Posted by: thebellalife | July 29, 2009

Have you completed your BUCKET LIST?


My day was SPECTACULAR….Debbie and I met up at the Temple for a little ~TLC~….My goal for the day…Clarity, Inspiration and Service…I reflected back to my Sunday school lesson this past Sunday, the lesson was overcoming Adversity. Webster’s’ Dictionary defines Adversity as “a state, condition, or instance of serious or continued difficulty”.

At one point I asked those in my class if anyone had experienced adversity during the past week…a few hands went up, most heads dropped, the silence was deafening. Those who had the courage to share…talked of fighting cancer, the surgery of a 6 year old grandson, employment that was lost, families on the brink of financial collapse. Every family feeling some overwhelming challenge…

For me the Temple is the best place to seek understanding and clarity. A place where I feel close to the spirit…prayers are offered and answers seem to come in the right time. I leave feeling inspired and renewed.

I have a dear friend in my ward, her name is Claudia. We hug and laugh every time we see each other only to say…We really need to make the time to GET TOGETHER. Then we let days, weeks and months slip by without rescheduling. She is absolutely an angel. Her smile is contagious, her heart always open, her hands always busy helping another. She is a legendary woman having the qualities of a hero, a woman admired and emulated for her achievements and qualities… she is brave, strong and in the fight of her life.

Claudia was diagnosed with breast cancer in early July. Her cancer is aggressive and uninvited..I have thought of her often since hearing the news…I knew she was having surgery Monday..and decided it was time to spend a few precious minutes together. I hate that feeling of….I wish I would have done more… touched base sooner, called before now, written a letter…apologized….if only.. I believe they call that REGRET…. I went right from the Temple to Banner Desert to spend time with Claudia. As I knocked on her door…and walked in…she was thrilled to see me.

Claudia is a beautiful woman with the most amazing hair…her hair is her trademark, always in a very cosmopolitan bob…always perfect..Her hair is the envy of all. We embraced…we laughed…we cried….she was generous to share her story, feelings, emotions, dreams, fears, concerns and her afternoon with me. I was so humbled sitting there listening….I choked back tears while looking away for a quick second…I found myself trying to catch my breath….Claudia and I were discussing REAL LIFE and Death issues. Her cancer became all too personal to me. We would be talking, about the little things, when a gust of emotion would blow in and suck the oxygen out of the room. Claudia would apologize for tearing up. I just held her while she cried. Feeling helpless. Her day had been long, a day of additional testing, poking, prodding, waiting for test results, feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and alone. Emotionally… she was spent.

She talked about her ~BUCKET LIST~ and the summer projects she really wanted to start and finish. She talked about her sweet husband and how worried she is about him. She talked about her time in Utah with all of her kids. She talked about her sweet little elementary school kids, she is worried about not being there on the first day of school. she is worried about losing her hair…she wasn’t going to tell her children…the she told me …”I need their prayers!”. What Claudia has is an extraordinary husband. Randy is her best friend, he is right there with her, her children, extended family, ward family and numerous friends who will fast, pray and watch miracles unfold. Claudia is going to journal her experiences, feelings and her fight with Breast Cancer. I am asking for those of you who read this post….PLEASE REMEMBER CLAUDIA AND HER FAMILY IN YOUR PRAYERS…please send positive energy and thoughts her way… She told me today…she can feel your prayers, love and considerations.

Claudia commented how quickly life can change…. As I drove home tonight…a thought crossed my mind…

I expect to pass through this world but once. Any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it for I shall not pass this way again. — Stephen Grellet

Live with intensity and purpose,




  1. As a breast cancer survivor I can promise Claudia and her family that the most amazing, overwhelming, spiritual and humbling experiences will come from this challenge… the veil will be so thin that she will hear every prayer with her heart and will see each one of them making it’s path to heaven… to a loving Father who is holding her tightly in His arms and will walk with her through her moments of reflection.

    As Claudia’s friend (s) the very best thing you can do for her (aside from the prayers) is to tell her how many of us are better human beings, more aware, more passionate, healthier, and awe-filled from surviving this unwelcome interruption to the life she has known so far…

    Claudia, the hair may go, and it will come back different… no doubt, but the love and awareness of the beauty of this life will remain forever…

    From my heart to yours, please remember; THE only things that make life worth fighting for are those we hold hands with… you and them are worth the fight. Courage then… and my best wishes.

    My darling Courtney who was 9 yrs old at the time used to say to me daily: “Mommy, be strong.” I’ll paraphrase Courtney: “Claudia, be strong.”


    • Marta-

      Thank you for your sweet comments. We appreciate your kindness and support.

      -The Bella Girls

  2. Carla,

    I have completed my bucket list…now I get to start working on checking things off!

    I was very touched by your blog about our friend Claudia. You have embraced the essence of Claudia and her goodness. She is someone I have always looked up to since our family moved into this neighborhood over 11 years ago. Claudia always has a welcoming smile for everyone and I know her family, friends, and school kids adore her.

    Our thoughts and prayers and fasting moments are with Claudia and her family. Also in my prayers are pleas for several other friends, neighbors, and family members who are struggling with health, finances, employment and other adversities.

    After your lesson on Sunday, I found this gem thot that went along with it.

    “Calamities are a form of adversity, and adversity is a necessary part of Heavenly Father’s plan for the happiness of His children.

    “If our hearts are right before God, adversity will school us, help us overcome our carnal nature, and nurture the divine spark within us. Were it not for adversity, we would not know to ‘choose the better part’ (“Father in Heaven, We Do Believe,” Hymns, no. 180). Adversity helps us see where we need to repent, to bring into subjection baser instincts, to embrace righteousness and enjoy ‘peace of conscience’ (Mosiah 4:3).”

    (Keith B. McMullin, “Be Prepared . . . Be Ye Strong from Henceforth,” Ensign, Nov. 2005, 10-11)

    I know that the hard times that we are all experiencing are for our good and sometimes it is hard to understand why and to keep the faith…but I know we have a Heavenly Father that knows us and can help us through these rough patches. We just have to try to endure it well.

    “Too many of us seem to expect that life will flow ever smoothly, featuring an unbroken chain of green lights with empty parking spaces just in front of our destinations!”

    —Neal A. Maxwell

  3. Im so inspired by people like Marta & Claudia. I’ll definately be sending prayers HER way!

  4. Claudia is as wonderful as you describe, as is her family. Love and prayers to all!

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