Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Joshland Unfiltered Podcast: Episodes: 10 - Humor in the CF Community & 11 - Dating with CF

In our two latest podcasts, we talk about two very sensitive topics: Humor in the CF Community and Dating with CF.




An honest discussion about using humor as a coping mechanism, the clash between CF parents and CF adults and multiple perspectives and personalities that make up the CF Community. Things are not as black and white as a post on a comment thread might lead us to believe. 


Here's two adult perspectives of one particular issue. It's a great podcast filled with a lot of vulnerability, self-deprecation and truth. Josh and Emily are awesome people and great guest panelists. Listen up because you might learn something!




Dating someone is complicated enough without adding a chronic illness to the mix, but don’t let that stop you from finding a partner that truly understands you and loves you for who you are. In this episode, Keith and Kristina share their experiences in dating and give some helpful advice to others in the CF Community searching for that special someone. 


I'm really happy with how great all of our panelists have been for each episode! Kristina and Keith were so awesome and brought such wisdom and humor to a tricky topic. It was delightful...like an Afternoon Delight...or something.



FYI - While we don't get into too much "salty" territory, as Kristina would say, there is a bit of humor that might be too salty for teenagers. I'm of the opinion that they've heard worse in the halls at school, but that's just me. It's just another complicated part of growing up with CF and it's worth listening to if you have questions only another CFer can answer.

•••

As with all of our podcasts, these topics are very relevant to the lives of people within the CF Community. Yet, I think these two also have some relevance and connection to the "normies" as well. The truth is...we are human beings who share so many similar experiences to you that it's a shame when we are misunderstood because of our passion to experience all that life offers or our coping mechanisms that help us deal with the b.s. that does sometimes ostracize us from the rest of the world. 


Please take a moment to listen to each podcast and really understand what it means to live with CF amongst the "normies". Thanks to Emily and Josh as well as Kristina and Keith for their candid and honest thought regarding each particular topic. Hope these make your hearing parts happy!

Oh, and here's some other stuff worth clicking on about the Joshland Unfiltered Podcast.

Peaceful Things and Stay Positive,

Josh and Tim
 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Past Is Wonderful And The Future Is Bright

I've been truly blessed to be a part of the CF Community over the last five years of my life. I mean, I've always been a part of it, but it's been a huge part of my identity since 2009.

Breathe.

Blog.

Moganko.

Podcast.

Speaking.

All of that happened because I wanted to share my story—not just my CF story—but my life with people. I've always said that I share my creativity with others because I just want to make people happy and that's true, but I don't think I was being entirely truthful...

I don't think I was including myself in that statement.

It makes me feel good to know that the Moganko videos help families learn together. It makes me feel good that the podcast gives honesty and reality to what happens in our community without pulling any punches and without crafting it into something that's always pleasurable to hear or feel because that's not the truth of CF. The truth is that it's not all duckies and bunnies. When I speak at a CF Education Day or at a fundraising event, I share a part of me that feels everything on a deeper level because I hope it reaches people in some way...and that makes me feel good, too.

This entire journey has been cathartic for me. When I write on here or on social media—when I share such intimate thoughts about my life—it's because I want to help people who might be going through the same things I have and it's because I'm still trying to fix the unfixable. I'm still trying to bring Angie back. I'm trying to make my loved ones understand what I'm going through and I'm still trying to understand how so many things in my life went so off kilter and yet how I'm one of the lucky ones to have made it this far with joy despite the emotional and physical scars. I don't think we ever get those answers until after we're gone.

Until then, I've come to realize that it's not about fixing things at all. It's about doing something that I preach about at the end of every blog post: To be as peaceful as I can be with everything and to forgive myself and other and ask for forgiveness. All the stories on this blog have given me permission to heal, laugh and love. To remember and to move on, but never forget the things that made me...ME. I'm feeling really good about where I'm at.

I don't know how many more personal stories I'll share on here. I feel like I've shared more than enough and, quite frankly, the whole world doesn't need to know everything about me. They already know enough to get the idea. Plus, when it comes to the CF aspect of my life, I feel like any other story I might share would border on redundancy. That being said, I'll continue to share my creative projects with you on this blog and on Facebook fan pages. More Moganko For Cystic Fibrosis Awareness videos and music are coming. More Joshland Unfiltered Podcasts are being edited. It's my passion and my contribution to the CF Community and one that I'm proud to share for as long as I have the time and energy. I love what I do and I love you all very much.

Now it's time for me to rediscover what it means for me to have balance between "CF Josh" and "Real World Josh"...because I deserve to have both. They make me happy.

Joshland Readers: Find what makes you happy and peaceful because life is too short to live without those things.

Peaceful Things and Lots of Love,

Josh

Monday, March 3, 2014

Goodbye, Melissa: A Blog Post Just For You...

The following is a recap of some recent chats I had with my friend and kindred spirit, Melissa:

Melissa: "Are you going to write more blog posts soon?"

Me: "I will, but I haven't had anything to write about and I don't want to write unless it's something I feel passionately about or it's something worth sharing."

Melissa: "Oh. Okay. I just like when you write. It makes me happy."

Melissa passed away suddenly on February 26th. There was no warning. She simply slipped away in her sleep. Like everyone else, I've been in heartbroken shock.

Unexpected losses are difficult because you second guess yourself early and often. 

Did she know how I felt about her? 

Did I spend enough time with her? 

Could I have been a better friend? 

All of these are questions that will remain unanswered, but if I really take the time and think about our relationship, my guess is that what I did right for my friend during our friendship far outweighs what I might have overlooked or let slip by because, well...I'm human.

Today, I had the honor and privilege of speaking at Melissa's funeral where I could encompass how I felt about Melissa in a way that would resonate with the people she loved. Based on the feedback I received today, I think I did alright.

You wanted a blog post, Melissa? Well, my sweet friend, here's one just for you. It's about this amazing person that I will miss very much and I will never forget. I hope you have good internet access in heaven, kiddo.

....

"I'm honored to be standing up here and I'll do my very best to honor our loved one, Melissa.

My personal relationship with Melissa was unique in that we were kindred spirits dealing with physical and mental complexities that few could relate to. Over our lifetime of friendship, we would have many conversations that went far beyond small talk and chit chat. I'd give you more details and share some moments from our mutual venting sessions, but I'm not going to for a few reasons. First of all, I'm afraid most of what we talked about is not appropriate to share within the confines of this place of worship. Second, some things aren't meant to be shared and if I did share them here, I have a feeling a giant snowball would be hurled from heaven and hit me square in the face. Third, and most importantly, those complexities are not something she chose to dwell on in her life, therefore…neither will I in her tribute.

I will say this: because of those complexities, Melissa made the choice when she was very young to focus on the simplicity of life. The things people often take for granted were the things that meant the most to Melissa and what I believe drew so many people to her.

She was honest. If you asked her opinion, Melissa gave it to you without reservation. If she had something on her mind, then you heard about it. And she always got right to the point. It was never in a malicious way, she just hated playing games and didn't want to waste anyone's time. You never questioned where you stood with Melissa. It was one of my favorite qualities about her because it was so refreshing and so rare. I already miss it.

Melissa was also determined to succeed in life despite the fact that there was never an easy path for her to tread on. Everything she every got in her life she straight up earned. High School and college meant extra time studying on top of her medical responsibilities. Didn't matter…she graduated both with flying colors. Finding and holding down a job despite a long list of obstacles. No hesitation there. Being a home owner, volunteering, the list goes on and on….she tackled them all with optimism and enthusiasm.

She LOVED to laugh. Whether it was telling a corny joke, pulling a harmless prank or a giving someone a gentle teasing…Melissa was always keeping things light. Over the years, it was a pretty typical thing for Melissa to, through no fault of her own, occasionally run over my toes. Of course I'd start the teasing by saying "Hey! Watch where you're driving that thing! You just ran me over." To which she'd quickly reply: "Well…you shouldn't have been standing there, dummy." She had a good point and I had no comeback. 

Most of all, Melissa loved unconditionally. I know it's a cliche, but it's the truth. This woman was an extraordinary example of love. She was ferociously loyal. If you needed help, she was the first one to offer. If you were struggling, then she was the first to reach out and support you. I cannot tell you how many times I got a phone call from Melissa when I was struggling. There she was, checking in on me, protecting me from the big bad world, only to find out later on that she was struggling through something of her own and never said a word. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced this selfless gesture.

Melissa learned that kind of love from her parents, Tim and Kris, who gave her love in bunches. They taught her the skills and the confidence to be the amazing person we know who would go far beyond the boundaries others tried to place on her throughout her life. It gives me great peace of mind to know that the last words she heard in her life were joyful ones from her mother. Sentiments that were no doubt echoed by her father. Tim and Kris: You are phenomenal parents and wonderful people. Be proud of the daughters that you raised and the lives you gave them.

Melissa also learned that love from her sister, Liz. I told this to Liz the other night and I'll share it with all of you now, Melissa was so proud of Liz and proud to be her sister. There was an unspoken bond and trust that grew from childhood arguments into an adult friendship that will never be replaced. Liz, please take comfort in the fact that she knew how much you loved her and believe me…the feeling was mutual. She is always with you. I know that one all too well.

Last, but certainly not least, we have her husband, Eric. 13 years ago you and Melissa met at a New Year's Eve party (which is bizarre in it's own right because Melissa wasn't a fan of parties and neither of you were going to go to this one until the last minute!). From that point on, you learned to love together. I've never met a couple more devoted to one another than you two. She was "the boss" of you and you happily admit it. Happy wife, happy life after all. 

Of course, you know I'm teasing. The truth is that Eric and Melissa's love is a blueprint of a simply wonderful commitment to another. Quiet nights out to dinner, dates at plays and movies, the occasional vacation and a faith filled devotion to God and each other. The only excess in their life was their mutual love…with the exception of this past Valentine's Day…where Eric recruited a barbershop quartet to serenade his darling wife. Meanwhile I gave my wife a heart-shaped pizza. Thanks for making everyone else look bad, E. I'm sure Melissa loved being the envy of every other person she knew that day….and rightfully so.

Eric, you always loved Melissa the way a good man should and the way she deserved. On behalf of everyone in this church, we thank you for being worthy enough to be her man and more. Know that she returned that love to you tenfold.

If we had the time, I know every person in this church could share a wonderful story about their time with Melissa. I encourage you to think about your stories and share them with others, not just today, but throughout your life. Memories are precious and they keep the people we hold dear close to our hearts for eternity. You all were precious to her. Thank you for being in her life.

Melissa certainly left us way too soon, but I believe with all my heart that she loved twice as much as any other human being and that MUST be why we only got to have her for a short time. Now she's up in heaven, toasty warm with a smile on her face RUNNING through those pearly gates into the arms of the Lord and her loved ones. She is one more angel watching over us…and what an angel she was here on earth and now in heaven.


God Bless you, Melissa. We'll never forget you and we'll always love you."
....

Peaceful Things and Lots of Love...Forever,

Josh

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Joshland Unfiltered Podcast: Episode 8 & 9 - A Candid Conversation with Jerry Cahill


Jerry Cahill is a lot of things. A pillar of the CF Community (something he didn't ask or expect to be), an excellent athlete and a successful business man. A man with a remarkable story and the ability to connect with so many people outside of our community.  A hard working, determined guy who refuses to give up.

To me...he's just Jerry...and I mean that in the most wonderful way possible. He's had all these successes and all of these tribulations and I get the feeling that he's the same guy he's always been. Humble and honest, candid and intense. I wanted to bring that side of Jerry out in this podcast and I'd like to think I was successful at it. I hope you come away from this podcast with a different perspective of Jerry than you came in with and respect him as much as I do.





This one on one format is not something I intend to do that often, but I felt it necessary in this case because there was so much to cover and so many questions to ask that haven't been asked before.  I wanted to bring that side of Jerry out in this podcast and I'd like to think I was successful at it. I hope you come away from this podcast with a different perspective of Jerry than you came in with and respect him as much as I do.

Without further ado, here's part one and two of my conversation with Mr. Jerry Cahill on the Joshland Unfiltered Podcast:

Click here for Part One

Click here for Part Two


Don't forget to subscribe to the JUP on iTunes:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/joshland-unfiltered/id567358131

or listen to us on the Facebook Podcast Player on the JUP Fanpage:

https://www.facebook.com/JoshlandPodcast/app_282096688512542

Check out more about Jerry Cahill and his CF advocacy projects with the Boomer Esiason Foundation:

http://www.jerrycahill.com

http://www.youcannotfail.com

Peaceful Things and Stay Positive,

Josh and Tim

What'd You Think?

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Peaceful Things ~ Josh
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