Archive for June, 2010

A heartbeat, a breath…

One day she was fine.  The next day she was in for tests, a lump, the loss of a breast.  Now, it’s chemotherapy.  In a matter of weeks, life went from normal to unimaginable.

I talked with her a few days after her surgery, after she’d seen her scar.  She said it wasn’t nearly as bad as she expected.  They removed her breast and lymph nodes.  She said the scar runs from her neck down under her arm and across her chest.  Every time we talk she says something funny, which blows me away.  How can she laugh?

We live in different states and haven’t been able to see her yet, so I went online to find pictures of a modified radical mastectomy, so I could see what she was seeing – or something close to it.  I had to look through cracks in my fingers, as I held my hand to my face.  It took me a moment to lower my hand and look, unfiltered.  A lost breast.  After awhile, I could breathe.  She’s alive.  She’s missing a breast but she has LIFE and a family who loves her, children.    The source of her courage is clear to me:  love is a powerful thing, it compels us to find the positive, to keep putting one foot in front of the other, to laugh in the midst of pain and fear.

We’ve never gotten along, my sister-in-law and I.   She took an instant dislike to me.  I’ll never understand it, really.  It is what it is and it no longer matters.   I love my sister-in-law more than I realized, and I value her hugely even though she’s never been anything close to easy.

Something has shifted inside of me; I see it in big and small things.  The other night I found myself thanking God for my husband’s snoring.  It used to bug me but now I lay there awake, loving the sound of his breathing.   I love him, all of him, the good stuff and the bad.  It’s a package thing.  It’s the same with Marc.  I always knew that but now I really KNOW it.  It’s like the fingerprints my kids used to leave on the windows.  I was forever wiping them away.  Now, I see their occasional fingerprints and smile:  my babies.  Sometimes it takes a bit of effort to appreciate what we have in the moment:  a difficult sister-in-law, a snoring hubby, newly cleaned windows smudged by little hands…

It’s not just what Marc’s going through.  A dear friend of mine discovered her 7-year old daughter has bone cancer, just two weeks before we found out Marc has breast cancer.  In the midst of their struggles, I see this terrible beauty.  It’s not new to me.  I grew up surrounded by it;  my mom had MS and she suffered so much but, God, she was beautiful.

No wonder we dream of heaven, no wonder.  To see the beauty of the human spirit absent pain.  To not need the worst to bring out our best.

It’s impossible to anticipate what comes next.  We can hope, fear, plan, but we can’t KNOW.  I believe that Marc and Faith will survive that they’ll get through this and go on and live strong.

Life can take a sharp turn, take us where we never wanted to go in a heartbeat, a breath.  In the end, we all die.  That sharp awareness makes me want to fight for every breath.  It makes me want to love well NOW, to live all out and all in.  It doesn’t lead me to despair.

We all have the same job, the same purpose: to live and love strong – to struggle well with this life that we’ve been given.

If you pray, please pray for Marc and Faith-the-warrior princess.  ♥

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Deleted and blocked, OMG!

There’s a new app running around facebook, which claims to tell let fb users know who’s blocked or deleted them.  I’ve received several invitations to “like” the app and ignored them all.   What’s to like about it?  I honestly can’t see any value in knowing who’s blocked or deleted me.

I’m not so narcissistic as to think that everyone likes me or wants to spend time with me and I’m disinclined to pursue relationships with people if there’s a lack of reciprocity of interest.   Plead, badger, beg, or cajole to be re-friended?  I don’t think so. Meditate, mull, worry, or get into a fury because someone deleted or blocked me?  Nope. I have real problems that generate enough legitimate upset.  I’m not interested in looking for more!

Willingly harsh my mellow?  No.

I have deleted many people and blocked a few too.  Sometimes it’s for a season and sometimes it’s forever and with good reason.  I’m not someone who holds a grudge, so unless someone is toxic or annoying as hell I’m not going to keep the door closed forever.  Sometimes I just need a little space, some time to chill.   When people care enough to ask me why I deleted them – assuming there’s not an obvious reason – I tell them.   It doesn’t seem like it should be that big a deal.

Do you really need an application to keep you abreast of who wants nothing to do with you?  It won’t answer any questions it’ll just feed your angst.  If you’ve been blocked the door is closed.  Let it go.

As for being deleted or de-friended, if you need an application to tell you who disappeared odds are you weren’t all that close to begin with.  Why even worry about it.  Sometimes I’ll see my friends list suddenly jump down and I’ll wonder with a wry smile if I did something unwittingly egregious like send a married man an i-heart.  *GASP*

Regardless of whether or not you’ve seen the apps I’m talking about, do you like the idea of being able to track who blocks and deletes you?   Why or why not?  I’m all kinds of curious.  :)