas introduced me to ‘Postcard Stories’. He learned of them through his writers group. You are given three words and a 150 word limit to come up with a short postcard story. I mentioned to Lawrence that I would love to do one if he would give me three words. Lawrence gave me ‘Inspiration, Lyrical and Spiritual. Here is what I came up with. Jake and Bonnie if you would like to join in please feel free, it was a lot of fun! Thanks Lawrence!

Dedicated to my daughter Jordan.

To Dance  (150 word limit, spiritual, lyrical, inspiration)

The curtain opens, the auditorium is full, all eyes are upon me. I take a moment, breath slowly internalizing my strength. The music starts and I begin. I feel the vibrational energy move my body naturally as the rhythm and I become one. Each extension of hand and toe are strong, graceful, delicate. Lyrical dance is my personal expression, romantic, whimsical, almost spiritual. I am in a trance, unaware of my surrounding, enveloped by the moment. As the musical notes rise, I Grand Jeté across the stage to my finale. The music ends, a brief pause, the auditorium is filled with appreciation. I reconnect with the eyes that followed my every movement, as if it were their own. I see a room filled with inspiration. I bow my head and gently curtsy. Applause awakens me, I sit front row watching my daughter centre stage, reaping the rewards of her disciplines.

Good luck at Dance Jordan I will be sitting front row watching proudly while you dance like no ones watching ~

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The Nude by Lawrence Thomas

TracyWe all meet certain individuals that inspire us to reach our goals.  Lawrence Thomas inspires me to reach mine.  We met through Twitter, and a conversation started simply because he wrote about football, A Beautiful Night for Football, I thought he might know a friend of mine who is a Football Commentator.  He didn’t, but we started to talk and found we had quite a lot in common.

Lawrence has a passion for words.  I love getting lost in words.  I admire Lawrence for his ability to express himself so openly.  I love his style and that he too is a hopeless romantic at heart.  I posted “Love is Forever” which he wrote and shared with me last year, the timing was, lets just say I think I was meant to read it, it felt like a gift to me.  We were simply meant to meet, maybe never in person but our paths were meant to cross.

I am very excited because Lawrence has released The Nude, a story he wrote which I had the honor of reading and LOVED!  When a writer can make you forget everything while you are immersed in their story, it rubs off on you.  I have had the desire to write a romantic tale for sometime and after reading “The Nude”, I have been re inspired to continue following that path.

The Nude by Lawrence Thomas

Excerpt from The Nude~

I look up from my sketch pad to see her standing in the stucco archway. My eyes are so enchanted by her tall, slender, silhouette as she enters the café, that I scorch my tongue taking an overzealous swallow of my Latte. I am absorbed by every curve of exposed skin, from the small of her neck, to the arch of her feet.

Her long, tanned legs glimmer in this sultry summer heat. She wears a tight fitting tube top, and a wrap-around skirt. Sandals with a slightly raised heal show off the camber of her well-defined calves as she stands before me in three-quarter view. Her undulating hair, a silky brown, is gathered in back around a red pencil.

I turn to a fresh page, and begin to draw her as she takes a seat in front of the open window. She slides off her sandals, and removes the pencil, allowing chestnut waves to cascade just past her bare shoulders. Her legs crossed at the ankles. I begin my sketch at the near perfect arch of her lightly tanned feet. The sun shines in through the empty window frame and casts shadows over her that I could never attain in the forced light of my small studio.

I sense that she feels me drawing her.  Perhaps she thinks of me gliding my Conté,  my charcoal drawing stick, up her leg, around her round, firm buttocks, and ascending the arch of her naked back.  Carefully capturing every curve, every crevice.  Does she take pleasure in the touch of my fingers softly shaping her features?

by Lawrence Thomas

Thanks Lawrence for giving me inspiration as a writer to try my hand at something new!  And for allowing me to share your writing here on Tara Cronica once again!  I look forward to the next!

To purchase the story in it’s entirety visit Lawrence’s website Lawrence Thomas Stories & Poems.

Tracy signiture

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What is a Grandparent?

I was having my Girlfriends gab session with Kelly my Hairstylist/Girlfriend and we started to talk about Grandparents.  She summed it up beautifully.

“A Grandparent is someone who will take time out of their day to make glue!” ~Kelly

Isn’t that just the truth!  I have been hearing inspiring stories lately about Grandparents who do just that and are remembered for it everyday.

I recently did a post Love is Forever… by Lawrence Thomas who also has written a beautiful book about his Grandparents I Remember December.

Vilma Jensine AndersenAfter reading Lawrence’s story it made the memories of my Nana flood my thoughts with our time spent together.  Vilma Jensine Andersen.  She was the Best Nana anyone could ever ask for.  She spent time with me.  Which is all grandchildren really want when it comes down to it.   I spent a  lot of time with my Nana and enjoyed every single moment of it!  She was an independent woman who lived her life authentically!  She was a single mom raising two boys while making a living as one of the first women Bus Drivers in Vancouver.

She never judged me even when I might have given her reason to.  She accepted me for who I was and I loved her deeply.  She is still a big part of my life although her role has changed from Nana to Angel.  My kids and I are certain she changes red lights to green for us when we are running late.  Shortly after she passed, my daughter at the innocent age of 3 said to me “Do you think Nana is looking up at us smiling?”  I laughed out loud while replying ” I hope she is looking down at us!”  That was when my daughter began her release of all helium balloons to Nana so she too could enjoy them, a 3 year old way of saying hello to the Angel in the sky.

Jj & Nana Nunu

My Nana was a pack rat and for kids that is pure heaven!  Her basement was a maze of pathways that were heaped to the ceiling with cool nick knacks we got to go poke through.  My brother Chris always led the way.  We had such fun.  As soon as we arrived at her house and had our Nana hug and kiss and a piece of fudge, we asked politely if we could go down to the basement.  Yes was always the answer.

She was every little girls dream, a Barbie collector!  She had tons of them and they were on display in party mode on top of her piano every time we went for a visit.  It was one of many hobbies she loved that we could share.  She had every Barbie accessory available to girl-kind so I was in Barbie heaven.  Now my daughter has carried on the Nana hobby and plays with them with her in mind.  My Nana had the greatest sense of humor as well.  My Dad used to put her Barbie display into, lets just say uncompromising positions.  One time she had an Insurance man come to her home to renew her policy.  She told us she thought he was such a nice man who seemed really interested in her Barbie collection.  She hadn’t noticed until the man left what my Dad, her son, had done.  She laughed at the thought of what he must have been thinking as he did her renewal.  She checked them every time he left from that day on.

When I sit and think of her I can still smell her skin when she leaned in for a kiss and snuggle, it was fresh loose powder.  She had her powder compact sitting in the bathroom which I would try as soon as I locked the door behind me.  She always looked so pretty and put together to me from her lipstick to her beautiful scarf wrapped gently around her collar.

When Nana couldn’t keep herself safe at home independently anymore we had no choice but give her the help she needed in a home.  She hated that she was not independent but she settled in after time.  She had the company of my other Grandmother so she had a slice of history with her.  I loved my Grandmother Jeannie Robertson too but unfortunately I did not spend the time with her as I did with Vilma so my memories are with Vilma mostly.

Tracy & Nana at GradWhen your growing up and have time with your Grandparents it is a gift that not every child receives.  I am so blessed to have had the time I did with my Nana because she is part of who made me the person I am today.  She was a strong, independent woman who could survive on her own.  She was a giver not a taker.  She made my childhood that much more memorable which I am grateful for.

My Nana had Alzheimer’s in her later years so you had to remind her kindly every so often who you were and how you were related, but it was worth it for the moments she did recognize you.  My last visit with her before her passing she said to me ” You haven’t changed since you were 12 years old”  I still cry when I think of those words because when I was with my Nana I was still 12 !  I miss her terribly and love her with all my heart and soul.  I can only hope I will be as wonderful a Nana as she was to me!

If your kids don’t have Grandparents who live close by there are Grand-Parents out there who would love to enrich your child’s life.  I came across this site that looks interesting.

Grandparents.com

Surrogate Grand-parents

Tracy

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Love is Forever…by Lawrence Thomas

“I have been inspired by the writings of Lawrence Thomas and wanted to share his truthful, passionate words with you.  He has touched my soul with this piece.  Understanding the male perspective, a gift for me truly.  I believe our paths were meant to cross.  Thank you for sharing a piece of yourself with us and giving us some insight into the male mind.  Many of us will no longer feel like ‘the only one’ and that is one of the reasons Bonnie, Jacquie and I created Tara Cronica.”  Tracy~

Love is Forever…by Lawrence Thomas

Lawrence ThomasSunday, July 6, 2008 at 6:23pm Splashing my freshly shaven face, I looked up into a faded mirror. Grasping the outer edges of the water basin, I stepped into my reflection. I removed one hand briefly to run my fingers through my sodden hair, and then I leaned in to take a closer look. Into my weary eyes, I searched desperately for the man that I once saw staring back at me. I clenched the basin tighter, lowered my head and I realized that I don’t like the image the mirror revealed anymore. My eyes had once been so full of dreams; full of passion. They expressed a lust for life and everything it had to offer. Now their vision discolored, infatuations and a lifetime of aspirations all but forgotten.

For the better part of my twenties, Elaine’s soft blue eyes had been the last image I had seen before falling asleep. Many cold nights her warm figure curled into me, as I lay awake searching endlessly for answers, and many mornings I awoke to the same lost and lonely reflection of my tired eyes staring back at me.

I spent so much time searching my heart for the grounds of my unhappiness, that I hadn’t allowed myself to appreciate the little things that made her so special. My uncertainties really had nothing to do with her. I did love her, but for some reason, I was not content with what we had together.

I tried desperately to push her away, because having her hate me seemed so much easier than letting her go. As I stood disappointed, staring into that mirror’s image, I could see how much trying to push her away was slowly breaking her. Yet, even with how hard I tried to distance myself from her, she still remained by my side. I suddenly appreciate that she couldn’t hate me; she didn’t have it in her heart.

As I rummaged through my thoughts, gaping into that murky basin drain, I realized I had to let her go.

One last dinner together, final thoughts passed as we drove about a winding countryside, and as the colors of autumn leaves change, so did the seasons of our lives together. Somehow I had never found her more beautiful than I did that moment.

As I rested my eyes in hers, I took her hand and looking into her soul, and told her one last time that I loved her. Even with how hard it was to say goodbye, we both know that it was the right thing to do.

Maybe we had been holding on to the memories of so many years ago, or quite possibly we were fearful of being alone. Maybe we worried about hurting one another? Perhaps we were really afraid of living because neither of us could honesty say that’s what we were doing those final months – at least not the lives we had both dreamed of.

In those final moments, I realized that no matter how much I loved Elaine, my dreams would always live somewhere in my heart. I knew that if I didn’t start to listen to the desperate cries deep within me, that in being afraid to live, those dreams and the passions my soul lived to feel, were slowly dying.

I truly believe it’s our unhappiness with ourselves that questions the fate of a relationship. The problem is we either don’t know it, or simply don’t know what we are unhappy with.

Many years have gone by now, and since moving on, I have felt my heart thank me for finally giving the thoughts that circled hopelessly through my soul, the opportunity to live. I have felt the inner peace of not being afraid of life anymore.

As I look up, I see the reflection of a man once more full of life; full of passions; a man with not only dreams, but visions that have been realized. I have felt the sometimes painful, yet magical infatuations of love again. I have allowed myself to be inspired by the wisdom life offers us when we not only yearn for more from it, but do something about getting more out of it.

Regrets, I don’t believe in them, but I certainly wish we didn’t have to hurt the ones we love searching for who we are and what it is we want from this journey.

Even when a relationship is not meant to be, it’s hard not to continue caring for someone in some way, for everything they were to you and for what they taught you about love, life, and especially about yourself. I hope Elaine knows I will never forget the way she looked into my eyes when she said she loved me. To be loved in that way by anyone, is the greatest gift life will ever share with us.

In the end, with our painful expressions of separation, we didn’t do or say anything to make that moment one we would later regret. We both knew those final words would last in our hearts forever.

Breaking up is always a painful memory, yet by ending that part of our lives with a smile and by expressing how much those past years meant to us, the last feelings we shared weren’t full of anger or hatred; just the one thing that kept us together through it all – Love.

No matter whether a relationship ends through infidelity, a difference of opinion, or simply different dream paths, one of the many things my time with Elaine taught me, is that in the end, whether you want it to or not, love lives on somewhere in the heart, and always will.

Elaine was the first woman I ever loved, and for understanding me, always believing in me, and for loving me through it all (even those cold lonely nights when I couldn’t find it in my own heart to love myself), a part of me will love her forever. I will never forget how wonderful it felt, to be loved the way she loved me.

Copyright © 2008 Lawrence Thomas

Shaking the Tree Lawrence Thomas Website

Tracy

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