Deep peace of the running waves to you.

If I do not write this today, I fear I won’t be able to write them for the chasm of grief in me.

A couple of days ago, Dad looked at me, said “Hi”, and squeezed my hand and it was the most magical, perfect moment. I don’t think there is an adjective for that emotion. I might be able to play it on the piano, or pick out a paint chip to match the color of it, but it wouldn’t be quite right. Because it couldn’t come close.

Yesterday, we figured out a way that I could lie next to him, so I could bury my face in his shoulder, and be able to kiss his cheek, and hold his hand comfortably. He knew we were there, and that was enough for us.

We spent the afternoon, and long into the evening in his hospital room. I sense with every achingly difficult breath he takes, that a bit of his spirit, his soul, or whatever it is that has made him “Dave” for 69 incredible years, is fading. There are long pausing in his breathing, which make me catch mine and in a weird way hope it is the final silence of his body. He did not wish to linger in his leaving of the world. His body is so hot, almost feverish, and trembles slightly. I can hear his heart thundering in his chest. I wish I could describe the sound of my fathers heartbeat, because it is a beautiful sound. It’s a bit like the tone a rubber band plays when stretched, slightly taught between thumb and forefinger, but also the sound you hear in seashells. I know it beats “I love you” in 2/4 time.

As I was writing this, Mum came in to tell me the lovely nurse called around 2 am, to tell us there had been a change in Dad’s breathing, in case we wanted to come. I spent the night with him, curled next to him, holding his hand, until the sun came up.

Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.

~ a Gaelic blessing <3

The hands holding my heart.

It was a beautiful day here. The kind of day that makes the East Coast jealous 😉. Blue sky. A freshness in the air, a hint of spring at the corners of flower beds. Summer is a sweet far thing.

Looking forward while reflecting back.

As the sun sets, I’m sitting on Willows beach. I’m mildly freezing but it’s worth it to see the sky fade from brightest blue to faint pastels, a hint of pink and orange touching the edges of the clouds that cling close to the land. I’m grateful it’s such a beautiful day. It makes everything better.We spent the afternoon at the hospital. My dad sleeps almost all the time. He isn’t in pain. That’s exactly what he wanted. We asked he be taken off the medications they were giving him, to turn off his pacemaker, and let him be. No subject has ever been taboo, and I’m grateful to have been able to discuss birth, death and miracles in between with my family, and mum and I are deeply respectful of those  wishes.  I want him to be at peace, with just his breath and heartbeat, and feeling the love, us at his side until the end of this wild journey that we had the privilege of sharing.
I feel like there are tight hands around my heart. A tight fist of panic and grief. It feels as though I can scarcely breathe. I worry what it will mean when the hands release, with a final sigh of breathe. The sound and smell of the ocean calmed me. Steady waves gently rolling in to cover the bare beach. I can control them no more than my fathers breaths, but I can observe and cherish each. Footprints track through the rocky beach, but the birds seem few, and the last dogs and people turn in. A part of me wants to lean closer to the waves, to listen to what they whisper, for them to wash over me and wash away this feeling. But this feeling is a reflection of a life lived with love. It is a beautiful reminder of how deeply we as humans are able to feel.

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I love the ocean.

I brought my dad a bouquet of flowers from the home garden. It’s a wild space, and beautiful for it. Lavender, Rosemary flowers, dandelions, heather, delicate weeds I have no name for. Dad loves to see my face light up when he gives me flowers, and it brought my heart solace to do the same for him, even if he sees them only in dreams, or catches a whif of Rosemary.

Thank you all so much for your beautiful words. It means the world to my mum and I. I’m so blessed to have been born to the parents I have, and feel such gratitude that they know my love, and see the joy they bring to my infinite moments. 💜

I love you, Dad.

Life begins with a promise. It is promised, when you are born, that one day you will die. You might spend 20 minutes on Earth, or revolve around the sun 60 years, or tomorrow, or 3 weeks from now. I guess in order to keep living, we pretend this isn’t true, like when you’re rereading a great book and try not to think about the ending you know is coming, so it won’t spoil the journey. There feels like there is always another tomorrow, and one after that, and the one after that…on and on unto the end of your imagination.

I became aware I was a mortal at a very young age. I was diagnosed with a genetic condition which predisposes me to tumors when I was 3 (that’s when I first remember it being explained to me). I became aware that tomorrow wasn’t promised. That there was only one promise the planet had yet to keep; that I would die. That we would all die. The first promise, my birth, had been fulfilled, and every moment was a gift. I lived every day after that with the intention of filling every second of existence with an infinite infinity of moments, memories, love.

It was easy. It was impossible. I failed. I succeed. I tried, though, and that’s the most important part. I try.

I tell my parents I love them, and hug and kiss them every night. I say goodnight, as though this might be the end of the Earth’s promise. That the tomorrow which is just dreams away might not be waiting for me. That tomorrow might move on without one of us. I’ve never told them that when I said “goodnight” and “je t’aime”, I was really whispering in my heart “goodbye”. I never wished to say a last goodbye.

So I am not wishing my father goodnight. Or goodbye. I am whispering to him with every breath we breathe together in our existence that I love him. And those are the words that have always meant everything and encompassed all.

I can’t even bring myself to type the word. That word. The word that is so final, so absolute, that once I type it, I won’t be able to see from the tears that roll down my chin. I’m not ready for a salt-stained keyboard. So I won’t. My father is taking a journey, a journey to a somewhere, a somewhere neither of us understands. He has stage 4 lymphoma. 2 weeks ago he was flummoxing me at Scrabble with his funny made-up words, eating dinner together, teasing me about how much onions I put in everything, walking, buying groceries, reading, snuggling with me. He was doing the ordinary things that make every moment extraordinary, and make up our infinity. He also went profoundly deaf, a side effect of the chemo. So we were also playing like the worst, most hysterical version of “Telephone” the planet has ever seen. So much was lost in translation, in deafness, but the love was not. Last week, we think he blacked out or his heart stopped, causing him to have a car crash (no one was hurt. not even him.). He went to ER, where he seemed alright, if a little confused and “odd”. But something as “off”. They admitted him, and he went downhill so quickly. He got a pacemaker, to combat the effects of the chemo, which were finally rearing their ugly head. After the surgery, he was very tired. A kind of tired which frightened me. Dad would wake up for a few minutes, maybe eat a little something, smile at me or say a little something, and then sleep again. Today he did that less. He is slowly walking away from me and I cannot catch up.

I’ve spent the past few days bawling at inopportune times, and wetting my dad’s pillow with tears (sorry-not-sorry). I need to make these moments even more infinitely infinite than they always have been. Because I need to store them in my heart.

I do not know how much time he has left with us. I never have. It is an unknowable thing, and we are blessed with this ignorance. Because the knowing would break us. It is breaking me. Cancer is terrifying because it makes you see the final promise looming ever-nearer.

He once told me he never imagined having children, but that he couldn’t imagine his life without me. <3

There is never enough time to be with the ones you love. A thousand lifetimes and the last “I love you’s” would still break my soul. I am so grateful for being a part of my Dad’s incredible journey on Earth.

And feel deep gratitude and love for all possible moments we’ve shared together, past, present and future <3.

 

Body.Mind.Lyme Blog Interview!

I had the pleasure of connecting with Kerry, another young Lyme disease warrior early last week. She seems like such a sweetheart who has been through so much <3. Kerry’s not only on a journey to wellness, exploring alternative treatments and therapies, but a spiritual journey too.

Her story probably sounds familiar to a lot of you…tick bites in early childhood, later being diagnosed with autoimmune illnesses, generally feeling unwell until finally getting a Lyme disease diagnosis. In her words;

“Lyme disease has driven me to want to see and experience the world. My wake up call to always be wide awake.”

Pretty inspiring stuff, n’est pas?

You can read my interview on her blog, Body.Mind.Lyme here!

Insomnia is a Dragon.

The night time holds a strange power over me. Not knowing if I will spend hours lying motionless, in turns reading; knitting; meditating; staring at the inside of my eyelids – or sleeping. When my head hits the pillow it sometimes feels like I am playing a game of chance, and I know in my heart that try as I can to boost my odds, sometimes I will loose. And I’m learning to embrace this roulette with courage and acceptance. For perhaps this falls under the category of “things I cannot change”.

Thank goodness for the sunrise. For a new day beginning just when you didn’t think the blackness of night would end. For mornings and the afternoons that follow, and for the promise they bring.

I have been sleeping much better since my last few treatments at the Hansa Clinic in Kansas [And I’m *so* grateful. . Why? No idea. Why did the dozen sleeping pills I’ve tried not work, or have the reverse affect? Why can I mediate for 8 hours, and not slip into sleep? Why can I stay awake for days and still be alert? Wouldn’t it be nice if the answer was I’m actually a Vampire, and I’ve replaced a need for sleep with a need for blood? Hold on, no … that would be awful. I’m a vegan. …

I no longer wish to be a vampire. Let it be struck from the records.

It still takes me what feels like an eternity to fall asleep, but most night it happens. A few hours feels delicious. Versus not sleeping at all several days a week, most nights I do catch a few winks. But it makes me crave more. I want to keep sleeping! It’s been so long since I’ve slept well that I feel the need to catch up, which apparently isn’t possible, but my brain doesn’t know that. It just wants more of that awesomeness. It’s hard to get up. But the sunlight is calling. And I answer.

I started this post at night, sprinkled a few words in the afternoon, and here I am again, another night. It’s a different perspective. At night, there is a sense of almost dread, exhausted by the uncertainty. And then during the afternoon, the day is so full of wonder. It’s waiting to be unrolled and for all the corners of time to be crept into. So full of magic and light and clouds and breaths.

Insomnia is a dragon-like beast that soars into evenings, leaving the umbra of it’s wings back-lit against the stillness. Did you see it’s scale flash as the film credits rolls?  The cool shadow as you brushed your teeth. It flickers just out of sight until you clamber into pajamas and sheets.

And then I try to face the night with my eyes on the  beauty of moonrise, and brilliant sunrise that is promised to follow.