• The Journal of the Journey

  • Remaining Positive During Our First Family Vacation without My Mom

    It was inevitable, at some point, we were going to likely take a family vacation after my mom’s death. But how would it be different? Would it be different? Would it even be fun? I mean, let’s be honest, I have an awesome family, but Ronda knew how to bring another level of “fun” to every moment in life, especially family vacations!   Growing up, we went on a family vacation every year. From Memphis, TN visiting my mom’s icon, Elvis Presley’s home to New York finding our place at the tennis courts of Flushing watching our tennis icons such as Andy Roddick, Serena [...]

    Angel 1210

    March 27, 2017

    Recently, I could not shake the number 1210. It was everywhere. I would see it almost daily on clocks, on my watch, on signs, on receipts, in the airport ... EVERYWHERE. A week or so ago, I happened to be home in Lincoln, NE. While there, I visited my mom's work. As soon as I walked into the "Communications Building" of EyeCare Specialties, I suddenly remembered the last time I was there. It was the fall of 2015 and I had flown home to surprise my mom. My dad and I had been planning it for months! Since it was a surprise, my mom didn't know to switch her late Thursday night shift with one[...]


    March 5, 2017

    I know. I know. I (We) have been silent lately. I think about the #lipsticktherapy family often, and have been meaning to reach out. Sometimes, I just don't know what to say...yet, I have so much to say. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of my mom. If she were still here, I wonder what she might be doing, what she would say... I wonder how her workday would have been at EyeCare Specialties...I wonder what small thing she would get excited about next...I wonder what new outfit she would get from this month's Stitch Fix (showing me on our weekly Skype session), what new [...]

    Does Food Really Matter?

    January 15, 2017

    I just watched a very disturbing documentary that touches on cancer. "Food Matters" confirms so many things that I have wondered about in regards to cancer over the last 9 months since my mom's diagnosis.  I remember so vividly when my mom was still in ICU after her surgery of removing her brain tumor, my brother standing across my mom's bed from one of her doctors, asked him about "nutritional therapy"... His response? He laughed. He laughed in our face as if we were the stupid ones. It still makes me so mad to this day that the thought of that moment brings me to tears. I am not so [...]

    Closing out 2016

    December 31, 2016
    Closing out 2016

    It's hard to believe that 2016 is coming to an end. In some ways, I am happy to say goodbye to 2016, but in many ways, I wish it would never end! I know that 2016 will be etched in my brain for a very long time as the year we lost my mom. So, on one hand, it's easy to say "goodbye", or "see you later" or "worst year ever", but on the other hand, 2016 is the year that I got to hang out with my mom...a lot (thanks to some generous souls who donated Southwest gift cards to the family). It's also the year that I started to view my dad as a "friend" and not just a dad. It's the year that I became [...]

    The Lucky One

    December 20, 2016

    Wow! What a journey it has been. A long, 8 month journey... A journey of sadness and heartbreak, but one of strength and positivity too. I wrote the following on the plane when I flew home for what would end up being the last time while my mom was still alive. I got the call from my dad on a late Tuesday morning. I was at the airport within hours of that phone call. At the time, I didn't know if I would make it home to see my mom one last time, but Ronda would end up having the last say on that though as she fought for almost 2 more weeks. Although vulnerable, I wanted to share with you [...]

    Ornaments of Love

    November 18, 2016

    Growing up, Ronda would start decorating for Christmas the day after Thanksgiving. It is her favorite time of the year! Over the years, she has collected ornaments from her travels or just from places that have a special meaning. She has hundreds of them in boxes and boxes at home...so many that eventually her and Larry had to get an additional tree just to be able to hang all of them. She told me it would take her over 4 hours to put them on the tree. I think, partially, it took her so long because she would take a moment to ponder the many memories and thoughts that are tied to each [...]

    My brother recently made a trip home to spend precious time with Ronda. Here is a recap from his trip. BTW - She likes sweet tea! Who knew?

    For those of you who are not on Facebook, or did not see this weekend's celebration for Ronda's 60th. I invite you to watch this video. It was a special visit home this time. It was Ronda's 60th birthday. Many came to visit, beautiful flowers entered her hospice room, and she received over 100 birthday cards and hundreds of FB messages. She even had a special video conference with her incredible NACo friends from around the country. A very heartfelt THANK YOU to one of the most genuine-spirited people I now have the pleasure of knowing, Kelly McGovern. Kelly recently reached out to my [...]

    Jason's September Visit & a Keystone Light

    In case you missed it...Jason had a beautiful post on Facebook from his most recent trip home. We continue to receive generous donations for Southwest gift cards and we can't thank you all enough. I get choked up every time we receive one. It makes it possible for Jason & me to fly home frequently to spend time with Ronda & Larry. Time that we will never regret. Thank you for allowing us to make even more memories in this most difficult time.

    The Power of Thought

    September 17, 2016

    The Power of Thought I study psychology a lot. With my business, we use psychology so that entrepreneurs can build their best brand possible while instantly being able to connect with their target audience. I was recently working on additional research and was putting together a training on our collective unconscious mind vs. our personal unconscious mind vs. our conscious mind. Although I was applying this to building a business, I had a lightbulb moment! If this works for business, then it can also work for you in your personal life! During one of my visits with my mom, I asked her, [...]

    Her Smile Lights Up a Room

    August 29, 2016
    Her Smile Lights Up a Room

    It's no surprise that wherever my mom goes, she makes amazing friendships. I have heard endless stories from her "business trips with Larry." And when I say "business," I mean Larry's business! :-) I remember her first trip with my dad after he became Executive Director of NACO. She was nervous because she didn't know anyone. Of course, that would be short lived because after that trip, not only did she make friends, but she made LIFELONG friends. You know ... the type that we would all love to have? This past weekend, these "lifelong friends" came from Missouri and Colorado just to [...]

    Reality vs. Positivity: Can You Have Both?

    As Ronda began her journey, we talked a lot about being positive. Heck, this whole website is centered around positivity and most of you hold a copy of my ebook where the very topic is just that. So, as I update you today on the next step in Ronda’s journey, you might ask yourself, “Where’s the positivity?” You may question if there is a silver lining or even we (The Dix Family) were a little too positive, a little too hopeful in the beginning… It is with a heavy heart that I let you know that we have decided as a family, with Ronda’s input, to move Ronda [...]

    Guest Post: A Sister's Reflection

    Last month my dad had a work trip to California. This would be the first time that my dad was unable to spend a day with Ronda since she went to the ER in late March. It has been 134 days since that day. So, during those 5 days while he was in California, my mom's youngest sister, Tami stayed in Lincoln to be there with her. It's truly amazing to watch how family and friends come together and "dig in" during these times. The Eatherton Family (if you don't know them) are some of the strongest people I have ever met in my entire life. They all have truly dealt with some heavy shit in their [...]

    Guest Post: 23 Years of Friendship

    I feel like when life events such deaths, tragic accidents, or difficult journeys ensue, we all start to realize what is really important to us in life. We cling to the important things tighter and shed those things in life that just are not needed or bring us down. One of things that I believe we realize immediately is just how amazing true friendships are. This is why I am so happy to share this guest post with you today. Janet has been a friend of my mom's for 23 years! It's hard to think it's been that long, but she is the first friend that I can remember my mom having when we moved to [...]

    Guest post from a special friend who would love to share how Ronda has been such a hero and inspiration to everyone she’s around! “You are going above and beyond!”  To which Ronda replies, “As always!” How else can I better describe Ronda than this: above and beyond, as always!  From her caring heart, to her positive attitude, to her determined spirit, to her genuine concern for others, all the way down to the sporting of her beloved Husker gear…Yes, she is above and beyond, and it is contagious! Ronda consistently does significantly more than asked or expected in all areas[...]

    Celebrate Ronda

    July 13, 2016
    Celebrate Ronda

    It still seems like yesterday to me, but in reality, it was a few years ago. I was at our National Sales Conference for the company I was with at the time and I was speaking to all of the District Operations Managers in the company about the importance of "personal branding." I get it...you are wondering how the heck personal branding has anything to do with my mom ... well, let me tell you how this moment changed my life and made me realize that Ronda was truly a ONE OF A KIND person in this world! So there I was...giving a talk about personal branding, more specifically, the "10.5 Ways[...]

    Ronda Asks a &quote;Serious&quote; Question

    Post by Jason Dix   I was able to witness an incredible transformation this past week when I went home to see Ronda! She was completely coherent and could remember sooo many details about her past, my past, and even about doctors she had right after her surgery. I continue to be amazed at how the brain can repair itself, especially considering that when I saw her in April, the only thing she could do was squeeze my hand....no eating, no talking, no ability to open her eyes, or move anything on the left side of her body. My how things have changed!!! We talked about my son Regis, and his [...]

    A Message from Ronda

    June 16, 2016
    A Message from Ronda

    As I prepare to go back home to Florida in a couple of days, I reflect back on the last few weeks. I am so proud of my mom for her courage, her perseverance, and her amazing spirit. But more than all of that, I am always in awe of what a selfless and grateful person that she is. After almost 3 months in the hospital, I am not sure that everyone could say the same for themselves. Now, it is time to let my mom tell you in her own words how she is doing in this special message from her to you!

    Guest Post: Positive Self-Talk

    This update is a guest post from my aunt, Annette. Annette (Larry's sister) and my uncle John were in Lincoln over Memorial Day weekend. When I asked Nettie if she would write a guest post, I certainly was not surprised by the things that she observed while visiting Ronda. She continues to inspire me with her amazing outlook on the situation. Read for yourself... "Positive Self-Talk" by Annette Nelson We had the pleasure  of visiting Ronda this weekend and continue to learn from her about how much our physical bodies respond to positive self-talk. In a short 6 weeks we have seen [...]

    Changing One’s Mindset from Negative to Positive by Changing One’s Thoughts

    Last night my dad sent Jason and I text that just said..."We need a conference call when you are available." I think we all know a text such as this (in our situation) is likely not going to be a cheery one full of fabulous, over-the-top miraculous news! And...it wasn't. Although, not horrible news, but now good news. My dad informed us that Ronda had developed a blood clot in her left ankle. She does not have much movement or control on her left side, so this is not surprising. As I always do, I processed the information, gathered the facts and hoped for the best with her surgery the [...]

    7 Week Update from Lar

    May 22, 2016

    Time is a Thief

    May 11, 2016

    This past Sunday was Mother’s Day and I have to admit, I had a hard time looking at Social Media. I did love all of your posts and pictures of you and your moms and it made me feel thankful that my mom is still with us. However, this year, I struggled with what I should get my mom for Mother’s Day. Usually, I would just send her flowers to her work the week before Mother’s Day so she could enjoy them while at work. This year, flowers just seemed so silly. Trust me, given the circumstance, it changes what you want to give. You tend to think about how to make your gifts more meaningful,[...]


    May 6, 2016

    It’s rare that you will find me speechless, but lately I have been so overwhelmed with the support and love that everyone has shown for my mom, that I can’t seem to find the words. Sometimes there are just no words to describe the appreciation we have for people’s actions. For those of you who have donated Southwest Gift Cards, THANK YOU! It’s such a selfless act and it means so much to us! I will be flying home again next week and then again in June. My brother will also be coming home for awhile in June and we are trying to figure out the best time to have Elissa (Jason’s wife) [...]

    What is Positive Thinking?

    It seems fitting to add to this blog, the benefits of positive thinking...not just because in times of stress and trauma, it seems like a good path to take, but also because my mom is one of the most positive people I have ever known. Of course, that is easy for me to say, as her daughter, but this is something that many have shared with me..."your mom is so positive," they say! We have all been told to think positive at one time or another based on some situation we had to face in our lives. Well, in actuality positive thinking is a process by which we create thoughts considered positive. It [...]

    Ronda's Update - April 26

    April 30, 2016

    Here is the latest social media update from my awesome brother on April 26th!

    Here is a series of #lipsticktherapy posts from social media. This is where is all began...

    What the heck is #lipsticktherapy anyway?

    For most of Ronda's family and friends, they may have heard of "#lipsticktherapy" and most know what it is and how it started. However, for those of you still confused and wondering how the heck lipstick relates to Ronda's journey, allow me to explain... It all started when I went home after discovering that my mom had a brain tumor. When I booked my one-way flight home, I knew Ronda had a journey ahead of her. What I didn't know was just how slow that journey would start out. As I booked my ticket on Southwest, I can remember contemplating on what day I should come home. It was a Thursday and[...]