it all snaps into focus
long ago, at the start of this fog-shrouded day, i thought i was going to type a sentence about waiting for the tow truck. then, once the tow truck rolled away, and the flat-tire car rolled with it, i wandered back to my little typing hole. i started looking for a social security card that i could not find, which led me to discover that i couldn’t find a passport.
i was twisted in knots about these silly paper trails when an email came in. an email from a friend i adore. from a friend whom i’ve been accompanying to chemo on mondays. i pick her up, we drive to the big hospital downtown. i watch her IVs get started. we sit and talk about important things. sometimes we look out onto the lake, and the vast stretch of sky that you can see when you are tucked inside a high-rise hospital not far from the lake. we talk about not-so-important things sometimes. it’s what you do when you are living a life suddenly overpopulated with cancer, damn cancer. sometimes the talk is deep and clear and the words are truth-seeking missiles, boring straight into the caverns of the heart where all that matters dwells. sometimes they are everyday words, because you can’t swallow a steady diet of life-and-death.
but today my dear friend got back news that she and i and everyone who loves her had prayed she would not get. i pitted red dints into my knees yesterday, kneeling so long and hard as i unfurled my petitions heavenward, while she marched bravely, warily, into her whole-body scan.
she emailed me to tell me what the doctor said. she said she is numb. and she said she is gathering the tiny circle of ones she loves, so they can all be close today.
it’s what you do when news comes. when news is of the most awful kind.
i am trying to type carefully to keep my friend shrouded in privacy. but i’m typing to say what we all know: the lost passports and social security cards of our life, the flat tires and the tow trucks, the long to-do lists, the groceries not yet in the fridge, none of them matter.
it’s perfectly clear as i sit here this awful morning: in the end, it’s all a gift, the chance to wake up, to face another tumbledown of hours, of hearts entwined, of wings that just might set us soaring for a few short interludes of any given day. it’s all a precious, lung-filling gift. it’s ours to behold.
behold the holy hours of this day. behold the ones you love. forgive the petty tangles of the heart. do something that deeply matters today.
this holy hour is the one into which we can stitch the deepest meaning, the most expansive love. the blessing is in the now. make it matter.
in the whispers of your heart, consider how you might rearrange your day, to embroider the holiest of holies into your otherwise ordinary day.
Oh, oh, oh … so very sorry and sad to hear such devastating news. Such heartbreak. Nothing else to do but hold each other tight at these times. Our hearts ache for you, dear one, and for your friend, and for all who love her. All love and arms-wrapped-around you.
When you talked about stitching the deepest meaning, that’s when I really started to cry, thinking about generations of women and their “handwork,” realizing that the fabric of connection is really about people, not paperwork. Thinking of you and your friend and her family!
Keeping your friend in my prayers – and your blog snapped my weekend into focus. See you at the reunion.
Found your blog through Katrina Kenison’s. What a great discovery. An Oak Parker, I’ve read your work many times in the Trib. Your post today riveted me–just found out yesterday about a biopsy on my husband–second time we’ve gone through this in a year after five years of him being “cancer-free.” All I could think of lately was how it seemed like our lives lately are in limbo–can’t go forward and can’t go back. We got good news yesterday. Really focused today on making every day meaningful. Looking forward to becoming a regular reader.
oh my gosh, first: thank God for great good news. oh, that rush that comes and lingers when we hear the answer to our prayers. second, i am flabbergasted and so touched that dear katrina sent you my way. a blessing in abundance….thank you so, for pulling up a chair. oak parkers are loved here. we moved north instead of west to be nearer to my mama when we finally took that deep deep breath and left the magnificent city…
“behold the holy hours of this day. behold the ones you love. forgive the petty tangles of the heart. do something that deeply matters today.
this holy hour is the one into which we can stitch the deepest meaning, the most expansive love. the blessing is in the now. make it matter.”
With a heart filled to the brim, I’m praying for your precious friend. Each day, each hour, is indeed a treasure. Thank you for this poignant reminder.
Pax et bonum~