It’s a brisk spring dawn.  The flowers in my sister’s garden in upstate New York are starting to poke through the winter-weary earth.  Everyone in the house is still asleep.  I sip on chamomile tea with coconut milk and rally my tired brain.

My sister’s symptoms after chemo and radiation are still relentless, requiring frequent attention during the night for horrendous headaches and vomiting.  Seizures are the latest addition and I am hoping they are within the German New Medicine paradigm of healing, meaning the first half of the healing phase is over and we are on our way up.   The process is one of sheer determination and patience now.  She has no tolerance for talking, reading, music or any kind of entertainment.  No one is allowed to cook as the smells drive her crazy.   We are plunged into her suffering with her—and the growth this brings.

I am learning how to pray for real.  Not asking for anything, just expressing gratitude for every blessing, relaxing into faith and allowing a sense of space and light.  This beats lying awake all night worrying a knot into my guts—my initial approach to the situation!  And it helps the energy of the household.   Of course I go in and out of this state, relapsing into fear and then remembering that it really does make things worse.

Childhood issues with my sister are triggered when I visit.  It requires that I process them honestly in order to regain an open heart.  Sometimes it takes me days and I need to call my brother who understands.  Coming out the other end is warm and tender—and doubles the pain of watching her go though this.  I am learning to breathe into it instead of shutting down.  Our whole family is healing another step through this illness.  We’re having this illness together.  We’re lucky to have each other.  Tears…

Tomorrow I fly home.  I don’t want to leave.  I hope I can continue the prayers and stay with my sister over the distance in growing faith and light-heartedness.  More tears…

***

Thank you for listening.  I feel better for writing.

until next month,

when i hope to have better news–

katherine