Saturday, December 06, 2008


Okay, I've been 'tagged'. My friend Marla tagged here goes.

This 'tag' requires 'tagee' to post and blog about a photo on page 6 of your Flickr. Marla blogged about a great photo of her daughter Ainsleigh playing with a paper bag...ahhh, the simple joys of childhood! I don't have a Flickr account, so I decided to dive into my Ofoto (I still can't call it Kodak Gallery b/c I was part of the dotcom era and my company was partnered with Ofoto, the original Kodak Gallery) account. I thought I'd try to find a photo that was a '6' of something. Turns out, the 6th album I created was a photo album of pics of my mom. As a means to capture, keep and share some old photos, I scanned them and placed then in my online albums.

As many know, Mom passed away when I was 19 years old of Metastatic Melanoma (skin cancer). They never did find the primary source of her cancer and presumed it was caused by a bad sunburn when she was younger. Cancer is that can lay dormant for a long while.

Now, Mom loved the ocean. She wasn't a sun worshiper my any means, but she loved being outside in the sun. Being indoors was not her thing. It was a bit of a culture shock when we moved to the Bay Area and colder temp/rain forced us all inside for days at a time (I shutter to think what she'd do if she had to move to KC!). During our first winter in NorCal, she was always feeling our foreheads, asking if we felt okay, "because you look so pale!". Sun and the ability to be outdoors always provided that healthy glow that was so much a part of our lives. Even when she was diagnosed, she'd still find ways to spend her down time outside. She wasn't going to let her cancer change her life.

To this day, I don't believe that 'the sun' caused my mom's cancer. 'Life stress' is what flipped the switch on the cancer. However I do believe that everyone should avoid too much sun exposure. A sunburn may seem harmless, however painful, at the time, but it could have devastating effects in the long run. That said, a life of balance is so so critical. Finding ways to mediate stress is crucial. Too much stress, like a bad sunburn, can cause irreparable damage. Sooo...I guess like Marla's PSA about PSA is 'always wear sunscreen' and 'be sure to find balance in all things'.

Not a day goes by that I don't think about Mom. And naturally, the holidays are especially hard...Christmas was Mom's holiday. The decorating, the entertaining, but mostly because it was time for everyone to slow down and spend time with loved ones. That is what she cherished most in life...putting day-to-day stress aside and just being with family. I think that's why she loved being outdoors and at the a holiday, it's a great way to escape and spend valuable time with the ones you love.

So, I guess the real PSA is from an amazing woman, my Mom...Please take time to *stop the madness* this holiday season, find time to DO what you love and BE WITH the ones you love. Don't miss any opportunity to create cherished memories. Thanks to Mom, I have lots of cherished memories of carefree days at the beach, 'wind in our hair days' on the ski slopes and lots of happy holidays.

Cheers to you and yours slowing down and making special memories this holiday season...and everyday...

Oh...and I guess I have to 'tag' someone else...Mark, Michelle, Anita and Ben/Allison (a few of my blogging friends), you've been tagged! Page 6 of Flicker or any photo and blog away! ;-)

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