Happiest Monday my friends. I hope you enjoyed a wonderful weekend.
I’ve been bursting to share my friend Gail’s story with you.
Gail and I first connected years ago. Gail is a beautiful artist and she has ordered many painting patterns and books from me. We had emailed back and forth, now and then over the years. I had no idea what Gail was going through...no idea what she had been through. Gail's story is a powerful one of courage and strength. She has been through so much…But instead of giving up, Gail found her way to a more meaningful life.
This summer I received a gift in the mail. It totally blew me away. Sweet, sweet Gail sent my a warm and lovely prayer shawl with a beautiful note about kindness. I was so moved by her generous gift. I shared about it here, at the Café. And just a few weeks ago, Gail opened up and shared her courageous journey with me. I was so moved by Gail's story, that I asked her to share it at the i-Studio.
the prayer shawl Gail made for me
Now l’d like to turn this over to Gail… please read her powerful story. And at the end of the story you will find a special surprise. Thank you so much for agreeing to share with us all Gail!!
First I’d like to say….Kim (with the biggest heart) was kind enough to ask me to share my story…… to a more meaningful life.
My journey began well over 10 years ago……………………
In the beginning I discovered a lump in my neck that kept growing and growing. Soon I could no longer swallow any food or drink any liquids. My weight went down and down and down, that would have been great on a good note. Soon there came tons and tons of doctors’ appointments, then tons and tons of tests. Three biopsies later I still was a mystery to them. One biopsy I lost my voice for a year, because they nicked my jugular and in the confusion my left vocal cord was damaged. My voice has never been the same. The last biopsy they put in a tracheostomy for breathing and stomach tube for eating. I’ve had both for 9 years. Over the years I have learned to eat again, at times it’s difficult, but my weight is back up to where it was. Thanks to the advice of my family doc, she encouraged me to eat so the muscle would keep working, she was absolutely wonderful. To look at me you would not see anything, other than I always wear a scarf around my neck.
It hasn’t been an easy journey and it changes from day to day……but I’ve worked hard and every inch has been a blessing.
So I’ve been on a quest for a more meaningful life. For me it was a huge pivotal moment in my life. You either sulk and cry and feel sorry for yourself……..or you get busy and enjoy what you have. From the very beginning, I have to celebrate that I have met the kindest, most genuine people on my quest. There is one thing I know for sure…..there is some fantastic people out there and you don’t have to look far to find them. Grateful seems like such a small word for all the blessings I’ve had.
When it comes to creativity…..I knew that was one thing that I had to keep up with. Anything I could get my hands on creative I tried. Painting was at the top of the list. Then I also knew I had to give back to the world, to the universe, contribute as much as I could each day. Every day, week, month was different. I used my painting skills to give back to my local church. With my sister we got involved with the Children’s Aid doing life books for the children. I started knitting prayer shawls a few years ago and what a gift that has been for me. In any way that I can I try to show my gratitude for the blessings I’ve received.
Would I change any of it?
It might have taken me forever to get on this glorious path……………..
.....Gail has offered to share a give away with the i-Studio members. She has a beautiful prayer shawl ready and waiting to send to a lucky winner.
You can enter to win by leaving a comment below. We will pick the winner on Thursday September 22nd.
Thank you so much for sharing your story with me Gail...and agreeing to share it with the i-Studio community.
You are loved and admired....
Here's to you, my friend!!
Give Away Winner .... Congrats to Bodhi Chicklet