Saturday, February 28, 2015

Getting Out of Your Mind -- Or How To Stay Out Of Trouble

It's easy sometimes for a person to wonder a little too much, to project what may or may not be, to believe one knows something one does not. It happens to all of us at times, I believe. Below is a little poem that I hope conveys my point.

How To Stay Out Of Trouble

Wandering around
in that head up there
can be dangerous
and stupid.
It is easy to imagine
what is not.
It is easy to pretend
to know the truth.
It is easy to conjure
the words some say.
It is easy to pay back
judging all the way.
And it is easy to ponder
why . . .
why it happened,
why it didn’t,
what it meant,
who did it,
how to fix it,
and where, the hell,
to go next.
Or, one can do nothing.
Watch. Wait.
Listen. Let it play out.
And it will play out,
all on its own.
So why wander
in grey matter,
about matters
with lives of their own?
It’s an exercise in futility.
It won’t change a thing.
Best to be here now
and stay out of trouble.
                                                            Judith DeChesere-Boyle - February 2015

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Two “Blue Feathers” in a day . . .

I received the following message on February 24, 2015, the same day that a lovely note was sent to me. The note is included in yesterday’s blog. The message is the focus of today’s blog.

Judith, like I have told you in the past. You are a warm and loving soul, with the strength and bravery of a lion. Your story has touched so many and will touch many as the years go by. It will not remain a book that just sits and collects dust on a shelf of any old bookstore. Someone will see the title and it will pull at their heartstrings and something inside of them will tell them that this is something that they would like to know more about. A story about the love between a mother and her child in any fashion always pulls in the warm hearted. We just love to reaffirm that this kind of love really does exist and reminds us why we too love our own children so much. Your love story will stay with me for my lifetime. I will always look at my children and be more thankful and grateful for them because of your beautiful story. You taught me to love deep, love hard. And love every second I have with them. You probably don't even realize through your story you gave me my own love story. I look at my own children each day and am so grateful for each day I have them. You wrote the gift that keeps on giving. I am forever grateful.

One of the reviews I was given a while back was scathing because the reviewer felt a “teacher” should not have used the “f” word in her writing. She SO missed the point. My memoir is not about profanity, though it definitely includes it. It is about so much more. I believe the woman who sent this message above understood. Thank you, my friend.

Tumor Me, The Story of My Firefighter is available on

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Blue Feather on February 24th                                                                                                  

            Today marks the twenty-first month since my son, Alex, passed away due to job-related brain cancer. I chronicled his struggle, and our family’s as well, in my memoir Tumor Me, The Story of My Firefighter. The memoir was tremendously important for me to write because it helped me to process my grief, at least a bit.
I also wanted Alex’s story “out there” for folks who have been affected in any way by brain cancer or other cancers; I wanted to reach mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters who have experienced such loss; I wanted to reach firefighters and doctors, nurses and caretakers; I wanted to reach moms who, like me, have broken hearts. I wanted to reach readers and writers. I wanted to touch the very spirit of those who can understand.
I have had some remarkable reviews and lovely responses from many people who have read the book. Today, of ALL days, I received this thoughtful note that was sent to my husband’s office. It’s what I call a “blue feather” -- an unexpected and pleasant surprise. I decided it to share it on my blog.

    Dear Judith,

Our daughter sees your husband (optometrist). She saw this book at the office and sent it for Christmas.
                        From a mom, to you Mom Judith, you get an A+ on love and support
            and caring. He was your little Firefighter Prince and your precious,
            ill and dying firefighter. I was in awe of your strength, facing challenges
            and, yes, crashing. How very hard on all your family. Alex was a blessing
            and I LOVE the title. Alex gave much to his family, you all and his fire
            family. They’ve all walked your journey with you. Thanks to God for
            Alex and for the rich cover of love from your family.
                        I observe the hummingbirds out my kitchen pie window. They love
            the Bird of Paradise. I’ll watch for Alex. I know he’s been here and I wasn’t
            aware enough to recognize him. Now I am.
                        What a gift you are.
                                                            Sending Love,
                                                                        D. H.

My sincere thanks to a woman I do not know personally, for taking the time to write and send this note. I am honored to have made this connection, however distant. 

Tumor Me, The Story of My Firefighter is available on or can be ordered through any bookstore. It has not sold millions by any means, but I am so pleased to hear that those who have read it have been moved by its message.