I am an early riser.
This morning, it was 2:30 a.m. (No, that isn’t a typo.)
It’s been this way for some years now, for varying reasons. Most, I believe, are physical but not all. Certainly, in the last few weeks, that hasn’t been the case.
It’s the stuff in my head.
For almost two years, the whole “C” thing – and all that entailed – caused many a sleepless nights. I don’t think that’s unusual. Recently, it’s something – or, rather, some things – other than that.
Odd dreams where I’ve seen the same “terrorist” looking guy more than once. Wondering how this whole ‘end of life’ thing with Mom is going to play out. Worrying about my daughters health, our finances, what I’m going to make for dinner.
And then there’s the circus called the U.S. Presidential elections. Wish I could say, “Not my circus, not my monkeys”, but – unfortunately – this circus very much impacts our lives and I have a natural political bent even in the best of times. With this Freak Show, I’ve been consumed with what’s going on, what’s being revealed, and what is being kept secret.
It’s one thing to have concerns – even fears – about external foes: ISIS, Russia, Iran, North Korea, China. The terms “World War III” and “Nuclear Weapons” are being bandied about a lot these days, and it’s scary stuff – especially when you consider who has their finger on the button (be it a suitcase or an Oval Office).
God help us all.
It’s a whole thing altogether, though, when you realize your own government is bad to the bone, and We The People are really just pawns in their Game of Thrones. We now need protection from the very institution that was created to protect us! The Washington Elite and the Global Cabal have made it clear that they could care less about us. We are disposable to them.
And just typing that makes me want to smack someone, or scream, or stick my head in the sand (or in a bottle of booze) and pretend it all away.
I’m REALLY going to need a mental cleanse after November 8th (if not before)
Knowing it’s futile to lay there in bed and try to think my thoughts away, I got up, and played Gin Rummy for a couple of hours. It distracts me. It breaks the cycle of worry. It can even be fun. But it doesn’t necessarily make me feel better.
With an hour to go before people started stirring about, I had enough of that and did what I should have done from the start: I poured myself a fresh cuppa, sat at my little kitchen table, lit a candle, and prayed.
Within a few minutes, it started to rain again. Gently at first, and then in big fat sheets. Blessed, wonderful, Hot Damn! rain! It sprinkled here on and off all day yesterday, with even some thunder and lightening thrown in, and I swear I could hear Earth groan with pleasure. Even one day of rain in drought racked SoCal is a huge deal. The air gets fresh, Nature get a quick wash down, and the temp actually drops below 75.
When I heard the thunder start up again, I threw open my kitchen door, stepped outside and looked North where huge bolts of lightning lit up the dark. Great rolling claps of thunder sounded overhead, and I could just see the shapes of the clouds in the predawn light. It looked like a massive rib cage, with a giant Heart in the center. The thought crossed my mind to try to capture it in a photo, but I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to chance missing IT.
I wanted to praise!
Raising my hands and relishing in the beauty of the Storm, I recalled reading that God’s Voice is as thunder, and His appearance as lightning. It made what I was witnessing even more beautiful, and it seemed the bolts were in sync with my thoughts. My mind was being cleansed and refreshed with Living Water.
And that’s when I heard, “Grandma! Grandma Can you hear it?!?” Padding into the kitchen, his eyes bright and wide, his hair tousled with sleep, was my Angel.
Pushing back into the kitchen, I stepped inside and said “Yes, Bub! I sure do! Isn’t it awesome? Come here and let’s watch!”
And just then the kitchen – and my heart – glowed with Light. Holding his little body in front of mine, we stood and watched and clapped and laughed with pure joy at every clap of thunder and every bolt of lightning. Oh, what a miracle!
I’m still smiling about it.
You gave abundant showers, O God,
You refreshed your weary inheritance.
They’ve been popping up everywhere. Slightly curled and snow-white, some small and downy, others larger and a bit more robust. I find them laying in our yards, and scattered all along the walking trail, like angelic bread crumbs.
White Heron feathers.
It’s my habit to put things in my pocket when I walk, and the feathers are no different. A small handful in a dish sits in my living room where I can see it regularly. These feathers are a reminder. An affirmation.
Having walked this neighborhood for three years, finding an abundance of these particular feathers everywhere is unusual although seeing the birds themselves isn’t. There are several waterways nearby and herons fly over head regularly. I caught this big guy – a Blue Heron – hanging out with a couple of buddies a few months back.
Herons are rich in symbolism and no one does Animal Speak better than Avia over at What’s Your Sign. If you have a moment, hitch a ride over to her place on this LINK and check out the full spectrum of Heron Symbolism. You’ll understand why finding so many of these feathers is nothing less than supercalifragilistic during this season in my life.
Today I wrap up my first week at Habitat For Humanity, and – in a word – it’s been AWESOME. The work itself is rewarding and fun. But more than that, it’s the people I’m working with that is so exciting. I’m still getting to know everyone but I can already tell these are some great folks. Most of them are volunteers, under 30, and really love what they are doing. After a decade working in a toxic waste dump, this is like heaven!
I also attended the first of The Write Page writer’s group meetings. Held at the Katie Wheeler Library, an old Victorian built by an Irish immigrant who turned out to be the grand daddy of our county, it’s a combination of so many things I just love! About 30 of us ranging from 18 to 80….newbie college kids to old-time journalists and representing at least a half-dozen nationalities…all share the common bond of loving the written word. I’m already learning so much and can’t wait for the next meeting!
My tribe – my NEW tribe – is coming together. My new life is coming together, too. The feeling is indescrible after such a long, solitary and difficult season. Sure, there are still bits to add to the picture – a great paying part-time job, for one – but I know it’s coming. I know. Grace is surrounding me.
My peeps and a pocket full of feathers. What a great day to be alive. Think I’ll go for a walk before work.
Who knows what I might find.
Later today, the doctor will be cutting out a piece of my breast. 3 cm, more or less. The size of a kiwi or a Roma tomato.
Maybe smaller if all the prayers have worked….
I just finished my “antibacterial” shower, the second in less than 12 hours (doctors orders) and applied the Lidocaine patch. The patch needs to be in place 6 hours before the lymphatic mapping procedure at 11:00, where they will inject me with a blue contrast material and after which I might have a little after glow going on that might make me look gray around the gills.
The nurse told my husband not to worry…I might look like I’m not breathing, but it’s just the dye. Awesome. It will go great with the gray hoodie I’m wearing.
*sigh* It will be a long day at the medical center. I have to be there at 8:30 for the needle localization…a procedure where they insert “needles” into my breast as markers for the surgeon. This will give her the tumor coordinates, so to speak. Surgery is scheduled for 1:30 and I’m thrilled that they keep telling me I will be ready to go home at about 4:00.
As I washed myself a few minutes ago, touching my breast with healing and compassion for what is to come, I couldn’t help but wonder. Wonder at this companion I’ve carried with me for 58 years, from tiny bud to full ripe fruit….through the nursing of two babies and sensual delights of an unmentionable number iof lovers. I’ve loved my breasts and hated them, only to come around full circle to love once again once I realized that they were in jeopardy. That I was in jeopardy.
And I couldn’t help but wonder how the surgery will effect the way my breast will look and feel….what angle the scar will take and whether or not the change will be obvious to others. It will definitely be smaller but my doc has assured me that she will make the shape as “nice” as possible. Having a female surgeon, and an excellent one, gives me great confidence. She gets it, in a way no man ever could.
Naturally, prayers have been going forth that the cancer be obliterated…the tumor shrunken like a dark brown raisin under a white hot sun….leaving a fresh healthy margin in its place. I’ve been praying that my nodes are clear, and that the surgery itself will be quick and brilliantly successful.
But now…in the early dawn hours as I lie here, cleansed and waiting, I want to thank my breast. To honor her journey thus far, and to pay homage. It….I….will not be the same after today. But I vow to love myself, scars and all, into health and wholeness, with a holy gratitude for the gifts my breast – my entire body – has given to me.
The precious and fragile and resilient and mysterious earthen vessel that houses my soul and makes this journey through physical life possible, I Thank you. I Bless you. I Love you.
As I sat in the examination room yesterday, I remember thinking to myself, “there is something wrong.”
It wasn’t that I had been hit with some huge premonition. It was more like a series of smaller “hits” had finally accumulated enough girth as a whole to become undeniable. Some of those hits went as far back as last year (maybe even earlier) and the latest ones had come just that morning. They showed up in the subtlest of energy shifts in the two wonderful techs that had performed a follow-up mammogram and an ultrasound on me. I noticed the slight withdrawal of presence, the merest tucking in and tensing around the mouth, and a slightly more businesslike, albeit kind, farewell. To me, it added up to one thing: they couldn’t give me the reassurance I was looking for. They saw something in the photos.
The longer I sat and waited, the more frightened I became. By the time the doctor bounced in – a stunner of an older gal with long gray hair, a generous smile and bright blue eyes – and asked me how I was doing, all I could say was “I guess I’m waiting for you to tell me that.”
And she did.
With great compassion, kindness and optimism, she explained that there were a couple of suspicious areas in my left breast that need attention and proceeded to show me on the film.
The “good” news is, the area(s) is/are small (thanks to regular mammograms), are very treatable with surgery and some radiation applied directly to the affected area(s), and I won’t have to undergo chemo or radiation.
Then, in an attempt to keep things light, I guess, she told me that she heard many women met some wonderful galpals on the journey I was about to embark on. Sisters dealing with the same issues.
I guess there’s an upside to everything.
The “bad” news? In her opinion, what she saw was most likely a breast cancer. A couple of biopsies and an MRI will be done to confirm that, one way or the other. I am, naturally, praying for a miracle call “The Other”.
Anyway, because of the hits I’ve been receiving, her news wasn’t a complete surprise, although – in all honesty – by the time I walked out of the office with paperwork in my hands and a couple of appointments on my calendar – I was in tears. And I continued to cry on and off for most of yesterday.
One of the biggest of those little hits happened sometime last year. I had a “Aha!” moment. At least, that’s what it felt like at the time when I realized just how much time I’d spent completely not liking my breasts – mostly since the changes they’ve undergone in the last few years. They’re huge, for one thing (G cup), heavy and – thanks to gravity – tend to create the illusion of thickness around my mid-section that no amount of lace and underwire seems to alleviate.
I had been boob bullying, and it occurred to me that The Girls might not fare well under that sort of onslaught. If you are familiar with Masaru Emoto’s “The Hidden Messages In Water”. you understand what I mean. Our bodies are made up of about 60% of water, so why wouldn’t the cells in my breasts respond to energetic bullying?
So I began to apologize to them. Sincerely apologizing for all the negative things I’ve said and thought about them. When I remembered to, I would hold them tenderly and told them I loved them. I blessed them. Probably not often enough, or consistently enough…especially when I stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror. But it was a start to the turnaround and you can bet your sweet tatas that it’s something I will be an expert at in short order.
I’m not going to lie. This is SERIOUSLY not a journey I want to go on. I had hoped that things would be calm for a bit after going through my daughter and brothers ‘ recent cancer scares. But Life Happens, and this morning, after sharing a bucket of tears and two bottles of wine with my BFF last night (miraculously, without much hangover effect ….the first of MANY miracles I hope to be the recipient of), I feel calmer. More under control. And my mantra is: I AM HEALED, WHOLE AND HEALTHY.
I’ve also begun praying over my breasts, Ho’oponopono particularly, and have let any cancer know it cannot stay in my body. This photo I altered for my electronic wallpapers shows the four lines of Ho’oponopono. If you’re unfamiliar with this prayer, check it out. It is quite powerful and healing:
I don’t know all that the future holds, but I do know this. I want to embark on this new journey with the intention of loving myself thoroughly and mindfully every step of the way, and to heal.
Forgiveness, love and gratitude. They seem like the best place to start.