Ah November…it’s that time of the year when colorful leaves reach their pinnacle and start falling, days get colder, shorter and nights longer. It also rains more than usual, the typical cold November rain.
You probably have noticed, since the month began, that an increasing number of guys and men grow facial hair, more specifically a mustache for a very important cause: Movember.
This movement was created to raise awareness of prostate cancer and other men’s health issues as well as raising funds for research and dedicated programs.
I would like to thank Aaron from elatlboy for nominating me. I was asked to create my very own Womanly Bucket List and help spread the word around the planet.
Now, before I begin I would like to share something that is very personal. I was truly moved when I learned about the nomination because it hit home and struck a very sensitive chord. It’s actually a wound that has taken a very long time to heal. I was hesitating whether or not to share this part of my life as I have not discussed it with many people but I think it is time and hopefully inspire others. It was not easy but I know that it can make a difference.
I lost someone very special, close and dear to me about 10 years ago. Cristiano lost his battle against cancer at such a young age (30) and to be honest with you, there isn’t a day that goes by without thinking about him.
I often wonder why I was not at his side when he left us and also what else I could have possibly done!
I asked what exactly causes Cancer? How does it develop? Is it genetic? Bad luck of the draw?
In spite of his circumstances, he did his very best to explain it to me in simple terms and wrote in detail what the painful ordeal & medical procedures he went and had to go through.
Cris shared his fears on the phone, through emails (he was a fantastic writer) as we were separated by an ocean!
His strength, determination, strong will but most importantly his sense of humor in the middle of his darkest hour was just admirable! I honestly have no idea how he managed to go through it all until the end!
I have already shared one of his adventures, which made me daydream and also cry of laughter. His foot long emails & never-ending stories just kept me entertained and are legendary. I always looked forward to reading them and still have them stored. Sometimes I read them over and over and I simply feel so privileged to have been the final recipient.
I’d like to share with you his very last email. I never shown it to anyone but this is an exception. Actually it is a necessity. I want everyone to read it. If anything strikes you, makes you ponder and feel grateful for being alive and well, then his mission is accomplished.
I’m merely the messenger, communicator or the person conveying his motivational words.
Enjoy and let me know what you think…
When you walk through a storm
Hold your head up high
And don’t be afraid of the dark
At the end of the storm
Is a golden sky
And the sweet silver song of a lark
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on
With hope in your heart
And you’ll never walk alone
You’ll never walk alone
This song came out from the innermost portion of my memory when I had realized how many special people are around me, ready to support me in this particular spell of my life.
I‘m lucky because I feel I’m not alone in engaging this battle. Everyday how many are the people victims of incredible circumstances. Were they in the wrong place at the worse instant? Was it written? It has happened. Was it destiny? Who knows!
To me everything in life happens for a reason. It happened and I’m going ahead. I mean I’m so happy to be still here writing & thinking of you. At this point I’m not scared because it can’t create more pain than it has already done. This kind of “event” obviously changes all your priorities.
Believe or not but I have never cried for what happened to me. If you keep high your motivation nature can things medicine ignores. The best medicine to heal your wounds is soul power, brain power…it can be weird but the tougher is the goal the stronger is my will. I’m facing the disease as my new challenge with the right enthusiasm.
I am so sorry the last year totally slipped away. It was very special to me. I mean I had realized and ended all my plans and research projects and mainly because I met an extraordinary person…you!
Everyone expects to find me depressed or in a bad mood. Instead my serenity and strength leaves them puzzled. Well there are people in worse conditions than me. I must not complain.
Now I’m stronger than before even the same surgeon was surprised by my will-power. I mean after three hours the surgery ended, I was on my feet and was walking in my room at hospital.
I have always showed my strength during the hardest and darkest events of my life. When I “accepted” this challenge I know I could win over it. However I swear this is the most difficult fight of my life.
Every day the opponent is studied, controlled and faced. I’m going to the hospital because I need to talk with the doctor that is going to follow the medical protocol procedure for my cancer. I’m sorry to be short I’d like to write more but I’m tired and a little bit slow.
You know I have always thought the little things and the particular attentions are the matters allow our life to be so special and you made my life more special. Karlita, thank you for what you did…it means a lot for me GRAZIE!
Love you always,
Ciao amore mio, I came across this interesting poem and I’m dedicating it to you.
Please remember that I am here for you always. Stay strong!
Cancer is so limited
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot eat away peace.
It cannot destroy confidence.
It cannot kill friendship.
It cannot shut out memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot reduce eternal life.
It cannot quench the spirit.
It cannot lessen the power of the resurrection.
Writing this made me shed some tears of sadness but also relief. It’s as if an incredible weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
It’s also a good sign because others who may be seeking for guidance, motivation or inspiration can read this and feel empowered right? That is probably why I preciously kept all his correspondence!
Now to honor his memory, and to motivate me, here is my
My Womanly Bucket List: Supporting #Movember, #ManlyMoments and a special dedication
5 five things I would like to do before kicking the bucket!
1- Drive a Ferrari on a race track in Italy
I have always been a fan of Scuderia Ferrari for many years. I’m a very passionate F1 formula race fan and I love love love Fernando Alonso, he’s the man!
Win or lose, we are here to support the team. There is something about speed and the engineering marvel that is a Ferrari sports car. I would love to go around the race track and feel the power of the engine and get an adrenaline rush!
2- Take an automotive mechanics course
WTH? you might say! Yes, you read that right.
I’d like to dig in deeper into the automotive world. I was a translator for a major Japanese car manufacturer and I learned so much in the 2 years I worked with them!
At first it was intimidating as I worked in a team composed of men and I was the only female but that did not stop me from learning and advancing! If you knew what I learned. By now I can change wires under the car seat. How about the 25+ possible meanings of the engine light? Tire pressure system monitor replacement anyone?
Last winter it came on my car’s dashboard and I did a thorough research online. I found out what was wrong & what part to order. Took it to my mechanic who said something else & we were not seeing eye to eye. He was actually surprised to hear what I said. I should have told him not to think I was ignorant. It figures out he changed a part that was not necessary but ended up ordering the one I told him to (thank you OBD (On Board Diagnostic) tool!). Now every time he sees me, he is scared lol 😉
3- Hang gliding in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
I am adventurous by nature and love looking at fear in the face and kick it! I already tried para sailing in Jejudo Island in South Korea many years ago and it was one of the most incredible experiences ever! Being high in the air and admiring the earth is quite spectacular.
Now I have seen movies, documentaries, tv shows where people run off a cliff, at Pedra Bonita and fly away in a tandem! Admiring Rio, the urban forest beneath them and land on the beach must be amazing and I can’t wait to give it a try! It sure is not for the faint of heart.
4- See the Northern Lights
I have seen so many spectacular photos of this extraordinary event and also fine show courtesy of mother earth. It must be absolutely magical!
Witnessing it in Iceland or any Scandinavian country would be a once in a lifetime opportunity and unforgettable experience for sure.
5- Visit Bora Bora
If heaven exists on earth then it definitely has a name and location: Bora Bora in French Polynesia.
I have always wanted to go there for as long as I can remember. Just by looking at this picture it makes me want to go there right NOW! Its turquoise waters and pristine white sand beaches are calling my name!
I would go and explore the island either by foot, bicycle or motorcycle! There sure is no shortage of activities and in great company even better 😉
So there you have it! My top 5 Bucket List items I’d like to check during my lifetime!
I’m sure Cristiano would absolutely approve and he’d be happy to see me accomplish this! Whenever I need some strength or need a kick in the rear I just look up and smile 😉
Now over to you!
Here is how YOU can get involved:
Calling all bloggers!
I regularly speak with some amazing & fellow bloggers & persons who are part of our fabulous travel blogging community.
Not only I enjoy talking to them, they are inspiring and I know that they will come up with some kick ass answers or ideas!
Here are the 5 bloggers I nominate to create their own Manly/Womanly Bucket List:
Savannah Grace @sihpromatum
If you would like me to add you and wish to participate just let me know!
This is what you need to do:
- Choose five things you’d like to do this month or in your lifetime, forming your own Manly or Womanly Bucket List. We welcome Mo bros or Mo Sisters!
- Nominate five other bloggers and ask them to create their own list.
- Include a link to Movember to encourage people to register and/or donate.
- Tweet and share your posts with the hashtags #Movember and#ManlyMoments.
Not a Blogger? No problem!
You can still help by:
- Following Raymond’s adventures at MadeMan.com/Movember.
- Check out Facebook and Twitter and follow the hashtags #Movember as well as #ManlyMoments
- Go to Movember.com to find out more about men’s health issues and to help support the cause.
- Check out the schedule for the Made Man Movember Mo’asis Bus Tour for free shaves and tons of fun activities.
- Help this great cause by donating!
Make sure to tweet, Vine, Instagram or post to Facebook with your own manly photo or text using the hashtag #ManlyMoments. One dollar will be donated to Movember by Made Man.
As a bonus you’ll be entered to win a trip for two to Las Vegas to experience your very own Mancation!
Thank you everyone for reading!
Wishing you all the best,