Thursday, February 20, 2014

Celebrate Each Day

Today's post is a tribute to our niece who lost her fight with life today at the early age of 29.  She showed the entire family how to live graciously while fighting a dreadful disease and to never take a day for granted. 

  Lisa learned when she was 26 years old and a newlywed she had Leukemia and once she was in remission, our Family and friends rallied around her with a blood drive and held a birthday party for her "new" birthday after her transplant. She and her loving husband fought together to the end and they were a true inspiration to anyone who knew them.  

We have learned about being a bone marrow donor and anyone who is willing to get tested for this process has the chance of being a hero by saving someones life.

Please take one minute out of your day to read this post our dear Lisa shared online in 2011 about her zest for life. We will miss you, Lisa.

"Why I Survived" -- by Lisa Rapp

So that I could stand in my drive way in a tank top, jeans, and flip flops with my car door open, and Plain White T's  "The Rhythm of Love" blaring, dancing my heart out, without a care as to who saw or what they thought. It was pure ecstasy! My short, sassy hair, that is SOOOOO close to being pixie cut length that I'm almost not goofy looking :) Sure my face is SUPER swollen, thanks prednisone (don't take steroids long term. it's NOT sexy), I have hot flashes and am experiencing early menopause, but I can dance my ass off under the cloudy sky and feel the wind in my tiny spikes of hair. That freaking rocks!!!!! I also get to take my baby sister (who is not a baby anymore, but a gorgeous 16 year old woman; when did this happen!?!?) to her first "grown-up" concert!!!! Plain White T's, of course! So, um, that's why I'm here. I get to make my husband peanut butter chip pancakes; a new and delicious invention that Jon thought of and I cook. I get to make him dinner every day now! 

I went to the Taste of Chicago for the first time. And went on an architectural tour of the city, something Jon and I have wanted to do for 6 years. I'm here so I can laugh at my bassets as they each go to a separate tree in the backyard, hide behind my massive daylilies and "water" them for me. So I can watch the mama and baby bunny grooming each other in the backyard with my binoculars...the binoculars I got for my bday for the Great Canadian Moosing Adventure of 2010 but only used thus far to view wildlife in our backyard :-/ I hope I can show this to my donor in 6 months when I'll hopefully get to meet her; so she can see that her gift gave me moments of pure joy, pure life, pure love, pure humor, pure beauty. All the nastiness is worth it for these moments. The moments when I hurt so bad, the sores in the mouth, the unrelenting liver issues, the newly developed heart issues and eye issues......even if my cancer, god forbid, relapses, I'll have all these extra moments. How amazing is that!?!? How beautiful is that?!?!? She's giving me borrowed time. Extra time to share things with the people I love. To experience these things I've wanted, or didn't even know I wanted, but love!

 I'll take my super bloated face (I'm not ready to post pics yet :( I'm self conscious. I look like I've gained like 40 pounds, but only in my face. AWFUL) and all the hot flashes and crazy mood swings (um, the worst is that I now cry whenever I turn on the radio in the car. Like every song, makes me cry. I'm talking like even Katy Perry. Why? Ask my out of whack hormones!) Life is such an amazing gift. I know Jon and I are so strapped for money, but I've never cared less or stressed less in life. I'm just so happy to be here that I just don't care! I have faith somehow we'll survive. I love him so much that it is all I can care about. Loving him and the fact that he made a Petunia music mix on a CD and put it in his car and every song was perfect. That we found a Plain White T's song that fits us to a T (hehehe) and we'll use when we renew our vows someday. I love that he watches me dance in the driveway from inside the house and then melts as he tells me that is why he fell in love with me. I love that my donor gave HIM these extra moments. And the rest of my family too. She gave the biggest gift ever. 

Thank you, again, to all my friends and family who signed up to be a donor. You are amazing people! And you stand the chance to do this same amazing thing for someone else's Lisa. Someone else's wife, husband, best friend, son, daughter, sister, brother, mother, father.......You can be a hero. You can give them these very moments, and I think that is really really amazing!!!! *crying* Thank you. Live, Love, Dance, and Sing Crazy Style, because Life is a beautiful beautiful gift!!!!!!

Please check back Tuesday for a new and tasty recipe. 

Enjoy life's moments. 


  1. I have a friend who was one of her nurses and actually posted a very nice little tribute to her on facebook.

    1. Lisa loved her nurses and always thought of them as family. We are all grateful for their love and care for our Lisa. I appreciate you reading my post about her today. I am hoping it will motivate others to appreciate life as Lisa did.

  2. A wonderful tribute to a wonderful person!

  3. Oh Lynda, so sorry for your loss. Lisa sounds like an amazing inspiration. Thank you for posting makes you start your day with a different mindset.

  4. Thank you Loreen. Our niece was a true inspiration to all of us.