Thursday, June 19, 2008

Life's bugs.....

Here is a photo of one of the African Violet plants that used to sit on the window sill of my kitchen. If you look closely, those white things are not pollen - they are the discarded carcasses (I know there is a fancy word for them), and there are bugs all over the thing! Now you know why the plants used to be inside and are now outside on the porch. I itch just typing this!

So of course this got me thinking. Something beautiful, something I had always wanted - a beautiful flower that actually grows in my home, one that does not shrivel when I walk in the room, something beautiful I have relegated to outside. I have the reputation of making plastic flowers die...... But here I have this beautiful flower that I tended carefully and lovingly. And it has bugs! And I put it outside........

We have things and people in our lives that we love and so many of them are less than healthy or have some bug or other. No no, not literally! A bug like cancer, diabetes and other issues.. But we do not simply put them outside and get rid of the problem like that, we keep them close, we tend them even more and at times - we even get to love the bugs. They are, after all, part of the person we love.

So many times photos, or rather - nature, makes me think of things that go far deeper than I could have imagined my mind going. When I took the photos of this bird flying - I thought of all the times I just wanted to fly away from all the pain and anguish.....and I think of a good few people that I know of that are going through incredibly rough times, but are doing absolutely incredibly well under the pressure and pain who are doing anything but flying away.

And I think about how many people cannot deal with others going through rough times. I used to be one of them. I am sad that I now understand better the pain some are having, and sorry that I had reason to find out how to deal with it - but so incredibly glad that I am no longer afraid to confront cancer, death, end of life issues and so on. I have found a depth in myself and in others that was obviously missing before and I feel so much richer because of it.

I found in the early days of diagnosis, that one very important thing was missing from my life. Normal. Normal had flown away - gone without a trace. I used to lie in bed and just want normal. I wanted, no - *needed* - normal in my life. I wanted to know other's problems like before. I wanted to be told the little irritating things in the lives of others, I needed to have jokes shared, laughs created and ..........well - normal! Almost everyone around me became quieter - literally and figuratively speaking, they almost spoke in hushed tones and really had no idea what to talk about. That's totally natural and I am not criticizing it at all. It's just that 'normal' is one of those things that is most wanted during the roughest of times.

So next time you bump into someone having a rough time, acknowledge their problem of course, ask about it, but please move on to something normal too. Whatever you tell them probably won't change anything and they might not even remember what you said, but that ray of 'normal' in a dark space shines like gold in bright sunlight. I know it's difficult to do this, but it's really so important. It was to me.

Ok - here are some people you need your thoughts/positive vibes/prayers - whatever you have got to give......... Adrian is really in a rough spot right now - his family too, with no meds working and time getting really short. What an amazing young man this is. And Cam and Cora - Cam is heading for a second transplant after the first failed and Cora is right there with him all the way - even having to leave their children on one side of Canada to get the treatment he needs on another. So many things to deal with in both these families and extended families.

There are so many people out there that are hero's in my eyes. Not in the typical way we think of a hero - but in a strong, determined, quiet and incredible way. The partners and parents, siblings and friends of those in difficult situations. Kay, Lea, Adrian, Diane, Shane, Cam and Cora are just a few that give me the ability to laugh, to smile, to enjoy every day ........ they give me hope and the knowledge that no matter what comes my way, I will deal with it - like they are. They make the space for me to breath. A big thank you!

Steven is doing and looking great! His next PCR test is next month and again I have decided not to worry, but at the same time accepted that I will. That's life - and I am most grateful for it.

love and light

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