An Extraordinary Amount of Time

I awake on Thursday morning early to greet the day. I am aware I will have time to complete some errrands, excercise, review my blogs, perhaps some laundry and housecleaning. Nothing written in stone, other than I have to pick up friends at the airport later in the afternoon. The day begins. From the start I find I am scattered, rushing around this way and that, not my usual way of calmness and ease. Have I fed the dog? My spouse calls to let me know there is only 1 lane of traffic going into the airport. Leave early, he instructs. Give yourself some extra time. Time I am loosing by the minute it seems. My tasks completed I leave, a little early, trying to calm my breathing, regain my focus. The drive to the airport is relaxing, listening to music from the 90’s lifts my spirits as I hum along to tunes I remember from my youth. I try not to look into the rearview mirror, a reminder of my current age. I hum anyway. Traffic is indeed backed up. Someone is kind enough to let me into the one lane of traffic, I in turn let someone else weave in front of me. I arrive at the airport in good time, without stress or worry. As I park the car and enter the airport, memories of times gone by flood my vision. I see my children arriving from far cities, excited and tearful to once again arrive home, reunited with their family, us. Waiting for luggage riding around on carousels, we would bask in the joy of stories told, adventures experienced, all the while noticing that somehow our loved one had returned to us changed, enlightened, glowing in the light of their new found independance, all the while moving further away from familiarity, and me.  

Friday morning I awake a bit earlier, as on this day I will accompany a friend for a medical test, offering support and compassion. It is a snowy, blustery day, but the roads are good for travel into the city.  I arrive early to pick her up and we make our way, talking lightly, easing nerves and worry, traffic moves steadily. We are at the radiology clinic, a beautiful modern space filled with faces and bodies of women in various positions of anxiety, sitting quietly, talking to confidants, browsing on their cell phones. The assembly line moves, calling name after name, the comings and going of women awaiting results. To my left sits a young woman, in her 30’s I would guess, along with her infant daughter and spouse.  She stands out among the crowd simply because of her youth, her strength evident as she assures her spouse and comforts her child. The child wants to walk and so, her father takes her into the hallway saying to his wife, ” will you be OK hon, I am worried about you.” As the young women assures she is OK, she agrees to text him when she has completed her medial test. I admire her resilience, she reminds me of my own daughter. And then I hear the words, L, you are free to go!  My friend appears smiling, relieved, we hug, her tests are clear. I glance one last time at the young woman hoping she will be OK. 

Friday afternoon calls for some shopping, lunch and celebrations at the wonderful news. We decide on a favorite restaurant and are escorted to a table as soon as we arrive. My friend orders a glass of wine as the waitress asks her if she is celebrating today. Her response is yes, but she offers no further explanation. I chime in the reason for her celebration, she is cancer free in this moment and time. Lunch is delicious and filled with story telling of difficult journeys travelled, laughter and tears. Of times ahead to be shared and enjoyed, of people, places and things. I am aware of a young mother and her infant daughter having lunch at a table near us. The child is delightful, born to parents from two different cultures, her soft baby brown cheeks and curly hair tug at my heart strings. The baby and I interact, sharing a smile and my heart melts as she gazes at her mother, eyes round and blue. And then something wonderful happens. All the staff from the restaurant appear bearing flowers and congratulations to my friend on the occasion of her celebration. She cries at the gesture these young people have made, to acknowledge that she is cancer free, and to take the time to bring it to light. She is humbled and for the first time in a year, I see her inner light shine. She is no longer the cancer, she is a person celebrating for the first time, a time without anxiety and fear of dying. I am a witness to this wonderous event. These are the little miracles that we tuck deep inside our soul. These are the experiences we share. The ones that restore our faith in humanity and our future generations. I am grateful. I pay it forward buying lunch for the young mother. I pray she will have a life of joy for herself and her daughter. 

Saturday morning is here. Today I will help my son. I offer my services for cleaning and light repair service as his tenants have bailed and left a mess. In quiet and stillness I go through my assigned tasks while my son paints. We talk about this and that keeping the conversation light, focused on my granddaughter and future visions. The day progresses as days do. I share my story from yesterday and I can tell my son is touched. He shares his stories of times he has helped out his tenants when they have been out of work or down and out. Sometimes acts of kindness are appreciated, sometimes not. Acts of kindness must be carried out without judgement or hope of return. They are simply what they say, acts of kindness. I learn something from story telling or sharing. You always learn about the other you interact with, something heartwarming and filled with light. Some things wonderful you never knew. I love spending time with my son. He is a beautiful soul.

Sunday. I have barely slept, waking at 5am. My mind wanders in half sleep and darkness. My dog is snoring unaware that I have roused from my slumber. Daylight creeps in as I rise and ponder my day. I decide to read and catch up on the news. My muscles ache from yesterdays pulling and tugging of limbs overused, reminding me of my age. I sink into the couch of comfort holding close a hot cup of coffee and savor the aroma. I think back over the last few days which were magical and filled with little nuances of messages I have yet to fully decipher. Something keeps tugging at the synapses of my mind, veiled. Threads weaving a story I do not fully understand. Since Thursday I have been bending, picking up pennies and dimes found along the way. I know they are signs for me and I trust their presence. Something is coming. Something new. And all at once there it is. Ella has arrived. And now it all makes sense.  Life is simply this, a miracle. Extraordinary in this amount of time. 

Speak Your Truth. Whispering No Longer Serves You

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