Cancer: It didn’t define me, it refined me.

This is something that is very difficult for me to share. We have lost loved one’s to cancer and the pain of that is very fresh. Not everyone get’s through it with a happy ending. It is not a trivial thing to be writing about. It is not a trivial thing to go through as the patient, nor to the family and friends.

I was fortunate enough that I didn’t have to go through chemo, but I did have biopsies, two surgeries, and radiation every day for 6 long weeks.

I went through a lot of different emotions. At first shock and numbness. “What did I do to deserve this? Haven’t I tried to be a good person?” Then I think the reality of, my God, my life may not be as long as I thought it would be. Anger, anger that I had to do this and then anger at myself for feeling so selfish when obviously there were other people sitting in that waiting room waiting for their treatment, that were obviously way worse off than I.

Then came a calmness that I can’t describe. Almost an acceptance and a knowing that my Creator was with me and no matter the outcome, it would be ok. That is the only thing that got me through. Every day I would work a stressful job, then leave to go get my treatment, go home, go to bed and start all over again. Thank God Mike helped me in the evenings to take care of whatever needed to be done.

Sometimes a tear would run down my cheek as they would administer the beams of radiation. A tear for the fear I was pushing away, a tear for the gratefulness I felt to have my children, a tear for my first love, that was back in my life. A tear for the memory of my grandparents and my great Uncle Subby who I missed up in heaven. A tear for all the times I had been unwilling to forgive my mom for her absence in my life. A tear for the things I haven’t accomplished yet. A tear for bravery that I knew I needed.

A vision would come to me every time I laid there for my treatment. It was a knowing that Jesus had his hand on my right shoulder, protecting me, healing me. It’s not something I’ve shared much, but it happened and I will always remember it.

Life has changed for me since then. Maybe I have changed too. I am a good employee but my family will always mean more. I like a clean house, but the time I spend in it with my family, means more. Being right feels good, but letting go of that need, feels better. I am no longer in a hurry with most things. I just leave earlier, the calmness means more. The television and it’s negative media no longer feed my thoughts but music that makes me happy does. The smell of the air on a crisp fall day fills me with memories of taking walks with my grandpa down 8th street in Omaha. Shallow conversations bore me, but tell me about your life and I soak it all in. Tell me a story about love and you have my full attention. In those things, I realize that is where God lives, and that is where I want to be. Refined and full of love, no matter what the outcome may be for me.

Meet the Authors Night

Hello!  Just wanted to let everyone know that Vintner’s Hill Wine Bar in Mint Hill is hosting a Meet the Author’s evening tomorrow night, July 2nd from 7-9pm.  Each author will have an opportunity to read a small portion of their book and do some signings.

Vintner’s is my very favorite little place in Mint Hill, not only for wine, but for coffee and vanilla latte’s as well!  Would love to see you there.

Dori

This entry was posted on July 1, 2019. 3 Comments

As it Appears

There were times when I used to scroll through facebook posts and have twinges of “I wish that was me” syndrome. Beautiful vacations spent admiring sunsets and fancy dinners with ocean views. Families wrapped in happiness at every turn. As time goes on I’ve realized that not everything is as it appears. My syndrome was cured almost overnight when some of these realizations came to light.

That happy blissful marriage…not happy at all.

Those vacations taken..while important bills back home were left unpaid.

Those pics of nights out, drinking with friends…loneliness prevailed within their hearts when the party ended. Even in a crowd one can be a lonely soul.

Why does it matter so much how many “likes” we have or how many “followers?” Have we lost sight of the things that really matter in our brief lives?

In contrast I’ve also seen posts that are absolutely authentic. Families that truly do love spending time with each other. The love is real and tangeable. I see hugs, kisses and everyone reaching out to help one another.

Grandma, can I help you with that?

Hey, I noticed that your door was broken so I fixed it.

A young adults car broke down on the way to a family reuinion and the whole family had a corn hole tournament and at the end, unexpectedly gave all the money raised to him to fix the car.

Love in action gives me the most inspiration. I no longer have the I wish it was me syndrome because I’m surrounded by love in action every day. Not on the screen of my cell phone but all around me. I just have to look up to see as it appears.

Dreams

Dori Grassau

Dreams are important. They’re messages from God. When you ignore them or resist them or are kept from pursuing them, you are cut to the core of your being…Glenn Beck

I have often thought that we have dreams and desires in our hearts for a reason. They are what we constantly think about or wish we could do or be.

If our dreams are messages from God, then maybe we need to believe that if we take even the smallest of steps to make those dreams and desires happen He will guide us each step of the way.

How will we know when He is guiding us though? Awareness. Awareness of what is happening around us and the people or circumstances He puts in front of us. The longer I live, I have come to believe that there are no coincidences

With open eyes….Keep dreaming and be aware. He might…

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She Just Wants..

I came across an old binder with my writings from  2006 and read this writing exercise that Maureen Ryan Griffin gave as a prompt in class.  I thought wow, everything I wanted back then, I still want now and some have actually come to fruition…(not sure if I make “elaborate Italian meals” nor can I  say with certainty that my family “adores me” though. I must have been in a humorous mood when I wrote this.

She just wants peace and no more strife in this unsettling world.  She just wants no more craziness and constant disappointment.  She wants sleeping-in mornings with coffee and crunchy almond biscotti dipped in hot liquid brown.  She wants warm fuzzy slippers and flannel pajamas that hide the imperfect shape.  She wants the television off, quiet relaxing music and pretty paper and pens.  She wants to cook elaborate Italian meals for her family so they will adore her.  She wants to drink wine and sit under the stars with her husband in comfortable silence.  She wants to take her passion and be used as God’s instrument to help others.  She wants to take her story and do something good with it, allowing God not to change her story, but to redeem it.

Looking for Redbirds finally a reality!

Well I did it! As of right now my book is on Amazon.com and is available to order on my site here on my “Purchase Looking for Redbirds” page. In addition, Spark Publications will be posting an interview/feature about the book on their site. I am so excited about that! They have been awesome in this whole journey. Check it out at: https://sparkpublications.com/blog/looking-redbirds-devotional.

If you would like to get a signed book from me directly and you live here in Charlotte, just let me know and I will get one to you in person.

*If you search on Amazon be sure to put in “Looking for Redbirds Dori Grassau” if you put redbirds in as 2 words, it will not find it. 🙂

This entry was posted on August 1, 2018. 5 Comments

Be Still and Know

In a few weeks I will turn 50. There is something about that number. The realization that more than half of my life may be over is somewhat daunting. It makes you take a look at what you’ve done with all that time that seems to have slipped away from you in a blink of an eye. Have I made my life count? Have I loved enough? Have I forgiven enough? You look back and see your life like a movie, because in a sense, it is. It had a start, struggles, victories and long last, love. I am the author of this book and I have control over more than I think sometimes.

At one of my lowest points, filled with worry, my friend gently reminded me that I was disconnected from source. It was her way of saying that I was carrying the weight of the world and was full of worry instead of trusting in God. I had taken my eyes off of Him and thought I could do things on my own, and in the process, seemed to have made a mess of things while thinking the whole time that I was doing what was best. That phrase “you’re disconnected from source” seemed to snap me out of my pride and fear instantly. Whatever the world wants to call it: energy, source, God, Budah, the law of attraction, the Holy Spirit; it’s all the same to me. I recognize it and feel it everywhere.

The last few years I have really trained myself to be a lot more calm internally and to be still and just know that things have a way of working out. a knowing that deep within me resides the one who created me and everything internal and external holds clue’s as to what I need to do…or not do.

For my 50th I’ve decided to get this tatoo of the hummingbird as a symbol and a reminder that I carry within me every strength I need to get through anything. It reminds me that through a cancer diagnosis, and treatment, that God was right there with me. Through the surgeries and the many times I layed on that table and took radiation with a tear rolling down my cheek I could feel a hand on my right shoulder calming me. “Just be still Dori, don’t cry..you’ll get through this.” Every time I walked in that place anger would rise up in me. I didn’t want to make small talk. I didn’t want to see the other patients that were in way worse condition than me. All I wanted to know was why? Why me?

“Lord as I close my eyes and the technicians go behind that glass to protect themselves, I know you are here protecting me no matter what the results.” So many emotions during that time that have gone unsaid because I just knew I needed to be strong and that my body would follow my mind. That is what I believe, so I did what I had to do.

I look back and I am calm, peaceful. I had a wonderful man who bent over backwards to make sure I was rested and cared for who has sinse become my husband and one of my greatest treasures. I am grateful that I have the opportunity to have another birthday when so many have not. The experience has changed me in many ways but most of all it has refined me and for that I am thankful.

Be still and know.

This entry was posted on June 30, 2018. 1 Comment