Happy 3rd Birthday Pilgrimage Gal...

I started my little blog on June 1, 2012. I then spent days looking at a blank screen wondering what to say.

Pilgrimage Gal has evolved in three years. I have grown in confidence, witnessing my health dramatically improve and along the way I found my voice. This space began with the support of my Jeffrey and my dear friend Jessica; both encouraging me to share my truth. What began as a sick and frightened women's journal, changed into a place to find hope, courage and little faith. Back in the beginning, I wasn't scared of sharing my truth, I was scared of


.  In my heart, I felt death chasing me and it was terrifying. The blog became a place to share the fear that filled my heart in the darkness of night.  The worries that didn't go away when I woke. I needed my Beauties to know their mom. So as adults they would have my truth of their childhood. The blog would allow them to see in my own words that I loved them with everything that I had. That I fought everyday for their Dad and them.

When I left this world, they would still hear my voice.

A record for the Beauties of what my life, our life was all about.

Total truth.

I never honestly expected to be here to celebrate this blog turning 3. While I was making peace with my death, the Divine was creating my way to life. Each doctor at every turn was a tiny grain of sand to wellness. You never see the beach when you are focused on individual grains of sand, you can't find the ocean--you can only see the grains.

No one has had access to better doctors. No one. I have fought, challenged, cajoled, and laid out a few. I have listened, cried and screamed when I needed to, I did what I was told, and I never stopped fighting. Never given up. Have I had dark moments? Good Lord, yes.  I looked at my Jeffrey and my Beauties and knew NO ONE would ever love them the way I do. No one possibly could. They are as much part of my soul as I am theirs.

I have meet brilliant minds, doctors who love me more than they should. I have given too many of them sleepless nights. My husband who never once has said it's too much. A doctor, Harvard, who stood next to my hospital bed in the darkest moments and who wound't give up on his most unique patient.  I know no person on earth that has more loving friends, soul sisters, more perfect Beauties and my mother who drops everything to support me.

My riches are too vast to imagine. I may never win the power-ball, but I have won more than my share of grace and love.

So as I step back and give thanks for medical interventions that keep me stable. Teachers who love my children as their own, friends no matter my geography that have my back, a husband that loves all of me, every broken part and every super power.

I know one thing that is true, that none of this is possible without my faith. A faith that humbles me. That in all of my abundance, I have been able to walk with LOVE. My greatest gift in all of this is faith that is built on love.  I have a faith that never falters. That faith has enabled me to see love hidden, love flourishing, and how to find it, keep it and make it grow.

It's all of these gifts that make Pilgrimage Gal my safe place as I hope it is yours too. The Divine gave me the love of all of you. My Pilgrims near and far. Thanks to technology, I have virtual tea dates around the globe. Someday the Divine will connect all of us, in London and in Finland and too many of you to mention in Canada and the States. Each and every one of you take a moment out of your busy daily life to walk with me. To share your truth, to give me insight in your life. You share your Beauties, your dreams, your faith and struggles. Thank you, for walking with me; sharing your exquisite every day moments. My life is richer with your love.

Jeffrey surprised me with a huge Pilgrimage Gal birthday cake, chocolate with salted caramel, no words for the yummiest cake ever. The cake was from the talented cafe and my newest Santa Barbara friend Gillian of

Lilac Patisserie

. I washed the cake down with a toast and small sip of champagne (I'm on crummy antibiotics) toasting each and everyone of you. Without you I would just be some lonely girl jotting musings in her diary.

Your loves, your likes, your comments, your shares, and your amens have made me productive, open, more honest and the best version of myself.

I'm beyond humbled by my life and look forward to celebrating all of our joys, celebrations and struggles for years to come.

Cheers, to you all! To Jess and Jeffrey, I love you both with all that I have, thank you for encouraging me in the darkness. You both give me more than I ever give you!

Peace be with you all.

The Divine in me bows to the Divine in each and everyone of you.

Happy Birthday from the Pilgrimage Gal and our journey continues.



Photo Credit: Mr. Pilgrimage Gal

Thanks (forward to my book)

The acknowledgement to my book….

So I have been spending a good amount of time thinking about my dream of writing a book… the book that would reach out to other folks who have struggles with their bodies and spirits…

So in an attempt to circle the wagons on all the self help books that say lead with certainty… I’m writing the forward to my book first… here goes:

It not only takes a village it takes a team.

To Harvard (a.k.a. Dr. K) for the sleepless nights, the million phone calls, the amazing care, the kind heart and the trust in medicine as both art and science, you have gone above and beyond what one doctor should ever have to do to try and get a patient healthy. You are the truest and best example of everything a doctor should be and I am eternally grateful every day that you are mine. Thank you seems so insignificant…

To Dr. F., you are the doctor every girl needs, you are an amazing doctor and mother. You understand how difficult it is to wear both hats and as a patient I always feel that you “get it” completely.  Thanks for understanding what I mean when I tell you I can’t get off the couch…. You are a dream.

Then of course, a big round of thanks to all my family, friends and miscellaneous support staff for keeping the trains running semi-on schedule.

One of many examples is a recent visit from the best part of my extended family.  A shining star was in town visiting me this week.  It’s kind of hard to explain, but my mom was engaged to Shelly and Laurie’s Dad… the marriage never happened, but I scored some amazing soul sisters. I was 15 and Shelly was 21, the first time we met, and we just clicked….now we are a long way from 21, but we have a very special and enduring relationship….I love these girls… and Shell just rolled in Sunday and took over, she made tea, cooked, explained subtraction with m&ms, held my hand when I was nauseas, did yoga, made PB&Js for the kids, and we walked and talked….

But, more than anything, I just basked in her light… Don’t you just love the girls in your life who make you better, who see you at your best, when you are not sure that you are, and just love you for all the right reasons… Shell is my sister… We share the same view of faith, of God, of his endless light and love, and his healing grace. I find when I’m with her the toughest weeks aren’t so tough. Shell is a gift, a walking talking gift, she has the grace of the spirit and it shines through… and laughs when I drop the F-bomb.

We were riding in the car and she was telling me this embarrassing story about her, the tango, a dear girl friend, her delicious man, Italy and a lot of wine…. We were at a stop light, in my smoking hot grey beat up Honda mini van with booster seats, drinking our grande, skinny single shot vanilla latte and I was laughing so hard I was coughing, like the ugly cough, tears pouring down my face and we can’t stop. And this very serious looking girl in the mini van next to me with very expensive sunglasses gave us the evil eye… which just made me laugh all the more, cause life is too hard not to laugh until you cry, given the opportunity…

Now all that said, that car ride lead us to the parking lot at Harvard’s office to pick up yet another stupid prescription, this time for my heart… kind of ironic… I’m laughing as I type this cause of this wonderful moment, picturing my girl dancing… and us laughing in the car, well it’s just too much, and exactly what I needed.

When I get permission to tell the whole story I will… it is just too funny… I mean, shut the front door funny….

So this is our life, we make it work, we laugh, lord how we laugh…. As the wise one Tim Gunn tells us, “make it work”.

Lord Tim, I’m trying!

Namaste my friends, Namaste….