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Sitting at my kitchen window again, I’m listening to birds and enjoying blossom-scented air wafting in through screens keeping an army of mosquitos at bay. It’s my favourite time of year despite the insects and I’m hoping that spraying with garlic oil will discourage them enough for us to be able to enjoy the outdoors in peace. I’ll let you know, as it’s a non-toxic product and would be a marvellous solution if it works. If so, I’m even going to take it camping!
For the April blog I wrote about the struggles of my sister Lili with her treatments for brain cancer and how hellish it was to watch her suffer. Since then we almost lost her. And then things turned around. The medications were changed and, miracle of miracles, resulted in an end to her pain and nausea. Our cousin and his partner took over my sister’s care and spirited her away to their home in Pennsylvania where they helped her eat/drink/take meds regularly. She was 103 pounds 1 1/2 weeks ago and now is 118, able to walk and enjoy life again, currently on holiday on Fire Island.
I’ve been relegated to watching from a distance as I have a stubborn infection from my breast reduction surgery that prevents travel. My stress around the situation increased to the point where my whole body tightened, breathing felt like I was in a straight-jacket and sleep became impossible. It took me a while to understand that I am being triggered by a black hole of childhood issues. With everything I have learned, I am still unable to relax. Prayers and meditation don’t penetrate the tension, I can’t make myself do what I need to do and I am just making it through each day doing what is most necessary for Felix. He is starting to act out a bit, bouncing off my tension and preoccupation.
I know I desperately need to rest and face myself most of all and find I can’t do it enough to catch my balance, recover from the infection and regain my energy. I take all kinds of supplements and remedies, make compresses, see my therapist…and it’s all a drop in the bucket if I don’t slow down.
Don’t feel sorry for me please. If you came to my home right now you would not know I was in such a state—except for the chaos everywhere as I finally get to organizing the place! It will not last very much longer. Once I became aware of what this is about, it already started to lose its hold. And most importantly, I do realize that this is how growth happens and am accepting the stress as inevitable. I am hoping that my home will become orderly as my mind does, smile…
Another side of the tension is a positive one: I have finally decided how to move forward with the centre. This creates a rush of ideas and enthusiasm and some normal anxiety. Luckily I know from painful experience that I like to bury my mind in projects to avoid emotional stress. Not this time. I am firmly dedicated to moving ahead slowly and in balance with my personal life so that I can contribute back all that I’ve been given, enjoying the process into my old age!
I look forward to planning out the future of the centre to a point where it can be shared. Then I hope to see some of you again at the exciting programs that will be offered.
Until then, let’s take care, breathe into what really is and trust that our vital energies do everything they can to heal us in this lovely spring weather. And do some rain dancing…
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–