Sometimes you need to push the RESET button!

Some of you may have thought I fell off the face of the earth…



No, I didn’t fall off the earth literally, but I did lose touch with a lot of things. It’s been a rough year to say the least. We all go through difficult times in our lives and dealing with them is unique to each individual. I didn’t deal as well as I thought I might or maybe how I thought I should. I think some of us put pressure on ourselves to rise above the challenges or pain, that’s what I was doing. I don’t recommend it.

The last two years I have put a lot of things off or put minimum effort into them. I have been wrapped up in the emotions that go along with having a parent fighting cancer. As I wrote in a previous blog, my Dad had been diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Smokers Lung Cancer in 2013. I spent that las two years trying to spend as much time as I could with him. Believe me, I don’t think it was enough. I wanted and needed more time. Not living in the same state made it difficult but not impossible. He lost his fight with cancer November 17th, 2015.

My Dad was an exceptionally strong individual; I had never seen him weaken in my life until that diagnosis. He let it get him down in the beginning, but then he rose to the challenge and was his feisty self again. That’s the Father I knew; he worked so hard at everything he did. He instilled in his children that strong work ethic. He taught me not to give in to fear or failure. When I went to him with my concerns, he always built me up. No matter the mistakes I made, he did not tear me down ever. He gave me advice when I asked for it and yes even when I didn’t ask for it. He was very opinionated. My Dad didn’t go for me just laying down and giving up. He didn’t agree with all my choices in life, but he respected them and supported me. He was my cheerleader even when he wasn’t feeling so great. We had some of our best conversations this last two years. I will miss those conversations. I will miss the many times when I would call him, and he would respond to my “hi Dad” with “hey baby Raina.” I can’t share enough how much I love my Father. He left a legacy of love, commitment, loyalty, integrity, dependability, strength, humor, friendship, and family.

So what does this have to do with a reset? I decided just this last Sunday, after attending our companies yearly kickoff event, I needed to get out of my fog and get back to the things I had set out to do. Get back to writing this blog. Get back to getting in shape. Get back to work! I know my Dad wouldn’t want me just to sit here mourning him and doing nothing. I know he believed in working hard and moving forward in life, and that’s what I am determined to do. I am by no means over grieving the loss of my Father. I know it will continue to hurt my heart. I will go through some very hard days yet to come. A friend of mine had lost her mom and after my Dad died we were having a conversation. Later she sent me a text message saying: “I admire your strength and grateful to have you as a friend.” When I read that, I didn’t feel like I had any strength. Maybe she saw something in me that I didn’t see.  I won’t feel that strength every day, and frankly, I haven’t felt strong until just recently.  A friend of mine said “it is like sitting on a three-legged chair…your sitting totally fine and then all of the sudden the chair falls out from under you! It comes out of nowhere, and sometimes it takes a minute to get back on your chair”. So I know I will have those kinds of days, but I am determined to be the best person I can be, be the daughter my Father was so proud of! I love you, Dad…

It is going to be a great year. I have goals, I have made a plan! I am going to stick with my pland and reach my goals! How about you, do you have a goal for this year? Have you made a plan? No matter what happened last year, you can make this year better! I look forward to connecting with all of you through this blog and on the social media sites, you can find me on Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram.

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.”
―Beverly Sills



I Took It For Granted…

This last year and a half has been somewhat of a rude awakening. I think I have been a little bit in a dream land. What I mean is I didn’t really realize I may have a limited time left with my parents. I was taking for granted the fact that they have been here and relatively healthy, not really believing or wanting to believe someday they might not be in good health or worse not even be here.

Dad & Mom’s Wedding Day, March 30, 1968

What brought me into reality? It was like a slap into reality really! The news that no child, brother, sister, parent, aunt, uncle, friend…pretty much no one wants to get. Cancer…my Dad has cancer. He actually had cancer years ago, prostate cancer and they took care of it with a prostatectomy. I have to say I kind of expected one day that my dad would be diagnosed with cancer. You see my Dad has a lot of cancer in his family. His father and three sisters all had cancer, three of those four died of it. So when my Dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer, I thought “okay, this is going to be Dad’s cancer”. He had the surgery and went back for all his subsequent tests and it was gone. We were elated to say the least. The worst was done. He hasn’t had any problems with the prostate cancer since that time and still doesn’t.

Unfortunately the prostate cancer was not “Dad’s cancer”. He has a new and entirely different cancer, its far worse… stage 4 lung cancer. Just writing that makes me want to cry. Stage 4, no cure, just containment… I know there are a lot of you out there that can relate to this.

Dad & Mom
Dad & Mom

The space of time since my Dad was diagnosed in August of 2013 has been painful to say the least. My Dad has always been the strong one. I know most children feel their father is tough. But I am telling you this man was tough. He has been like a tree rooted deep in the ground when the storm is raging trying to tip him over. He has been the one keeping his own siblings together when they went through the loss of parents and siblings. He is a strong advocate of family. No matter what the issue, you work through it and keep the family close. That’s one of the many things I love about him. But watching this strong man deteriorate physically and see his own emotional struggle with the future has been heart wrenching. My Dad has been the voice of reason, the parent I came to when I needed some strength. I only found this side of my Dad later in my own adult life, although it’s been there all along, I just never realized it. I have always been close to my Mom and have pretty much gone to my Mother for everything so it has been a bonus to finally have that close relationship with my Father too. Fathers can be the voice of reason when your emotions are trying to rule your actions. I do believe men have this quality, my own husband is much like my Father in that way.

This new chapter in our life has been the rude awakening I talked about. It’s made me more aware of how time is precious and I need to take every opportunity to spend as much time as possible with my family, especially with my Dad and Mom. My parents live in Oregon, so I have to plan my trips in advance. I can’t just up and drive to see them like I used to when I lived in Oregon, only 2 hours away from them. I really enjoy my visits home. We spend quality time together, sometimes just sitting in the same room reading etc… It’s nice. It’s an added bonus that I am able to see my younger sister, her family & my younger brother on these trips home.

Our Family

I encourage all of you to not take for granted the time left with your loved ones. Take the time now to spend with them. I am thankful my Dad is still here and no matter how much time is left with my parents, I will try very hard to not waste one precious moment of it.

Our Family

The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.

-Richard Bach