When I am caught up in the every day moments of life it is easy to forget how important balance is to making it through the more difficult challenges thrown in the path of life. Every day becomes a day of merely getting through it ~ hopefully with very little moments of temper, sarcasm and ego. While that may seem to be easy to do for some people, lately for me it is a challenge. Since moving to Vermont I have taken very little time to connect with nature and therefore to connect with my Spirit. Without that connection it becomes difficult to deal with the harsh lessons we are going through with as a family while my daughter, Heather walks the journey of healing cancer. Time is set aside for healing sessions to be done. Time is set aside for caring for my grandchildren, especially the younger ones. The teenagers don’t seem to ‘need’ as much from me as the younger ones do so a lot of time is set aside to be with the younger ones. Time is set aside to help with housework, laundry and cooking. Time is set aside to help with the mundane and repetitive parts of life. When we received the news that microscopic cells were spreading through Heathers’ brain it was easy to get discouraged. It was easy to wonder what the hell were we doing all the healing work for? However to continue in that thought process would have been to surrender to the disease. We all required time to adjust to the news and to regroup once again and prepare to meet this new challenge with as much hope as possible.
I found myself on empty. As devastating as the setback was for me, I can not even imagine fully how devastating it was on Heather. A few days before we received the news of ” four, possibly five new tumors in the brain”, I had made plans with one of Heathers’ friends to go for a hike to a waterfall. We planned a day of hiking, communing with nature and photography. I had also planned to take my flute and to play my flute so I could release my sorrow and pain, and make room for hope and knowing that no matter how it may appear, my daughter finds healing from this disease. When we got the news we were shocked and devastated. In our own ways I feel we all felt betrayed. Here we were doing all this work, especially Heather, and here was proof that the cancer moved ahead of us! I wasn’t going to go on the planned outing to the waterfalls but Heather told me there is no reason not to go. She needed time to herself to process the news and I needed time to connect with nature and my Spirit. So I went…
I am very grateful my daughter insisted I still go on the planned hike. The day was spent being in the company of beautiful women, sharing the joy of natures’ gifts. The sound of the waterfalls played a song that reached into my deepest sorrows and comforted me. The gift of nature here in Vermont is very different than the seashore of New Jersey but is is every bit as beautiful, awesome and soothing to me. I sometimes forget how much comfort I find walking in the woods, observing the many plant and tree forms. I did not forget how much I love waterfalls, but I do know I could have made a choice to go sooner, and didn’t. If I had I would have been letting go of the ego part of me that said I couldn’t go and enjoy it when my child could not go and enjoy the same things. The ego is so very gifted at ‘making’ us see things as it desires us to see them. What I began to remember as I filled my soul with as much beauty, peace, calm and inspiration I could breathe into myself, was the remembrance that in order to be effective in any part of life it is necessary to maintain a balance. When ever I feel overwhelmed with any moment of life I do not seem to get out of the quick sand of the troubled moments until I remember balance is required in order to move through it and move forward out of the pain. Body, mind, soul and Spirit are all to be attended to in order to maintain balance. In order to move forward, in order to see hope again, in order to know and reflect on the wonders of the healing Heather has had to this point, it was necessary to reconnect with my soul and Spirit.
As I played my flute, as I sent my song to the Creator I reflected on the many wonderful ways my daughter is doing at this point in her healing. Her previous scans showed healing. She is not in a wheelchair because of the cancer in the spine. Her walk is once again as it was before cancer entered into her spine. She is no longer walking slowly and deliberately but instead walking at almost her ‘super speed’ normal walk. Her spine shows signs of healing too. The parent brain tumor, Mona is completely gone and no longer effecting or influencing her as it once did. She is still part of our world and I get to spend time with her, hug her and love her! I began to remember for every fear there was one or more blessings to see and to celebrate. As I played my flute I felt the weight of fear fall from me. I felt the peace and the comfort of nature fill every part of me. I felt the song of the gentle breezes caress me and remind me in the whispers heard within my soul…” all is well”. I remembered the strength of the love we have for one another and the absolute gratitude I have for the life of my child. I was with three women who held space in their hearts for me and the process I was going through. We stood together on a rock near the waterfall and prayed together for the healing of Heather and for their sister, friend and aunt of their family who also is walking the journey of healing cancer. Together we wove a moment in time filled with sacredness, joy, love and hope. And for that I am eternally grateful… Instead of feeling empty, I feel full.