I’ve been struggling with the deaths of several people I grew up with/went to school with, all of whom were of similar ages. In the last three years I’ve survived two major surgeries, four minor surgeries, and 32 radiation treatments. I’m a little more than one-year cancer-free and I know that it could have been me. I could have been any one of the three who died. I’m grieving for the loss of the cocoon of invincibility that youth and good health provide.
Tonight by the grace of God’s divine mercy and the power of prayer I’m alive and well and grateful for my life. I’ll work the rest out as I go.
I love the blue hour, just the idea that for that short period of time the earth is neither dark nor totally light fills me with hope. It’s what I have faith in, there’s always going to be good and bad days but everyday life is lived in the blue hour.
The last few Sunday nights have been overcast or rainy but at some point during the blue hour there’s a break in the clouds and clear blue sky manages to peek through. I’ve been obsessed with trying to get a photo but nothing has really come out. I was about to give up this week when Chuck pulled over and said, try again. I’m over the moon happy with the resulting photo, to me it represents all that I believe about hope and faith and the blue hour.
Faith lives somewhere between the darkness & the light, hope is the sparkly things in between.
You know what gives me hope? There are plants that grow in the absence of light, there are sea creatures that exist at depths no light can reach and from winter comes spring.
For the past few days our front tree has had buds on it but no blooms. Other trees in the development bloomed and blossomed but not ours. We’ve had beautiful bright sunny afternoons all week and I was sure I’d look out one afternoon and the tree would be full of cherry blossoms. But, alas it was not to be. And then, this morning I awoke to the first blooms of spring. After a dark damp night and foggy morning the tree finally blossomed. If that isn’t a metaphor for life nothing is.
It’s been a rough year hear at Casa de Soapboxville. Lots of family members sick, me included. I know we should all be rejoicing in the fact that both I and my father survived pretty serious health scares but instead it’s a fairly low key Christmas. I think everyone’s exhausted and worn out from worrying over the past 12 months. It breaks my heart to see what my sickness has done and is doing to my parents. They’re in their 70s and the shock of what happened and now constant worry about my well being is and has taken its toll mentally, emotionally and financially. I wish more than anything that it was not worry about me (or anything) that weighs heavy on their hearts.
I’m not sure we’ll get around to Christmas shopping or Christmas card writing. I’m thinking everyone gets New Years cards and Valentines Day gifts. We’ll see what comes of this week.
Changing gears and moving on to more positive news, I had an appointment with Dr. Bussey, the neurosurgeon on Friday. As it turns out the MRI revealed there is less cancer than they first believed and the blood clot has shrank significantly. I have to have another Cat Scan in mid January to check the blood clot’s progress again. There is the possibility that I could be off the Lovenox (blood thinner) by late January.
I have an appointment with the plastic surgeon on Wednesday. She is the doctor who will give the go ahead for me to begin radiation treatments. My head is still healing from surgery and I am unsure when Dr. Matthews will give the go ahead. She’ll check me again on Wednesday and let me know how I’m progressing.
The hubs and I watched Miracle on 34th St. tonight on AMC. It helped inspire a holiday mood and reminded me of a favorite holiday tradition. Each year on KYW 1060 AM they play a reading of Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus as read by Vince Lee. It never fails to make me cry and remind me of the beauty and magic all around us every day. I looked for it online tonight but it’s not up yet. If I find it I’ll post it. For now I offer you the text of the letter and a reading I found on You Tube.
“DEAR EDITOR: I am 8 years old.
“Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
“Papa says, ‘If you see it in THE SUN it’s so.’
“Please tell me the truth; is there a Santa Claus?
“115 WEST NINETY-FIFTH STREET.”
VIRGINIA, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except [what] they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, VIRGINIA, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, VIRGINIA, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.
Hey! Good early morning kids. I hope this morning’s post finds you all well and enjoying your Sunday.
Yesterday’s post was a me feeling sorry for myself wasn’t it? What can I say? I have my days. But as with everything else this too passes. I went this morning for my blood work then the hubs took me to Target to buy multicolored lights for the Christmas Tree and then to Talluto’s and Duffield’s to buy lunch meat and a tomato for lunch. One almost four hour nap later we ran out to Liscio’s Bakery to buy a few slices of tomato pie.
I never did get around to putting the lights on the tree. I did however read some encouraging words. My Aunt Gloria, who I think might actually be my great aunt lives in Florida and has been through quite a few health problems. She’s been sending me cards and writing me letters since I got home from the hospital. In this week’s letter, which I didn’t actually sit down and read until this evening she writes, “Believe me time heals all.” She closes with, “I sure hope you soon see the light at the end of the tunnel, believe me with time it comes. Over time I have learned to enjoy each day.”
Before I sat down to read Aunt Gloria’s letter I received a Facebook message from my cousin Alice. She writes, “Hi Carol Anne – Thinking of you. I read a bit of your blog. I don’t think any of us like to relinquish control. We come to realize that it is all an illusion anyway. When I practice giving up my will, things get alot easier. When I take it back (which I often do), everything goes haywire. This is the basis for the famous 12 step programs. I repeat to myself, “Gods will be done, not mine”. It is a daily practice. The more I practice, the more faith I muster. Praying for you and your family. One day at a time.”
Amazing how God sends what you need when you need it. I’m so grateful for everyone who has taken the time to think of me or offer me a kind or supportive word. Thank you.