Tag Archive | kindness

Blood donations help save lives💚 Alison’s Story

This is something I posted on social media and sharing here now. This mama and baby are doing well now, thankfully!! But the mom almost died during childbirth because of a rare and unexpected complication. Yes, that still happens! It seems like something that happened in like the 1800’s and not anymore but tragically, even today, some moms still die and almost die giving birth. If it were not for blood donors, this mom in the picture above, wouldn’t be here today.

This is horrific. This is why we desperately need regular blood donors and more of us. Blood donation doesn’t just help people live healthier and make things go more smoothly, that too. But in some urgent cases, like this here, it literally saves lives. This young mom wouldn’t be here today if not for people choosing to give a little bit of blood.

“Placenta percreta is the most rare and severe form of placenta accreta. This condition results in the placenta not being able to detach during delivery and risks catastrophic hemorrhage and death for the mother.”

Imagine if there wasn’t enough blood available that day when this occurred for this family. Or if one day there isn’t for another family.

Thank you to the Red Cross for sharing individual stories, like this, with us and showing the faces of the real people affected. They aren’t just imaginary even though we can’t see them and do not know them; they are real lives in need. And it can be any one of us one day in their position, needing a stranger to share some of that life sustaining stuff running through our veins. We would count on them to help us. So let us be just as quick to help those counting on us now. ❤💚 #veintovein #oneblood #itsinustogive #lovesomeonetoday #givelife #donate #blooddonor #redcross

Not everyone can or wants to donate blood but there are other ways to help, volunteering at the Red Cross, donating money, even just sharing links, information, the importance of blood donations. Many people don’t even think about donating blood. It doesn’t even cross our mind but some people would if it was brought to their attention. And some do not realize we can donate it regularly and when we learn, it resonates with us and we choose to. I’m trying to reach the people who have potential.

Much love to all,

xoxo Kim ❤

#GetUsPPE 💚💚💚 #GetMePPE

This is something I posted on social media last night and sharing here now. I already posted about it here before and will be again later. This isn’t over. Now we have healthcare workers quitting their jobs because they are fearing for their own lives because they don’t have the adequate equipment needed to keep them alive while they help save the lives of countless strangers. No one should have to work like this or quit work because of lack of proper safety measures. The horrific reality of it may not hit us as hard as it really is if we do not work in healthcare or have friends/family who do but let us all imagine and tap into that compassion and empathy we all have for others. We all know fear, pain, distress and all long for comfort, safety, happiness, health…now let us project that onto these real people who are doing their best to keep us safe & alive while fearing for their own lives. The average person, like us, probably cannot do much to help but there are people with power who can do more and are not.

My love goes out to our healthcare workers all around the world, both the ones who are staying and the ones quitting. 💚 Thank you.

Please consider donating money(and/or professional supplies if you have it or making the equipment needed if you are qualified) to https://getusppe.org/donate/ and/or signing the petition https://getusppe.org/advocacy/ to help ensure the safety of our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare healers. They are risking not only their own lives(and mental health – many are traumatized) but the safety of their familes, to take care of US, complete strangers. There is still a *SEVERE* shortage of personal protective equipment(PPE) in the U.S, which is crucial for keeping them safe. PPE is *NOT* an option or a luxury. It is a basic necessity, like food, drink, air is to all of us, for medical professional people to survive their work environment each day. They are in *mortal* danger without it and their family members can also be at risk and have to risk or already are experiencing family separation.

Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, along with their families, should be the first to be protected. Imagine going to work everyday at any job, and not having the equipment needed to work effectively. How stressful, frustrating, anxiety provoking, infuriating. Now imagine how much worse it is when the job is working in hospitals and health clinics, saving lives, and everything is running low and running out and having to wonder when and even IF there will be more of it. And on top of that, imagine literally fearing for your own life and the lives of your family each and every day, while choosing to save and take care of the lives of total strangers. Those strangers are us. They are all doing this for us. Protecting, serving, saving, caring for, and healing us. There is so much additional and unecessary fear and distress because of extreme lack of essential equipment. This is completely unacceptable and should not be tolerated by any of us.

All of us can do something, even if just sharing the link to the organization and/or sharing the tags #getmeppe and #getusppe in the hope that someone somewhere will see it and help in some way. The situation is urgent and has been for a long while now. It is utter ridiculousness that this is a thing.

Our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers choose the jobs because of their passion for helping others. The least we can do is donate money and/or share a link and tags anywhere on social media or wherever. And sign the petition urging our government to get them adequate equipment *NOW*. Not next month, not next week, not tomorrow…NOW.

Doctors and nurses have been pleading for help with this for months now and doing *everything* they can. And still greatly suffering with the lack of supplies they desperately need. Their emotional turmoil and distress with this is beyond what we, who are not healthcare workers, can fully imagine. How much longer can this go on? Something has to give, right? Immediate action in imperative. Let’s help them, please.

No more emotional suffering, added to the suffering already, because of lack of basic necessities that people need to LIVE, keep their families safe, & work effectively and without additional emotional trauma.

#getusppe #getmeppe

The money we donate goes directly to help our healthcare workers around the U.S. Every single one is worthy.

Please donate money if you are able. No matter what, it will be used in some way to help our healthcare workers.

Thank you to our doctors, nurses, and other healthcare healers for all the work you do saving lives; it can be an exhausting, devastating, stressful, terrifying, even traumatic job, along with all of the hope, and care, and healing, and positive impact, and love. But you show up each day for us. May you receive everything you need to keep your own self and families safe. Much love, strength, & light, xoxo

And thank you to everyone who helps in any way to get our healthcare workers #ppe . Even if all you do is share the links/tags, please do something!! Ty

xoxo Kim

The gift of Life 💚❤

Bleeding Out – Imagine Dragons

I’ll bleed out for you“❤

Thank You to the Red Cross for making it possible to give life to multiple strangers every two months! What a gift!! 💚❤ Anyone interested and healthy enough can donate blood to the Red Cross every two months. I never knew this until someone posted it on social media a couple years ago. So in case there is anyone like me back then who does not know, and is healthy enough and also has the desire, here is the Red Cross link: Blood Donation . It is a fairly quick and simple process usually taking no more than one hour. I just lay on a bed thing and a Red Cross nurse sticks a needle in my arm and drains my blood. lol Not really drains it; that is a bit dramatic but fills up a bag. I never get sick, dizzy, or lightheaded or have any problems. And I go right to work after. We do not have to see the bag if we don’t want to. I usually don’t see mine but some days, a nurse puts it next to me on the bed when I sit up. I don’t mind and hope to get a picture of it one day but never got up the nerve to ask yet! lol I want to gross out my mom & sister and send them a pic of it😭😂😹🤣 I am not at all disgusted by body parts or fluids of any kind including vomit(I can eat while talking about vomit and my sister and mom don’t understand it 😹), bodily functions…or anything.

There is a blood donor app in the app stores on our phones:

Here is a screencap of my account.

It is possible to have some chronic illnesses and still be able to donate blood. Just so long as the illness will not make it dangerous to a blood recipient or us. They will let anyone know if it’s ok or not. No infections/viruses like hep c/hiv as this can infect the patient…Many, many people are in need of blood each day, every couple of seconds! There is always a severe shortage of blood donations, some days more than others. People in need count on the kindness of strangers to help them. ❤❤❤ There are other ways to help for people who cannot or do not want to donate blood. Sharing links, information, volunteering with the Red Cross…!! Thank you!!

Much love & light to everyone, everywhere!! ❤❤❤

xoxo Kim

Note of appreciation❤ & #getusppe

I’m a petnanny and work for a company, seven days a week. It’s the best job I can imagine having. I get to be out all day and night with a dog by my side! Most of our clients, these days, seem to be nurses/doctors/first responders/healthcare workers… All of my coworkers chose to leave work until further notice so just my boss and me are keeping the business going everyday as best as we can with just the two of us(and I must say, I think we are doing quite well!). Every once in a while someone writes me a sweet note of appreciation like this! This note is written to me by a sweet nurse who works long hours at a hospital. Our healthcare angels love to know that their furbabies are well loved and taken care of while they are out saving(and risking their own) lives all day & night, seven days a week. All that hard, exhausting, and dangerous work they do and they still take a minute to thank the pet nanny! How sweet!

This is a reminder to stop and show appreciation for someone or something today. Even thanking a stranger online for a positive social media post. A bit of appreciation can go a long way! It puts a light in the world, no matter how simple or brief.

I saw a doctor talking on a youtube video and she said she appreciates all the simple messages of appreciation to doctors, sent by people all around, and she mentioned that it helps doctors to receive them, just knowing people care.

Thank you to all of our healthcare healers! I have always appreciated medicine and healthcare workers before it became trendy! I’m so thankful people are now beginning to realize all the work medical professional people of various kinds do for us! And if your furbaby is one of mine, I will take good care of that little one, you have my word!

Here is one! 🐾😻😍❤ (I have permission to take/share pics of any furbabies I share!)

And thank you to my bloggy friends for all of the recent likes/follows!! I will get back to you soon!! I’m so happy that people take time out of their own day to read something I write! That is a big thing because it’s a minute or minutes you can never get back and you give it to me! What a gift, thank you!! ❤

And one more thing! Our medical healthcare healers, ALL of them, doctors, nurses, respiratory therapists, first responders, emts, techs, assistants…are STILL experiencing a severe shortage of supplies they need to keep themselves safe while taking care of and saving strangers. Like wth This is absolute ridiculousness and very, very uncalled for. It is something that does not have to be and should never be. They are in mortal danger. There is no justification for such a thing. It’s not an option. They NEED this equipment, called Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), to live and to do their jobs effectively. It is a basic necessity. How long is this going to go on? Here is a place we can help, even if just a little bit:

getusppe.org

Donate – money and/or supplies

Make PPE if we have the skills and supplies

Sign the petition

Most of us can sign the petition and it’s possible for the average person to have a certain amount of money because most of us do have access to money to some degree(though many people don’t even have enough money for themselves and may not be able to donate any) but I don’t think the average person has actual medical supplies or can make it. It’s not homemade stuff that we can put together with materials just laying around the house. We need true, professional medical supplies and a professional ability to make it, if I understand correctly.

Or if you can’t do any of these or don’t want to, please just share the link and/or tags: #getusppe & #getmeppe, anywhere on social media, in the hope that someone else who can help will see it and help in some way. Something as simple as that can help in a practical way and just shows we care.

Thank you!!! 💛

Much love & light to all, may you be well; may you be peaceful; may you be happy; may you be loved❤

xoxo Kim💚

Actions speak…❤

“Now I wanna tell you of a great love
It will light up
It will surely light up darkened worlds
If you just believe
Stoned love”

Stoned Love – The Supremes

There’s a man I was trying to avoid when I was out for work. I have nothing against him; he’s just not good news. lol Today, when I saw him, I turned around and began going a different way and he began yelling to me loudly, “Well fuck you too you fucking conceited bitch!!!” and he was yelling a whole slew of other insults at me all the way up the street. Strangers were turning to look at us.

I was very amused. And also very inspired by the word “too” in his one sentence “Well fuck you too…”

I never said “fuck you” to him and was not even thinking it. I was merely trying to avoid a less than pleasant encounter. As we can see, I did not succeed! I probably provoked an even less pleasant one than if I would not have turned to run!

The way he said “too” made it seem like I said it first. And maybe I did even though it was unintentionally and not verbally. We “speak” in ways that are not always verbal/language. Our actions say things just the same. And we may not always realize what our actions are saying to others or to what extent.

Turning my back on one of my brothers in this life/another sentient being, no matter the reason, is not very kind seeming or very pleasant to the one it is happening to. I was not trying to be unkind but was also not even thinking of being kind either. I was not thinking of the man at all. I was thinking of myself wanting to avoid something I thought I would not find pleasant.

What could I have done better? I could have looked at him and smiled and maybe even said hello, then be on my way. I could be very wrong but he does not seem to be the kind of person who would appreciate a warm smile or friendly hello. But I do not know him at all and this is pure judgment on my part. And even though it’s a completely neutral observation, based on things I have seen about him previously, not a negative judgment, who am I to judge at all and act on it in a less than pleasant way? For all I know, my friendly smile or warm hello, may inspire happiness in him, maybe joy, or a feeling of being accepted. He seems to be generally very unhappy and seems to have a difficult life. I have seen him have outbursts on people before for not doing him favors when he asked. And even if my smile and hello would not touch him for the better, the point is just to be loving and try. It puts positive energy out into the uni-verse. We can never go wrong with an act of kindness even if it is not received or appreciated as we intend or hope for.

There is nothing wrong with avoiding people we do not wish to encounter. It’s just we can still be mindful & kind about it. And there may even be occasions it’s necessary for our safety, to avoid someone. This was not the case here though. I don’t think he’s a dangerous man, just not the most pleasant seeming.

As he was yelling, I was laughing and thought about turning around to smile at him and show him I have nothing against him, that we’re in this life together. But I was afraid my laughing and amused smile may be misinterpreted as arrogance or me mocking him. He already perceives me as conceited. I am just someone who is very easily amused. I laugh at everything. It was not about mocking him or not caring about his unhappy situation. It just seemed funny yelling at and cursing someone out in public and a bunch of curious strangers turning to look. How dramatic! But he doesn’t know that. So I kept going. My back stayed turned on him as he slung all the insults he could come up with.

But this interaction reminds me to be more mindful and loving not only with my words but with my actions, even when there is something I wish to avoid. Our actions say things to each other. I wasn’t truly trying to say “fuck you” but my action did say something very unpleasant. It said something like “I want to avoid you…you’re not worth my time…I would rather not deal with you today…I don’t care to see you…” so basically yeah, turning my back said “fuck you.”

Just that one word that he uttered to me, “too,” said so much to me. It holds so much wisdom, he may not have fully, consciously realized but he did realize to some degree. In this moment, he was wiser than I was. He was letting me know that I said so much without saying anything at all.

“What would you do if my heart was torn in two
More than words to show you feel
That your love for me is real” ❤

More Than Words – Extreme

I’m so very thankful for the life lesson. Imagine how many people will be touched for the better, in the future, by the wisdom he revealed to me. It’s really true, anyone can be our teacher if only we let them. A seemingly difficult person, a loving person, a child, a homeless person, an animal, an insect, an old person, any situation…Let us be alert in each moment and interaction, with anyone, and welcome any bit of inspiration and wisdom they offer us.

And let us be more gentle and kind in our words, thoughts, & actions. They touch others for better or worse. Let it be for the better. Let’s smile at each other more, say hello, make eye contact, acknowledge each other, and validate each other’s existence, be more welcoming of one another, even those who may seem unpleasant or difficult. It doesn’t mean we have to hang out with someone for an hour, go over and have a chat, or become close friends. All we have to do is look at each other and smile. 🙂 Let our actions say, I see you, I love you, I acknowledge you, I hear you, I am you, we’re in this life, in this love together…❤

Thank you, Brother of mine, for your life lesson. When I see you again, I won’t turn my back.

Much love & light to all,

xoxo Kim ❤

Keep Loving…❤

Keep Loving – Empty Hands

“Whether you’re different, same, ignorant, or intelligent
Whether you tell the truth, lie, or embellish it
Whether you live in gratitude or for the hell of it
It doesn’t really matter, we’re still one single fellowship
Whether you’ve been lustful or livin’ celibate-
Whether you’re an optimist or only see the negative-
Whether you’re dead broke or rich from inheritance
It doesn’t really matter, we’re made of the same sediments
Whether you got a family or single parentin’-
Or you’re Asian, African, European, or American
Whether you pray-to-God or atheist is irrelevant
Cuz what you got inside is the same as all your brethren
So keep loving,
It’ll change your heart; it’ll change your mind”❤

“May I be happy; May all beings be happy” ❤

Recently, on social media, I saw a thread where a single young mom, with multiple divorces, with five kids, and various dads, and a few pets, was being ridiculed, destructively criticized, mocked, slandered, judged…by complete strangers all because she had multiple kids when she was very young and has a history of failed romantic relationships, which she said broke her heart. By what she wrote, she clearly loves her kids and pets. The comments people were writing are vicious and mocking. They called her “trash” and other insults and were sarcastically calling her “a real winner.” They said she would always be single and no man would ever want her and many more insults. They mocked her because she made a couple spelling mistakes. They ridiculed her for her interests and activities she likes to do for fun(makeup & fashion are a couple). They even criticized her physical appearance! They talked about her hair and everything. And for every unkind comment, there were a bunch more people who “liked/loved” each toxic comment, even ones who did not comment themselves.

One person posted her picture on his account as a screen capture with some facts about her and him and his online friends all got together and began saying as many insults as they could about her. He blocked her account for the post so she wouldn’t see. There were over 100 comments. I’m in awe (and not in a pleasing way lol) that 30 something year old adults and older are still cyber(and maybe in person as well!) bullies! I can even understand just being unkind once in a while or even in general but actually mocking and ridiculing people just for laughs. There are better ways to heal and cope with our own pain than doing this to someone else.

The overwhelming majority of comments were this. Only a couple people commented with something positive to say about her or to come to her defense. Probably because they knew if they stepped in to defend her, they would be bashed too, like bullies in the schoolyard. Except here, we’re all adults. I can imagine there were probably other moms like her reading and maybe angry, crushed, feeling low about the comments, that can also apply to them. And people with bad spelling/grammar may have been reading and feeling inferior.

I can just imagine what all these people would say about me if they had the chance and knew things about me! For all I know they already are! This can happen to any of us! Imagine someone on your friends list or a follower of your account taking a screencap of your pic of yourself and posting it to that person’s own account so all the friends can roast you without you even knowing! There is a game called “roast me” where people put their own pic on so online friends can say as many insults as possible! lol! But this person has no idea she was subjected to this.

If we stop and think how this can be us or someone we know, it can deepen our compassion/empathy for those it happens to. This applies to anything good or “bad.” When something happens to a stranger, pleasant or not, imagine if it happened to us or someone we know and remember that stranger feels the same way we would were it us it happened to. And even if we wouldn’t care if it happened to us, others may be devastated or angry if it were them. So that’s another good thing to keep in mind, that we all handle things differently and have different reactions. And all are valid.

I think this is also a good example of how we can influence each other for better or worse. What if this young woman posted her own picture and facts about herself where all those same people would see? They probably would not have reacted the way they did. They saw the original poster of the screencaps and went along with him, probably to please him and have a feeling of “all in this together,” and have some laughs while coping with their own pain/unhappiness. I don’t believe any of those people have good self esteem or are happy or they would not have done that. Focusing on someone else’s mistakes, pain, misfortune…helps take our mind off our own but so does focusing on love, well wishes, happiness for others. Let us influence each other for the better! ❤

“…Now, many years later, I understand the power of loving-friendliness. It helps us swallow the bitterness of life.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta ❤)

I was so confused about all the destructive criticism. I couldn’t understand it. Why would we want to drag someone down like that? What provoked all this unkindness? Instead of seeing her as one of our sisters in life, a fellow sentient being, they saw her as a punching bag, an easy target, an opportunity to get out all their own pain by inflicting it upon someone else. My confusion lessened a bit when I remembered the saying:

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

I believe that is the reason people choose to try to make someone else hurt or suffer; those people are suffering themselves and do not quite know how to process it. The man who began the thread to ridicule this person, just the day before, admitted to being depressed, anxious, suicidal, and socially isolated, and in need of a friend. He admitted that his quality of work is suffering because of his poor mental health. Is this a justification for trying to inflict pain upon others? Absolutely not. But understanding this can help us help someone to heal.

Some of us turn our own pain to greater compassion for others and some of us turn our own pain into bitterness to try to hurt others. Anyone who does this can change it for the better. Choose kindness.

Let us remember to be kind even to those who are acting in an unkind manner; the ones we feel deserve it the least are probably many of the ones who need it the most. Loving them does not mean we condone what they do, just that we know kindness makes the whole world a better place. Love heals. Our Love for them may help them become more kind one day. Just keep loving even when it’s difficult.

“One who truly loves himself will not harm others. She who loves herself will tune in to the energy of loving-friendliness and understand how magnificent it would be if every heart in the world would share this feeling.”❤ (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

I want to share some love here and tell everyone it’s ok to have a difficult, messed up, unpleasant…past(and even present), ok to make mistakes and have a history of failed relationships, whether they are married ones, romantic and not married, or platonic friendships; it does not mean someone is a bad person or that the person will never be a good girlfriend/wife(or whatever gender/gender identity) or friend to someone else.

And yes, if you’re a single mom(or even not single) with five kids(or even just one kid), and love your kids, you ARE a winner no matter how young or old you were when you had them(or adopted), no matter how many different dads they have, and no matter how many failed relationships or breakups you have experienced. I know not all kids have a mom & a dad; that’s just the example I’m giving because the woman here was being criticized for having multiple dads for her kids.

And not everyone has good grammar/spelling skills. And some people are doing the best they can writing in a language that is not their native one. Some people have learning disabilities to some degree or just not very skilled at something. (I am terrible at basic math) And I think most of us on occasion slip up and spell something wrong or write something that is not correct in terms of grammar. I definitely do this myself. Sometimes it may be autocorrect or sometimes just me slipping up. It’s really no big thing.

Kindness is always good but especially these days when so many of us are struggling with depression, anxiety, stress of any sort, suicidal tendencies….In our society (U.S.), and maybe other societies, we are too judgmental and too critical of each other and our own self. One word of kindness or one word of cruelty can go a long way. If someone is already struggling, just one simple, brief compliment or wishing someone well, can possibly allay the person’s pain a bit or even if not, at least bring some love, joy, and comfort, to the person in the midst of the struggle.

And if someone is already suffering, callous remarks, or even just a cold tone, can add so much to the pain, even more than intended.

And even if we’re not struggling, we love acts of love!

“Metta is not ordinary love. It is the quality of love we experience in our whole being, a love that has no ulterior motive — and no opposite. It can never become hatred; the love-hate dichotomy simply does not apply.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

We’re not responsible for someone else’s suffering, feelings, choices, happiness…we’re responsible for our own. But we can still remember the impact our choice of words, comments, remarks, both in person and online, can have on others and choose to be kind or even just saying nothing when we just cannot bring ourself(this is a word lol) to feel or be kind. Sometimes holding our tongue is an act of kindness. Constructive criticism is good in many cases. But intentional destructive criticism is always toxic and unnecessary. I am not innocent of this and think most of us have room to grow.

Who cares if we’re financially rich or poor, working seven days a week or out of work, have ten kids or are childless(I prefer childless over childfree because “childfree” makes it seem like children are a burden as opposed to a gift. I never wanted kids; I just have no inclination, but still love them and know they are a gift! Many childless people are offended by the word “childless.” “Childfree” is what I find off-putting), single, happily taken, divorced more than once…whatever! Who cares if we are neat and organized or a total slob(me!), very educated or not much of an education, very intelligent or not so much, look like a supermodel or not society’s concept of beauty, and we all may have interests/activities someone else thinks are dumb(sometimes I play with virtual pets lol), whatever mistakes we have made and will make, doesn’t matter…We’re all the same underneath and all have things others can mock us for or criticize us for. And all have qualities someone, somewhere would love if the person/s knew us.

No matter what or who you are, I’m your safe space even if we disagree on something. 💚

“Though we all have the seed of loving-friendliness within us, we must make the effort to cultivate it. When we are rigid, uptight, tense, anxious, and full of worries and fears, our natural capacity for loving-friendliness cannot flourish. To nurture the seed of loving-friendliness, we must learn to relax. In a peaceful state of mind, such as we get from mindfulness meditation, we can forget our past differences with others and forgive their faults, weaknesses, and offenses. Then loving-friendliness naturally grows within us.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

Let us remember to always be a bit kinder than necessary to everyone we meet.

And “ourself” means all of us together, not any specific group. We learn that “ourselves” is the correct grammar and it is also. But a loving Buddhist Teacher taught me that “Ourself” implies Oneness and togetherness, including ALL, so I prefer that version!

Chants of Love:

The Chant of Metta

Om Mani Padme Hum

&

Loving-Kindness Meditation(13 minutes & 26 seconds)

May I be well
May I be happy
May I be peaceful
May I be loved

May you be well
May you be happy
May you be peaceful
May you be loved

“Loving-friendliness motivates you to behave kindly to all beings at all times and to speak gently in their presence and in their absence.” (Loving-Kindness In Plain English – The Practice of Metta)

Much love & light, always,

Kim xoxo❤❤❤

Every two seconds {Blood donation}❤❤❤

“Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses, and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, this lifesaving care starts with one person making a generous donation.” (redcross.org)

Schedule donation appointment

There is an URGENT need for blood donations at the moment!! Our country(U.S.) is currently experiencing a SEVERE blood shortage, worse than usual. It’s a state of emergency! We always have a shortage of blood donors but sometimes it’s worse than usual. Every two seconds a person needs someone else’s blood to survive. Childbirth and surgery complications, massacre/accident victims/survivors, traumatic injury, sickle cell disease/cancer, and other diseases…these are people with interests, goals, dreams, a favorite color and movie, favorite songs, people with plans and hobbies, people with friends, family, pets, people who want to live and count on us who are healthy, to give to them. We are the luckiest to be in a position to help, to be alive and healthy, how about give back and pay it forward by sharing a bit of our health & life with someone in need, a fellow human who is just like us? As long as we feel healthy and know we do not have any infectious virus(such as HIV or Hep C), it’s good to give it a try. Even with various health conditions and medications, such as heart problems, being diabetic, increased blood pressure, birth control, depression/anxiety meds… as long as the conditions are kept under control and we do not feel sick, we may be qualified to give the gift of blood. It’s worth a try just so long as our blood is pure & healthy. Remember, every two seconds!! It’s senseless for someone to die when there are enough of us to donate. Let’s line up to give just as soon as we would line up to take if we were the one in need.

One thing, it is important not to donate blood merely to be tested for a virus such as hep or hiv. This is because if it was recently contracted, it may not show up for six, or maybe more, months, on a medical test but can still infect someone just as much. So after an accident of some sort (needle stick for example) or high risk activity (such as sexual contact of any sort with an infected person or sharing needles with someone, even someone not known to have an infectious disease), it’s important to wait at least one year before donating. We want our recipients to be safe.

I understand if someone cannot or just doesn’t want to! But just in case anyone does and needs a reminder or inspiration, please try to donate some blood to the Red Cross! Especially now. We are in DESPERATE need!! This is an absolute emergency. There are people all around the country potentially dying of lack of blood/blood products. Of course I care just as much about those in other countries but since I’m in the U.S., I can only help the people here with my blood but I invite people all around the world to donate to your blood banks wherever you are if it’s safe for you. Thank you!! Unfortunately, I can’t donate it again until April. I think they should just take it now since we’re in a lack of blood crisis. But since it’s not safe for me, as all my blood is not replenished yet, they won’t! But I think it’s even more unsafe for the people who need a transfusion, to not get one. So what if I’m a bit anemic! It’s worth it to save a life.

I would give them ALL my blood if I could! But that’s not legal. I plan to stay alive as long as I can to keep on giving this life sustaining liquid flowing through my veins! How beautiful! Life is beautiful and I want to share it with as many as I can. If you have O-negative blood, what a gift! You can give it to almost anyone! It’s the blood most in demand, the universal loving blood. I don’t have that kind even though I’m a universal lover myself. ❤❤❤ It would be fitting for me to have O-neg!

~Love someone today~

#veintovein ❤

I’m wishing you much love & light, wherever in the world you are! And lots of healthy blood!

xoxo Kim

Smile because she has lived ❤

“When I first learned about her, no less than two million buffalo stampeded across my chest. (That is just an estimate at the risk of sounding dramatic.) When the dust finally settled, when chaos clipped its own wing & the Earth relinquished her thunder, I found the remains of a heart not twenty feet from my aching body, trampled into a bloody mess. This heart did not belong to me, but I ripped open my own ribcage just to double-check.”


This post was meant for Feb 14th but I was too busy with work and sick to edit it and fix it up for posting. But better late than never! I meant to post it over a week ago after my cold got better but never did. I had a bad sinus thing recently and my nose has been bleeding everyday. My throat was sore and my whole body was weak and I had night sweats and chills. It did not last long at all. Since I wrote this post for two women I knew who died on the same day a few years apart, another young woman I only knew online died on the same date this year, of a rare form of cancer. She has been battling it for years and did all she could to live as long as she could even though she was incredibly Ill. Some people with end stage cancer surrender, give up treatment, and choose to live as comfortably as possible even if treatment can help them live longer, because treatments make them sicker but only extend their lives a bit longer. In states where it’s legal, some even take a pill to speed up their death and put them out of their misery or prevent even worse misery later when the illness can only get worse. Gabriella made the choice to do whatever it took to live as long as possible no matter how sick she was and how much sicker she would become because of the treatment and cancer continuing to spread. She took all the treatment she could to live even if just an extra day because she loved life so much. It was an incredible wisdom, strength, and love for life she had. No matter how much she suffered, her love for life was stronger and she would not give up just to live more comfortably but not as long. This inspires me deeply. Someone with terminal cancer choosing to keep going n live, not out of denial or not accepting the truth but out of great love for life and being determined enough to endure unimaginable suffering because life is beautiful anyway and she could still see the good in all that sickness and terrible pain.

I do not at all in any way judge those who do give up treatment to live and die more comfortably or those who choose the pill to die before the illness takes them, of course not. It doesn’t mean they are less strong. But it inspires me so much when someone chooses to keep going no matter what. I have struggled with severe depression on and off and am inspired when someone can keep wanting to live even in the midst of much darkness. Also, I have always thought that if I were to get terminal cancer, I would do whatever it takes to live as long as possible even if I would get sicker because of treatment and only live a month longer. When I’m not depressed(& sometimes even when I am), I have always had a deep love for life like Gabriella. So her attitude and choice resonates with me. Some people may think that’s very wrong of me to think I would do whatever it takes to live as long as I can since I dont know that pain and sickness but it’s just a philosophy I have, not a judgment of others. We all make whatever choice we know is best for us in each situation and we are not in a position to say someone else’s choice is wrong or less. Gabriella was a true warrior and she inspires me still. And always will.


This is a screencap of Gabriella’s instagram account. Her sister was kind enough to let us all know the tragedy in that last post at the top. In the midst of her own immense grief & unbearable loss, she was loving enough to care about us, her sister’s social media followers.

Gabriella was realistic and admitted she did not believe she would get better but she held onto hope and wanted to walk this Earth as long as she could. And she did this all with a positive attitude and big smile on her beautiful face. I did not ever talk to her or know her in person. I just watched her YouTube videos and followed her social media account because her positivity and beauty (both inner and physical beauty) inspires me. She helped me with anxiety and depression flareups. Her positivity was and still is infectious. She died on February 14th 2020. When I saw the post on her account by her beautiful sister, who is also her best friend, it took the life out of me. I was hoping so much she would somehow get better. I’m thankful I waited to post this because now I can also post in honor of beautiful Gabriella who displayed an incredible strength, courage, and love in the face of a terrifying and dreadful disease at only twenty-three years old. She was motivated to keep up her physical appearance with beautiful wigs and makeup and fashion. The cancer and treatment took a tremendous toll on her body but she did not let that stop her.
Her physical appearance was very important to her, not in a shallow way, but an inspiring and motivated way. Like the sicker she got, it seemed the more motivated she got to show the disease it had no hold on her. Cancer took away her hair, her healthy skin complexion, her flat stomach (it was in her liver and made her stomach begin to balloon while the rest of her was very thin), her healthy body weight, it made her weight drop dramatically….but she countered each thing with positive actions and a positive mind. She admitted how difficult it was but still kept being positive. She admitted to being a bit vain and not liking what the cancer was doing to her physical appearance. And this is one of the things I love about her. She was positive but she was real. Who would be apathetic to the fact of a terrible disease messing with our physical appearance? I think most of us would care.
Sweet & Beautiful Gabriella showing off her new wig. This is a screencap. I can’t believe she is really gone. She was so full of love & life. ❤

New Wig! UniWigs – Gabrielle wig review

(The wig is called Gabrielle! 😍 It’s the official name of this one)

I think her YouTube video that inspires me most is the one where she shows off her new wig made of real human hair. Link above. It was a gift someone gave to her, the company who makes them, I think. To see the joy on her face at something so simple and something no 23 year old girl should have to have. But it made her so so happy just to have this new wig. All her other ones were fake hair and not as good quality. The human hair ones are expensive and she never had one before this. I’m very thankful she got to experience the joy of having one before she had to go.
My heart breaks for Gabriella and her family and friends. Someone who loved life so much she chose immense suffering over death just to keep on experiencing life, but she had to lose her life anyway at just 23 years old. She stated that at one point, before she was diagnosed with cancer, her biggest fear was death. So imagine having that terrible fear then finding you have stage 4 cancer? To have to stare death in the face and accept that reality. Death would probably scare just about anyone who has to come to terms with it soon but especially someone who already has a fear of it before getting sick. The strength and courage she had is definitely awe inspiring.
I have been grieving for her in a way very similar to when I grieve for someone I know in person who dies. I even fell into a very severe depression for a few days where I had to struggle to do things. All I could think about was her and how horrific it is. What cruelty this disease is.

I don’t always get depressed when someone dies but sometimes I do and her death triggered a mini episode. Grief is different than depression. But grief can trigger a depression in some of us. I call depressive episodes “mini episodes” when they last less than two weeks. They can be just as severe but the duration is not long enough to be considered clinical when they are less than two weeks. At least that’s how it was the last I checked. The dsm book said so. But anyway I have been so depressed; it feels like someone I know died and it is absolutely devastating and crushing. This is definitely one of the more difficult things I have encounterd in this life.
Gabriella had a great sense of humor and was able to laugh and joke. She was just naturally very funny. She also thought cancer jokes are funny and suggested her social media followers follow an account by people with cancer who joke about it. I can never think any cancer joke is amusing and don’t follow that account but I am happy for her that she was so lighthearted and was able to find the humor in her disease. I understand because I think mental health jokes are funny since I have struggled with depression myself.

I have followed her account and story for about a year and always looked for her updates. I am beyond broken. Just shattered. It seems so wrong that a 23 year old girl had to die like this. A 23 year old girl who loved life so much and loved everything and everyone and got so happy over the simplest things like pretty blonde wigs and Starbucks drinks. She loved the strawberry acai drink. One day I will buy one and drink it in honor of her. She has a dog who she loved so much. Gabriella was the same age as my little sister. I will always have her in my heart. And I will honor her by keep loving life like she did even when it’s hard. I will keep looking for the gems of beauty all around me even when I have to look harder. This is what I have been doing to battle my depression about her death. She wouldn’t want me to walk around depressed like that. She wasn’t the kind of girl to get depressed. She mentioned in one of her YouTube videos that she has never been depressed; she just wasn’t prone to it. Even when cancer took over her body, it never depressed her. Once she had to take some medication and it messed with her chemistry and she did become depressed and it was like a dark cloud hanging over her wherever she would go. When she stopped the med the depression was gone. She said it scared her to see what depression is like.
In each moment I have consciously looked for the good to battle my depression after learning of her death. I know that is what she would do and want me to do.
If my grief is like this just imagine what her friends and family are experiencing. But I will always remember her and keep sending them my love even if just in the form of energy. I did write to her sister and express my love. While Gabriella did lose the ultimate battle to cancer, I believe she did not lose truly because her spirit stayed alive until the end and she did not let it crush it. I think her life is a reminder to us all to never give up no matter what battle we are facing whether it’s something as serious as cancer or something like just having a not so pleasant day or bad mood. Her life is a beautiful message to the world. Keep going. She even had a tattoo on her arm that read “Keep fighting.”

Gabriella said one of the things that kept her going through the pain is the fact that it’s her who had cancer and not someone else she loved like her mom for example. (I understand this because I felt the same way when I had cancer fear; at least it was me and not someone else and I have this gratitude when my pain disorder flares up that it’s me and not another – Gabriella’s and my energy seem to operate on a similar wavelength) Then her mom was diagnosed with another rare form of cancer. Another thing that kept her going is the promise that one day her treatment would finally end and she would be healthy again. Then the doctors gave her the devastating news that she would never be healthy again. But still she just kept finding things to go on for and be happy about.

She said no matter how sick she was at least she wasn’t dead. And she encouraged us all to think the same way about everything. No matter how bad it is, at least it isn’t worse. That is the gist of what was her life philosophy and in honor of her, I will adopt it as my own more consciously, more frequently.

Imagine loving life itself so, so much that in your worst physical pain and emotional pain, in your worst physical sickness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, physical appearance changing in unpleasant ways, in your most suffocating fear, waiting for test results to see where the disease spread to next, to keep finding at every dr visit that it metastasized to somewhere else in the body, ravaging every organ, throughout countless painful and frightening medical tests and painful, life draining treatments, losing all your hair, your healthy skin, aging more quickly than you’re supposed to, infinite amounts of hospital visits and infections, scary uncertainty, physical and emotional exhaustion, being bedridden, watching everyone who loves you suffer because of your pain, and being told in the end there is no cure or hope anyway, you still want to push through and go on living as long as you can, even if you have to always live like this, because life is still beautiful. Imagine that. This is what it is to truly love. This inspires me more than anything else in life. The fact that this was done out of love for life and not fear of death is what inspires me. I cannot imagine a more inspiring or loving person. Whenever I have a flareup of depression or if I ever have health anxiety again or my facial pain disorder flares up…I am going to go on living like Gaby.

If I could, I would switch places with Gabriella so she can live again. That terrifies me to write or even think that because last year, I developed a debilitating fear of cancer, which is gone now but still a touch of it flares up once in a while. For six months, I obsessed over having or getting cancer and I could hardly go on living. But my health anxiety actually made me happier and more mindful overall. It made me love this beautiful life even more. As a result of my cancer phobia (I was not diagnosed with a phobia or treated professionally but no doubt it was a fullblown phobia), I also learned things about myself I never realized before and began to accept things I couldn’t as much before. It is a gift to me and was a blessing in disguise all along. But I would give it all up for this sweet girl. Gabriella has my whole heart. ❤❤❤

In loving memory of and in honor of two(update: now three) beautiful women who both died unexpectedly and too soon on the same date, four years apart. Diane (58 years old) on February 14th, 2015 & Haley (20 years old) on February 14th, 2019. (And Gabriella on February 14th, 2020 – 23 years old) Both of their hearts just stopped out of nowhere on Feb. 14th. I knew both of them at one point. Diane was my good friend & coworker for nearly a decade and Haley was a sweet girl who lived close to me and was a customer at the place where Diane and me worked.


Diane and me worked together and she always talked to me and about me as if I was her daughter. She has three sons close to the same age as me. She was a significant part of my everyday. She was kind, funny, loud, she cursed a lot, and gave everyone as much as she could even when she had very little to give. She gave people at stores tips when she was about to get thrown out of the place she lived for not being able to pay. She would stay later at work without getting paid to serve last minute customers. She accidentally taught her baby grandson to say “fuck” and she was frantic trying to get him to stop saying it. She always told me to stay warm and kind even in the face of other people’s bitterness, unkindness, and difficult situations. She told me one of her worst fears in life was that my personality would change. I can’t believe she thought my personality is that amazing that it actually scared her to think of it changing!
She made me laugh and sometimes she annoyed me. Lol

Her favorite holiday was Valentine’s Day. And that is the day she suffered sudden cardiac arrest for no known reason. She was small and healthy seeming. She was stressed about financial concerns though. I mention this because I think excessive levels of or frequent stress can contribute to a heart attack/cardiac arrest(I am not sure if these two are the same thing – they told me Diane suffered a heart attack but I also read something about cardiac arrest being the accurate term) and do not want it to happen to anyone else. If you are reading this and experience stress frequently for any reason or significant levels, I hope you will try some things to reduce it. Whatever helps calm us or maybe exercise can lessen it. One very good thing to reduce stress is meditation, even just five minutes of conscious breathing a day can help. Even if we are young and seemingly healthy, we can have a heart attack. Diane was younger than the average age of people who have heart attacks and die. This is very, very common and I do not want it to happen to anyone else whether or not I know the person. I have been terrified after her death that it will happen to more people. Thankfully my fear has calmed through the years but once in a while it flares up a bit then calms again.

Here is a sleep meditation I found shortly after her death to help me cope, before my true healing began:
Sleep Hypnosis for Anxiety Reduction and Reversal

Diane was full of life and had no symptoms of an impending heart attack. It just struck unexpectedly. On Saturday morning, five years ago, she came to work just like any other day, collapsed to the floor. And died. It was the most traumatic experience of my whole life. My entire world crumbled on top of me. It felt that I had to learn to rebuild part of myself. I had to learn to cope not only with the death itself but the fact of no longer seeing her nearly everyday. It is traumatic to lose someone to death (or even moving away) who we see and talk to everyday. Losing her felt like losing a limb on my body. I felt that loss so poignantly and still do but it’s easier now to bear than it was. I learned to live well with the grief. Some moments I stop and feel the throb of the loss. I still grieve for her. I always will. Some moments I long for her and to tell her things like I used to. I miss her loud mouth, her sarcasm, and cursing. I’m not always the biggest fan of sarcasm but I came to love her sarcasm. Lol
The last word I heard her say is “unfuckingbelievable.” And it makes me laugh.
Just writing this post reopened some wounds in me and feels like my insides bleeding all over again. But it’s not a bad thing. It’s just how it is when we lose someone.


And Haley. Haley, the girl in the pictures above, was a beautiful, beautiful young woman who literally everyone loved. No one could have possibly known her and not loved her. She was kind, compassionate, caring, helpful. She picked up trash off the ground as a little girl and threw it away. Who does that?!?! What kid or even adult sees trash on the ground that is not ours and cares to pick it up and throw it away?! We may care enough to throw our own trash in a can and not the ground but do you ever even think of throwing it away when you see it on the ground already? Lol

I heard she would sit with kids in school who she saw eating lunch alone. This is one of the stories of her that hit me hardest because I know what it’s like to not have friends at some ages/stages of life. As a kid in school, I always did have friends to have lunch with but did not always have friends outside of school or in college when I first took classes. My first couple of years were lonely. To think there was a girl who would have cared so much and sat with me when I had no one, warms me. Haley has my heart, always.

She was compassionate to everyone even those who were unkind to her. She had a light around her. And that light still shines brightly in this world even though she is gone. One year ago, she lost her life, quickly & unexpectedly.

Many years ago, I knew a little girl named Haley. She used to come to the food serving place that I worked, sometimes with her dad. She would get iced tea, pizza pretzels, ice cream. She was so sweet and adorable. She was kind and very well mannered. The years went on and eventually the store I worked at closed up and I got a new job. A few years later, last year, my mom showed me a picture of an incredibly beautiful young woman who lived closeby and died. Her beauty took my breath away when I looked at her photo. She asked if I knew her since the girl was very popular in the community and I know so many people who came to my previous workplace. I was struck by her breathtaking beauty when I saw her photo. I thought how tragic it is her life ended the way it did. I said I did not know her. But her death weighted heavy on me each day. I kept thinking of her and the heartbreak of her loss. I kept hearing about her and her tragic, unexpected death around the neighborhood and on social media. I kept seeing pictures of her beautiful face and reading all the stories of how kind and loving she was in life. She was the kind of girl everyone knew. Then someone posted a picture of her as a little girl. When I saw it, my whole body was overcome in a trembly, terrible kind of fear and felt like jelly.

It was her.

It was that adorable, sweet young girl I knew who came to my workplace. Then I remembered I did see her around the neighborhood as a young woman but did not realize she was that little girl I knew.

All I saw in my head was that sweet, innocent little girl eating ice cream with her dad. Her death filled me with absolute dread and terror. She died when she was just twenty years old. She was very athletic, healthy, physically fit. She played sports, worked out, and took very good care of her body.


On February 14th, 2019, after 3:00 in the morning, she ran to her mom & dad’s room because something was happening inside her body and she did not know what to do. I heard she thought she was having a heart attack. She was pleading for help. She collapsed then died later that morning in front of her mom, dad, and little brother, who is only a little boy.

How on Earth does a healthy 20 year old girl’s heart…..just stop? Just like that. In the middle of the night.

She had a terrible disease no one realized she had. It’s called HHT. She had it since birth but there were no symptoms and it does not show up in routine medical test results. It’s like an internal bleeding disorder or something of that sort. It often presents no symptoms and someone can just collapse and die out of nowhere. It is rare and is genetic. Most people who have it do not die of it and for most people, the symptoms they display are nosebleeds and marks on the skin, not a sudden tragic death. Her family said she never had one symptom until her death.

Of all the people I have known and have never known, who died, Haley is the one I would bring back if I could. Even if I had to die myself. Right now, I would die and bring her “back from the dead” if it were possible. I wouldn’t even hesitate. I would bring that beautiful girl back in an instant without a second thought.

She was everything. Everyone loved her. Her family, friends, everyone in the neighborhood, even strangers. She had a boyfriend, a sweet girl, who I also knew/worked with, who is her cousin, best friend, and sister all in one, lots of friends, a loving family, a job, she was a college girl and very close to her mom and dad and brother. She had a dog she loved who loved her. Very successful already at just 20 years old.

I saw some of her photography and am deeply inspired. Like me, she had an appreciation for the simple, mundane, often overlooked things in life like shadows, raindrops, lights, her own beauty(she knew how very beautiful she was)…and like me, she loved to capture it in photos. She inspires me to take even more pictures and be even more mindful of the simple joys of living. She was so confident and it showed in the way she carried herself and her photos.

Throughout the year since she has been gone, there are a few occasions I struggled with something like a wave of depression or a flare up of my my facial pain disorder here & there, then I would happen to see a picture of her beautiful smile in my newsfeed on social media, posted by her family, and it would lift me and remind me to live like she did, confidently, in the moment, compassionately…I also struggled with anxiety for six months beginning the month she died and for three of those months, it was severe, debilitating. And throughout my journey, Haley’s beauty and light and smile was with me every step of the way.

So much of what I am today is because of Haley.


Haley inspires me everyday. She’s on my mind every single day. There is not a day I don’t think of her. And not a moment I’m not inspired by her. I did not know her well but because of the kind of person she was, she has a tremendous impact on anyone who met her even just for a few seconds. Anyone who looked at her was stunned by her beauty. Even people who never had the joy of knowing her while she was here are deeply inspired by her photos and stories of her. She is the kind of person anyone would aspire to be like. People say there is no such thing as perfect. Haley was perfection itself. Just look at a picture of her and you will see.


The Haley Morris Foundation ❤

Imagine the trauma her mom, dad, and little brother live with every single day not just at the fact that Haley died but seeing it happen right in front of them, hearing her pleading in the night for help and there was nothing anyone could have done to stop it. My love goes out to them every single day. I never stop thinking of them.

I remember a year ago, shortly after Haley died, I found myself laying on a floor numb and paralyzed in fear, terror, horror, unable to move, thinking of her and her poor mom. I wondered how her mom was still breathing. The pain & fear in me was unlike anything I have ever known before and I had no idea what to do with it. I was already beginning to develop an anxiety condition and this tragedy triggered it to spiral quickly out of control. I am thankful to say today, it is gone. After six months, it disappeared on its own.

Haley’s family is very particular about what photos of her can be shared by others and which ones cannot be. When I share any on facebook with the share button, I ask for permission first. So I took a screencap of this picture above off her public memorial/awareness page, called Hearts for Haley. The picture does not belong to me at all. It’s just a screencap of a photo that is her family’s. And the other photo is a screencapture of a picture of her off of the foundation website.

Her family chose to rise above the tragedy and begin an organization to bring awareness to the disease that took her life to try to make it so it will never take another and bring devastation and ruin to another family. They could have chosen to crumble in their grief but instead they made the brave decision to stand back up and keep going and bring love to everyone they can. They took tragedy and devastation and used it as inspiration to bring more goodness and love to the world. Their strength, love for others, including complete strangers, and courage are deeply inspiring.

Haley has only been gone a year and that quickly her family developed a successful foundation called The Haley Morris Foundation, in her honor.

None of the photos of Haley are mine and I do not have permission to use any of her photos in any way at all. These are screencaptures off of her memorial page and website for the foundation her family, developed to honor her. And the photo of Diane is not mine. It’s one that showed up on my newsfeed after she died. And the ones of Gabriella are screencaps of her accounts. I also do not have permission to screencap any of these but I did to honor them.

I love Diane & Haley & Gaby and I’m so thankful they lived. I am honored to be able to say I knew two such women in person and one online, all beautiful, loving, kind. I have nothing but the deepest love for them.

Recently, I have been feeling a lack of friendship because in the last couple of years, my friends and me have drifted apart on their end, not mine. I wanted to keep the friendships going but they no longer care to be friends like we once were. I am very extroverted and crave socialization so losing friendships or lacking socialization for a while can trigger a depressive episode in me. It does not always but it does happen. In fact, that is the main trigger for me, social things or social isolation. As an adult, it’s not always easy to meet new friends. Usually I just accept that our friendships have been ending and am still generally happy but sometimes it really gets to me and loneliness sets in or worse, depression, which often is accompanied by loneliness. Sometimes I get angry with my friends for neglecting our friendships when I am putting in work trying to recover our lost friendship. I know it’s not their obligation to be my friends but that does not always prevent my anger or resentment towards them. Also, sometimes it tends to contribute to my self esteem greatly plummeting for a while (then getting better again later) to think they no longer care. This does not always happen, just flareups. But it’s not pleasant.
When my self esteem plummets thinking of them no longer caring, I will remember Haley’s self confidence and remember to be confident myself and I will remember her compassion for others and lavish my own compassion onto others and not dwell so much on my own sadness. And I will remember a girl who would sit with lonely people who had no friends and know if she were here right now, she would sit with me. And whenever I begin to have unkind thoughts about my friends for being how they are now or unkind thoughts about myself, triggered by others not caring, I will remember Diane telling me to not be unkind as a result of other people’s unkindness and to stay warm and caring no matter what and to never change because she loved me just how I am, and I will let my angry thoughts melt away. And when I begin to get depressed, wondering if my own life is worth living, I will remember Gabriella and her love for life that reminds me so much of my own love for life (depression can make me forget sometimes) and her zest and motivation to keep going no matter how bad things got for her and I will remember that that zest and love is in me too. And I will keep going. I will remember her philosophy to appreciate exactly what is. I have a Diane, a Haley, & a Gabriella who would be cheering me on if they were here and their love & wisdom surrounds me each day. They are all around me and within me. I carry them everywhere. Three beautiful women I have been lucky & blessed enough to cross paths with in this life.

I am thankful to have crossed paths with each of them. I try not to dwell on the tragic, traumatic circumstances of their unexpected(haley & diane) or agonizing (Gabriella) deaths and instead rejoice that they walked this Earth even if only briefly and that I got to know them when I did.

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Haley & Diane & Gabriella for once existing and sharing that light & beauty with our world.

My heart just aches that they are gone but I am also filled with gratitude that they were here.

“You can remember her and only that she is gone
Or you can cherish her memory and let it live on”❤

My love goes out to all who are grieving the loss of a friend, family member, pet, coworker…or just anyone who has touched your life in some way, however long or briefly, then vanished forever. Let’s remember to honor them and live how we know would make them happy and proud.
What would make them happy and proud? Acts of kindness, happiness, compassion for others and our own self, courage, strength…

I very much prefer for all sympathy, healing thoughts/prayers/meditations/vibes….go not to me but to Haley & Diane’s (and Gabriella’s) close family & friends. Even though I grieve for them, my grief is just a fraction of what their friends and family experience each day, who lived with them and/or knew them much better than I did. This post isn’t truly about grief; that is just part of it. And it’s not about my loss or sadness. It’s about love, honor, remembrance, gratitude, life. Everyone who is good and dies is worthy of being remembered in a positive light with love and gratitude instead of remembering more or focusing more on the tragedy. This is about the love & light Haley & Diane & Gabriella all brought to Earth on their brief journeys here.

Much love & light,
Xoxo Kim

When things fall apart❤

(Not my image)

“No one’s head aches when he is comforting another.”

In the beginning of December(the December that was just here like two seconds ago), I bought a book, at Book Traders, in Olde City, Philadelphia, “When Things Fall Apart,” by Pema Chodron. It’s a Buddhist book that can apply to everyone. It’s a guide for how to handle fear and other unpleasant emotions when things are difficult in life. I was currently not experiencing anything difficult when I saw the book on the shelf and for the most part do not have many struggles in life or anything too severe in general, and so was not inclined to buy it, even though it seems like a very good book, but felt drawn to it for some reason. I love self-help/personal development books even if they are not ones I really need(not that I “need” any self help books but if we struggle with a certain issue, books on that topic may be helpful). For example, books about general anxiety or self-esteem issues, I have never struggled with serious general anxiety or self esteem issues(other than sometimes when I would be very depressed – I was diagnosed many years ago with Major Depressive Disorder and have been suicidal for years but much better now) but often find that even they have inspiring, uplifting things that can apply to me or are just pleasant to read. I especially love Buddhist books. I only had a limited amount of money for the bookstore and wanted to use it wisely! I kept going back to it, feeling that “pull.”

So I bought this book even though things were looking up and not difficult for me then.

Not long after I bought the book, my world crumbled on top of me. Again. And I was shattered to pieces.

Shattered to pieces.

Shattered. To pieces.

I wondered if I would, could ever be put back together again.

I have these “headaches.” They are not frequent but are shattering. There is no effective treatment currently known for them. They’re like cluster headaches. The source of the pain is in my jaw, not actually my head. It feels like a throbbing toothache but way, way worse than that, along with severe burning pain on the one side of my face & head. Like a hot rod being driven through the eye-socket. Like scalding hot water running down the one side of my face, taking all my skin off with it. It can feel like broken glass moving around inside my face or like someone clawing at all the muscles/joints/inner skin/elastic tendon; they feel like an icepick going through my temple, like part of my head being sliced off….They ruin me.

The pain can come and go off and on for days until it goes away for good(then comes back maybe the next year or more or sometimes sooner). It usually happens at night more than during the day.

Ultimately/Generally, I do not mind that I have these headaches. They are excruciating but it is what it is and they are rare; I don’t get them often. Once in a blue moon. Usually during Winter months, especially in December. They last a few days then gone!

I was hit with a couple somewhat recently. Ouch! I havent had one this bad in so long, I forgot how to handle them and found myself wanting to scream and hit my face(this kind of pain can provoke us to have the overwhelming urge to hit our face/head or bang it against a wall – it’s an unfathomable level of pain). I used to scream all night when I would have them years ago til my throat was raw, I lost my voice, and my mouth tasted of blood. I can’t remain still with them. I have to pace constantly all night long into the morning. Wringing my hands, keeling over, sometimes. I have once stayed awake for four days & nights straight with them. Not one moment of sleep in 4 days & nights. This was many years ago.

It’s a nightmare.

Hell on Earth.

They devastate my entire existence. They are powerful.

When I have these headaches and shortly after they end and when I vividly remember them even if I havent recently experienced one, I am reminded of the suffering and potential suffering of all of the world, of all sentient life. My deep empathy is brought out even more deeply. My compassion is set on fire and I long to heal the whole world but in a good way, not a depressing, helpless feeling even though I cant heal the world as I do not have that power. Just the feeling of that kind of compassion for others is beautiful and inspiring. Just to be in that state. These headaches inspire that compassion even more deeply in me.

When I get these headaches I am so, so happy for everyone who does not have them. Everyone I look at anywhere I go, I think at least that person is not suffering with one of these. And it’s so beautiful. Always, that heals me to think I am so thankful it’s me and not them. I want to take on all the head pain (and any other kind of pain that exists) there is in this life so no one else ever has to experience it, even if it would make my own pain worse, sevenfold.

These headaches rip me open and I am stripped to the bone. All layers of various experiences pulled back and stripped away, discarded, disregarded, dismissed. Specifics no longer matter. Raw agony effecting something universal. It is beautiful. It is agonizing.

All my innermost wisdom, my deep knowing, rising to the surface and bleeding out onto the world like hot, hot, hot lava. My face burning and throbbing and aching, the pain pulsing & screaming & burning relentlessly. Ripping me apart. Tearing me to shreds. Burning. Screaming. Burning.

Cruelty like I have never known before.

Cruelty.

Cruelty.

Torture.

Cruelty.

I brace myself as I begin my descent back to some primitive state, something animalistic unleashed in me, losing all sense of reasoning, all conditioning, all knowledge of human language, as I want to scream like a wounded animal in the night who knows nothing but anguish. I have always felt that they reduce me to half the woman I am and chain me to a world where there is nothing but fear & pain, and myself, where I lay amid the ruin of a life that a mere few seconds ago was complete, whole, sane…then destroyed in a matter of seconds, without warning. Without warning, I am a wreck on the floor in the fetal position holding or hitting my face and head, confined to Hell. Screaming in my head. Without warning, I am roaming the night, like a hungry ghost, screaming for some relief that never seems to come. Without warning, there is just fear and pain and me. And agonized screams that taste like blood.

With these headaches, I come face to face with the primal connection we all share, the basic humanness, the sentience, the potential. The underneath. And it is beautiful. So beautiful. To experience ruin like this so deeply, is a gift.

With these headaches, I know insanity; I know addiction; I know homelessness; I know all physical & emotional ailments; I know loss of all sorts; I know hunger & poverty & war & ugliness. I know callousness. I know what it is to be a criminal, a thief, a traitor. A wild animal. With these headaches, I am the predator and I am the prey.

I don’t know all of these things on the surface as I have never experienced them all themselves but I am intimate with the underpinnings, the core, the soul of them.

Through these headaches, I know destruction; I know desperation, despair, agony; I know impulse, rawness, destitution, longing, fear. I know aggression. I know Sickness. Something primitive. I am reunited with the most ancient ancestors and everyone who has come before me since the world began.

I know something gutteral. I know ruin.

And through this, I also know tenderness, compassion, love, humility. Beauty. Empathy. Gentleness. Oneness. I know wholeness. I know complete strangers who I will never meet or lay eyes on. I know beings who haven’t yet come into the world.

There is something about the raw, unearthly pain of these hellish headaches that deeply humbles me and allows me to experience a deep, deep oneness with all sentient life in a kind of way that nothing else does. I experience that oneness anyway but these headaches allow me a deeper intimacy with it. To know it at a greater depth. They allow me the advantage of breadth of all experience.

I think of all sentient life, human, animal, insect, whoever else may be out there. I hear their agonized screams, their pleads, their cries, the misery, I taste the longing, and I want to calm it all, to love away the hurt, to bring warmth and love where there is cold & yearning. I want to dry the tears of all who cry.

I want to love, love, love until the fear runs out. Then love some more. I want to love until the pain burns itself out. Then love some more.

I want to sate all hunger & quench all thirst.

Because I know this pain, I know all pain.

I know all despair.

I know it well.

I know the darkness and I know the light.

This pain is rare; most will never experience it, but there is something universal about the underpinnings of it, the desperation it brings, the fear, the dread.

There is something ancient at play. Something we have all known since beginningless time. Something we know irrespective of our location in the world. Something that knows no borders or customs or culture. If we were all stripped of all our conditioning, our culture, our skin, our superficial experiences, all our appearances, we would be identical in this something.

We all know or have the capacity to know the underpinnings of all experience. We all know the raw pain of these headaches if we know any suffering or pain or fear at all.

Most of us have experienced or can experience some sort of fear, anxiety, desperation, concern, pain, anger, terror, loss, love…we don’t need these headaches to bring us those experiences. The headaches are a reminder. A gift.

All painful experiences are a gift in disguise. They give us the opportunity to rise above and evolve into something even better, to reach out into the uni-verse and love someone today, even a complete stranger. Painful, terrifying experiences may seem like a malicious enemy but they can really be a loving friend to us if only we let them. A friend who shows us “tough love” on the surface while ultimately allowing us to deeply know a warm, soft tenderness at the core of our suffering, at the core of all suffering. A tenderness so sweet & loving, so warm, so gentle but so fierce.

I read something in this book that seems to mirror my own experience here. I will share an excerpt:

“I once attended a lecture about a man’s spirtual experiences in India in the 1960s. He said he was determined to get rid of his negative emotions. He struggled against anger and lust; he struggled against laziness and pride. But mostly he wanted to get rid of his fear. His meditation teacher kept telling him to stop struggling, but he took that as just another way of explaining how to overcome his obstacles.
Finally the teacher sent him off to meditate in a tiny hut in the foothills. He shut the door and settled down to practice, and when it got dark he lit three small candles. Around midnight he heard a noise in the corner of the room, and in the darkness he saw a very large snake. It looked to him like a king cobra. It was right in front of him, swaying. All night he stayed totally alert, keeping his eyes on the snake. He was so afraid that he couldn’t move. There was just the snake and himself and fear.
Just before dawn the last candle went out, and he began to cry. He cried not in despair but from tenderness. He felt the longing of all the animals and people in the world; he knew their alienation and their struggle. All his meditation had been nothing but further separation and struggle. He accepted-really accepted wholeheartedly-that he was angry and jealous, that he resisted and struggled, and that he was afraid. He accepted that he was also precious beyond measure-wise and foolish, rich and poor, and totally unfathomable. He felt so much gratitude that in the total darkness he stood up, walked toward the snake, and bowed. Then he fell sound asleep on the floor. When he awoke, the snake was gone. He never knew if it was his imagination or if it had really been there, and it didn’t seem to matter. As he put it at the end of the lecture, that much intimacy with fear caused his dramas to collapse, and the world around him finally got through.” (pp. 3-4)

What a beautiful reminder of how, fundamentally, we are all the same. No matter what, we are all capable of suffering. We all gravitate towards relief, pleasure, happiness, comfort, life and all ultimately want to avoid fear, and pain, and suffering of any sort. We can use our own experiences with fear and/or pain to teach or remind us of compassion and empathy. Remember whatever we are experiencing, others are as well or already have or can experience it. We are not alone in our fear, pain, anger, suffering….and we can use it to deepen our love for all sentient life, let it bring us closer to the oneness that we all share, the humaness, the sentience.
Let it humble us and inspire us.
Let us be kind to all living beings. They are us. We are them.

Let us bow to the things that bring us so much fear & pain. They are our sacred Teachers. They are the bridges that lead us to each other. Let us bow before them in extreme gratitude and boundless reverence.

Here are two videos of young women experiencing headaches similar to the ones I have:

Cluster attack #1

Cluster attack #2

These videos are kind of “graphic.” The two women are screaming hysterically, uncontrollably, in unimaginable physical agony. It’s not an exaggeration or overreaction. It is literally impossible to exaggerate the pain of these attacks. It is so, so, so severe already, there is no way to exaggerate it. If you do not have earphones and there are people around, you may not want to click on the links with volume up. If you want to click on them at all.

They were diagnosed with Cluster Headache Disorder(CH), considered to be the worst pain known to medical science. Many women with them who have given birth, have said it’s worse than the pain of childbirth! Holy 💩!!

I was not diagnosed with this headache disorder but I have another disorder that mimics cluster headaches, migraine headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, and severe toothaches, and other kinds of pain. My disorder is not as bad as Cluster & Migraine disorder. My pain is less frequent & often less intense. But it does get so bad.

For Cluster Headache Disorder, breathing in oxygen through a machine can help with the pain sometimes. They themselves are not life threatening but many people become suicidal while having one of these headaches, not necessarily because of depression, but because the pain is so immense it’s hard to imagine living even another second with it. The one young woman is in a hospital participating in a trial thing if I understand correctly.

Wouldn’t you give anything to take their pain away? I would in a second take it all on myself if I could, to stop theirs. I find their suffering so unbearable. But it doesn’t depress me. It doesn’t drag me down. It motivates me to want to act on kindness in any way I can. It inspires in me a deeper love, a higher love.

Higher Love – Steve Winwood

“Think about it, there must be higher love
Down in the heart or hidden in the stars above
Without it, life is wasted time
Look inside your heart; I’ll look inside mine”

Also, I haven’t yet read the book in its entirety but what I have read up to now, is very inspiring, as you can well see!

He’s My Son -Mark Schultz

“I’m down on my knees again tonight.”

This is a song about a mom & a dad on the verge of losing a sick child to death. It’s a beautiful, warm, tender, gut-wrenching song. It guts me and leaves me hollow inside. I do not know their pain but the deep, desperation of the message and choice of words and the music has always reminded me of the pain/desperation of cluster headaches & similar pain. Of course, I think the struggle of having a sick child is way, way worse. But there is just something about the desperation here that resonates with me in a deep way.

When things fall apart, let us remember to take all the life lessons, the pain, the wisdom, the fear….and let it fuel us to reach out & love others.

Much love and light to you who is reading this. I wish you peace, love, & comfort. Joy, hope, and gratitude. Health & happiness, always.

Xoxo Kim❤

So THIS is happening💚

(Living kidney donor screening questionnaire)

You’ll never see exactly where the road will lead you, and when it comes to love, you gamble when you need to..
You’ll maybe break your heart on one unlucky throw… but then again, You’ll Never know…❤

You’ll Never Know – Ringo Starr

It’s happening.

I have been holding onto this big dream for many, many years. Since I was a young woman, I had this one big thing I knew I would grow up to do. But it is a dream that felt “too big.” Too scary. Too complicated. Out of my league. So I would put it off and say “some day.” It will happen. Some day. One day. Way into the future.
I had various excuses. I should be older first. I should graduate college first. I should have a place of my own first. I should have a “real job” first, Im probably not qualified because I have depression…..so many “shoulds.”
A year and a half ago, just out of the blue, this dream began to nag me day & night. I kept telling it to go away that I would get around to it. Some day. But it would not let up. It was on my mind day and night. It was in my dreams while I slept! It was the first thing on my mind when I woke up in the morning! It was the last thing falling asleep. It made no sense; it came out of nowhere like this. I thought about it for years off and on but then it just came to stay. And nag me every second.

So I gave in and said ok. I did research all day and night and prepared myself as best as I could to make the call. To answer the call.
I changed my diet and became a health nut. I stopped drinking soda and lots more water. I started walking even more than usual. I began consuming lots more fruits and vegetables. I talked to various people who already did what I will do, and others involved, about my plan and what it will be like. They were all positive and encouraging.

But still, I kept telling myself circumstances can be better. I have to wait. Wait for what? Who knows…but I have to wait. But it nagged me. The dream, it would not give up calling to me.

Finally I gave in. And one day, some day became today.

I answered the call and made the call.

I contacted the Kidney Transplant center and offered one of my kidneys to the next person on the wait list. Whoever it is, I do not know or care. All I know is, this is a person who has to live and wants to live. And that is enough for me.

So today. This is happening.

I am now beginning the process of donating one of my kidneys…..to a random stranger at a transplant center here in Philadelphia. Someone I have never met and probably will never meet because I am choosing the completely anonymous way.

What in the WHAT?!?!

Me? Just an average girl who lives at home with mom, sister, and dad. An average girl with an average job. No special talents or skills. I’m not adventurous and never travel anywhere, dont go on vacations, dont have lots of friends, always had average grades in school, I was never a fitness freak or health nut, havent run marathons, or won any awards, I go to work each day and then straight home, the simplest, most average life imaginable….so what business do I have taking a plunge like this, having my gut sliced open and a kidney cut off my bladder, possibly dying on the operating table(ok so that’s a bit dramatic and is rare), for a random person I do not know and probably never will?

Well, I have two healthy kidneys and a big ‘ole heart and just a little bit of courage….and that is just about all I need to embark on this incredible journey of love.

I am about to undergo a battery of extensive, extremely thourough medical & psychiatric testing. My entire body, inside and out, head to toe, will be examined and I will spend grueling hours with multiple mental health professionals for psychiatric testing to make sure I’m not batshit cray for volunteering to give my kidney to a total stranger. (I promise I’m not! I’m just a universal lover who strongly believes everyone is just as important as my own family/friends) and they want to make sure I’m emotionally strong enough to endure the entire process and that I am not being coerced into it. It’s not all pretty and not for the faint of heart. I will have to meet with a nutritionist or dietician and financial counselors (because I will be out of work for months recovering and have to show them that I will still be good financially.)

I have a history of major depressive disorder(im much much better and not depressed now at all & no longer treated), a kidney stone in 2007 that led to emergency surgery(I remember thinking “well damn I guess im not going to be allowed to donate a kidney one day now” and that is one of the first things I said to my mom upon waking).

These are known as relative disqualifiers, which means I can be rejected for them but will not necessarily be. The team has to know more about them. There are absolute disqualifiers that will render someone ineligible at every transplant center. These include HIV(I am a regular blood donor and do not have this), diabetes(hopefully don’t have this but don’t know – it’s the #1 thing leading to kidney disease), serious high blood pressure problems(dont have this), hep (no), cancer(hopefully not!)…

Currently, I’m in the screening process to see if I even stand a chance at all; some people are rejected right off before testing even begins. They are going to review my application at the center and if they believe it’s all good, they will contact me back and tell me to come on in for the official process to begin!

If they just toss it out, at least I tried! I reached out in love and that will have to be enough. But if they say no, I will move on to a different transplant center until one gives me a chance. It is extremely difficult to be accepted as a living donor. Most people are not healthy enough. And many are considered to be just not cut out for it emotionally. It’s no joke! It’s a very serious, serious matter that just is not for everyone.
The average person would be rejected because of physical health issues and then financial issues. We do not pay for the transplant or donor surgery but we do pay for any medical complications we may experience; there are traveling/hotel expenses, and we’re out of work for months and will not be getting paid. I live right here so no traveling expenses for me. If one transplant center rejects us for a relative disqualifier, another may accept us.

This one is a good choice because I read about some of the doctors and they are very warm and caring. There is an altruistic kidney donor here in Philadelphia who gave her kidney to a man also in Philadelphia and this is the center they had their transplant. The story is beautiful. He cried to be loved so much by a complete stranger. And she joked and said he’s crying because he has a woman’s kidney. They did theirs a different way. She chose him and happened to be a match and healthy enough. She chose to remain anonymous at first then revealed herself. Theirs is called altruistic directed. She heard his story about his need for a kidney and got tested for him specifically. I am doing non-directed where there is no specific person in mind. It will go to the sickest who I am a match for. This is always anonymous and I prefer this.

I hope this can inspire anyone else with a dream or goal to go on and take that very first step if it’s something that truly resonates with you. We all have fear in us and love in us. If something resonates with us and calls to us, and we say no or ignore it because we are afraid it wont work out, afraid of getting hurt, afraid it will not go as planned….afraid of anything, we are acting on the fear instead of the love. Is that any way to live? If something just is not worth it to us and we are afraid, that is one thing and is ok to say no to it. But if something is our passion and our calling and we say no out of fear, that sucks! Fear is not worthy of being the one that gets our attention. Love is.

So go ahead, reach out, take the plunge, whatever is calling to you, nagging you, resonating with you, go for it! Even if we are currently unsure about something, it certainly won’t hurt to find out more about it. And if all falls to pieces, at least we can be proud to say we tried and our action was aligned with our truth, life philosophy, passion. At least we can say we acted on love and kicked that fear to the curb.

People have asked me “What if you die?” And my response is, I would prefer to die a young woman on an operating table living my dream than die a healthy old woman, safe in my bed, never even trying because I listened to the fear in me and ignored the Love. What if I die? Then at least I will die living & loving. How does that old cliche go? Something like, what matters is not how long we live but how well we live, not the number of years in our life but the life in our years.

Isn’t that what life is all about? Taking chances, big or small, reaching out, being all that we can be, doing the best we can, then letting go and whatever will be will be. It’s not about cowering in a corner, shaking, living safely in a bubble, not doing what we dream of, just to die in the end anyway. Shake. Be terrified. Let your hands tremble and sweat and your mouth dry up in fear. Let your voice quiver and your legs turn to jelly. Push through that overwhelming “I can’t do this” and “I’m not cut out for it” feeling and try. Maybe we really can’t do this. We all have something that for whatever reason, we can’t do. Maybe we truly aren’t cut out for it. Maybe we don’t have the skills or the heath or the ability. And that is ok! But what isn’t good is not even trying because of fear.

Take that first step anyway and keep, keep going for as long as you can. Conquer that terror. Show it who is really the boss here. Welcome it, let it take up residence here in your world, embrace it as a companion but don’t let it win! Let the love ultimately win.

“Death is inevitable. Living a life we can be proud of is something we can control.” ~ Claire Wineland
(Claire was a beautiful, bold, brave young woman who died of an unexpected complication during recovery following a successful lung transplant)

Does this dream of mine scare me? Oh yes! I am pissing my pants! There are so many ways to fail at this, so many chances for me to be rejected, so many things that can go wrong with my body during surgery and even during some of the medical tests and even years later even if all goes well. The remaining kidney can stop working after the other is removed and it may not happen til years later but that is rare. I hear there is ironically a mandatory test to check my kidneys to make sure they are healthy but this very test can make them fail?! The transplant team can decide that I am a total basket case during the evaluations. They can find cancer during all the scans I have to get. And the list goes on of all the things I have to fear.

But the love in me is what is winning. The love is what I will focus on all throughout this journey wherever it will lead me to and no matter how short or long lived it is. Fear will take the back burner where it belongs. And love will lead the way.

So yeah, this 💩 is finally happening!

Wish us luck!

Much love, light, & courage to you; be brave, be bold, be strong; keep going; whatever it is you got this!❤

Xoxo Kim