Things My - Kuma KissI’m feeling so much stronger. In all honesty, nothing’s that different in my life, but I view it differently. I guess it comes down to a matter of perception. Our lives are just like a mirror, reflecting back what’s going on with us. And for me right now, I’m feeling like I can actually affect some change in my life.

My husband, Patrick, had done some Buddhist chanting during his life, and always joked that if you wanted to know how things were going, all you had to do was look at his butsudan, (the alter where he chanted) – if the water was dry, the greenery wilted, or dead, and bits of ash blown around, well, you pretty much knew things weren’t going well!

Things My - Sitting my Arena Gate

How do you like the way the fence rail is being held up? Note: the dead lawn, loose stone at my side, and grass at my feet (where it shouldn’t be)!

A couple years into my “widowhood” (yes, I do hate that word “widow,” but am starting to give in), I suddenly looked around, and saw that my life had been falling apart. It’s like I came out a fog, one that I didn’t even know I was in. I thought I had it pretty together during those first two years (considering a nuclear bomb had place placed under my life and exploded), but as I started coming out of that fog, I saw that, not only was I a widow, but I was a classic widow – fences were falling down on my property, beat-up luggage and broken boxes piled in the entryway collecting dust, things were broken or not working. My God! I thought my life looked like that derelict house that those two women lived in for years in the HBO miniseries, “Grey Gardens.” I even started referring to my property as “Grey Gardens!”

Also, during my two-year haze, I made some bad choices, like – extreme pruning. Okay, while I had the cognizance to recognize that my place was constantly full of dead leaves, lots and lots of dead leaves, my solution was to cut down almost half the trees on my property. Yes, it certainly helped the leaf problem, but I went too far! Why?? Why would I do that??

Things My - driving in fogI also painted my wonderfully large closet – HOT PINK. And re-covered the love seat in HOT PINK CRUSHED VELVET. Why? I just felt like doing something wild. Wild! And hey, I could have done something like started using heroin, so actually, I think painting a room hot pink was a much healthier choice! And truthfully . . . I’m kinda enjoying the color.

Beware the widow. I had tried so hard to not make stupid widow mistakes, and still I made stupid widow mistakes (much more important ones than what I’ve list here). They say you shouldn’t make any important decisions during the first year of widowhood. And I’d say, be careful even up to two years! Even now, at 3 ½ years in, I’m still cautious about the quality of my judgment on some things.

In the past, I use to look around quite frequently to see what life was reflecting back at me. Is it a mess? Does everything sparkle? And at a certain point, I quit it. Why? Cause, it wasn’t going to change anything. And while it’s interesting to look and note, let’s face it, it doesn’t always offer new information. I mean, I didn’t need to look at the condition of my place to know that I was in pain. Trust me, I already knew that.

Things my - by arena gate 1

A new post! YEA!! It’s a start. 

I am so much stronger now. And I am still working on trying to bring my life back together. It’s a long process. And just like that fence that still isn’t fixed, it’s just going to take some time. But like I said, I’m standing straighter, and I am making good progress. And besides, I have a few ideas about how I’m going to get it done. Hah! In a way, I guess I am rebuilding my life – from the ground up. But I have to say – I’m looking around, and it looks . . . promising.



    • Lisa says

      I looked for a photo, but didn’t find one! And am not there to take one. Have to say, that room can really wake you up when you go in to it.

  1. Karl Bernhard Möllmann says

    Hi Lisa,

    “Patrick, had done some Buddhist chanting” you write – so you are familiar with reincarnation – so there is no reason to feel any loss . . .

    And you might dare think, that cancer is not a disease of the body, as they tell you, while more and more die from cancer . . .

    Its big business to sell drugs against cancer, and other drugs against the side effects, but at the end of the day its a spiritual conflict – long before the cancer hits – and healing means recognizing the conflict, and solving it.

    That is impossible while you’re drugged – and thats why “modern” chemo is a desaster . . .

    This is an affair of the soul.

    And a soul can not die.

    It will live forever.

  2. Vicky says

    You inspirational lady!
    I recently read yours and Patricks books – how very uplifting,albiet an emotional rollercoaster. Reading the books make me gasp, laugh and cry with and for you (both). It bought back memories of my dad (who died from prostrate cancer) and I wanted to reach out and hug you.

    Its also given me a jolt to remember to appreciate what I have got -right here – right now.
    I am glad you do a blog and FB pages – because after reading the books,which were so passionate and honest, I wondered how you were getting on!

    I ‘grew up’ with Mr S as my ‘hero’ – I loved him for his dancing (which dancer (as I was) didn’t dream of dancing with Patrick Swayze!!!). Now, I have used Patrick as motivation and inspiration for 8yr old dancer son! I am so glad that such an allrounder as Patrick can be such a role model (not enough out there) to young male dancers.

  3. Jim Triolo says

    Wow. Reading this blog was like looking at my own life. My wife died pf Pancreatic Cancer in 4 months 18 months ago. I was in an absolute fog, not fixing things that broke, doing excsive things that were not rally necessary but I felt they were.. Now my fog has lifted ttremendously and although I don’t think the pain will ever leave, I am thinking and acting much more clearly. I am reclaiming my life.. Thank you for all the inspiration you have shared and the tremendous help putting focus on this terrible disease. I wish you good luck and continued clarity. You have been amazing

  4. William Rogers Black says

    Hi Lisa:

    I enjoy your writing and your ability to share your communications along with your insights and reflections of the last 2 or three years. To see the hindsight and use this as a tool for learning. I am one who appreciates what you have been through and how you have been able to go through negative type situations and cleave to the hope that is before you.

    It’s obvious you are not a quitter. My earthly father spent 3 and one half years in Japanese prison camps and he suffered through disease, starvation, torture, and slave labor. Recently I wrote a testimony or article call it what you will called Testimonies, and Trails of a Wounded Spirit. I shared this with the President Barack Obama and he responded with a letter and he quoted The strength to go on Produces Character, and Character produces Hope, and Hope will never let us down.

    You are an amazing woman after what you have been through to cleave to the hope that is before you and the strength and ability to carry on even through the low times. Your character is one of strength and perseverance. I think this is wonderful that you are healing and being able to move forward. You know this is an encouragement for others to share your insights with them.

    You are certainly welcome to say hi anytime or share your insights with me, and I make statement your insights and opinions are good and credible and edifying. Look forward to hearing from you.

    Will Rogers Black

  5. says

    Thank you, Lisa for sharing your personal stories. I lost my Mom to pancreatic cancer shorty after you lost your husband. You’re blogs always make me feel comforted that I’m not the only one still feeling this way and still recovering one day at a time. You’re doing a great job and I am always reminded that it’s a process. Many thanks for your blog.

  6. says

    You are amazing lady,.. & i loved all Patrick’s movies,..he was the best,… & im so glad i had the chance to read this about you,..thank you for sharing,..
    my thoughts & prayers are with you,..hugs my friend

  7. Kat says

    Dear Lisa ur post brought deep satisfaction into my heart that lately jus seemed so numb. U described exactly how im startin to feel bout my new start new job new life after gastric bypass new friendships after teo of my friends gone too soon. All the way from switzerland ive always admired u n patrick an im very happy to see that u are seein a promising possibility or range of possibilities in ur future. Im sendin u much love n energy,kat

  8. Jacqueline Bush-Holcomb says

    So happy to read that you are feeling stronger! Almost two years after my sister passing, I too am starting to not only see the sun shinning, but I am also starting to feel it.
    During your darkest hours remind yourself of all the work and awareness that you have given to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. You have accomplished many wonderful things and so many people appreciate your hard work and gentle heart! Than you! Let the sun shine!!! XO

  9. Jean Horsley says

    Hi Lisa,
    My heart goes out to you as I know where you are coming from. I lost my angel nearly 11 years ago at the age of 54 to a brain tumour. We had married at 18 and the loss is still so very hard. And yes the mistakes and the “widow ” label I understand. I guess we do the best we can after our world has fallen apart. I attacked my bathroom with a hammer and chisel ripping up the floor where Colin had first collapsed which resulted in a lovely new bathroom although not hot pink..
    Patrick had that certain charisma which showed in his interviews and movies so I do fully understand your pain.
    Keep your beautiful memories Lisa, you are a lovely lady.
    Love Jean

  10. Jo says

    Fences mend while hearts heal…!! Courage is your guide, love is your source. You are strong…you are powerful. Brave girl!

  11. Geraldine says

    Dogs! They love us with out judging and with no conditions attached!

    You are coming along in leaps and bounds (like the dancer you are). You are even standing by your new post like you’re about to begin dancing – a new version of pole dancing?!!! LOL! That would give the gossips something to talk about!

    Good on you lovely lady, hope the good days come more often than the bad


  12. says

    Lisa, I so can understand what you are saying. I lost my husband in April of 2010, we was married 35 yrs. He had liver cancer and a blood vessel had busted and was filling his stomach with fluid. There were times when I just wanted to sit and cry, but couldn’t because I didn’t want to upset him. I took care of him and my oldest daughter and her husband helped with driving us to Indy for his appts. I hated driving on the highway,small thing I know. There are times when I think about him and wonder if there were things we could have done differently to find out sooner and maybe he would have gotten a transplant. He was a drinker and that was a major cause in the cancer. I tried to get him to quit.
    I have read both your book and the one you both wrote. I have also listened to the cds. I was a big fan of Patricks, and seeing what you all was going thru was hard. Your love for each other gave you a lot of strength, and it still does. I think of Dick sometimes and of the good and bad times that we had and wish that those bad times could have been different. But, you just can’t go back and change things. My daughters and I have, what my youngest daughter calls her Dad’s death birthday. We get together on the day he died and fix a Dad meal, one of his favorite meals like meatloaf, etc. and we talk about him and of the good times we had. We have always been a close family, but thru his cancer and since we have become even closer. I don’t think I could have made it without my girls. They have been so helpful from the beginning of their dads sickness, from helping with appts.and making final decisions. I am so thankful that I have them and that we are so close. Family is so important thru the good times and the bad.

  13. Michael Brown says

    Since my wife has died on 12-23.I have been tagged as widower as I am starting to move around people are staying clear of me.Can’t really turn to family because they really wanted her to give up the fight to live.Since I enforced my wife wish to fight the cancer , family has very little to say to me now.Went back to work 4 weeks after her death and third night back working alone started having chest pains.I do not even know if I should be working now.I am pretty much alone now.

  14. says

    Thank you for your blog Lisa. I contacted you a year or two ago (it’s hard to keep track of “widow time”), about the impending death of my ill, very young husband and you were kind enough to reply. He has since passed away and it’s been eight months.

    I believe that everyone’s grief is different but I did see myself in this blog. I moved every single room in my house around. My girls suddenly had the master room together, I had one of the kids room’s and the third room became my long wished for music room!

    I have since moved everything back but I suspect we like to change things around because anything new in this strange life without them is easier to bare then trying to live the old life without them in it.

    You give me so much strength and courage Lisa and I think it is AMAZING you are willing to share such a private, painful battle with the world. It’s not a matter of me prying into your personal life as a fan but another woman who has lost my soul mate and sometimes that path feels lonley as not many people walk that path with us.

    So congrats on the new post, it is a goal to be very proud of indeed.

    From a barely put together widow.

    Danielle Jones

    • Lisa says

      You reminded me that I did the same thing – re-arranged the furniture, repainted… I even stayed in my guest house for three months. I understand the need to do this.

  15. Patricia says

    Glad you are doing better. Hire someone to come fix the fence and do the work that needs to be done, to make it look like you want it to. That’s what money is for, you sure can’t take it with you. So do what you must to fix things, it will make you feel even better to look out the window and see those things done, believe me. It works, and I am just a ordinary person, in an ordinary home living on a fixed income, and so far I have managed, Thank the good Lord above. Love the hot pink theme, mine would be purple, HaHa !!!!!!!

  16. Brenda Stanley says

    I admire your strength. I know what a difficult time you have been through. My boyfriend, Jim, was battling pancreatic cancer at the same time as Patrick. Jim passed away in August 2009.
    God bless you!

    • renae says

      I admire your strength. I know what a difficult time you have been through you are amazing person i lost my mom 5 months before your husband
      thank-you for sharing your blogs with us all your doing a great job sending you hugs
      your in my prayers and thoughts

  17. Theresa says

    Dear Lisa
    I just read your blog for the first time, and I can relate all too well. You see, I’ve been a widow for nearly 5 1/2 years, but the grieving process started 8 years ago when my husband walked away from his life here and started a new one else where. We were never divorced, and up till the day he took his own life, I strived to keep him a part of my life, even if it wasn’t anything more than a good friend. You see I never stopped loving him, even through all the hurtful times, and to this day, a part of me loves him still. But those first two to three years after he died were foggy and sometimes unrecognizable to me. I became someone that I didn’t know, that my family didn’t know, and it was bad, but thank goodness that all who love me didn’t give up on me, and waited patiently (most of the time) for me to work through it. I’ve come out stronger, and with a clearer picture of who I am, and what I want. It will always be a work in progress, and you’ve made the first steps already.

    Good luck with your journey, just remember you are not alone. We are not alone. If you feel like responding I would love to hear from you.

    Sincerely your sister-in-widowhood,

    Theresa James
    Kingwood, TX

  18. Cherrylmaree says

    Hi Lisa,

    We all just need to take a breathe and start someplace when the task looks overwhelming.
    What’s the old saying..’ How do you eat an elephant?? One bit at a time ‘… is lovely to see you smile. Just always remember to be kind to yourself ( lots of doggy kisses helps too ) Best wishes. Cherrylm.

  19. says

    lisa im so proud of you.and i love the color have come so far.i know buddy has helped you see that you can be ok.and love life.he would have wanted you tpo be happy.hey ill tell you what we both love horses.and ill come help you fix all the broken things in your just wanted to say hello.and im glad your feeling better
    your friend and forever fan rhoda

  20. Katy says

    It is so nice to see that you are rebuilding your life, finding out who you are now after everything you have been through. Also, that you are figuring out what you want for this new future of your’s that you didn’t expect. You mentioned at one point, you went to a medium and were told Patrick said something like…it’s time for the little birdie to fly.Thinking back to the song you posted at another time, which you mentioned your friend felt that Patrick co-wrote with him; one of the verses said…because of you I have these wings for me to fly. I just think that is so interesting and really amazing how some things just come together. Keep moving forward and don’t forget to… FLY! 😉

  21. brenda h. says

    Yea, horses lean on the fences so bad just trying to be social with other animals on the other side of the fence or pushing you with their nose to say “where’s the grub”. They sure are nosey critters and get into everything imaginable….where their not suppose to be messin. each have very different personalities and boy thier big ol eyes say it all! Our horse is white and loves to roll in the dirt. He pops back up looking like a snickerdoodle cookie. Beautiful creatures!!

  22. Marcela says

    Dear Lisa!What a joy to know you are feeling better! I wish you to have a lot of positive days and much beautiful things to live.I love your blog because you are showing to a ot of people that even the worst moment in our lives it can be overcome.You are an amazing woman with a gift of strength and love in your heart.Never change , please.Sending you much love and big hugs
    PS The images you post are very nice.Thanks for sharing the personal moments with us.

  23. Heidi says

    Hello Lisa! I have follow your blogg a long time, this is first time i wright in it.
    I just must say i love to read your blogg, and hope you all best,
    Many big warm hugh from me in sweden with finnish parents=)

  24. Kerstin says

    Hey Lisa,
    It was nice to hear from you again and I am happy to see how you built up your new life. I wish you all the best, verdancing gardens, prospering flowers, recovering trees 😉 around you.
    Reading your blog, I was reminded how my kids reflect my mood. I always feel bad when beeing touchy and get it reflected by the kids beeing touchy too. There are always times where I cannt stand the loneliness and than I’m frustrated and self-pitying. Than it helps me to walk a step back and try to see the situation from a distance. And than I always think: stupid mum, how can you complain the kids beeing touchy with you if you are touchy with them. And than I fight again to get my lonesome life together and let the kids feel my love.
    May you always have friends and family around you and never be lonesome.
    All the best,

  25. says

    Hello Lisa,
    I’m Veronica, French 54. I was worried for you, more appartitions on the web, weird.
    I would like to tell you that I know you’ve had a life that I’d have had no jealousy, and what you have experienced what is in your soul, your heart. Of course life has closed a page, but the memories are there, good or bad, it is also that which makes us move forward but certainly flawed for another life. I wish you beautiful Lisa and I embrace you strong.

    PS you still dance?

  26. HANNAH says


  27. ca hall says

    Hi Lisa just watched Dirty Dancing on TV last night i have watched this movie so many times and am still in love with it and then i read your post today. I understand that fog it’s what i think you go through but in time you realize things and try to make the most of what life has to offer. I want to just say what an inspiration you are to me i hope you are well and trying to enjoy the things in your life i see animals surrounding you so i know they bring your life so much love keep going and inspiring new people. Much love….=)

  28. Lisa Grew says

    Hi Lisa I just wanted to say thank you as last night I noticed your blog by accident and the two year comment probably saved me from a very dark hole, after a weekend of thinking no one cared I realised its nearly two years and I’m still in the fog! My husband committed suicide in March 2011 mainly due to a job threat and being on dreaded anti-depressants for just 4 months leaving me devastated with 2 young girls. I also have his inquest next week. Anyway I am a survivor not a victim and just wanted to say I too hate the word widow at the age of 40! Thanks again your a very strong lady and I too hope to remain the same way so that i love and look after my girls the best way I can xx

  29. Gaëline says

    Hello Lisa,

    I m writing you from Belgium. It is the first time I write you. I took some time because my English was not good . Now, I m not sure it is better now but I have the feeling it is the good moment…, so I try.

    First of all, I would like to thank you. thank you for the generosity which you offer us, which you offer me. And to allow me (and to others too) “to meet” you.

    I believe that the meetings which we make in our life, whatever they are, never arrive accidentally (by chance,?). If it comes, it is because it has (had ?) to come. Consequently, I believe that if one day, I learnt the Patrick death, if then I discovered and rediscovered his movies, if, later, I opened “The time of my life”, and then discovered your blog and finally read your book ” worth fighting for”
    It is because that had to be made. I had to “meet” him and you…

    In my wisdom moments , I like thinking that, in a way, When Partick is gone he left me (he left us ) a present, a wonderful present. Besides his movies, besides his talent, besides his bravery, he left us… You, Lisa Niemi Swayze. And it is something! :-). Then, I would like to thank him for that: thank you Patrick…
    Now, I would like to thank you, Lisa. Thank you to sharing me (to sharing us) what you do, what you live, what you think, in short, what you are! I loved “meeting” you and I always love it. Because that is really worth it! Indeed, since, I have been growing up… a little more…

    Now, I am going to gather all the positive energy of the earth that I can gather. Then, I am going to pack it in a gift wrap. color…pink :-), and then I will send it to you by plane in a… King air 200:-) but before, I will not forget to inform the pilot that if he is in front of a thunderstorm, he does not have to pass down or above it, but through it! :-) So that, nothing will be knock down! And then, I hope that the post office in America is more effective than the Belgian post office and that this present will reach you.
    And until you received it, I continue and will continue to think of you…very very much.

    Ps: sorry for my English mistakes…

  30. Sioux Schaefer says

    Lately I have been wishing you would write a new book then you post this. People keep saying “you need to get on with your life.” HURRY UP AND GET WHERE I ask them. I am still standing and my feet are still moving. Horses have always been a large part of my life and that is a huge comfort. So my conclusion is everyone has their own way of getting on with their life and their own pace. I like you have fences that are tied together and things out of place.But people don’t get it that one day I will look forward to changing these things but it won’t be on their time clock.
    Thank you. I really look forward to your posting. xo

  31. Lindsay Luckadoo says

    I’m so proud of you, Lisa. Just like the Kelly Clarkson song says…”What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”….right? :)

    As always, much much love to you! XX

    PS Did you see Kelly win a Grammy for that song?

  32. Cynthia says

    Lisa, admiro su capacidad para poner en palabras lo que se siente y sucede ante una pérdida. Yo le escribí cuando falleció mi mamá y nunca pensé que me respondería, pero algo me decía que lo iba a hacer. Recuerda que le dije que al ser nuestros idiomas diferentes ya que no hablo inglés, usted podía si quería usar el google translator. Creo que lo hizo porque me respondió y describió tan bien esa sensación de frío que se siente al regresar a la casa y que esa persona con la que se compartió la vida, en mi caso mi mamá, ya no esté. Se lo agradezco.
    Entiendo a lo que se refiere, en mi casa desde que mi madre partió todo se está rompiendo, es como si los muebles, objetos, aparatos, se complotaran para romperse uno tras de otro. Es como si la casa me hiciera un gran boicot. Como que no me quiere, me expulsa, no me reconoce como habitante, pide a mi madre. Puede parecer loco pero es lo que siento. Incluso han empezado a aparecer cucarachas, arañas y bichos de todo especie, cuando esto nunca antes había sucedido.
    Siento que me pasa todo lo malo al mismo tiempo, llega un momento en que estoy agotada, un problema tras otro. Mi cervicales están destrozadas, se me rectificaron incluso tengo artrosis cervical y no encuentro solución a este dolor físico, lo cual incrementa mi dolor emocional.
    Espero siga escribiendo, me reconforta leer el reflejo de lo que siente mi alma.

      • Cynthia says

        Aún le pido señales, pero no me las envía. Un año y cuatro meses y esto aún está muy mal, yo estoy muy mal, muy triste. No me veo futuro, antes solía planificar cada año de mi vida, detalle por detalle, ahora no puedo planear ni mis próximas dos horas porque no sé en qué estado llegaré a la noche o si lo haré.

  33. Sandy Hall says

    Hi Lisa,
    I’m a native Houstonian and probably passed you & Patrick many times during rehearsals/performances at the old Sam Houston Coliseum for the Shrine Ball held every year for charity. Patsy Swayze Dance Studio always performed as well as my dance studio, Emmamae Horn. Tommy Tune was in my tap class. The dance studios were sort of competing although the focus was to raise money for charity. Remember? At age 65, I still dance when I can. Whenever the mini-series “North & South” came out & I heard the name Patrick Swayze I knew he had to be connected to Patsy Swayze so I’ve followed you, Patrick & Patsy all of these years. You’ve been so inspirational to me & I always wished I had the life you have. Mine turned out to be very problematic & disappointing but when I read how you are trying to make it each day, I’m inspired to try also. I know you know Patrick will always be w/you no matter which roads you take in the future and all of us wish you happiness & love. Please keep me advised if you come back to Houston for a visit. I’d like to meet you. Love, Sandy Hall (Tomball, Texas)

  34. Grace says

    Hello Lisa. I am pleased to see the optimism in your narratives. Take a taste of life and have new projects and a sign of courage and perseverance. It does not surprises me, you are a brave woman and keep morale even in difficult times with the next moment took over with joy. Painting is a good way you are right, and pink brings good humeure! I also like to paint the walls or furniture from home to make a changemment. Exchange ideas and it helped them reflect! And thank you for sharing moments of your life with us and sorry for my aproximate english, soon. With my friendship, Grace.

  35. Anita says

    „and there was unexpectedly the silence… not real and so strange… why was the silence for such a long time gone and far away? It seems that the silence has to be searched and first to be found at the end of world… to realize that all the things around have not that amazing importance in relation to a life of an human being… Do you hear the breath of your love?… calm and far away?.. close your eyes… it`s such a wonderful dream….“

    written by Passion (alias Anita)

  36. Ingrid Mennella says

    HI Lisa- Always an inspiration to read your blog! You give off such positive energy, it’s a great help to those of us who are struggling with our own issues. I hope to see you Friday in Sarasota at the luncheon. It would be such a pleasure to meet you!
    Ingrid Mennella

      • Ingrid Mennella says

        Lisa- It was lovely meeting you at the luncheon yesterday. You are just as warm and gracious in person as you are in your writing. Thanks for a lovely afternoon and the encouraging words. Don’t forget the open riding invitation!
        Best Regards-
        Ingrid Mennella

  37. Linda V. says

    Hello Lisa,
    i greet you from Czech Republic… I would like thank you and Patrick for book The Time of My Live…I´m reading it now, and its great… You helped find me a new “sense of direction”… Thank you also, that you was a support to Patrick, and his films can now make many people “be happy” – me too! You were beautiful and inspirational pair. I thing, that my husband is for me so as was Patrik for you – kindred spirit… I follow your’s advice and i say him ever: “I love you…” Thanks once more… Linda
    (Sorry for my english…its bad…)

  38. Nadine Wood says

    Hi Lisa, love the post of you with J Jakes n his wife, what a fabulous writer. I love North n South. I have the complete collection on 8 discs. I haven’t watched it in a while because once I start,I like to watch it all in like 2 days. I love the uniforms, horses and the southern mansions. What a great cast of many famous actors. my favorite character of course… Orry Main. The first time I laid eyes on a young handsome actor named Patrick Swayze. I became an instant fan and have followed you and Patrick ever since. You both seem so devoted and committed to each other. It was so refreshing to see, a rare comodity by today’s Hollywood standards.
    It is no wonder your grief is so lasting. why wouldn’t it be? ,what you both had was very special. You are doing great my friend, stay positive n keep moving forward. Patrick will always be your guide. Rainbows to you. XOX. Nadine

  39. Ineke says

    Oh wait I wanted to say some more haha,

    I read your book ‘Worth Fighting For’ and it’s beautiful. I admire you for being so open about everything. For a while I had the idea to donate my hair to charity so they can make a wig for people who lost their hair due to an illness. When I read the part of Patrick losing his hair and how much he hated that because he was so attached to his hair, I really wanted to do it so I stopped going to the hairdresser. Last September I wanted to cut the many inches off but I was too scared haha. But in December I went to the funeral of a schoolmate who fought cancer for only 8 months. Her sister spoke and said that her sister didn’t realize how bad it was until she lost her hair. Then I knew I just had to do it. So a few weeks ago I donated almost 14 inches of my hair. I want to thank you for also writing about that in your book cause it inspired me to do this. Thank you, Lisa!


  40. Sarah Halliday says

    Hello Lisa,

    I have read ‘Worth fighting for’ and recently ‘The time of my life’, I gained so much from both books and felt that I was travelling on your journey with my own memories of my father passing away of cancer 11 years ago, time mends us in a way that we never think possible but the memories live on forever. For all that you do in life your husband will see through your eyes…..

    Both books were a great read full of emotion that touched my heart, keep writing please. I look forward to your next book and admire your strength and honesty, It is hard to remember there is more good in the world than bad at times.

  41. Marian Jackson says

    Dear Lisa,
    I lost my wonderful partner Phil to pancreatic cancer in November 2011. When I heard that your lovely husband had passed away I kept it secret from Phil. He was losing his battle too.
    Reading your blog is inspirational. I am still in the fog and my house seems to be falling apart, but it troubles me less knowing that others have followed the same lonely path which eventually leads to a brighter and happier existence.
    Thank you for sharing your experiences. It is a big help.
    Marian. xx

  42. says

    Dear Lisa,

    You have such a gentleness about you and I admire that so very much! After all of the grief that you have been through, along with trying to run two ranches, making sure that all of your precious animals (furry friends) were taken care of, and ALL OF THAT, besides dealing with all of your memories while living in the home that you shared with Patrick, well, I have NO idea how you have done all of this on your own! So, along with your gentleness is a strength that you have. It was evident when you were taking care of Patrick, dealing with all of his medications, protecting his privacy, being his nutritionist, and when he played in the Beast, being his eyes and ears for all that you knew that he would want to know while filming. You are an amazingingly strong woman and yet, as I said at the beginning of this post, you have such a gentleness about you that I so very much admire! It is precisely that gentleness, combined wtih the practical advice that you give of your own experience, that is SO VERY COMFORTING to all who “read you.” We live 30 miles from the Mackinac Bridge in Michigan so we know there is no hope of ever being able to meet you. However, i just wanted so badly for you to REALLY REALIZE WHAT TOTAL COMFORT (LIKE A WARM BLANKET WRAPPED AROUND YOUR SHOULDERS AND YOU GIVING A WONDERFUL HUG) you give to all of us who all blessed enough to have your kindness in our lives. Love you dear lady and always will, Karen

  43. Joan Knight says

    Well, Lisa, seems like it’s been awhile. If i didn’t know better I would of thought I’d written this blog. Didn’t go hot pink but it’s a thought,for me to keep in mind. But, I have broken fences, and a lot of work to be done and no idea where to start, but I know I’ll get to it one of these day. The first two years I could even stay home let alone be responsible for any of my decisions, but Some how God intervened and put my brakes on, so, all decisions didn’t turn into a catastrophe. In the beginning I did all the legal stuff even for self ,( will, deeds, his estate as well as for me, closed his estate but didn’t entirely finish things for self which was a good thing) But I made it and now, that the 4 yr anniversary has come and gone I can pat myself on the back and say, “Job well done”, now to get on with other things. I never really was afraid of choices and making them , except when it came to choosing people to trust and that was not because of people but because “I know me” and my choice in trusting others has come back to bite me. but have learned what is and is not my responsibility and what is not. What is important to me and what isn’t. so, the main thing i want to say is. “WE’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY!!” We still have a long way to go, but with new insight, strength, and knowledge of who we are, what we want and how we’re going to get there. It will be GREAT. ONE DAY AT A TIME, MINUTE, SECOND, OR HOUR, WE CAN AND WILL ACHIEVE OUR GOAL, WITH THE HELP AND ENCOURAGEMENT OF ONE ANOTHER, OUR GODS’S GRACE AND MERCY, BUT MOST OF ALL TO HONOR THE ONES WE LOVED.
    But, you may have created a monster!!! LOL I really like your quote “BEWARE OF THE WIDOW” I have learned one thing as a “widow” we are looked at as fragile, weak , emotionally distraught that look to others for strength. But, what you and others have shown me is that we are quite the opposite and once we get something in our head, we’ll take do what it takes to get things done, be it cancer, Washington, or whoever. Which is strength, trust, knowledge and love for one another. Thank you

      • Joan Knight says

        Update on Candy. She had surgery on the 5th. They removed all the tumor and sent it off to find out what steps will be taken next, but she went home the same day. Sounds hopeful but as we know nothing that has to do with cancer is 100% or anything else and without the power of God and prayers there is little hope. So thank you all who have prayed and please continue. God bless you all.

  44. Sherry says


    Dear Lisa,

    I’d like to let you know that your books have had the “butterfly effect” on my life. As you may know, the butterfly effect is the theory that small changes in one place (such as the beating of a butterflies wings) can have a ripple effect and cause large changes in another place. To think of all the wonderful and comforting ways you and Patrick have affected the lives of everyone that has read your books… It’s just enormous. I’m a prime example, a 36 year old living in the southeastern US that decided to read your books. The important life lessons I’ve learned from your heartfelt words. Such as, take time to enjoy your loved ones, cherish the special moments, take a deep breath and slow down before life passes you by… Just to name a few. To often we get caught in this fast paced world and forget the most important things in life. Your books have brought me back to the basics and reminded me of what I should really be cherishing in this life. Thank you for being the “Butterfly”. Please take comfort in knowing that your words are deeply affecting and changing so many lifes across the world!

    Wishing you the best!


  45. says

    Hi Lisa,

    It’s good to hear your carrying on with your life, however that may be. Sometimes setting it down and looking it over, then other times throwing yourself head first—Hot Pink. That’s good. It’s a funny thing, you think your dealing with grief well and then 6 months later or maybe even a year or two you look back and go “E-gads! Did I really…” A few years ago, nearly three began a time of just God awfulness. Lasted a year and a half. When the smoke cleared I had gone through a foreclosure, lost 4 people I dearly loved in 10 months, endured a break up, nearly died, the man I love had a stroke and then, well I guess the negative thought “Hell, I’ve thrown everything I can think of at her and she’s still going!” Yep. Just like the bunny. I got through it all because of love. Love others gave me, love I gave myself and love I was determined never to loose. So I hope you’ll get steady eddy on your feet. You will. Pink and all. :) I look forward to stopping back and reading more.

  46. Kathie Majerchin says

    Just finished you book “Worth Fighting For” and it was such an experience for me. I lost my husband to throat cancer on July 25, 2010. I met you at the Compassion and Caring Luncheon for Tidewell Hospice last Friday at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota, FL.

    Many times through our journey with cancer I felt that no one could possibly understand what I was going through with Dan (my Corky, isn’t that funny you had your Buddy and I had my Corky), that is just one of the many things that were similar. We also had some hard times in our marriage and were seperated when her received his diagnosis. I remember saying to him at that time, “This is going to be an uncharted journey and even though I am not your favorite person right now, it will be an honor if you allow me to make this journey with you, he looked at me and said with tears in his eyes that I was the only one in the world he really trusted with his best interest and that’s what he wanted.” That was a pretty big vote of confidence considering that we were divorced at the time, so the journey began, we ended up remarrying and funny how knowing that life may be short makes you really concentrate on what’s important, facing death really does make you appreciate life much more, I know I am singing to the choir hear, you like me are on the other side of that journey. There were so many accounts of what happened to your Patrick that I dealt with in Dan’s treatment and I felt every bit of anguish again for myself and for you, the infections, surgeries, treatments, so much stuff that you go through but in the end it is worth it because every extra moment is a blessing. Corky never gave up his fight, he was amazing, never complaining, continued doing what he wanted to do how he wanted to do it everyday until the last. He even had an awesome Harley riding male nurse that was with us when he passed away, they were a case together and I was so thankful that this angel was with me and made Dan comfortable and happy in his last hours. I could go on and on but I feel such a spirit connecting us and I am sure that others have reached out to you in the same way that I am here, in another time, another place we could be friends, I wish I could join you and your “widow” friends sometime. Thanks for listening and telling your story and keeping the memory of your Buddy alive!

  47. JP says

    Lisa, what a beautiful being you are. I know Patrick (who is a beautiful being) is proud of you every single moment. The example you both show shows we should make the most of every moment, and keep our eyes on the prize, no matter the obstacles. (I struggle myself, because of my disability, autism.) I know he dances on the street of gold in joy of you, as you dance always.

  48. Meg Stutts says

    Dear Lisa, I too share in your grief and am trying to find a way to move on although some days it seems impossible as all I can do is think about my Bill and the life we had together.I lost my husband Bill 5 months ago to congestive heart failure and copd,he bravely fought that for 6 and a half years after the drs had only given him 2 years at the most to live.Bill told me once he knew Patrick when he was a little boy before Patrick and Patsy moved to Texas.They were both such wonderful men whose lives were cut short way too soon.Perhaps I shpuld think about doing a bit of redecorating too.I need to get started with spring cleaning but its still a bit cold here in Mississippi.I am presently reading one of your books,Worth Fighting For.Patrick was and you are an inspiration to me.You are in my thoughts and prayers.It is so hard to pick up the pieces and go on with life.I hope in time I will do as well as you have.Your Buddy would be proud of you.

    • Lisa says

      I know what you mean about thinking of your Bill constantly. When Patrick died, there was barely a minute that went by that he wasn’t on the forefront of my thoughts. After a few months, it was like a milestone when I went 10 minutes without obsessing, then one hour… It gets easier.

  49. Nicola Hogg says

    Hi Lisa

    I just finished reading the book Time of My Life and just wanted you to know I loved it! Could literally not put it down and had it read in a day! It was such a heart warming story that had me laughing and crying all the way through! Patrick Swayze was a big part of my life growing up as the films Ghost and Dirty Dancing were popular fixtures in my family, not to mention the fact my mother and all my aunties had a huge crush on him! The way Patrick talks about you was so lovely, especially the journey he takes the reader on from the first time he laid eyes on you. I particularly loved the part when he mentions how he traded in a First Class ticket for two Economy tickets so you could join him in Bangkok! So lovely! I am newly-married and would be blessed and extremely lucky to achieve a marriage like yours. Through all your ups and downs you stayed together and fought til the end! He will forever be smiling down on you from Heaven :)

    I wish you all the luck in the world with your work, your such an inspiration to so many people!

    Love Nicola x

  50. Nadine Wood says

    Hey Lisa, don’t tweet so here goes. Nice pic of pea hens. I got a glimpse of a dog?? staight ahead on or near the tree? am I seeing things or goin crazy? Did you ever notice that you tree has faces? Lol, I must be losin it…rough week. Did think though…can’t be real cause those pea hens would be outta there. Nice shot Lisa! Enjoy your day XOX. Nadine

  51. yvonne staley says

    Enjoyed the books. i always told my ex husband that he looked just like patrick when he was young. lol. stay strong lisa!!

  52. Sue Tabashnik says

    Dear Lisa,
    Thank you so much for signing my book in Sarasota- via Ingrid-at your talk to the hospice organization there. I am re-reading it. The timing of it is very significant to me as my dad passed January 26th from leukemia/cancer and a close friend passed January 5th. I really thank you for sharing your experiences and focusing on this tough topic of grief. I hope one day I can have the opportunity to hear you speak about it in person. Glad things are progressing for you.
    All my best wishes, Sue

  53. Sioux Schaefer says

    HI LISA,

  54. Alan says

    Dear’re a very strong and sweet’re an inspiration..thank you for sharing your feelings,you’re not alone..a big hug from Italy.

  55. Chris Hock says

    Great post!

    Normally I find people saying things (like I am about to!) that speak for others as intensely irritating, or even disingenuous. But I would think that Patrick is very proud of you right now. You honor his memory and touch others with your experience. Kind of like offer a road map of sorts for others who are embarking down that same long, dark road. I read the books, I got a *sense* for the way it was. And having a very close member of my immediate family fight the same battle…all I can say is that you are giving light to others, even in your own darkest moments. That’s some kind of wonderful. No wonder he loves you so much…!

    I can not, however, condone the hot pink thing. There are limits, you know. 😉

  56. says

    Merci LIsa pour m’apporter le réconfort dans vos livres depuis la mort de mon mari, comme Patrick, en juin 2009 d’un cancer après 3 ans de combat avec la maladie. je commence après presque 4 ans a reprendre gout à la vie, car pour moi tout s’est arrété avec lui, nous étions marié depuis 35 ans, comme vous, il vit désormais en moi mais la vie m’est insupportable toute seule.

  57. Robin says

    I just finished WORTH FIGHTING FOR in the emergency room, of all places but Im fighting off some sort of respiratory infection so what else would I be doing sitting here hooked up to my iv meds and breathing treatments. This book affected me physically as well as the emotions. I think about all of the people who loved Patrick and what he gave to the world and Lisa, you did as well. I have such a respect for anyone caring for an ill family member, its not easy and I know this first hand. My entire family is part of the medical field as careers and this year will be my Dads 14th year having Alzheimers disease. It doesn’t matter what the illness is, or how long we have been caring for them. The tears, the long lonely nights when you think how can I go on one more second or the days when you feel copilot is all you have left, and you get up and you just do it again and again. My Mom is my hero in so many ways. She decided to give up her career and keep my Dad at home because, like you Lisa, my parents were together very young, and in fact my Dad was the only man my Mom was ever with in her 72 years on this earth. She still cares for my Dad every single day, cooks and holds his hand when he needs her. This has been going on for 14 years and even though her health is being effected, she has a strength like no other human. Your book gave me so much, similar to what my parents had. The only difference with this horrific disease is I miss my Dad every day and he is still with us. Thank you again for giving us the parts of your world/life that mattered to you. I wish you peace and a new found happiness. Love and warm hugs to you Lisa

    • Brenda Hartman says

      Wow, Robin, my Mom died of Alz. 4 yrs after being diagnosed. My grandfather didn’t live long either after being diagnosed with that horrible disease. Your mother must be a tremendous caregiver!!! Kudos to her! I hope the rest of your family gives her some kind of assistance. God Bless you and yours.

  58. Magdalena says

    Dear Lisa,

    This is my 1st day here, at your website and blog. How did it happen? Oh… Today, after my work I want to see the “last dance” from the DIRTY DANCING movie. I don’t know why. Just because :) And I did… and have found the link to your website.
    My 1st thought was: I need to check how I could buy your book: WORTH FIGHTING FOR… But after a while I’ve seen, that there is a blog as well and started to read… From your the 1st post (Dec 2011).
    Thank you Lisa. I already know, that one day I will buy and read all your books (in English to practise it). You have a great give: you write so beautiful… all words – even, when they are sad – are so light, full of hope and positive sound. Thank you!!!

    I’m in the very hard part of my life… WOW, it’s so sad, cause now I don’t even remember when my life was easier…
    My husband died last July, but… our life wasn’t good… I lived with him and his biggest and the most powerful “friend” – an alcohol – for the very long 10 years… I was sruggle a lot and hard, cause I loved him, but I didn’t win even one battle and at least said: STOP!!! and asked him to moved away… After almost 3 years after that, his body gave up (like I did before) and he died… He was only 33… Died alone, just with his best friend (vodka)…
    I prepared a funeral, of course, althought we weren’t together anymore, cause his family left him (and me as well) alone… Like they did from the start of my husband’s life, I guess…
    Anyway, those 10 years were extremely hard for me. Those time after he moved I can call a thaw, but now… Now it’s not easier… Why? I don’t know… All I know, is that I did everything what I could for my husband (Artur) from the begging of our life, till end of our’s and his…
    Now the worst for me is the loneliness… It’s strange, cause I was lonely before he past away… To tell a truth, I was lonely with him even, but… All my life, during the childhood and when I grown up, I did always something for someone…
    Firstly for my sick and old Dad… then to my Mom, to help her after my Dad death (when I was 13), then… to my husband… after we split up, to my beloving horse… and now I have no one… I can’t find any goal in my lifeYou know how my day looks like? I get up, feed my pets (2 dogs & 3 cats now – my horse died in June 2011), take the shower, do make up, go to work, work, come back, feed animals (sometimes myself too) and…go to bed. It’s good, when I can read. I mean: when I understand what it’s wrote down… Sometimes just sit and do nothing… After a few hours, when I get cold, I start to preper to sleep…. And another, the same day… Weekends are the worst… I don’t need to dress up even… All day in pajamas…
    I know… I must start to live for me… But what should I do? I can’t… L Easy to say, hard to do…

    OK, sorry for this much too long comment Lisa…
    Again, I want to thank you for your blog and mentioned, that I “loved” Patrick for the 1st day I saw him in TV, when I was 12 J
    Keep going, smiling and…writting please. For me eaither, not only for you J

    Greetings from Warsaw (Poland),

    p.s. forgive me my poor English please…

    • Lisa says

      Magdalena. You expressed beautiful the lack of purpose you can feel after a loved one passes. I have struggled hard with this myself, and am still working on it. It’s only just now I’m feeling like I’m starting to thaw out, and come back to life. I think we have to believe that there is a purpose for us, otherwise we wouldn’t still be here. I’m just being patient as I wait to find answers. I’m finding that the answers are starting to get easier, simpler as the intensity of the pain subsides.

      You are also still recovering from living in a stressful, alcoholic marriage. Life’s rules can get bent out of shape in those situations. If you haven’t, it might help to join a group that deals with living and caring about an alcoholic. In the US, our twelve-step program is called Al-Anon. Even though he’s gone, it can still help you understand, recover and heal.

      • Magdalena says

        Thank you for supporting words :)

        You know what? I have a friend in Slovenia. We don’t have to much chance to meet eachother, but now, when I’m so depressed, he try to chat with me (or send an e-mail) almost every day :) He “ordered” to me to count my every smile during the day. Of course, that I don’t do it, but those few words, funny questions, make me smile EVERY TIME! And every smile, even short one, small one is so important…. I guess you know this :)

        Have a nice weekend Lisa and thanks for the reply :),

  59. Lyn Donner says

    I am so glad you have a blog! The hot pink closet sounds fun! I bet it makes each day a little brighter and shows just what a fun personality you have! My husband’s name is Patrick and I was just reading your twitter about St. Patrick’s day. My husband somehow thinks that day is about him and always decorates to celebrate his day lol! My husband and I were big fans of Patrick Swayze especially since I am from. I grew up in Texas most of my life and was born in Houston, but lived close to Waco for almost 26 years. Keep the blogs coming! Love reading them!

    • Kathie Majerchin says

      My husband’s name was Dan but he was known as Corky by friends and family, I am Irish (Sullivan) and love St. Pat’s Day but can’t hold the tears back when the play Danny Boy! Things are getting better but even at almost 3 years I still have very sad days.

  60. Brigid Venti says

    Dear Lisa,
    Keeping you in my heart and prayers~one post at a time! And the hot pink actually sounds fun :) At least, it’s only paint and you can change it! You keep inspiring others with your honesty and heartfelt story. One day, one step at a time! Thank you for sharing…and for not giving up!

  61. says

    Dear Lisa,
    What you are doing is fantastic, and although I’m only a teenager, I fully understand how loss feels and it truly is awful. I have written a section on yourself and Patrick in my blog, because you are my two biggest inspirations in life, especially after reading your books. It would mean so much to me if you would take a quick look at what I wrote, because I would love for you to see what I’ve written, and for you to know what a huge inspiration you have been to me and how you’ve helped me to become a new person. Only if you have a chance as I know you are very busy; it would mean the world just for me to know that you’ve read it and seen, because I would really like you to know what you’ve done for me, and if I never wrote it then you’d never know, and it would mean a lot to me if you did know. Sorry if it seems like I’m making a mountain and I’ve been very repetitive – but you really have helped me, so if you get the chance, please:
    If you clock on the section called ‘Inspiration is everything’, near the top, then you should find it.
    Thank you so much, and of course I full understand if you don’t want to read it or you don’t have time.
    You’re doing so well,
    PS; I know I already posted this on your latest blog, but I accidentally posted the wrong link and I’m terrified you’ll click it and it isn’t the right one! So I re-posted here too, so that maybe there’s a chance you’ll see this!

  62. says

    Thank you very much, of course you don’t need to, but as I said before, I would love you to if that would be possible. Thank you so much; it means a lot – I’m shaking I can’t believe you replied and I can’t thank you enough!, you’re determination inspires me no end and what you’re doing is something everyone should congratulate you on. I can only hope now that you like what I’ve written! x

  63. Angie Miller says

    I can’t believe it has taken me this long to find you. I guess i needed my own time to grieve…I lost my Dad in January last year to pancreatic cancer. He was diagnose three months prior with stage four, had some radiation done, which made him much sicker than they anticipated. Having read Patrick and your book, I knew what to expect emotionally, if that makes any sense to you. Dad had a lot of hope because of Patrick, I just wanted you to know that. He fought hard, but it wasn’t meant to be, God had other plans. Thank you for your book, for sharing the beauty and the pain with us, the fans who adored, respected, admired, and loved Patrick so much. I had high hopes to be at a book signing one day to have you both sign my copy…Perhaps one day I will see you at another signing…My love and prayers are with you, and thank you for your courage, and the realistic view points you share!

    • Lisa says

      Patrick was, and is, so deserving of admiration. He was a fantastic man. Sorry you lost your Dad. That my book might have helped you through this meant the world to me. Best wishes to you, and hang in there!

      • Angie Miller says

        Thanks Lisa. I look forward to more inspirational words from you. Some days are easier than others. I still feel a rawness in my heart, that with work and staying busy eases or denies, not sure which…Tears come unbidden, as do flares of anger, not directly at Dad, but at the loss, the feeling of being cheated and left alone, though I am far from alone. I am not unfamiliar with grief or its process, it just feels differently this time.Your book has helped , and I hope it will aid others the same.

  64. Mea says

    Dear Lisa

    I can tell in my heart that you are a kind and goodhearted woman, so I just wanted to send you pc hugs from Denmark. And to let you know that the movie – one last dance- touch my heart in so many ways. When ever I am sad , lonely ore blue I watch that movie ……….

    I have a big dream to write stories that touched peoples hearts to…….. And I have so many ideas .. maybe some day I will ………. please take care of yourself . the world is a good place to be , when there are people like you in it :-) and as your soulmate used to say … spread the love

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  67. Craig says

    Hey Lisa, good to hear you’re exploring the landscape. I wonder what amazing things are going to happen for you in this place. Chin up, sail on sister!

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