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Share Your Silver Lining

macys:

Wise words from Miss Monroe

(Source: pinterest.com)

thesilverpen:

Happy Monday morning! This is a lovely reminder of what a privilege it is to wake up each & every morning.

Keeping the Memory Alive

It’s been 14 years since my partner lost his mother to breast cancer. It doesn’t get any easier, but we’ve found different ways to honor her memory. Tonight we’ll celebrate her infallible spirit with her favorite meal, pesto ravioli and a delicious wine. The Silver Lining is that the gifts she gave live on in us. 

olay:

Best Beautiful Stories

Meet Hillary, a 38 year-old wife, mother and skin cancer survivor.

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thesilverpen:

Which is prettier: the floor or the flower @DukeMansion in Charlotte, North Carolina?

Don’t miss Hollye at Belk at Southpark Mall in Charlotte tonight, from 6-8pm. 

thesilverpen:

Color is #TheSilverLining of Spring!

The Power of Positivity

My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when I was only 13 years old.  I was in 8th grade, my older sister (14 at the time) was away at her first year of boarding school and my younger sister was only nine years old.  My young mind was not formed enough to comprehend the complexity of the situation.  All I remember being told before she began chemo was that she was sick and she would be in the hospital for a while.  My parents told us she would need lots of rest and would not have a lot of energy.  For some reason the thought of losing her never crossed my mind- I was more concerned about who would cheer me on in my tennis matches as the competitive season was just beginning.  I was starting high school in a few months, would she be there to drive me on the first day?  Who would make dinner for my sister and father?  What about our lady days we always had where we got pedicures and fancy lunches? 

As the questions raced through my mind, I realized how much my mother assumed the role of a super hero, holding the family together and moving it forward.  My mom said she had made arrangements for everything, that we would be leaning on others for a while.  She also told me that her physical appearance would change and it was my job to always visit her with a smile and a happy story.

I was upset about losing my mother’s presence, even if it was just for a few months.  But she really did make all the arrangements- she called in all her friends and family to help with the rest of us.  Living over 800 miles from Chicago- my mom’s hometown- I never knew her college friends and didn’t have an opportunity to know her siblings outside of funerals and weddings.  That summer seemed to be a heavy rotation of her former roommates, brothers, sisters and even some in-laws.  Everyone came in with funny stories to tell, sharing recipes, wanting to go on adventures, and lots of laughter for all of us.  They would divide their time between our house and the hospital and bring that same joy to my mom while she lay in a hospital. Though the pain of my mother’s absence was at sometimes unbearable, the support everyone gave and the positivity they brought made it one of the best summers of my young life.  I kept wishing my mother could be at home to share it with us. 

I look back on it now and it is clear that all these people came with the fear that their visit might be the last time they saw my mother.  They wanted to keep our spirits up as well, just in case they were right.  At that time, they knew something that I didn’t- my mother was given a 20% chance of living. 

My mother survived and has been in complete remission since then -16 years and counting.  The chemotherapy has debilitated her immune system, so she gets sick and tired fairly easily, but she’s here.  She swears her survival is due to two things: stem cells and positivity.  I know it seems corny, but I believe it.  I’ve spoken with my other sisters over the years and we all agree we never even thought of death- maybe it was youth naivety - but we never understood why neighbors would look at us with sympathetic eyes.  To us it was just, our mom is gone for a little while getting better, she will be back.  That same outlook permeated in our household with all our visitors.  We were always positive and happy and I think my mom felt that too. 

For those of you going through this now with a loved one, I would tell you to try your best to keep positive.  Put your love and goodness into the universe.  Accept the support and love of others- I think my story would be a much different one without it.

My best friend and I both have a parent who has died from cancer. I don’t want to say that cancer brought us together, but, the bond we share is unlike any other friendship.  I wouldn’t wish what we have gone through on anyone but having this connection has brought us closer than ever.  We have been able to help each other through the rough times and having her through the entire experience has truly been our silver lining.

Teaching 101 

I found out my favorite high school teacher was diagnosed with breast cancer over the holidays. Going to an all girls catholic high school, our teachers were not only impeccable leaders, they were confidants, friends and often times the ones we went to for advice in our very dramatic teenage lives. She was a frequent customer at my moms shop where we would connect when I was home for the holidays, but this year her husband was handling the last minute Christmas shopping. When I learned of her illness, I immediately reached out to show my love and support. Since she was our home ec teacher it felt right to bake her something. I went with lemon bars as I know they were one of her favorites, let her know I was thinking of her and reminded her she still owed me a lesson on her famous chicken parmigiana. 

She quickly followed up- spirits as high as ever, saying she was kicking cancer in the butt, set a date for when I was home next and asked for my preference of wine because hey, wine still tastes pretty darn good. My teacher never let the hardship of cancer affect her attitude or rain on her parade. She is one of the strongest people I know and I admire her eternal optimism and courage. The silver lining in this particular situation is her unwavering positive outlook and strength to put up the fight against breast cancer. 

Our dinner date is schedule for later this summer and I can’t wait to catch up and celebrate life with good food, friends and bottles and bottles of wine!

thesilverpen:

Spoke in #Chicago today to a wonderful group & speaking tomorrow morning in #LosAngeles. #TheSilverLining is that I no longer want to throw up before talks!

An awesome silver lining, indeed! Don’t miss Hollye at Belk at Southpark Mall in Charlotte, NC on May 22, 6pm, and at Belk at the Galleria in Dallas, TX on May 24, 11am!

My Aunt was diagnosed with breast cancer two years ago. Though we went through some scary moments she is now in remission and doing great. My aunt is one of the strongest and most empowering women I know, she is the glue that holds our family together. Last summer her daughter (my cousin) organized a family vacation and all twenty-five members of our family traveled to her farm in Nebraska where we ate, roasted marshmallows and made a redneck water slide in the creek. Seeing my aunt get to enjoy her family and laugh so hard she cried was the Silver Lining of it all! 

My Best friend!

A few years back one of my best friend’s mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. At this time, we had been best friend’s for several years and her mom was someone I genuinely liked and admired. To hear of such a thing happening to her and her family was truly devastating. Today I can say that her mom is in remission and has been for sometime now. Although it was a difficult time for my friend and her family I am blessed that I was able to be her shoulder to lean on. The important thing to remember in difficult times like these is that no one should have to deal with this on their own. Support, family, friendship should always be there.

thesilverpen:

Love Mother Teresa’s #wisdom & #inspiration! She epitomizes #TheSilverLining

My silver lining after battling breast cancer while pregnant: Serenity Milagros. #miracleshappen #pregnantwithcancer #thesilverlining