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Sally Bolderson: Journal

Taking Things For Granted - June 19, 2010

Recently I have been going to a weekly Women's Prayer group and this week one woman talked about her family struggles. She has problems with an abusive father and siblings that take his side over hers.

This made me think of how blessed I have been my whole life to have been a part of a loving family. Having been in a positive family environment and surrounded by other families that were the same, I didn't think about just what a blessing that circumstance was and is.

I had the opportunity to revisit my childhood home last weekend during an open house. The current owners are selling it and as I walked through the familiar rooms, I was drawn back to the wonderful memories of my life in that house.

And as I reflected on the good memories, I also remembered the sad ones...the primary being that my father passed away in that house after struggles of prostate cancer in 2001.

This week in particular is very hard. It goes unsaid that tomorrow, being Father's Day, I remember my soul mate. And then on Wednesday, June 23rd I will remember what would have been his 84th birthday.

I follow that with Saturday, June 26th, with the memory of my brother, Bill who passed away one year ago on that day.

I miss them so much....and can only hope that I didn't take them for granted too much.

I love you Dad and Bill!

Glorious Easter Season! - June 7, 2010

This Easter Season has been one of celebration! My good friends Matthew and Leah Baute were married on May 22nd . This is a very holy couple who have their faith deeply rooted in God and their Catholic faith. I was so blessed to be part of the music for their ceremony. They were married in Madison, Wisconsin. My husband, Dave and I made the drive (about 6 hours) and had a great weekend away.

This past Saturday, June 5th the Bishop DuBourg High School baseball team won the Missouri State High School championship! It was a great game! These guys have worked diligently to get here and claim the title of #1! They put their hearts and souls into it and came up victorious. Congratulations to all the team and coaches!

Happy Spring! - April 17, 2010

I struggled through Holy Week and Easter Sunday but now feel much better, like my old self again.

I've had enough music to put together another CD project and now finally feel God is telling me it's time.

I love to look at things in hindsight and see how one thing leads to another and all fall into place. For example, I went to a Trivia Night last weekend and ran into an old friend, Maggie. We were just catching up on things and somehow she mentioned a mutual friend and how he has a studio in his house.

So, I'm thinking, HUH, he has a studio, I need to talk with him. Well, I did and although he does have a studio, he doesn't do jobs with it but referred me to a man who did some recording work with "Nathaniel's Creed" (Steve's band).

So, today I went and introduced myself to Greg at Dale's Music and it sounds PERFECT! YEAH GOD! His rates are great, he's laid back about how you pay. I was hoping for a pay as I go plan and he's good with that.

So, with God's guidance and hopefully your prayers, I will begin recording my 2nd CD project this summer.

It will be a mix of 1/2 original pieces, 1/2 songs that hold special memories for me from my many years of music ministry. There will be 12 songs.

Keep an eye here for news about how things are going!

Just checking in.... - March 16, 2010

So much of life has happened since my last entry. God still blessing me with crosses, however, so much smaller than in recent years! But isn't that what Lent should be, accepting and living through our crosses? I think I would wonder why I was being neglected should I not have them in my life!

On Monday, February 8th, one of several snowy mornings in St. Louis this winter, I was driving to work and hit a patch of snow and lost control on the interstate and careened head on into a concrete barrier. Blessings of airbags and seatbelts kept my injuries down to bruises. My car, however, suffered a fatal blow in it all.

I replaced the car with a "new" used car. When we purchased it we detected a "ping" in the engine that the salesman ensured us would be fixed as part of the deal as long as we had it done at their shop within 30 days. 10 days ago I took it to the shop and was told that the engine needed replacing. I was told that I had passed the 1000 mile warranty and that I would be responsible for the repair. Well, needless to say, I got upset and after several days trying to reach the dealer who sold us the car, they agreed to pay for the repairs. I hopefully get it back tomorrow.

My daughter, Angela, has been on dialysis for about 2 1/2 years. She goes 3 days a week in the early morning and then after about an hour break reports to work until about 10:00 p.m. Quite a grueling schedule for a 28 year old! Recently she decided to switch to what they call Peritoneal Dialysis. This method filters the body fluids without filtering through the blood system and is done at night while she sleeps. Yesterday, she had the surgery to put in the access for this procedure. It went well, but she is very sore as there were 3 different incisions on her chest and abdomen. But hopefully this bit of suffering will help her have a more normal life until she can get a new kidney.

Well, in a very short time we will be celebrating the beauty of our dear Lord's resurrection! What GLorY!

By the way, Happy St. Patty's Day tomorrow!

Trying to Get Centered - January 22, 2010

It seems I have been amiss in keeping up with my journal. I have been struggling with myself in so many directions, feeling failure more than success, although it could be more in my imagination than reality.

Having dealt with my illness for so many months this past year and still dealing with the residual effects of it all, I have found myself unable to get back to a truly centered prayer life, focus on my weight and thereby my health, and to my music and the songs that God has given me to use on another CD.

It just seems that I'm tired all the time, but maybe, I'm letting the devil win. Maybe it's easier just to be lazy and make excuses.

I went to a wonderful Marian Conference last weekend that helped me at least in mind, regain some of the focus of my relationship with Mary and with her son, Jesus.

I was helping with the music ministry for the weekend with my two awesome friends, Matthew Baute and Annie Karto. Both of these holy people have turned their lives over to our God in service with their music. So, although I wanted to get my CD into some new hands and hearts, I didn't want to jeopardize any sales they would have for theirs since it affects their living circumstances.

So, Thursday, the day before the weekend was to begin I heard the call to give my CD's away for contributions to help the enormous needs in Haiti. I had no idea what to expect.....and for sure, I didn't expect to collect $1620 for the relief efforts!

And that's when I realized that God still wants me to work with and for Him. I have been thinking about my day to day situation and ways to improve these things that I have been neglecting, specifically my prayer time and music and weight management.

And that in turn, led me to Lent. It is always surreal to realize that just when we are packing away our Christmas music it is time to start thinking about Lent. So, I want to really make a promise to do something concrete to prepare my heart for this holy time. One thing I've decided is that I want to give up an hour each evening dedicated to prayer in some form. I also want to spend a designated time to work on my music. And lastly, I want to undo some bad eating habits that crept back into my life since I had my surgery, one being, drinking soda.

So, I am making this vow in this forum to do these things. Are you ready? Have you thought about how you can make yourself a better person in body and heart to be completely worthy of Jesus' sacrifice for us?

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL! - December 23, 2009

I just want to take this time to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS! In all of the secular hubbub, I hope and pray that the true meaning of this season seeps deep into your hearts to bring you peace.

This year has been a challenging one for me personally, but in it all I have been blessed and continue to love my GOD! May 2010 offer many opportunities to love and serve Him.

Answered Prayers - December 18, 2009

I mentioned in the recent past about my boss's mom who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and given about 2 months. They tested her for potential chemo treatments and of all of them only one showed a 50% possibility of helping her. Well, she had a CT scan the other day and the tumor shows major improvement!!!!! This is an answer to many prayers. She is feeling like she doesn't have cancer at all! Still need prayers, but this is definitely good news.

Then, also, there is an 8th grade girl in our parish who was diagnosed with leukemia (ALL). She found out today that she is in remission!!!!

So many blessings for Christmas!

Giving Thanks - November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday. It's basic nature of being thankful for all that we have is amazing. It gives us all an opportunity to think back to the past year and beyond to bring to mind those things that we are to be grateful for.

This year has been a challenging one for me with major health issues and the loss of my older brother. But even in these things I find something to be thankful for. In the process of my illness and in mourning the loss of my brother I have become very aware of the graces of sharing my suffering with Jesus' suffering on the Cross. I have come to know that every moment is a gift and that they are packaged in innumerable ways.

The gift of my brother's passing is that my family has become so much closer as we bonded more deeply as we watched him in his final days and then together as we move on without him.

Also, in this year is God's continued love for me in my music. He continues to put songs in my heart that I am working to create into a 2nd CD. Timing isn't known, but the fact that I have enough material to make another full CD makes me think seriously about moving forward.

I pray for all of you, those I know and those I don't for blessing in your lives as you too find in your hearts what God has blessed you with! He never leaves you!

Remembering our Dead - November 12, 2009

Every November the Church sets aside time to remember those who have been called home before us. On November 1st, we celebrate and reflect on the Saints, those amazing persons who gave their total selves to God and their faith despite all that would deter them.

On November 2nd and throughout the month, we remember those persons, especially those who were close to us who have been called home.

This year I again draw close to my dad who passed away in 2001 on November 24th. At this time, in particular, I call to mind the wonderful man he was and the wonderful father who led me on the narrow road to Jesus. My fondest memories of my dad more times than not make me aware of the impact he had on my faith development and my liturgical music development. Hindsight is always so much clearer in drawing us the complete picture. Thanks Dad, I love you!

And then this year I have my brother Bill who was called home on June 26th. Bill was 3 years older than me. He struggled most of his adult life in one way or another, but despite his personal challenges, he always was ready to help with a smile. We didn't see eye to eye on many things, but he was a great big brother and I miss him so. How can it be, you are gone? I love you, Bill!

And last but certainly not least, there's my Aunt Laura. It was at my Aunt Laura's funeral Mass that I last spoke to my brother, Bill. I spent probably every weekend of my childhood at my Aunt Laura's playing with my best friend, Lisa, her daughter. We all have those persons whom we refer to as our "2nd mom", well that was Aunt Laura. And again, her example and support and love helped develop me into the person I am today. Rest well in our Lord's care, Aunt Laura. I love you!

Starting Over - October 7, 2009

Prior to my recent illness I was losing weight through a nutritional cleansing program called "Isagenix." Since it is only a 1200 calorie a day program, I stopped doing it once I got sick.

I gained back about 15 of the 65 pounds I had lost, so now that my treatment is all behind me, I begin again today to get healthy.

I sit here drinking my shake and planning my healthy food choices for the day! May I be a blessing in God's eyes as I work to make this temple worthy of His presence!

It's Done! - September 30, 2009

What started back in March when I was found to have a large, benign tumor in my lower spine is finally healed!

I underwent two separate surgeries, April 7th and May 26th and then yesterday completed 25 days of radiation therapy and the doctors feel confident that these interventions have removed all traces of the tumor!

I have to thank everyone who has prayed these many months on my behalf. Without that awesome support, I could not have done this! The blessings of taking up our crosses with Jesus....

Life Choices - September 20, 2009

I work for a group of doctors two of which are related (father and son). My boss, Brian, is the son. Their wife/mom was told this week that she has stomach cancer that has spread to her liver. She was also told that the best that medicine can offer is two years if she undergoes chemotherapy.

This is an amazing woman who survived breast cancer when her now grown sons were children. She was diagnosed initially with the stomach cancer a couple of years ago and it was thought that it was taken care of, but with this new information, that seems to not be the case.

So, what she and her family face now, is the question of the "quality of life." Does she go through chemo and get a few more months of what could be very difficult living or does she let it go in God's hands and take the days as they come on his clock? We face many things in life that require a leap of faith and it's so hard. But, I ask myself, what choices would I make if faced with this situation? I cannot begin to imagine.

All I know for sure is that God is my Redeemr and I put my trust in Him. Bless this family in this time of trial and guide them to the best decisions for the good of all of them.

In God's TIme - September 7, 2009

Well, on my last post I mentioned the fact that I was being moved to another department.

I went to work with the mindset that no matter how much I didn't like the situation, it wasn't the fault of the person who would be replacing me. As it turned out, I found her to be a nice, faithfilled woman and we shared more than the details of the job and a new friend was made.

I felt confident that I did the best I could to equip her to do my old job and geared up to move "downstairs" to Trauma Surgery.

I went to work on Monday morning, settled into my new desk and started to learn the details of my new responsibilities. It was okay, I was a little concerned that the pace was so much slower than I had become accustomed to that I would get bored.

Well, Tuesday came along and I went to my old office to find out that my replacement hadn't reported or called in to work.

Later that day, I looked her up on Facebook and connected with her to find out that she had submitted her resignation letter on her way out on Monday.......! She had some previous bad experiences with the manangement team and "had enough"! She was upset that she was once again moved to another department and was unhappy with the way they had treated me in this process.

So, after fighting on my behalf, I GOT MY OLD JOB BACK after two days! I've been giddy all week. I thank God for this miracle and Patti for her courage to not only do what she felt was right for her, taking a huge leap of faith in our Father to carry her in this time, but to also know the impact it would have on my life.

God works miracles in our lives all the time....let us be open to them! And acknowledge them in His Name! Thank you, Jesus for your everlasting love!

Change - August 19, 2009

Change is inevitable....and thankfully God isn't. I was informed this week that I will be transferred to another department at my job. I have worked in this area that I am currently in for over 10 years. It's an amazing group of people that I have been blessed to work with and for. They have been so supportive of my illnesses and my music. They are just great people with great hearts.

For reasons beyond my control I am being moved and I get the reasons, but that doesn't make the move any easier, less sad. I will begin today training my do I do that and still smile? Still give her hope of her capabilities to do the work I love so much?

I do it by the grace of God. He is the ONLY means of salvation through this. I pray that I am strong enough...that I am able to keep him in my heart and in my actions. Be present, Lord!

Checking In - July 27, 2009

Well, I began my third week of 1/2 days at work and this seems to be the right speed for right now.

I feel pretty good, my wound is healed about 90%. I will have to have radiation treatments on my back since there were also tumor cells noted in the bones in that area. That will begin the last week of August. Until then I have 2 CT scans and and MRI scheduled and 2 doctor visits (one with my oncologist and one with my neurosurgeon).

So, all is not quite over yet but I'm definitely moving forward in a positive direction.

Thanks again for all of your prayer and support.

Moving Forward - Finally - July 9, 2009

I have been on medical leave for 3 months for a tumor in my lower spine that required 2 major spinal surgical procedures to remove.

I saw my doctor today and have finally been given the go ahead to return to work! I will start 1/2 days for 2 weeks, then full time after that.

I want to thank everyone for their prayers for me during this time, it has been my saving grace.

Bill's Flower - July 5, 2009

The day after we buried my brother, Bill, his work had a memorial service to honor him. My mom, my sister, Sue and I attended and it was such a beautiful testimony of what a good man Bill was and helped in our healing process.

At one point they allowed coworkers and patients that he transported to say things about the interactions with Bill and it was so uplifting to know how they loved him as much as he did them.

One story was about a flower plant that Bill had planted in a garden in the front of the building the week before he became sick. On the day of the memorial it had it's first, beautiful bloom! Thank you Lord for giving us this sign of eternal life!

See my PHOTOS section for pictures of the flower.

Blessings - July 1, 2009

Today we buried my brother, Bill. Every situation in life brings a blessing, even the saddest event you can imagine.

One blessing, was the bringing together in a very close knitted fashion our family. We are all experiencing the same pain, yet we are also supporting each other. Over the past 2 weeks I have grown closer to everyone in my family from my mom down to my great nieces and everyone in between. I cannot comprehend the depth of my love for each one of them.

Secondly, I chose the challenge to sing for Bill's funeral gift to him. Where I was to stand was near the Mary altar. About 10 minutes before they were to arrive the pastor came to me to question the "liturgical correctness" of the meditation song I was planning to sing (I Can Only Imagine) and I lost it, I broke down and lost all my strength I had mustered up all morning to make sure I made it through the mass. After conversation back and forth, he allowed me to sing it after all; but my heart was broken and I couldn't stop crying. I sat before our Mother, Mary and prayed for her intercession for strength, to be able to do this for my family and Bill. I asked her to put her mantle over me.

At that time a friend came and put his arms around me and with his loving humor got me laughing just in time to start Mass.

These little miracles are all around us, thank you Jesus for your unending love for all of us and Mother Mary for your intercession today.

Dedication to my Brother - June 28, 2009

My brother, Bill, went home to Jesus on Friday, June 26th. In this time I wrack my brain trying to remember the details of our childhood together and as we grew older, but my mind is numb. The one thing I know is that I love you so much Bill and will miss you dearly.

William J. Huesgen, Jr.
2/17/52 to 6/26/09

Rest is peace with the Lord!

The Narrow Road - June 23, 2009

Over the years I have tried to take in stride the various issues in life that cause strife whether they be as mundane as cars breaking down to life threatening illness.

I am blessed to have been raised in the Catholic faith and more importantly to have developed a loving relationship to Jesus in the Trinity and Mary deep in my heart in recent years.

This morning as I listened to the Gospel and Jesus told me that to get into the Kingdom you must go the narrow road, I prayed that these crosses I have tried to endure with Him in his own Crucifixion are part of this narrow road.

At this writing, not only do I continue to recover from my own illness but my older brother, Bill, is in the Intensive Care Unit at Barnes Hospital with bleeding issues secondary to cirrrhosis of the liver (newly diagnosed). They say he has lost all of his own blood and is now being sustained by transfusions. He will undergo several procedures today to narrow down the various problems and my prayer is that God surrounds my brother and his doctors with his angels to see him through this. I also pray for his children who are going through the most traumatic time in their young lives. They are all in their 30's.

So Much Happening - June 17, 2009

I start this blog with an update on my health issues. Surgery went a little easier than expected on 5/26, however, the recovery seems to be more intense. I suppose that is because I had this surgery so soon after the first. But I am totally sure that I will be well in time because of the many, many prayers being offered by so many people known to me or not. What a gift. Please know that this brings me much peace.

On another note, this weekend marks our Pastor's last weekend in our parish. He has been reassigned and although I know this is how it goes and that it will be a good thing for him, he will be sorely missed by so many at Holy Trinity. Holy Trinity has been in existence for 7 years, a merger of 3 parishes into one under the blessed helm of Fr. John (now Msgr.). There are no words to describe the awesomeness of this extremely holy man. His love for every aspect of our Catholic faith is so palpable. His charism is contagious and because of that we are a strong, holy parish of good people who believe their faith very deeply.

So, Fr. John, at this point I just say THANK YOU so much for all you have done for me personally in my struggles, in my joys, encouraging me in my music ministry. God has blessed me abundantly for this time with you.

Next Medical Chapter - May 8, 2009

It's been awhile since my last update here on my webpage. I have had several tests to find out where the "primary tumor" might be. After having a PET scan last week, it seems there is something in my breast. I will have a mammogram to analyze that further.

In the meantime I will have to have the additional spinal surgery to remove the tumor that is located in the sacrum. This is very risky as the nerve bundle that controls my bowel and urinary function is in that area. I will have this surgery on May 26th. It is anticipated to be another 10 hour case and because of the location there is a greater risk of a post operative lumbar leak. Soooo, I will have to lay flat for 5-7 days.

Once I have healed from that surgery the oncologist says I will require radiation treatment. Then there's still the breast situation to deal with. I just wonder when it will end.

Thank you ALL for the prayers you are offering for me. It means more than I can humanly express.

Surgery Update - April 22, 2009

Well, it's been 2 weeks since my 10 hour back surgery to remove the tumor in my lower spine. I had to lie flat on my back for 60 hours post operatively. I was discharged on day 7 and spent a few days recuperating at my mom's house and then a few more at my daughter, Joanne's place.

I'm finally back home with daily computer access. I met with the oncologist today to discuss her recommendations regarding what seems to be a possibility of another tumor somewhere in my body. Firstly, she confirmed the tumor IS benign which is a major blessing. Other than that she said that chemotherapy is NOT an option for treatment of this kind of tumor. I first have to get a test (possibly 2) to see if there is in fact another tumor. The next step would be to resect (surgically remove) any tumors found as well as resecting the part of the tumor left in the bottom of my sacrum. She was very adamant that these would definitely require resection or else they will continue to grow and spread. If surgery cannot completely remove the tumor(s), radiation therapy would be needed.

So, I still move on one step at a time, in God's hands..... I want to thank all of you for your many prayers on my behalf! I couldn't get through this without you!

Carrying the Cross - April 5, 2009

Today begins the best week in the Church year...Holy Week. I love Holy Week, I love the depth of Jesus' sacrifice for us. I saw today as an overture of the week, beginning with the Hosannas that rang out in love for Jesus. We then went to the psalm that rang out about abandonment. From there to the Passion, as we all cry "Crucify him!" And we once again see Him come before us in the Eucharist, present in His Body and His Blood...His precious gift. And as we ended Mass today we sang "Jesus Remember Me" pleading that He continue to remember us beyond His death.

And HE DOES! I will be having surgery this week on Tuesday. I will move from the Garden and along with Jesus carry this cross, this cross of inevitable pain of such depth I have never known.

But as I reflect on the Stations of the Cross, I pay close attention to the one where Simon is called in to help Jesus carry His cross. As his human frailties make this too difficult for Him, Simon helps him.

I thought about this one day this past week and realized that all of those many people (more than I will ever know) who are and will be offering me up in prayer as I carry this cross are my "SIMONS". You are taking this time to pray and thereby giving me peace. This enables me to move forward with this cross and then I will soon, once again, celebrate the blessed Resurrection.

In the Garden - April 2, 2009

I am now within a week of my surgery date (surgery, Tuesday, 4/7). I have tried during this time to accept the sufferings of not only the physical aspects of my problem, but to walk with Jesus as I find myself fearful of what I presume will be a challenging recovery. I meditate on Jesus' agony in the garden, where he, in his human state, asked our Father if this cup of pending suffering might not be taken away. But as we all know, he was given the task of completing the journey that would ultimately lead to his crucifixion.....and glorious resurrection.

This week our parish has been experiencing our annual Lenten retreat. This is a 3 night event with Mass and, in this case, we had a dynamic speaker, Fr. Jeff Vomund giving insight to the daily readings each night.

Last night, the final night of the retreat, really hit home for me. He talked about the need for us to accept our crosses because they are gifts, they are blessings that we must endure, like Jesus, to grow stronger in our relationship and love of our God. It is by taking the crosses that come before us, accepting them, living through them, suffering through them and coming out stronger on the other end, more centered in our relationship with God and able to step outside of the door and soak in the wonderful SONSHINE!
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