Sep 20, 2010

A Meaningful Life


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.

A Gift
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!!

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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♥

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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!! 

xxo, kim

Give Away Winner .... Congrats to Bodhi Chicklet

24 comments:

Laura @ 52 FLEA said...

It is so nice to meet you Gail and to read your inspiring story. I think it is wonderful that you have used your gift of creativity and talents to express gratitude for all the kind and generous people in your life. Thank you for sharing the story of your journey to a more meaningful life.

Suki said...

Wow what an awesome lifestory Gail!
We shoudl all go in search for a more meaningful life.

Suki said...

Wow what an awesome lifestory Gail!
We shoudl all go in search for a more meaningful life.

kelly@thebluemuse said...

Gail I so admire your courage and compassion and love for life. Truly inspirational. It is that kind of love and wisdom that creates a more meaningful life. A beautiful story.

Dyche Designs said...

What a powerful story. Gail is courageous and an inspiration to us all.

blue elephant photography said...

Wow! What a heart-warming story Gail! Sometimes, I need to be reminded to be grateful, even for the littlest things in life. Thanks for sharing ♥

windrock studio said...

Hey Gail, thanks so much for sharing your story ... sometimes it's not an easy thing to do but somtimes it helps alot, yourself and maybe even someone else that you have never met.
All the best to you,
Susan

Leah C said...

What a courageous and inspirational woman you are, Gail:) Thank you for sharing your story...and the prayer shawl. Hugs to you!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gail,

I'm touched about your story and journey. It's amazing how we reach for the things that drive us from the struggles, that hold us back. I admire that you listened to your creative voice to use painting and knitting to help you through your daily struggle.

Stay strong.
Warmly,
Karla

Gina said...

Truly an inspiration! It is amazing what life's challenges can bring us. Thank you for sharing.

A Box of Chocolates said...

Gail, thank you for sharing your story and in such a way that even in the sharing there is no cry for pity just the desire to uplift those that read it. We suffered a tragic loss last year and I am afraid I did not come through it with your wonderful strength. We are on our way back to a happier place but you have truly inspired me.
Love to you and strength and faith
Kim

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Gail - more power to you. What an inspiring story to take what you are living and go forth. I am in awe and truly inspired.

maureen said...

Gail, thank you for sharing your amazing story. i hope that there are still more blessings than you can imagine in store for you.
I believe you said it perfectly in one sentence. “You either sulk and cry and feel sorry for yourself or you get busy and enjoy what you have.” Amen. Something we can all take to heart.
Hugs ♥ maureen

Jamie said...

What a beautiful and moving story. Thank you for sharing Gail.

ELK said...

just a very special post ..such a gift you have shared here...

SweetPea51 said...

A story such as this (Gail's) makes you stop and take stock. Thank you, Gail, for sharing with us and prayers for you. Wishing you all the best!

Julie Frokjer said...

What a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing and for the reminder of having gratitude for what we have and our need to share it.

Jill said...

Thank you Gail for sharing your story. It is a glorious path... our journey...isn't it? And, a gift when we can see it as such. Some days we need the reminders! Or, I do at least! Thank you again for your post!

I live said...

What an amazingly beautiful story. Thank you for sharing.

Lori said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I feel blessed to have read it and to get to know you a little bit. Thank you for such a generous offering. Hugs to you :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Gail for your inspirational words and story. We all struggle in our lives, but most of us have much lighter and less devastating burdens to carry. Your strength shines thru your words and your deeds. God bless you and Bless Kim for bringing you to all of us.

songskatesang said...

Wow. What a powerful story. Thank you for sharing that.

Faith Hope Cherrytea said...

i am absolutely blessed to have found you today - in time to become maybe your newest member & be inspirited by Gail's story & entered in her lovely gift giveaway. i am in awe of your generosity, courage & hospitality. and blessed to have connected with your site. but then isn't that God's amazing grace once again ? ...
thank you for posting, both Kim & Gail!

Barb Phillips said...

Gail your story is a repeat of mine. Lost voice, lump in throat, cancer, learning to talk, eat and even drink water again. Good for you for finding something that you love. As for me my voice is my photography for now.