The past few months my muse seemed to have left me and inspiration seemed to have gone with the muse to some place I could not find them. I remember Ma-Ryah saying to me over and over through the years that it isn’t necessary to always sit down to write with the knowledge of what I was going to write; it is enough to sit and write knowing the words to be written will indeed flow. So today I am following her advice and sitting here at my computer and allowing my words to flow without knowing exactly what I will write.
A few months ago Ma-Ryah said my time in New Jersey was coming to an end. As usual I did not ask her why she would say that because my son, James and I had decided we would like to move to Florida and were making plans to do just that. My ego wonders if I knew in the back of my mind that the move to Florida would not be the reason for leaving New Jersey? I honestly don’t know the answer to that question. Often when I believe I am finally getting an understanding of life it throws me a curve ball and I am faced with a choice to react or to calmly respond to the circumstances unfolding within my life. Life has recently placed such a moment in front of me and the choice to react or to respond was presented ~ as well as an opportunity to dive into fear or to hold to the calm center of knowing and faith that all is well.
Last month my daughter Heather and some of my grandchildren came to New Jersey for a visit. Our day together was overcast and gloomy but that did not stop us from going to the beach and enjoying our time together. She had chosen to stay at a hotel for this visit so the children could have use of the pool and also make it a little easier for sleeping arrangements since my home is small and if all of us were in my home it would have been crowded. In the summer when she comes for a visit my ex-husband brings down a camper we set up in the driveway and some of the children sleep in that. Last month it was still too cool outside for that to be used so it made more sense for her and the children to be comfortable and relaxed in a hotel. They had stayed there once before and enjoyed staying there swimming in the pool and relaxing in the jacuzzi. James and I spent time with them at the hotel the night before they were to head back home to Vermont. When it was time for us to leave so they could sleep and be ready to make the drive home the next day I felt a huge wave of sadness come over me. I felt something was very wrong but then my ego told me to stop it! I am just sad because my daughter has to go home and I wanted more time with her. All night the sadness got stronger and the next day I called my sister in Florida to talk with her and do my best to understand why I felt the way I felt. The day before I had a vision of my daughters’ car on the side of the road after an accident and since it thankfully did not happen I will not go into detail here of what the vision showed me. I make this brief mention of it here right now because with hindsight and knowledge of how events unfolded the next day when my daughter returned home to Vermont it shows clearly the possibilities of outcomes that may or may not occur in our conscious experiences.
Even though we were a military family and moved around to many places, we all consider New Jersey to be ‘home’. Heather went to High School in Cape May and definitely sees Cape May as her home. Like her Mother, she finds it necessary to connect with the beach and the ocean several times a year. It is vital to both of us and so even though on this trip to New Jersey the weather did not cooperate and it was gloomy and chilly, a visit to the shores of Cape May was necessary for her. Every time she comes to visit I am always happy to see how just being at the shore relaxes her. I can literally watch the waves of stress flow off of her and see her relax. This trip was no different. Being on the beach and being at ‘her’ jetty relaxes her and soothes her body, mind and spirit. Watching her I find myself once again wishing she was able to live here even though I do know Vermont is where her life has been and will be for quite awhile. Knowing this never stops me from wishing she was able to always live in Cape May and be near the ocean all the time and of course, close to me.
The day they were to leave for Vermont the weather which had been rainy, cold and gloomy the whole time they were in New Jersey was now filled with sunshine and warmth. My daughter had considered stopping along the way home at a beach and giving them all time to enjoy the beach and the sun. It didn’t work out that way though and a choice was made by Heather and the children to just go ahead and head home. In hindsight it was a blessing this was the choice made. A few hours after returning home Heather had a seizure. She had been seeing her doctor off and on over the past year for severe headaches and respiratory problems. If she had decided to stay and enjoy the beach, leaving for Vermont towards evening she would have been driving when the seizure hit. The ‘vision’ I had of her car after an accident would then have been the reality instead of her having the seizure after she was safely home. How differently the outcome would have been from what it is now. After a second seizure she went to the emergency room at the hospital and began the journey now unfolding for all of us, but especially for her.
My daughter as some of you know from seeing it on facebook, has been diagnosed with stage four cancer in three places within her body. She has non-small cell lung cancer, a brain tumor and two tumors on her spine. Heather has a web site where she is blogging about her healing journey with cancer. She is handling this part of her life with grace and ease and so it is no surprise her web site is www.wrestlingwithgraceandease.com You can follow her journey, be inspired and see how a choice is made to respond rather than to react to lifes’ experiences. If you know someone with cancer perhaps you would like to recommend Heathers’ web site to them. I am in awe of my daughter and how she is handling this part of her life.
I titled this writing as the twist and turns of life because that is exactly what it is for me. I believed I was moving from New Jersey to begin the next chapter of my life. I believed this new chapter would be created and lived in Florida living near my sister, Lou Ann. Instead I left New Jersey after the phone call from my daughter telling me she has a tumor in her lung and in her brain. We didn’t know about the two in the spine in the very beginning of this journey. James and I without hesitation came here to be with her, help her in any way we can and whenever possible be of some help with her five children. We still have to find a place here in Vermont near my daughter, end the lease with our landlord for the home in Cape May and then begin to live this next journey of life with Heather and her children.
A few days ago I had all set in my mind how I was going to write this entry. I wanted a photo that showed a fork in the road and when I didn’t find one that was ‘good enough’ I allowed that to distract me from writing anything at all. I am glad I chose to write without pre-thought of what I would write. The words came and are now here. If you have read them and are still with me at this point, I will close this entry with this request ~ when you think of what is written here, when you think of the journey Heather is on, please hold an image in your mind, a knowing in your heart that my daughter not only comes through this cancer sound in body and mind, but that the chapters being written in our book of life is filled with many wonders to be shared and celebrated. Though Heather manifests the illness all who know her are offered the opportunity to learn, grow and expand who we are and how we choose to live this life. I believe with all my heart and Soul that she not only heals and moves beyond cancer, but that she comes out of this standing in the radiance of who she is here to be ~ and with love, I will be standing by her side celebrating the transformations of our family and the lives of many who grow and expand through her experience.