The Daughter of a King on Martin Luther King Jr Day

I had a lovely day yesterday. Church was great, and the sermon was all about hearing your call from God, and what happens when you choose to ignore it or follow it.

It can be hard to follow what He wants us to do.

Last weekend, I was exhausted from the now infamous, “Mug incident”. Then I heard the whisper.

“It’s time.”

I felt it in my soul and heart and spirit that He wanted me to start the blog. Put the book aside and write.

I was tired. I mean, did you SEE the mugs?

But I followed Him and his whisper.

As of today, one week in, I’ve had over 4,000 “hits” on my blog, from all over the world.

Which means His word and my testimony are being spread far greater than my voice can carry it.

I’m not doing it for fame or money.

I’m doing it to show people the way.

Hope, faith and love.

I am just a vessel, a reflection, to show and share His message.

Then I hosted Dungeons and Dragons. For over six hours, I had fourteen teenagers, young men and women, all laughing, whooping, cheering, working together, discussing strategy, and NOT on their devises.

Actual conversations in 2018.

A miracle!

I loved hosting and serving them water, Pizza, snacks, desserts, and keeping the fire going. I gave my “Safe Space” talk, and they all listened. Kids like to hear firm rules and boundaries, when it comes from a place of love and with a slice of pizza.

Today is Martin Luther King Jr Day.

When I was teaching my kindergarten students about him, I learned two new facts.

1- He was born and named Michael, but when he was five, his dad was in Germany and became impressed by the works of the Protestant reformer, Martin Luther. He changed his name and Martin’s name. (Hey! I’m a Lutheran!!🙌🏻)

2-Martin was SO SMART! He skipped the ninth and twelfth grades and entered Morehouse College at the age of fifteen. Imagine if we still had gifted and talented programs? It makes me sad that typically only the rich districts have them, and districts in poverty areas and areas of much diversity don’t. There are a lot of children not getting opportunities because of the their economic status and where they live.

3-I also learned that Martin survived another assassination attempt almost a decade earlier. He was at a book signing when Izola Ware Curry walked up to him, said she had been looking for him for five years, then plunged a seven inch letter opener into his best, narrowly missing his aorta. In true Martin fashion, he continued to affirm his belief in non violence and felt no ill will to Izola.

(Me? My inner Liam Neeson would have come out.)

4-Tragically, his mother died from a gunshot wound as well. While she was in church, a man stood up and shot and killed her. He said he had wanted to kill Martins father, but his mother was closer.

The things you learn when you look.

Today’s bible study in my “Love God Greatly” focused on the book of James. The blog response had this…

“I know when you are going through a trial, it feels like you are the only one who has ever experienced anything this hard, this hurtful…this intense. But let me reassure you…you are in good company! In almost every story in the Bible, whether it’s Ruth struggling to make ends meet, Abraham clinging to God’s promises in the midst of the waiting or Moses trying to lead a group of reluctant followers through the desert, as a daughter to the King of Kings…you, my dear, are part of an amazing lineage of overcomers! “

So, in this day where we celebrate a man with a last name “King”…

And a weekend where I was with my best friend and her family whose last name is also King…

And where I hosted many children and showed them about kindness, conversation, and pretended to be the Queen Mother of the Dragons…

And a weekend where I worked hard to show my daughter how a stolen phone can teach us lessons and I worked hard to tame my inner Liam Neeson who wanted to use violence against the person who I now think stole her phone…

I’m reminded that I am the daughter of a King.

I’ll straighten my crown, go learn about how to strengthen my immunity at the Giving Room at 12, and walk forth in grace, love, light, and peace.

May we all remember we are the children of THE King.

We all have chains that hold us down. Mine was cancer. Self esteem. Worry about what others thought of me. Taking on other’s pain. Holding onto anger. No faith.

Shake off those chains of bondage and let freedom ring.

I’m free at last!!!!

Free at last!!!

Thank God almighty, I’m free at last!!!

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

“Rob”…Also known as one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written…

I wrote this post one year ago today.

It was hard to write.

It’s still hard to read.

And I still plan on holding our grandchildren together.

I love you, Rob.

“Rob”

During this whole time, Rob has been amazing. I’m going to tell you the hardest part and time of the last few weeks. I cry even as I think about it.

I wasn’t going to share, but I think it is important for my new friends I have made to know that they aren’t alone. (I have had many new friend requests from women with BC, and I can’t even remember who they all are, it’s that many.)

At night during this weeks without hope, I would lay in bed silently crying. I didn’t want to wake him up. I would look at him and try to figure out how to say something. The doctor told me if it was cancer, I would have weeks, months, maybe a year or two left. What was it that I wanted to say to Rob?

It was that it would be okay for him to move on after I was gone.

He is a good, honest, loving man. I never want him to be alone. Someone to talk about his day, help raise our children, snuggle in bed, sit on the beach and watch the waves crash.

I wanted my children to have a woman to hold them and love them and talk to them and tell them it was okay to not be perfect, but to be kind, to help with their hair in ponytails, and hug them through their life.

I wondered if when we were all in heaven, would Rob still be with me or with her?

But then I thought that it would be the three of us. Because I would watch and love this woman because she loved my family when I wasn’t there.

Now?

It going to be ME that does all those things with him. I’m going to grow old with him.

Whenever I am crying, (and it was just fifteen minutes ago and he rolled over and held me), he calms me down. He talks me through my panic attacks. I just feel better when he is with me.

He has done everything for all of us. From talking to Morgan about swimming again, (she hasn’t swam since this started and we may take her just to hug her coaches and friends this week), to snuggling with Quinn every night, to talking to Madison about math and looking up common core algebra… he has been everything.

MY everything.

He has cooked for me, found my missing pills, prayed, hugged, and loved me even harder.

He has told me that I am his miracle.

HE is mine.

“No matter what” is our saying to each other.

Thank you God, for my life and my love. Rob makes me feel hope and love and courage and strength.

And he will continue to do so for the next fifty years or so.

❤️

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

“No matter what”…

It could be worse… or let’s make it better!

A year ago, I became the poster child for, “It could be worse”.

People would have bad things happen, then say they thought of me and said to themselves…

“It could be worse”.

Which meant…

“Thank God I’m not Keri.”

I got it.

I mean, what’s a trivial little inconvenience compared to a surprise stage four de novo breast cancer diagnosis where you’ve been told times up! Weeks, months, maybe a year or two.

But here’s the thing that I iterally JUST had come to me.

When you look at people who have hard situations and then say to them that their situation made them realize yours is nothing compared to theirs…

That doesn’t help.

It makes the situation the other person is in worse.

You’re literally saying their problem is bigger than your problem.

And it may be.

In my case it probably was.

It reminds me of the card game war.

“I’ve got a seven and the flu and my car broke down.”

“I’ve got a nine and cancer”

“OMG… thank God I had the seven. Here, you get the all the cards”

So, maybe…

I’m healed so now whenever things go bad for people…

Instead of them saying, “It could be worse, I could be like Keri”….

They say..

“I could be like Keri and find out how to make it better!”

It’s a quick post today.

Yesterday’s was long. I still have a little Liam Neeson in me and am still sending threatening texts to the phone in between the, “Make a better choice and you will find forgiveness if you hand it in” texts.

I’m going to church to pray Liam leaves the building.

I also met up with one of my core four, and while taking funny selfies while she tried on my weave, I was laughing so hard I was crying and couldn’t breathe.

I realized I hadn’t laughed like that in a long time.

Sure my house was a hot mess, I was organizing the dungeons and dragons get together because Maddie had no phone, and I was throwing my father in law a birthday party that night…

But I knew I needed to laugh.

To do something for me.

So I did.

I drove an hour away in the middle of the day and…

After a hard week, I made it better.

Today, may we all stop comparing our burdens and feel better when ours isn’t as bad as others, but instead find a way to lessen our own load, better our own burdens, then go out and make the world better.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

January 13, 2017

I’m going to start to put up some of my “Facebook Memories” posts. This way you can see the journey as it unfolded.

“Metamorphosis”

Last night I had my head on Rob’s chest and said I don’t feel like myself anymore.

I feel like there is a BC and AC Keri.

I was sad for the loss of the old me. The old me who never worried about what she ate and if it fed her tumors. The old me who took for granted every moment.

The old me who didn’t feel like she had to change.

But I did change.

I’ve been changing ever since I found the lump. I told my mom that I wish I could go back to the frightened Keri of those weeks of not knowing and just hug her, and tell her that no matter what, she would be ok.

Now?

I’m swallowing ginormous pills.

Me.

The girl with the gag reflex.

I’m drinking and eating fruits and vegetables.

Me.

The girls whose only vegetable was ketchup.

I’m taking chances and meeting people and drinking things that taste like dirt and smoke and mushrooms.

Me.

The girl who drank fine wine.

I’m praying every day, and talking to God all the time, as well as talking about God to others.

Me.

The original “I’m only going to church on Easter and Christmas”.

I’ve forgiven others and myself.

Me.

The Scorpio who never forgave or forgot.

Last night Madison was having a tough time. Feeling overwhelmed, and was being hard on herself. She asked me if she was the perfect daughter I dreamed of.

I told her that I don’t want a perfect daughter. I want a kind and happy and generous daughter. Generous with her love, her time, her forgiveness, and kindness.

We are all changing.

I was the caterpillar, eating away, slugging along.

Then I was wrapped in my cocoon of fear, not moving, shaking, frozen in time.

Now I am breaking free, spreading my wings, starting to feel lighter. I may be losing some of my hair, but I feel beautiful.

It’s a mint, magical, metastatic metamorphosis.

It’s me.

Let me introduce myself.

Hi, my name is Keri, and I am cured.

❤️

When the Zen Flies Out the Window and Liam Neeson Shows Up

It had been a long week, for a lot of reasons. The last pills of the chemo were taken, a week of indoor recess, a PTO meeting one night, helped at the ENL night another night, stayed at school late to catch up another night…

Friday came and I was all proud of myself I made it and was still breathing.

I even got excited and ready to learn all about this guy James I never knew about who was the brother of Jesus. Inhale peace…

exhale love….

Love and light shining.

Then?

At 3:40 I got a text that my daughter’s phone was stolen.

Exit Deepak Chopra.

Enter Liam Nisson.

I lost my damn mind.

It had been a long hard week.

My girl is a teenage girl taking advanced classes with mid-terms approaching, is in a varsity sport, plays viola in a chamber and regular orchestra, is a commander in ROTC, is extremely kind, and has been dealing with a mom with forced menopausal mood swings due to the stage four cancer diagnosis who is working full time and decided to start a blog that has over three thousand views in four days and is helping other people too.

Neither of us needed this.

I grabbed my nine year old son and became pseudo head of the FBI.

I called my husband.

I called my sister who is a sergeant to tell her to prepare whoever is on duty that I’m coming in.

I texted the teacher who was helping my upset teenager.

I used extremely salty language when I called my dad to ask him to get my other daughter for me.

I looked in the back and my son had tears in his eyes and was breathing heavy. He loves his sister, and was upset for her. I asked if he was ok and his reply?

“I’m trying to meditate.”

That should have been my sign to take a breath, but nope.

Liam Neeson had taken over my body.

I got to school and ran into some other colleagues I know. I told them what happened, and they both said they were so scared of me they wanted to give me their phones.

I was out of the zen zone.

I entered the momma bear zone.

We retraced her steps, and went back to the classroom to wait for the head of security. My son saw someone had written “——- was here” with their name on the board. He went all inspector Gadget on me and declared it may have been whoever wrote their name.

“It was Colonel Mustard in the Library with a candlestick!”

We stayed for over an hour with the teacher, a security guard and the head of security. We know which room it was taken from, and which period. There’s videotape constantly running of hallways, so there is a visual record of the comings and goings.

Twice this week I had Warner Wolf in my head, between the show This is Us and yesterday.

“Let’s go to the videotape”.

We also went to the police station. On top of my sergeant sister, I’ve got a brother in law who is a detective who happened to be by the front desk when we got there. The officer at the front desk is someone I’ve known for over twenty years. My brother is also a police officer. Even with all of the family members, my daughter was still flustered and upset. She was shaking when we left.

I think the hardest thing for her is that someone would do that.

With the paperwork done, I brought maddie to a friends house to try and salvage the day. I then went to my school for movie night, as I had several children tell me over and over they wanted to lay down with me on the floor and watch “Trolls”.

While there, I continued to check the find a Friend app, the iPhone finder, my husband was on the phone with our carrier, and Liam Neeson continued to send text messages to the phone in little sentences.

“I will find you”

“Turn it in before I do.”

“You stole the wrong phone.”

“No charges if it’s handed in”

“If not… you better hope I dont find you.”

“You picked the wrong kid’s phone”.

I did that for oh…

A few hours.

I went back and forth between mom on a revenge mission with Liam as my sidekick, and kindergarten teacher snuggling on a cafeteria floor with my students praying my compromised immune system would hold up as I gulped down my dinner juice.

Even one of the troll characters had a little Liam in her, but she didn’t give up in a good way, not the scary, “I will hunt you down” mode that I was in.

I discovered there is also some drop box at wal mart now where people can drop phones into a kiosk and get $50 immediately, so we called that company and have them checking cameras that snaps pictures of people dropping off phones if the phone ends up there.

Great idea, Wal Mart.

We had a big discussion with my daughter about telling the teachers immediately if something goes missing and being more mindful of her belongings. She felt horrible, and then went to bed.

I’ve got other parents telling their kids to spread the word that the phone better show up. I’ve also got them checking social media that kids use like Snapchat, instagram etc.

I’ve been told to have kids keep an eye out for any accounts that may pop up in her name. (She doesn’t have any, so we will trace those should they pop up.)

Freaking kids.

I checked the phone through the night,

then realized…

It was time for Liam Neeson to go back to Belfast.

The zen creeped in.

I remembered about my BFF, Jesus.

I breathed.

My daughter is off for the day already, headed to another invitational track meet in the Bronx.

Before she left, I hugged her and told her it’s a new day. I also told her that I realized how lucky I was.

Lucky that she is the one whose phone was stolen, instead of the one who steals phones.

Lucky that I spent the night looking for simply a lost phone, instead of being a mom up all night looking for a phone because her daughter was also missing along with the phone.

Today we don’t let the bad thing dim the light, we shine brighter.

Give more love.

Even if sometimes it kicks the crap out of you.

It took me a while, but I found my blessings.

She asked why God let that happen after everything we’ve been through. I explained it’s because not everyone listens to Him, and God was actually with us. He gave us all of the family members who are police officers. He gave us the kind teacher who stayed for over an hour to help us.

He gave us the security team that talked her through it.

We’ve been through much worse, and just because cancer came, we don’t get an immunity to other things happening.

Wouldn’t that be nice?

“Sorry you’ve got cancer, but here’s the immunity idol!”

Instead, we learn and get strength to get through it, and sometimes Liam Neeson comes along for the ride as well.

My daughter had sent out a text to invite all the Dungeons and Dragons kids over this weekend, and now we don’t have a phone for responses. So today, I will clean up and prepare for possibly twenty teens to show up tomorrow afternoon.

Moms, don’t worry.

Liam Neeson will not be in the building.

Today, may we all do our best to keep breathing and stay in the zen zone when faced with issues, and if Liam shows up when trouble comes, be kind.

He will go away when you remember to breathe.

Maybe the Liam from “Love Actually” will show up instead.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

Wait… Who was James?

Every morning for the past two months or so there is a new notification for a secret group I ‘m in.

I’m in a lot of groups.

Some are scary, full of women crying out in fear, panic, telling of horrible side effects from the same exact medicine I’m on….with glimmers of hope when someone posts she has made it five years, ten years post diagnosis. (Those posts are why I stay).

But this one secret group? I learn something new every time, my heart becomes full of even more peace, my resolve becomes stronger, and my love grows greater.

For a woman living with a stage four diagnosis, that’s a miracle elixir to get through the day.

It’s a bible study. “Love God Greatly”.

We are gearing up to read about James.

Confession time? (And I’m not even a catholic…)

I had no clue about James.

I read this morning the introduction and I was all like…

“WHOOOOAAAA!!! Jesus had a half brother??? What the? I had no clue!”

I looked it up and different people people said different things. You would not believe the arguments on whether Mary stayed a Virgin her whole life, if James was Joseph’s son from a previous marriage…(and there are apparently other brothers and two sisters too!)

I skimmed through James and there are actually a lot of verses in there I already heard. This one struck me today.

“Faith without works is dead”.-James 2. 14:17

That’s what I’ve been doing this past year.

My faith has grown exponentially through the year. Faith in Jesus, faith in the process and protocols, faith in the healing I’ve received.

My works have also changed. I’ve worked hard to radically change my diet.

I mean, have you SEEN my juices? The only vegetable I ever had before was in liquid form…ketchup.

I’ve gone to classes, read books, talked to people, gone to therapies. It’s a full time job to get healthy. It’s not enough to GET healthy, now I have to STAY healthy.

Some people talk the talk but don’t walk the walk. They go hand in hand.

Don’t get confused that because you DO good things, good things will happen.

You have to BELIEVE as well.

Don’t just BELIEVE good things will happen, you have to DO good things also.

See what I mean?

Hand in hand.

You can’t just say that you’re going to heaven because you believe in Jesus and are saved. You have to act it too.

If you truly believe, then He is in your heart. When He is in your heart, you do good things.

Or something like that.

I’ll let you know if that right when the Bible study starts.

Today, I’ll keep drinking my vegetables and fruits, eat some organic nuts, drink more high PH water, take Chinese herbs, a spoonful of black seed oil, rub on Frankincense, chaga, sploosh, detox bath, bunch of supplements, medicine, breathe deep, meditate when I can, pray, shine my

Care Bear light, and try my best to be a reflection of Jesus and His love.

He has done so many miraculous things in my life.

Man, I love Him.

I’m also excited to get to know James.

“Hello James! Nice to meet you!”

I’m also going to teach kindergarten, do some laundry, drop off Maddie at a “hang out”, go to a movie night, and clean up… because I also have two other full time jobs of mom and teacher.

Today, may we have have faith and do good work in all of jobs, and throughout all of our days.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

Xoxo

Keri

My Core Four and Another Remission

When I transferred in to my college, I was an older student. I had stayed home for two years and received an Associates Degree at a local community college. Then I transferred into a State School.

It’s hard transferring in, as many friendships and bonds had already been formed, so I decided to live in a dorm.

I made some great friends there, and still talk to the girls I lived in the dorm with to this day.

One day while in Psychology class, a girl I never really talked to tapped me on the shoulder and said I should think about starting a sorority with her because I seemed like I was fun.

“The crazy in me sees and honors the crazy in you.”

That girl, Sharon, became one of my best friends. I said yes, I would love to be a founding sister, and working a few months, I had over ninety sisters on campus.

Phi Sigma Sigma changed my life. I teach in the same district as several sisters, one of my former students is now a sister, and my sisters surrounded me and helped me with a t-shirt campaign. One of my sisters is the one who helped with my logo, and another helped me find my current oncologist. Amazing.

I love all of my sisters, but I have a “core four”, four girls who have gone to weddings, celebrated births together, and have made sure to get together once every few years.

Sharon, Steph, Sarah, and Beth.

When I was diagnosed, they were my group messages girls. Sharon and Steph were with me on the day I got the call with the results from my brain scan, and it was all clear. We celebrated by getting some juices at The Giving Room and putting out feet in the water at the beach.

Then?

Somehow, in a twist of fate, Beth was diagnosed with cancer just a few months after me.

We were in shock.

I remember saying that maybe I was diagnosed before her to show her things to do and that life goes on.

That there is always hope.

To have faith.

She has been so strong, and I have admired her beauty, grace and strength. My girl can rock a shaved head with Smokey eyes!

I’ve been in prayer for her the last week, as she had a scan coming up. Yesterday, we received the news.

Total remission!

Praise Jesus, amen!

Amen! Amen!

We are already trying to decide on our celebratory get together.

I realized that the news came on my niece’s birthday, which is also the one year anniversary of meeting Dr Snuffleuffugus and having him agree to give me his herbs.

Last night, I received a new batch of herbs in the brown box that brings me joy every time I see it on my stoop.

I had my nighttime herbs and toasted to Beth, Brennan, and my one year anniversary of joyful herbs.

Three reasons to be grateful.

Today, may we all find three reasons to be grateful and raise a glass to celebrate.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

One a Phi Sigma Sigma,

Always a Phi Sigma Sigma

LITP💙💛🌹

Xoxo

Keri