Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/07/01

Aiming for the Highest

aiming highGood evening, my friends.  I’m delighted to report to you that I’m continuing to do well, taking my time, yes, but able to do more around my house (there’s been NO WAY I’d leave my house these days in this record breaking heat except for a couple of important appointments Friday, when temperatures here hit a record 109* and it’s not come down too terribly much in the subsequent days), provided I take a lot of breaks.  It feels good to kind of have “normal” going on right now.  And today I had the extra treat of a couple come over and do some energy work/healing work on me, which was very informative, helpful, and very cool indeed! I hope you join me in continuing to pray that those who are without find places to rest, recover, be safe.  It is so much better for everyone to have needs met, isn’t it?

Indulge me as I tell you a true story which will, I promise, bring you to the point of today’s blog:  In 1984, after I graduated from college, I moved sight-unseen to Nashville, TN.  My thinking at the time was that it was located between my hometown (Canton, Ohio), and my college town (New Orleans, LA) where I still had some friends, I had a teaching certificate so I could get a job anywhere, and I really wanted to get into the music business (I was a writer, like oh so many people in Nashville).  Seriously, though, I wanted to get into the BUSINESS of music, preferably in music publishing, and teaching would just be my fall-back position.  Secretly, what I REALLY wanted to be was a back-up singer.  I wanted to ooooh, and ahhhhh, and lalalalalala on recordings and live and all that stuff.

I moved to Nashville not knowing a soul, never having been there before, and having absolutely no clue about the music business except for a couple of books I’d read.  It was either going to be the craziest or stupidest thing I ever did (turned out to be just crazy), and I had no idea then that it would be easier to get into music publishing (got a job within 10 months) than to get one in teaching (only found work as a substitute teacher for a bunch of private schools), and you really have to put yourself out there if you want to have friends in a town where nobody has ever heard of you, nor you of them.  I quickly found a group of people that included musician types (imagine!), and told everyone I could that I was a singer and would love to sing on any recordings or such that they might need.  I might just as well have told people I could perform brain surgery on street corners.  Turns out there was a method to that kind of madness and to sing, you had to, like, sing, with experience and drive and such.  In fact, really, what was needed to become a back-up singer was the mentality of wanting to become a STAR.  EVERYone in Nashville had a band or was a picker or a singer or a writer, and EVERYone of them wanted fame and fortune and to be a STAR.  Most of them ended up enjoying careers NOT as stars, but as successful writers with steady work, or studio musicians, or in someone else’s (Star’s) band, or as, yes, a back-up singer.  I ended up working in music publishing for a few years, figured out that people in the business are pretty much nuts, got married, left the business, got a degree in social work, and started helping abused and sexually abused children.  Seemed more like my heart, and less needing to be some sort of star or something. Never did sing back up.  Well, maybe once, but it was not a big deal at all, just someone’s demo.

What I learned, though, and this has just come back around to my psyche as I’m gearing up to start chemo this Thursday, is this:  you have to aim for the highest if you are going to get anything.  Unless you shoot to be a star, you won’t ever become a back-up singer.  You likely won’t get even close to the success that you want.

When I was first diagnosed with Lung Junk, I remember distinctly saying “I’m not asking for a cure,” mostly because the words “cure” and “remission” weren’t offered to me.  But seriously, I thought that this was the hand God had dealt me, and so I would live within its parameters, and who was I to ask for things like “cure?”

When I went through that horrible rough patch a couple of months ago, and things turned around for me 1 month ago today, I recognized that my sense of smell and taste are both pretty much completely gone now.  Like I can sometimes taste bananas and dill pickles, and that’s it.  Seriously.  And I thought, well, at least I can keep everything down now, so I guess if I can’t taste anything anymore, that’s just the way it’s going to be.

But now, I see the flaw in that way of thinking.  Seriously, I see it as if I am telling God, “I’ll settle for whatever, because who am I to ask You to really show up and take care of this mess for me and restore my health and my sense of taste?”  As if I don’t believe God WOULD show up and offer me healing.  As if God COULDN’T show up and heal me.  That seems kind of, well, wrong, to me now.  Because God CAN do, but if I offer limits, I am limiting what God can do.  I am putting my own silly brakes on the miracles God has in store for me, simply because I am not aiming high enough.

When I started the Tarceva clinical drug trial way back in January of 2010, I did it with the goal of becoming the Poster Child for Tarceva.  I prayed a blessing over every pill I took, and thanked God for bringing me this drug and making me the Poster Child (read: star).  And for 15 months, it went along like that: my attitude alone made me the Poster Child.  I admit to you all that after I came off the study, I went through month after month after challenging month where treatment after treatment was good for a second and then not, or I needed a different treatment like radiation, or there was always a fire to put out.  I confess that I lost my way a little bit there.  I don’t know that I was angry with God so much as I was frustrated and lost, and gone were the blessings and the thinking that I could be a Poster Child again, and in its place was the old thinking that I shouldn’t ask for too much, like God wouldn’t show up.

I hope I never get back to that horrible place again, my friends.  It’s better for me with the rituals and the prayers and the blessings.  Breeds a lot of hope and confidence.  And now, I’m asking for it ALL.  I really am.  HEAL ME.  CURE ME.  GIVE ME BACK MY SENSE OF TASTE AND SMELL.  BRING ME TO THE HIGHEST PLACE.  MAKE ME A STAR!  I wait with hope and expectation that if I do my part, God WILL show up and do God’s part, and this will all be to the greatest good of all concerned.  I am asking for it ALL.  I am aiming for the highest.

I hope you’ll consider aiming high, too, for whatever it is you’re reaching for.  I truly believe that it is only by aiming for the highest we can achieve what is best for us.  That’s the thinking I’ll be taking with with on Thursday as I begin my next treatment.  I know I’ll be taking your good thoughts and prayers with me, too, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude for that.  Above all else, I want you to know that I pray for all of you daily, and am so thankful for each of you in my life!

I wish you a week of aiming high,

Teri, The High Aiming Flying Elephant (though never a back-up singer)



  1. thank you diane! loving thoughts your way, too!

  2. You are a blessing! Powerful blog! Loving thoughts always

  3. thanks, johnnie!

  4. You must mean, ‘…not yet a back up singer. You are a star in my book!

  5. That is what I’m talkin’ ’bout!


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