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My New Life – Two Years Later

 

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July 10, 2018 at 7:15 p.m.; I held my husband in my arms as he took his last breath.

It was the biggest heartache of my life, and these past two years have been the hardest years of my life.

Nothing prepared me for that last moment.
Nothing prepared me for the days leading up to his death.

Time does not heal the heartache.
Time does not diminish how much I miss him.

I’m still a major work in progress, navigating and working my way through this new life I never wanted.

I live each day wondering how I will get through another day without the love of my life—a loving husband, bonus dad, Baba (grandfather), friend, and uncle that nothing I can write will do justice to the wonderful man he was to us all.

He’s the first thing on my mind when I wake up, and my last thought before I sleep.

Every day I wake up wondering, how will I push through today; and then I remember my promise to him—to honour his legacy of hope, optimism, love, laugh and live—the best description of David I could offer.

A kinder more courageous person I have never met. A true warrior, and the way he handled the last fourteen months of his life only emphasized what a beautiful human being he was from the time he was born until the day he died.

I keep memories of our life together alive, because memories are all I have left.

I am so grateful to have been loved and cherished by this beautiful soul and so privileged and honoured to have been able to love and cherish him.

 

David, my love, the number of years without you could never be greater than the number of ways I love you, the way we all love you.

Eternally in loving memory.

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A New Life After Death

On May 4, 2017, I hung onto my husband’s hand as we listened to a team of specialists explain the ramifications of my husband’s diagnosis of Stage IV Pancreatic Cancer.

In that moment, all the oxygen got sucked out of our lives, and it felt as if someone had turned off the light switch to our world, shrouding us in darkness.

I was filled with fear, angst and an intense sadness and I worried I would never regain any composure or strength.

It was my husband who composed himself quickly, squeezed my hand and said, We’ll get through this.”

 

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I felt the love flow from his fingertips straight to my soul; we took deep breaths and pulled ourselves together, and as we did throughout our marriage when faced with a challenge, we held onto to each other tight, and prepared for the emotional roller coaster we knew we were about to take.

From that moment on, we filled our home with love, laughter, and spending every minute of every day together, celebrating the moments, cherishing our time together,  with family and close friends.

We turned the seven-hour chemo treatments at the Cancer Center into “dates,” complete with all our favourite board games, snacks, and the memory board we put together filled with pictures of our travels, and family adventures through the years.

 

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Cancer is a short drive from optimism and laughter to the cul-de-sac of worry and anxiety about the future, however, we remained adamant about taking it one moment at a time, working hard not to drive down “What-if Avenue” or “Brooding Dead End.”

 

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My husband was bombarded with countless blood tests, medication–enough to open our own pharmacy, treatments, clinical trials, emergency trips to the hospital, and endured harsh side effects.

He went through all this, maintaining his incredible sense of humor, wit, selflessness, and kindness; never complaining or asking “why me?”

A true warrior.

 

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On June 5, 2018, we were delivered devastating news; there were no more treatments available, as the cancer had spread and there was nothing else that could be done.

I held my husband’s hand and said, “We’ll get through this.”

For the first time since I’ve known him, he looked at me, despondent and said, “Not this time, my love.”

On July 10, 2018, I held my beloved husband in my arms as we said our last “I love you’s.”

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Since that day, I have faced the hardest months of my life. In the early months, it felt like I had lost a limb, was dropped off in a dark forest, with no instructions on how to find the light, and having to navigate my way through this forest without the use of a limb.

Every day presents a new challenge, the grieving at times is more intense now than in the early days, and missing him is even hard to put into words.

 

FOR THE BLOG

 

For those of you who have endured the loss of a spouse—that person who is not only your lover, but best friend and the one person that would’ve helped you the most during this grieving period, you know that it changes you as a person.

I did find my way out of that dark forest, although, it still feels like I am missing a limb, and embraced my mission of moving forward and honouring my husband’s life, and his legacy of live, love, laugh and stay passionate about all things that bring positivism into my own life and into my family’s life.

With the support of family, friends and a group beautiful souls who have also lost their life partners, I’m doing okay adjusting to this new life.

I’ve redecorated my surroundings, changed my daily routine, volunteering at my grandson’s school, enjoying the little ones at every chance I get, and remaining committed to living up to the promise I made my husband that I would continue following my passion with creative writing.
I wanted to let you all know why I’ve been absent all these months, and not updating the blog.

My goal is to start uploading new recipes, and updating you on my creative writing journey, and at times talk about grief, and hopefully reach out and help others who may be struggling as well.

Thank you for sticking with me all these months, and I send out my best wishes and love to you all as you too navigate through the challenges in your life.

 

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In Loving Memory of our cherished & beloved Warrior

 

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Cancer may have taken your body,
and now Heaven has your soul,
I have your heart; forever intertwined with mine.

New Cover for a Re-Release!

If you enjoy a friends-to-lovers themed romantic comedy with a splash of mystery, a big dose of sensuality, and a hero and heroine who will make you laugh and have you wanting to hang out with them, then WHAT A GIRL WANTS is a book that has all that and more.

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I am excited to share the new cover for WHAT A GIRL WANTS as it enters another phase in its life as a re-release, now available at Barnes & Noble Amazon, Kobo, iBooks

Thank you to Kim Killion for designing the cover and flap for both e-book version and paperback.

 

 

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Read an excerpt here.

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Life Tips

1. Relationship Tip: Ask your significant other at 6:00 a.m. how they visualize porcupines making love. This will lead to an interesting conversation.

2. Mental health Tip: DON’T read a ton of news media links. DON’T read a lot of social media posts (I know, the irony). DO read a lot of fiction. I recommend romance, but it’s all good.

3. Anti-Wrinkle Tip: Sunscreen. That’s all you need.

4. Lip Tip: Coconut oil. Tastes good and makes that pucker so smooth.

5. When life hands you lemons Tip: Add another 11 to make a dozen. For water. For salads. For inexpensive hair rinse. They smell good. They clean windows and glass better than chemical cleaners. Also good with ice, Tequila, Vodka…any happy juice.

6. Social Media Tip: Let’s turn the phrase “haters gonna hate” (seriously overdone) to “bakers gonna bake.”

7. Baking Tips: Put a heat-proof bowl of water on the bottom of your oven when baking a cake, muffins, or bread, keeps the air inside moist.

8. Weekend Tip: Hang out with your loved ones, guaranteed they’ll make you forget to look at your phone.

9. Reduce Stress Tip: Have at least one day with no technology around you. No TV. No news. Laze around with music, books, your pet….whatever recharges your batteries.

10. WIN the Lottery Tip: People who have left a review of my books have won the lottery. Seriously. Try it. What have you got to lose? 😉

 

 

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Life Tips According to the Tao of Selena

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have read a string of tweets with the hashtag #TaoOfSelena also known as deep, philosophical thoughts (deep and philosophical is open to interpretation of course).

For those not familiar with my Twitter habits, I am pleased to share them with you here.

I hope The Tao of Selena changes your life—I know, that’s a bit dramatic, but as an Italian chick drama is a right of passage.

If my thoughts don’t change your life, my wish is that this blog post will grant you a smile or a chuckle. It’s why I love writing so much, in hopes that my musings will provide a few minutes of entertainment.

The Tao of Selena

Nothing brings a couple closer than having separate bathrooms.

Nothing in the world is impossible. Wait, flying on your own—that’s impossible. So do it with something that has wings like an; airplane, hand glider or a parachute.

A happy relationship is the union of two strong debaters.

When in doubt. Google.

Still in doubt? Check Snopes.

Treat me nice, I’ll treat you better. Treat my family, friends or me like crap—I know people.

Don’t ever argue with someone who has four siblings. They can go back and forth all day long. They’ve had experience.

Never get tired of teasing & making fun of each other. That’s what good relationships are made of.

Chocolate, music and cuddling are all cheaper than therapy and you don’t have to sit in a waiting room.

The grass is greener on the other side because it was watered, weeded & dog poop was picked up—all accomplished without complaint.

Winter really does have snow

Every woman needs that friend(s) who is the she in her nanigans.

Every man (even a bonified “Maverick”) needs a “Goose” wingman in their corner.

We’re not here for a long time. We’re here for an awesome time. So go awesomize the world.

When starting something new, and the challenges seem overwhelming, don’t place your faith in the “what-ifs”, pour all your faith in the “why not’s?” Remember all the challenges you’ve already conquered, and go forth and do it. Whatever “it” is for you.

 

 

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Secrets of a happy life. . .

One of the secrets for a happy life is having an attitude of gratitude, remembering to be thankful for not only the big things in life, but the little things that make each moment memorable, and our daily lives that much more smile filled.

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