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Blood Sisters

Lucy’d been living with us for quite a while, or so it seemed. As she nestled Ally between her massive breasts and large belly, the creak of the rocker lulled us to safely ask questions which no child would ever ask of a stranger. Bo and I would sit at her feet, mesmerized. “Do you have a husband?” “Do you have children?” ”Where did you come from?” “How come your skin is that color?” “Tell us about your children” was the favorite.

Lucy had left her mean husband somewhere in Virginia. I guess he had a drinking problem. Back then, he had a beating up people problem. Lucy left her children with their uncle Richard and his family and she answered the Lord’s call to find my family in Baltimore. Even more fascinating than a drunken lout of a husband, was its companion thought. Perhaps my father could leave my mother – after all, she was clearly a nasty, mean drunk and she did beat up on us. But we really wanted to know about her children, especially Trudy who was my exact age.

What did she look like? Did she go to school? Would she come up here to live? When? Why wasn’t she here now? We had no way of understanding that the maid didn’t just make a call and bring her two children to live with us. Forget that we might not have the room or the inclination. If Trudy was my age, her brother David was a few year older. Lucy knew there was no way my father could allow a pubescent and dark David to inhabit our house.

Lucy handed me Trudy’s picture. It was crackled with age. My eyes could not understand what they were seeing. Trudy had skin like me. Under that church hat, her skin was white, her hair was blond. The hands that clutched a pocketbook past a well-worn winter coat were white. How was this possible? Our black maid had a white daughter, safely stored in Virginia. No wonder Lucy hadn’t wanted to answer our questions. Her answers had opened a Pandora’s box.

Lucy maintained that her daughter was black. Her skin was light because she was an albino negro. I had never heard of such a thing. In my limited experience, if you looked white, you were white. And that’s all they wrote. In my world, just as Ally had a black maid for a mommy, I now had a new white sister. Just my age. All that remained was to persuade Lucy to bring Trudy to live with us. Life went on as my prayers went unanswered and I quickly forgot about this mysterious sister.

I would imagine that there were negotiations going on behind the scenes though. Once Lucy had solidified her position as Ally’s nursemaid and the mainstay of our terribly dysfunctional family, she knew that she couldn’t leave her children in Virginia forever. Lucy had some distant relations in Baltimore. David could live with them until Lucy could get her own place – which might be never because she was living in with us. And she apparently now had enough leverage to bring Trudy to live with us. Because, one day, when I got home from school, Lucy surprised me with this new sister. And there I was face to face, like a frightened squirrel, with my sister and competition.

I think Trudy was more frightened than I. Her personality had been shaped by years of humiliation and abuse. Yes, her skin was white and her hair was blond. But her eyes chattered around in their orbs, never resting on any objects, behind thick glasses. And her hair might be blond but it was well oiled and crinkly. This was a real mystery. Trudy was a strange apparition. She peaked up from her perch on the basement stairs and we exchanged a quick Hi. We were strangers, not sisters, after all.

As time went by, spending days after school together, sharing toys on the weekend, we grew close. Trudy was another person to entertain me when other friends drifted off. She was better than a book. We laced up our roller skates and took a few laps around the basement. Clinging to the support beam near the furnace, we’d wait for each other to skate by and join hands to venture out together. I can’t remember who was the best skater, but I can feel her embrace as she held me off the cold, cement floor. Our laughter still rings in my heart.

Once we had mastered the delicate art of friendship and skating, it was time to venture outdoors. This had some additional risks. Other than Minnie’s children, who had remained on the premises, Winding Way hadn’t much experience with black children. It helped that Trudy’s skin was white, but it didn’t put us beyond risk. We started sharing bikes in the driveway. Around the small circle we went, as I taught her how to ride. It was a bit tedious. She’d get tired or trying not to fall off and I’d get tired of coaching. Unless we could take a long ride, she was never going to learn. Permission was given to take out bikes across the street as long as we stayed on Waycrest Lane. She struggled to learn and we gave up. I returned to riding the long streets and hills with my friends. Trudy and I played girlish games in the house.

As we grew older, our arena expanded. No longer limited to one street, we could walk together as far as we wanted. Times were changing. Martin Luther King was speaking for all of us, letting us know that we were brothers and sisters under the skin. Trudy and I felt emboldened. Equality was right around the corner. And I wanted a vanilla Coke from the local hangout. They were the best. Ice that just crunched between your teeth, a thick layer of vanilla syrup, and the crisp, cold flavor of Coke. Clutching quarters in our pockets, we got permission to ride our bikes the two miles to the store.

Two miles is a long ride. By the time we arrived at “The Morgue,” we were exhausted and thirsty. Trudy and I headed to the take-out counter and ordered our drinks. The waitress had just served us when she stopped dead in her tracks. “I can’t serve her” she exclaimed. “Who?” I asked. “Her, that girl with you, I can’t serve her.” Trudy intuitively understood that this was a racial issue and timidly moved away from the counter. Before I could answer, she had gone outside. She had been put in her place, or so it seemed.

I was confused, and I was angry. How dare they do this to me? Forget about Trudy, I was not used to being denied – anything. I was the spoiled, little rich girl. I was also enraged. Accustomed to telling lies to save myself, I took a deep breath, put on my imaginary winter pants, launched myself down a very steep, slippery slope and told the biggest lie of my young life. “Why can’t you? She’s my sister.”  

The waitress now had a real dilemma. This privileged young customer was claiming that this was her sister. And if so, she needed to serve her or surely someone would raise hell. But she didn’t look white and the bandanna tied over her head certainly hadn’t helped. Martin Luther King be damned. This race trouble was just what the store manager had warned her about. Quickly, she made an impulsive decision, seeing as the drinks were already poured. “OK, well take them outside and don’t let her drink it in front of the door.”

Trudy and I moved our bikes around to the side. The cokes didn’t taste quite so good. She was ashamed – period. I was adamant. I personally was going to fix this. By the time we had biked home, the die was cast. Since the lie was already in place, I just needed to make it a truth. This truth would leave us inseparable. We would be sisters. With a quick stab from the point of scissors, we pressed our bloody fingers together and swore that we would be sisters forever.

Two seconds later, the basement door opened. Lucy was bringing the laundry downstairs. As she asked us to “move out the way,” she stopped dead in her tracks. She knew something was up. She grabbed Trudy and demanded to know what we had done. “Momma, it’s nothing.” Now, I was ashamed. My new sister was in a heap of trouble that I could only just begin to understand as Lucy dragged Trudy down the stairs.

Hours later, Trudy and I swore another pact along with her mother. No one would ever mention this. We would never tell. It was clear that I needed to understand that, should anyone ever hear of this, Lucy would lose her job and maybe more. I would never see Trudy again. Life, as we knew it, would be over. We agreed, huddled together in the injustice of a dark basement in 1960’s Baltimore. Remember, “mum’s the word.” No one knows.

Beynac - Kecia, Courtie, Gertrude, Raven (2)

 

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wellnessIt was a dark and stormy night…..not really. It was a bright, sunshine-y Florida day. Just another day, but I was thrown completely off balance just hearing the words, “You have lung cancer, stage 4, which has already spread throughout your body.” Not what anyone wants to hear, but somehow it felt just right. Obviously, in some earlier corporeal iteration, I had stepped up and vowed to take on this challenge. After all, wasn’t I determined to support the SGI absolutely as we encouraged all our youth to participate in #50K events? What better way to show actual proof than stepping forward with “incurable” lung cancer and making a determination that I would be undeterred by this diagnosis, positively winning every day, encouraging everyone who took a moment to acknowledge my challenge, and with a victorious outcome assured?

That was May 2018. After tests, a bit of genetic analysis, and some of the best fortune anyone could want, I found out a few important things – no more than a month previously, some phenomenal Japanese scientists (SGI medical division anyone? Thank you, Sensei for encouraging them to be the very best medical personnel possible) had tweaked a “miracle” pill that was already getting pretty good results and enhanced its targeted biologic properties to support American women with an improved cure rate. The pill was now getting such outstanding results that the FDA took it off trial status and moved it to general distribution.

MiracleThat was great benefit #1 – a magic pill exactly when I needed it. Benefit #2 was that my lung biopsy had to show a very precise genetic cellular mutation if this magic pill were going to work. Well, anyone who knows me well understands that I am nothing if not a mutant. Score one for having the perfect genetic mutation too! And the pill only works for non-smoking women and apparently smoking in your younger years doesn’t count – we were off to the races.

And with this “miracle” drug, I got an additional benefit – my insurance paid 100% of its $12,000 monthly cost!! So, I was, and still am, extremely fortunate and protected by the universe. The “magic pill” had shown great success in vacuuming up all the metastases for other women. And that was a good thing as this lung cancer had already spread into lots of nooks and crannies throughout my body. Magic pill plus mystical daimoku equals great victory. After all, the effect is manifest at the moment we make the cause. I was living in my own creative realty.

By June 2018, I was taking the magic pill every day, with no chemotherapy or radiation required, and presto chango – no notable side effects. I doubled down on my determination, boldly shared my vow to support the SGI youth division towards #50K by showing absolute actual proof through being healthy and cancer free. And, believe me, the youth were watching me every step of the way – encouraging and supporting me, chanting with me, giving me hugs, and affirming my determination. They had “no doubt” that I was going to win. There were, of course, moments when I wasn’t so sure. After all, this was some scary stuff – suppose it didn’t work? Solution – more daimoku to be cancer free.

Meanwhile, I got my dusty Wonder Women garb out of the closet, shook it off, and fastened it up – even if it had gotten a little bit tight over the years. I visualized myself as a Warrior Woman, undefeated, strong, determined, and full of daimoku. My friends started calling to report that they were seeing visions of me as a warrior woman, overcoming this health challenge, and being victorious.

I broadened my circle of positive, prayerful people – sharing my Buddhist practice and my own determination with old friends, good friends, new friends, and strangers alike in my blog. I updated my Facebook page – Simply Raven – with cancer-free updates and short life stories. After all, how am I a writer if I don’t write? People began to engage positively, to support me with their prayers, to contribute to my positive, healing intention. Wonderful friends, both old and new, started to understand more about my practice of Buddhism and acknowledged the great victory I have experienced as a result of chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo for most of my life. Nothing beats absolute actual proof and my positive attitude was showing proof of my victory.

When my doctor wanted to order more tests, unsure that I would survive, I negotiated, explaining that I had challenged every obstacle, over the past forty-plus years, by chanting.  I put off tests and went deep spiritually. I chanted even more daimoku, and shared more actual proof with our fantastic youth. By September, my bloodwork showed that the cancer present in my system had dropped from a high of 11,000 – which is only good if you’re winning money in the lottery – to 12, with normal being 0–6. I was victorious, practically home free.

And then came October – and the horrors of Halloween. The SGI had won – a great #50K victory – my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson attended in San Jose and came away with huge wins. But now, the cancer treatment was finally kicking my ass. Every possible side effect from the magic pill decided to show up – taking the pill might not have required radiation and chemotherapy, but the effects were just the same – nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, hair loss, blood clots, swollen legs, arms covered in bruises. A veritable freak show of side effects and the devil king himself making me miserable, making me doubt that I’d ever win.

LoserAfter a week or two of self-pity and pathetic daimoku, I took control of my life back again. More attempts at stronger daimoku and a good friend called out of the blue with some great encouragement from Sensei – as always, the universe responds to our sincere prayer – even when we feel pretty much at a loss.

“Life can unfold unlimitedly as long as we have a heart of appreciation and an undefeated mind. Based on the Buddhist perspective of the eternity of life, we volunteered to be born in our current life-condition and chose to encounter the problems we have. If you can take this perspective, you should be able to overcome any difficulty with joy.”  (Daisaku Ikeda, Buddhism Day by Day, September 17).

After all, I really did choose this life. I own it and, because it’s all mine, I can change anything – again, many thanks to Mr. Ikeda,

“One thing is certain. That is that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it. If you really believe you can do something, you can. That is a fact.” (Ibid, September 16)

But still, I was freaking out – how could I encourage anyone with such a pathetic October lack of victory? I mulled over how to make the consideration of side effects encouraging and joyous things…..and then I realized that other friends were struggling with side effects from their own health challenges as well. On a long call, a close friend and I compared notes. Which would you rather choose – leaky booby breast milk from her diabetes treatment or wearing adult diapers for “you know what?” And how about, “Will my hair ever stop falling out?” (which is not “supposed” to be a side effect) wondered this somewhat vain writer who always valued her thick and lovely long hair?

Finally, a solution arrived with the advent of Florida’s annual three days of cooler weather. I got some cute hats and created a new style. I started wearing hats, berets, cute earrings, and acted as if I was still quite still stylish. I started a trend – do whatever you want, but stop feeling sorry for yourself. I have now fully invested is adorable cute hats – thank you, Etsy. And just to stay safe from all the miserable bugs circulating in the universe, I wear adorably cute face masks outside my house – thank you, Amazon. There is a big smile behind the mask as I hop onto my electric scooter at the grocery store. People can be so nice. October is all gone; November was an emotional win and restoration of my faith-based determination.

I promised my doctor that I would have the remaining, quite expensive, scans in December. Fortunately, insurance also paid 100% for all my tests and appointments through the remainder of 2018. Unfortunately, I scheduled my tests so that I probably would not have time to update this report before year-end. And, in Buddhism, the determination we make in the final waning moments of the year, is so very important as it sets the tone for our victory in the new year. I had out-foxed myself, or so I thought.

I got my updated CT scan of my lungs and another MRI brain scan last week. I had an appointment with my lung doctor, who has become a great friend in Buddhism and nurturing participant in my healing process, two days ago. This kind and compassionate doctor, who shed tears of sadness as he presented my original diagnosis – which we refer to as the “starry, starry night” lung scan – was now excitedly shedding tears of great joy. My lung scan, which only six months ago was filled with millions of little cancer “stars,” was clear. No sign of cancer, no more stars present. My MRI had cleared up too – brain swelling gone and metastases were decreasing nicely. The magic pill was indeed a great, big vacuum cleaner, sucking up all the cancer, doing exactly what those incredible Japanese scientists had intended. It was working.

wonder womanMy unstated determination had been…before the end of the year…..unvoiced because it seemed impossible. Sometimes, I feel as if it might be best to keep the most important creative reality quiet. To chant with the determination to be “cancer-free, by year end, showing undeniable, tremendous actual proof” to myself – just in case. Nevermore, quoth the raven. I have undeniable actual proof over more than forty years of practice with the SGI. From now on, this pioneering warrior woman will not hesitate to proudly proclaim every determination. After all, being bold, living in life’s joy, and winning are why we chant.

“With fresh determination, let us embark anew towards achieving worldwide kosen-rufu, the goal of world peace that humankind so earnestly longs for. I will advance. Please advance too.

I will fight. Please fight too.

I will win, Please win too.

Let us join together to spread the great light of human revolution and compose a new and magnificent epic of Soka mentor and disciples! Our journey to fulfill our vow will go on forever!” (Soka Gakkai President Harada, World Tribune, November 18, 2018)

 

Silent Shroud of Snow

We were so fortunate, something besides luck and knowing the right people and having the right money, old money, connections. Burton was a man’s man. He never went past third grade, had trouble with his letters, he said. Today we call it dyslexia. Yesteryear, he was a man who could work numbers in his mind, see visions of greatness, and treat people right – the way he wanted to be treated, with fairness, candor, and honesty.

Pearl gave him plenty of challenge – she was not interested in him, not at first, not until much later. Probably not really how he wanted to be treated. Mother Koontz said just leave her alone; she had other men in mind. And he did. Instead, he sweetened up to her mother, was always stopping by the house, with time to chat, bringing small gifts. Mother Koontz knew that Burton was the cat’s meow. Pearl had no use for him. But Burton had time on his side. He knew what he wanted and he stayed true to his vision. In time, Pearl was forever by his side too.

But that was a long time ago …. Burton must have arranged the land sale from the stone mansion on the hill above us. Daddy and Uncle Randy designed the state-of-the-art, brick ranch house. Burton’s men built it for us, nestled in the sweep of poplar tree covered hills, right on the edge of the circle, standing guard over the neighborhood. The hill itself was pretty steep; we could get a good head of steam going down on bikes. Cars could barely get up the hill in the snow, most of them fishtailed out right at our driveway. We watched from the window in Billy’s room as other fathers parked their cars and trudged the rest of the way home through the snow, applauding their defeat by the cold, white blanket.

Our steep front hill was softened by the house, buffered by the pachysandra beds bordering the street. And it was just about perfect for silver flying saucers and sleds, for skimming over the hard packed snow and ice. When the snow was deep enough, the neighborhood kids were safe flying down the hill. We could hear a car coming for forever, or so it seemed. Massive motor beasts came crunching over the not yet plowed, snow covered road, sliding into the ditch, wheels spinning and whirring struggling to get up the steep hill. Few cars were a match for Bellemore Road. We had our own private play land.

Even more exciting than sliding down the hill, especially since dragging ourselves back up the hill left something to be desired, was seeing Burton’s car, shiny black fins like some mythical beast, gliding down the road. He had magic powers, giving the “caddy” just enough gas to take the turn perfectly – just fast enough that momentum would propel him into our driveway. Burton was fearless; no snow could stop him.

I remember running to him hoping to be the first to feel his hug, hear the “Whoa” of his greeting. Always with a cigar, his dark grey fedora perched just so above a bushy eyebrow, and always a smile. Happy and confident – a man’s man, my hero. That snow shrouded day, our pater familias brought the milk.

snowy car

Oh, to be cancer free…honestly, October was a dark and stormy month. Someone ordered me up a Halloween costume of “side effects” that provided a great deal of mystery, as in what the hell is next? I stayed with it, continued to chant every day to challenge these unexpected twists and turns in my health, and have now come out of the darkness and back into the light.

Many thanks to my great friend, Tobie, for reminding me of one of my favorites quotes from Daisaku Ikeda, “Life can unfold unlimitedly as long as we have a heart of appreciation and an undefeated mind. Based on the Buddhist perspective of the eternity of life, we volunteered to be born in our current life-condition and chose to encounter the problems we have. If you can take this perspective, you should be able to overcome any difficulty with joy.” (available on Amazon.com – Buddhism Day by Day, for  September 17).

She shared this just as I was about to defeat the devilish Halloween function – when I chant, the wisdom of the universe pours forth and I am greeted with exactly what I need to hear. So thanks, Tobie – love ya.

I’ve mulled over how to make the consideration of side effects encouraging and joyous things…..and I realize that other friends are struggling with side effects as well. Last night, my good friend Britta and I compared notes. Which would you rather choose – leaky booby breast milk or wearing adult diapers for “you know what?” And how about, “Will my hair ever stop falling out?” (which is not “supposed” to be a side effect) says this somewhat vain writer who always valued her thick and lovely long hair?

Fortunately, we have turned over the calendar to the November pages and I’m feeling great (no thanks to a little bit of Prednisone!! It’s my happy drug!!)

I finally figured out what these CEA (cancer blood markers) really mean. O-6 is the normal range and I started off this summer at 11,000 – remember, great for lottery winnings only! I am now down quite close to normal (was I ever normal about anything though?) as my latest and greatest number is now 12. I’m headed in the healing direction and quite thrilled to be on this ride.

After all, I really did chose this life. I own it and, because it’s all mine, I can change anything – again, many thanks to Mr. Ikeda, “One thing is certain. That is that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it. If you really believe you can do something, you can. That is a fact.” (September 16)

The kids, now young adults, visited in early November. Thankfully, I live near Universal Studios where they enjoyed Halloween Horror Nights. After that, they binged Sabrina and then the Haunting of Hill House on Netflix while I hid out in the my bedroom. Based of the screams, Hill House is a winner. They went to a real theatre to see the latest “Halloween” movie and came home to share scenes with me that I really didn’t want to hear. I am a total scaredy-cat when it comes to scary movies….no thanks. We finally gathered in my room and watched “Ant Man and the Wasp” which was enjoyed by everyone, just my kind of movie.

And now, it’s Thanksgiving…for real, with feelings of deepest gratitude for your laughter, your prayers, your encouraging words to help me cross this finish line and defeat cancer. And yes, one more thing, I saw a lung cancer commercial on TV from my doctor’s office. Another older women was also on a new pill and was doing well, overcoming cancer. You go lady!! However, my ever-present competitive streak manifested itself as I remembered that, at my last office visit, my doctor shared that I was doing the very best on the magic pill, totally outpacing his other patients. So, if I can’t be in the commercial, I can still be the winner!

May you enjoy a very happy and healthy Thanksgiving.

Much Love,  Raven

Image result for thanksgiving

Be Kind…please

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Oh, to be cancer free

October 12, 2018
Welcome again to my “cancer free” community –
I was wondering, early in the month, what September, the month of my birth, would be like in terms of experiencing my journey to wellness….well, there were good days and better ones. A good friend wanted to know what all that event stuff was that I had posted on Facebook. I’ve spent many hours chanting for the success of a festival for peace & justice attended by more than 50,000 youth across 9 US locations on September 23.
More than worrying about my own health challenges, after many years (since 1976) of chanting, I knew that the best and fastest way to challenge my own health issues  was to chant for this event to be successful. And it was – with supportive opening remarks from none other than our first lady forever, Michelle Obama and live performance jams from Herbie Hancock and Esperanza Spaulding; dance, choral, and taiko drumming performances; and positive determinations for the future.
One – View the people of the world, beyond all borders, including refugees, as family, equally worthy of respect.
Two – End violence in our homes and communities.
Three – Ceaselessly engage in dialogue that uproots ideas that justify hatred and discrimination.
Four – Remember that the earth is our common home.
Five – Fight to abolish nuclear weapons by 2030.
 Oh, right, I digress…My blood work results (the CAE test shows the amount of cancer cells in your blood which is an indicator of something or other) in June were 11,000 which is OK only if you’re winning the $$ lottery. By September, between the “magic” pill I’m taking (which works better than Jack’s bean stalk) and all the chanting, my CAE results were down to 35. Right, only 35 which is amazing progress and the best news I could have. Chanting for a big zero on my next test….not failing the test, but winning a great victory in my future.
And for the rest of September, suffice it to say that I experienced one of the early episodes of the flu….and it is a nasty deal this year. Get your flu shot or stock up on flu drugs or whatever other remedy you prefer. Probably want to get some ginger ale, saltines, and maybe a Gatorade…..just sayin’
My apologies for this delayed September update, but the nasty flu just keeps coming and coming….and thanks for all those happy, wonderful, well appreciated birthday wishes!
Catch you in October…stay well and keep on truckin’
Raven
For anyone wondering how to do this “chanting stuff” or what it’s all about, you can watch this video. It’s succinct and gives a demonstration of how to do it, plus why millions of us do it. Give it a try.
“When your determination changes everything will begin to move in the direction you desire. The moment you resolve to be victorious every nerve and fiber in your being will immediately orient itself towards your success.” (Daisaku Ikeda)

One People. One World. Education is the key. Be part of the dream.

 *  Be philosophers of a renaissance of life.
 *  Be world citizens in solidarity for peace, justice, and tolerance.
 *  Be the pioneers of a global civilization. 

Oh, to be cancer free

August 31, 2018

An old school friend recently asked “Are you ok??” once I shared that I had been meaning to reach out to her. I have not blasted these health related details out globally, but I am sharing with my good and plenty prayer-filled friends.

Yes, I am OK, and yes with conditions. I got a diagnosis in early summer 2018 of lung cancer, stage 4 followed immediately (within days) with treatment using a very targeted biologic pill (Tagrisso) that perfectly matches the genetic mutation in my lungs. Yes, I am still a mutant!

And with this “miracle” drug, an additional benefit – my insurance pays 100% of its $12,000 monthly freight!! So, I am very, very fortunate and protected by the universe. The “magic pill” shows great success in vacuuming up all the metastases (this lung cancer had already  spread into lots of nooks and crannies throughout my body). I’m generally feeling pretty good, all things considered and aside from getting older! Staying alive it the bomb!! And there are minimal side effects to this magic pill as it’s not chemotherapy. So no chemo or radiation in my future. Life is very, very good!

Yes, I am OK. And very determined to win over this obstacle and continue my mission in this life. However, little by little, I am reaching out to my best friends in positive prayer and letting them know what’s going on. And you’ve been on my mind.

I will try to make my follow-up reports a bit more consistent….it seems people want to know and appreciate the opportunity to engage in my journey….which I love you guys for and offer my deepest gratitude for your friendship.

You are definitely welcome to share this update with other prayerful friends and ask for “clean, healthy air to fill Raven’s lungs, for your prayers to be the wind beneath her wings, carrying her to a safe and healthy place.” I know, it’s a little bit corny but I am holding onto this healing vision…clean, breathable air, filling my life. After all, I intend to be 100% cancer free so that I can  continue to entertain and amuse all my friends.

And there you have it!! Thanks again so much for your love and support, your prayers and kind thoughts……keep on smiling.

Much Love,

Raven