Here's a picture of my quiet miracle
Isn't she beautiful ? Of course, that's me in the grey t-shirt and her in the dark jacket. Almost one year later, and she is relatively healthy and looking good. The last MRI showed no signs of regrowth. The new state of the art chemo continues. She still tires easily and she gets sick when the chemo is going on. But it's a pill form that they came up with that could finally permeate the brain barrier. That has always been a problem with brain cancers in the past. And God has graced her with a genetic mutation that only 35% of the population has, apparently, that is enabling them to use the tumor to create a vaccine. All cutting edge, experimental stuff, but it seems to be working. So many small miracles...so many elegant blessings. I am so grateful.
So, I got to spend the noontime hours with my family of origin, or some of them anyway. My brother and my niece and my nephew and his children and his wife and some of her family too.
I go to talk to my youngest brother and his daughter tonight, as her birthday was yesterday. More blessings. Little Skyler is another one of those miracles. My brother and his wife tried for years to have a baby and couldn't. Then finally, when they gave up and settled back--POOF! And little Sky was born premature and has had a few struggles in her life, but she is amazing! Shriners hospital in St Louis was practically her second home in the first years of her life as they worked their magic on her legs and feet. Because she was a preemie, her lungs were fragile and everyone had to be sure to stay away unless they were cold and germ and flu free. Watching her grow up and blossom in spite of great obstacles has been such a lesson to me. And her parents--her biggest cheerleaders. I love them all so much.
Last night we attended the annual Winter Fires Coffeehouse at La Vista. We gather every year, and some read poetry, some play music, and we all bring desserts and enjoy a wonderful fellowship. These people are the family of my heart. This year was particularly wonderful. 2 novitiates from Zambia and one from India. 3 priests, who are as different from one another as night and day, equally precious and beloved. Sister Maxine, who works so hard organizing these things and is a dear friend to me. Lots of people I know, some I met for the first time. Some kids (who are growing up before my eyes) that have been part of our celebrations there for the past 9 years...one in her first year of college!! (How can that be?? They were all 3 little girls last time I looked). 2 read poems, one played guitar (Beatles--Blackbird). A friend I haven't seen for a while who played a beautiful tune for us on her cello. And made a connection with a local artist that felt really good...we spoke for a bit and exchanged numbers. Lots of small miracles...connections. Art. Beauty. Humanity. (And did I mention really great assortment of desserts?) We heard readings from Tennyson and Mary Oliver and Rumi and Hafiz and Carrie Newcomer and Wendell Berry and the Bhagavhad Gita and Robert Frost and oh so many others. It was just perfect.
And Saturday morning I witnessed another miracle...someone hitting an early milestone in the recovery from addiction process...30 days of continuous clean/sober time. These miracles I get to see often, as I am in the recovery community myself. I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of God's grace in the lives of the downtrodden. I hope I never will.
Einstein once said something like ..." There are only 2 ways to live your life: Either everything is a miracle, or nothing is a miracle." I prefer to be of the former persuasion...everything can be seen as a miracle. According to The Course in Miracles, a miracle is a shift in perception. The whole world unfolds according to how I perceive it. Things change, according to my expectations. The depth and breadth of every single event in my life is constantly changing. I can be as awestruck or as bored as I choose to be. I can be as happy or as miserable as I choose as well. Looks like a no-brainer to me. Everything from the miracle of life to the sprouting of a seed to the sunrise every morning...from the artists paintings to the music of Bach to the soft warm towels that come out of my dryer. The promise of Love. The promise of Grace.
I have to tell you ...I read the lyrics of the Carrie Newcomer song, Holy As A Day Is Spent, for my poem last night. I am in love with this song...and I have posted them before, but I'm going to post them again. Because I can. LOL
Holy is the dish and drain
The soap and sink, and the cup and plate
And the warm wool socks, the cold white tile
Showerheads and good dry towels
And frying eggs sound like psalms
With bits of salt measured in my palm
It’s all a part of a sacrament
As holy as a day is spent
Holy is the busy street
The cars that boom with passion’s beat
And the checkout girl, Counting change
The hands that shook my hands today
And hymns of geese fly overhead
And stretch their wings like their parents did
Blessed be the dog
That runs in her sleep
To chase some wild and elusive thing
Holy is the familiar room
And quiet moments in the afternoon
And folding sheets like folding hands
To pray as only laundry can
I’m letting go of all my fears
Like autumn leaves of earth and air
For the summer came and the summer went
As holy as a day is spent
Holy is the place I stand
To give whatever small good I can
And the empty page, the open book
Redemption everywhere I look
Unknowingly we slow our pace
The shade of unexpected grace
And with grateful smiles and sad lament
As holy as a day is spent
And morning light sings “providence”
As holy as a day is spent.
And with that, I am going to bed. Sweet dreams and may you witness every miracle that life has to offer.