A Little Love

It’s Saturday morning, the 15th of February. Studly Doright took me to a nice dinner to celebrate Valentines Day with friends at our golf club last night. There was much laughter and wine and good conversation.

A call from a childhood friend took me away from the table for just a few minutes. She seldom calls me at night, so my heart froze for a minute thinking something bad had happened. Thank goodness that wasn’t the case! She just wanted to relate an encounter she’d had with a woman who’d been the bane of our middle school years. Her call made me laugh out loud.

I returned to the table and answered Studly’s concerned look with a squeeze of the hand. You see we have a friend who is in the final stages of his fight with cancer. Every phone call now could mean that he’s finally at peace, and that his sweet wife and children, along with all of his friends, have to deal with living in a world without his affection, his wit and wisdom, and his vast store of knowledge on darn near any topic.

So I’m sending love out into the universe today for our friend, Jim, and all those who love him. Would you please take the time to do the same? Even if it’s just a little love, if everyone does it it’ll be huge.

Peace and love, people.

Pregnant with Death

In the last trimesters of my two pregnancies my mind and body went into high states of anticipation. Physically I was full of child, round and healthy, a walking, talking, glowing clichè. Who cared that we were young and totally unprepared? My body was saying, “Let’s do this!”

Not me.

Mentally I went into the hormone zone. At night I dreamt of having twins or triplets, and literally juggling them (even though I can barely handle more than one bag in real life without dropping it) or forgetting they existed at all until learning they were grown without having ever known me. Gotta love those pregnancy hormones.

Recently I began noticing a parallel between my late term pregnancy time and my current existence. You see every night before I closed my eyes to sleep back then I’d think, “What if this is the night I go into labor?”

Now, as I near sixty, I sometimes wonder at bedtime, “What if this is the night I die?” It’s not as morbid as it sounds. I’m a healthy woman. I sleep well and eat a reasonably nutritious diet. After my bout with early stage breast cancer I am religious about having regular mammograms and other preventative medical exams.

But it’s as if I’ve become pregnant with death. 

I’m past those years of thinking I am invincible. I’ve lost friends who seemed full of life and possibility. I was with both of my parents as they died, and I was struck by just how effortless the final step was. They’d both suffered the indignities of long, painful illnesses, but when death finally came for them there was a release and a relief.

So sometimes at night the anticipatory thought comes to me. “What if this is it? What if this is the night I die?”

I say my prayers as always, for forgiveness, for the health and well-being of my family, for an end to wars, for any friends who’ve requested prayers, and I always end with a thank you. Because if I’m to go I want gratitude to be my final thought.

In the end I guess we are all “pregnant with death” and life is too precious to spend even a moment on dramas that separate families and friends. So forgive. And then forgive again. 

I’m not a big Max Lucado fan, but this I agree with.
 
Peace, people

If I leave tonight
my spirit will stay with you

I’ll love you always.

Silence

Life forces us every day
to do one thing:
Breathe.

In a hospital room I sat
watching Mother
Breathe.

I closed my eyes for just minutes,
sleeping.

Silence
Woke me. Her life slipped
away while I still
Breathed.

For years I felt a deep
guilt for having slept,
Breathing

While Mother’s life
ceased with one final
Breath.

I should have been
awake for her, attentive,

Breathing
For her, perhaps,

instead I awoke to only
Silence.

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