The face in the mirror is different.  I can now see a life well worth living.

 What caused the change?  How did I get to this point?  I believe it began when a life altering message awaited me as I looked cancer in the face and won – do not let your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.  Challenged by the demon that lived inside me I decided to not let it define me.  Guided by Grace, I changed my way of seeing.  

Never one to feel sorry for myself, the people I sought to spend time with were part of my inner circle of a stalwart husband, family, and friends that showed up and still to this day are treasured.  Staying busy, I sought out only positive vibes that with each step allowed me to walk towards healing.

 The hard part for me was living day to day not ever once thinking about tomorrow.  My therapy was found in the photographic project I started before cancer.  I longed to be outside with a camera in my hand.  Instead I was in my sterile hidey hole of an office reading love letters from the past.  With each word of endearment I drew the inspiration to tell the story of lasting love, unrequited love, a deep longing, a sadness that lingers, affairs of the heart, tragic love, or even forbidden love.

 Now as I look back at this period of time, I hug myself as I hold my new book, His Love Letters.  Staying busy, challenging myself to reach my goal, I found a reason to not look in the mirror at my new reality of not a lick of hair on my body.

 One very important change also was I started listening to my body and taking better care of it.  Each day I ate only lean meat and vegetables, no alcohol or soda pops, no sugar, and drinking alkaline water.  I figured I would help my physical being to work better as each day I took long walks breathing in the scent of the seasons.

 Again, staying busy is the secret!  I continued my addiction of playing bridge once or twice a week, attending church where my strength resides, and the curious part in this is when I started to write again. The one thing I missed the most was the opportunity to travel knowing the road back would be arduous.

Being a people watcher, I am intrigued by the warmth of the voices that inspire me.  Shutting out the negative voices, I found a new voice in my writings.  I wanted to find out where people go in times of a struggle, where do they draw their strength from?  Sharing with others allows me to touch someone else in need.

 Today the face in the mirror is definitely different.  I am no longer a brunette.  My hair is a soft silver, but the spark for life is still there in my eyes along with tell-tale lines of a smile.  

With each passing year, hope drives me as I reflect on the path given me.  It changed me, leaving scars on my body but not my heart.  I carry with me the lessons learned and at the same time I long to leave something good behind.