“My Family…Together Again”

Two of my five children live at home, so there are moments I feel the pang of the “empty nest” syndrome. I’ve gotten used to my three oldest living across the country, only seeing them every year or two, so I don’t feel that pain of missing them all living home very often. They’ve been living out of my home for years now and I’m used to my two youngest being the only ones living with me.

Yet yesterday things felt like the old days and I was reminded of just how much I miss having a house filled with five children.

My oldest flew in yesterday morning from the West Coast and it must have been close to family2two years since I’ve seen him. He brought home his beautiful girl for all of us to meet and she was amazing! We all fell in love with her instantly and I’d like to believe that she felt the same about us.

I raced to the airport early in the morning to pick them both up and the tears fell as I saw him. They both walked towards me with open arms, hugs, kisses and some amazing West Coast energy! Just what this mom needed!

Yet seeing him was so much more than a hug…it brought back floods of emotions and memories of having them all live at home together. I remembered family dinners at the table every night and weekends filled with a stream of teenagers in and out and hanging around. It was heaven.

And yesterday felt like old times for me. Seeing him with his two youngest brothers, introducing them to his girl, teasing them and laughing I couldn’t help but feel a sense of peace, of happiness…of true joy.

I had forgotten what it was like to have my family together like that. These days even myfamily3 two youngest are working or going to school and I feel as though they’ve already left the nest.

Last night felt like old times, even though two of my kids were missing. It felt like the family I remembered; the family that grew up and moved on to their own adult lives. Yet as I remembered the memories I was also watching them all together and making new ones. Suddenly the babies and teenagers I remembered were sitting at a restaurant out to dinner with me…yet they were grown up! They had become men in what feels like an instant.

And my four boys have grown up into amazing men, and I don’t say that just because I’m their mom.

They are respectful, kind, compassionate and non-judgmental. They are truly the type of people I had hoped and wished that they would grow up to be.

And they are.

I sat in amazement last night, savoring every moment, taking in all that surrounded me. It was a night I’ll remember forever, until the next time we can all be together to make new memories.

I felt so much pride for these boys last night, especially my oldest. I watched how he spoke to and treated his girl…he loves her, she loves him, and the respect they have for one another is the type a mother hopes her child will find in a partner.

familyAnd he found that.

And I couldn’t be happier for him.

It was incredible night of being a family together again.

It was a night of my heart being so filled with love that it could have exploded.

These boys of mine…they are a gift to the world.

And they have been and always will be a gift to me.

And it’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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All photos by Anne Dennish

 

 

“A Day At The DMV”

My driver’s license expired over the weekend and I spent two hours at the DMV yesterday renewing it. I could have renewed it by mail but I wanted to have a new picture taken for it. Sounds a bit vain, but my reason was this: my old picture was taken when I was going through breast cancer and my hair was just growing back in. The picture wasn’t horrible, but I’m a different person now and wanted to have a picture of the “me” without breast cancer on my license. May sound silly to some, but it was an important moment for me.

So while I was standing in line for hours I struck up a conversation with the woman in front of me. She was with her daughter, who had Down’s Syndrome. Margo was about 12 and one of the sweetest and smartest little girls I ever met. The three of us talked about diets, health, diabetes, my writing, where we lived (which is down the street from one another) and that Margo is going to be in the Special Olympics! It was a beautiful conversation between three strangers who were sharing their thoughts and emotions with each other.

And the one thing that stuck with me that Margo’s mom said was that she had worked her whole life and now spends her time with Margo and her friends. She said it’s the happiest time in her life because they’re all so sweet and innocent and that for the first time in her life she’s truly content.

You see, that’s the thing about sharing our lives with others, and I don’t mean telling them every personal detail of your life (although that’s okay too!). I’ve come to realize that when we take the time to talk to people we learn a bit about their story and I believe that everyone has a story, we just don’t always take the time to listen to it or even want to know it. As for me, I love people and I love listening to their story.

When we share our emotions and experiences with others we could actually be helping them through a bad day, or changing their perspective on a situation, or just letting them know they’re not alone. We all travel our own journey in this life, yet sometimes and more often than not, someone else’s journey can help us along ours. That’s what I love about being a writer: I can share my experiences with other’s and through that I get to meet some amazing people!

My day at the DMV put a smile on my face and made me realize that while we all have things to do and jobs to go to, it’s important to remember those “happy and content” moments in our lives. Sometimes it’s a stranger that helps us to remember that.

It’s time to make a difference in this world and we can all make that difference together.

Take a minute to say “hello” to a stranger today or tell them to have a good day. You may think that’s a small gesture but to the other person it may be the biggest and kindest gesture of their day.

Let’s do this together…

It’s a good thing. 

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“February – My Month of Love and Milestones”

february my montFebruary has become one of the most important months for me; it’s one I look forward to more and more as each year passes. The reason for my excitement about February is because so many incredible things happened in my life. They were truly life changing events; moments of dreams coming true; and signs of hope, faith and love.

It was on February 15th of 2015 that I met my love, Rob. We were two people who had new hope24been broken by prior relationships and had given up on love and dating. Yet it was through one long phone call that we got to know each other and the first date happened a week later on February 15th. We were nervous and unsure of whether we wanted to risk the heartbreak of another failed relationship, yet by the third date we had fallen in love. In just two weeks we’ll be locked away in an “undisclosed location” to celebrate our three year anniversary. No phones, no computers, and no work!

4 year survivorIt was on February 21st of 2014 that I underwent surgery for a lumpectomy. It was the last piece of my journey with breast cancer. It was on that date that I become cancer free and a survivor! It’s a day you hate to remember yet one that you want to celebrate year after year. Breast cancer was quite the journey for me; one that taught me so much about my life and myself. It helped me find my voice, stand in my truth, and to surround myself with only positive people. This year I will be celebrating my 4 year anniversary date! Each year is such a gift; each day is another blessing.

It was on February 23rd of 2016 that my last book, “Waking Up: Lessons Learned Throughsend to dad 1 My Adventures With Life and Breast Cancer” was published. It was a dream come true; one that became more than a book when I teamed up with a musician who wrote the music, sang, and recorded my song lyrics to the book. We did several public appearances together and used them as an opportunity to help others by making them a fundraiser. It’s another anniversary to celebrate, and a wonderful 2 year one at that!

promo picsAnd here’s the new and exciting news for this beautiful month of February, and strangely enough, an amazing coincidence: my newest book, “My Collective Soul: Things I Know Without Knowing Why” will be publicly released on February 23rd of 2018…just two years to the day that the last book was published! Yet I don’t believe in coincidences; I believe that everything happens for a reason and the Universe must have planned it this way.

And I’m so glad it did.

I am so incredibly grateful for this beautiful month of love and milestones.

I’m waiting to see what other endless possibilities the Universe has planned for me this month.

I have faith that it will be something amazing.

And I can’t wait to see what it is.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“On Board A Tanker”

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Every so often Rob takes me to a sailing with him. His job as a ship agent takes him to many ports on the shores of New York and New Jersey and it’s exciting to go to work with him and see what he does. It’s also cool to be up close to these giant sized ships.tanker 5

Our adventure last weekend began at 8am on Saturday morning. We drove to a port in Newark so that he could board an orange juice ship. I sat in the car near the water’s edge and watched him as he walked through the gates and up the gangway. It’s an amazing sight to see the  crew members walking along the top of this massive ship…and it’s pretty cool to know that it’s delivering orange juice!

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Our view for lunch in Staten Island

We left Newark and drove to the launch in Staten Island where he was scheduled to board a tanker carrying petro. It was near lunch time so we stopped at a local Italian deli and took our food to a park nearby; it was beautiful to be eating lunch by the water with the skyline of New York City as our view. We finished eating and headed to the launch.

The person behind the desk was waiting for Rob to show them the paperwork to get a launch boat to take him to the tanker waiting for him in New York harbor. He asked if I could get on the launch with him and they said “yes.” I thought I was just taking a ride to the ship and was a bit surprised, and scared, to know that I could board the tanker with him. The gangway that led up the side of the ship was more than 50 steps high; Rob climbed up in front of me quickly and with ease; I climbed up behind him slowly and cautiously. We got on the ship and had to climb up and down more ladders, signed in with a crew member and proceeded to the captain’s office.

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My view from the bridge

The captain and crew were from India. At first they seemed a bit quiet and reserved while Rob did all the necessary paperwork with them, and then I began to ask questions (as only a writer will do!) I asked the captain and the crew  what they do while they’re at sea to pass the time. He told me that they watch television, read, relax, and spend time together yet he did tell me that this type of tanker doesn’t allow any alcohol on board for safety reasons. No beer, no wine, no anything. The captain said it doesn’t bother them and that no one misses it.

He began to tell me that he’s at sea for four months, then home for four, then the cycle starts all over again, and keep in mind, he’s been a captain for over 15 years. He told me that he’s married with three young children. I asked him how his time away from home affected his marriage. He told me that his wife likes the four months of handling the money and being in charge of the household, and that she has a “to do list” ready for him when he gets home.

And then he told me something that surprised me yet melted my heart. He said that “even though my wife and I are apart for four months, each time I go home is like the first time and it’s as if we fall in love all over again. It’s still exciting and we make the most of our time together until I leave again.”

Wow…he’s not only a ship captain, he’s a hopeless romantic.

Before we left the captain was gracious enough to show me the bridge and give us a tour.

I learned a lot on that ship last weekend.

I learned that no matter where anyone is from there is a universal language of love.

I learned that we’re all connected in some way.

I learned that everyone truly does have a story.

And I learned that my love for people, their stories and trying new things is far greater than my fear of climbing up the side of a ship on a gangway.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

*For more information on the job description of a ship agent, you can search this website for my story  “A Day In The Life Of A Ship Agent.”

 

 

 

 

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“The Thanksgiving Table”

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and I’m getting ready to bake pies, chop vegetables and make cranberry sauce. There will be seven people around my table tomorrow and I can’t help but think of the “Thanksgiving Tables” of all the years gone by.

I remember a time when there were more than 15 people around the table, and all the many others that filled the house after dinner for dessert. It was filled with my aunts and uncles, cousins, parents, my grandmother and children. It was a time of sitting together and watching old home movies, of listening to the older ones’ stories and lessons and of running around the house with the cousins.

Children grow up and move out on their own and loved ones get older and pass away. Each year there seems to be one more person missing from the table.

Only three of my five children will be at the table tomorrow. My two oldest are across the country and spending it with their significant others families. I’ll miss them terribly but I am forever grateful knowing that my other three babies will be with me.

Yet when I sit down at my “Thanksgiving Table” tomorrow I will remember those days of holidays past and I will remember the loved ones that I lost.  I will remember the laughter and the stories they told, their faces and the warmth of their embrace. I will remember their colorful personalities and their presence and importance in the family. I will remember sitting at the “kid’s table” until we reached the important age of sitting at the “big table.” It was a rite of passage to graduate to that table.

My brother used to say “I wonder who will be missing from the table next year.” I always thought that was a terrible thing to say, but he was right and it taught me to embrace each holiday and each day with the people in my life because life truly is short. I’m learning that lesson more and more as I get older. I don’t look at the table and wonder which chair will be empty next year but look at the table filled with the blessings of family, of love, and of laughter. It’s a day of making memories and we carry those memories in our hearts forever. We may lose a loved one, but we can never lose the memories of them.

There may be only seven people at my table tomorrow but I will be seeing much more than that. I’ll be seeing all the “Thanksgiving Tables” of my past and the people that once surrounded it. And for that, I will be grateful.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~

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“Let’s Make A Chain of Gratitude”

 

Every morning before my feet hit the floor I open my eyes and say out loud: “thank you for another day.”

And that’s how I begin each day, with gratitude for having been gifted another day, with gratitude for knowing that I have the choice to make the day the best I can and gratitude in knowing that I have the ability to make a difference in the world with love and kindness.

“Gratitude” keeps us grounded and reminds us of what’s really important in our lives. It makes us stop and think about what’s important and that the smallest of things in our day can become the biggest of things we’re grateful for.

Let’s start a chain of “gratitude” together. Share a post, comment

or a picture of what you’re grateful for at this very moment. It can be as small as your first cup of hot coffee in the morning or as big as surviving an illness. Gratitude isn’t about the size of what you’re thankful for; gratitude is the confirmation that you’ve taken a moment in your day to realize how blessed you are.

Live each day with an “attitude of gratitude” and watch how your life will change. All good things come to us when we focus on all the good in our life and not on the bad. Life is filled with ups and downs, good and bad, yet when we focus on all the ups and the good the downs and the bad becomes less important and easier to handle.

So, what are you grateful for today? Let’s share our moments together…we just might be able to make a difference in the world together by sharing our moments of gratitude with each other and the world.

Let’s make a “gratitude chain.”

It’s a good thing.

Wishing you love and light,

~Anne Dennish~