Monday, April 16, 2007

No Coincidences

In November 2000, I found myself sitting in the office of a breast surgeon. She had examined me and was studying my radiographs. "We can't tell for sure without a biopsy." I was numb as I made the surgery appointment and walked in the dark to my car. I could only think of my dear friend Charlene, who was on the losing side of a seven year battle with breast cancer.

I was sitting in my car and shaking, shaking so much that I could not turn the key. I remember saying out loud "God I'm so scared." I finally gathered myself and turned the car on. My car had a fully loaded six CD changer set to random play and when I turned the ignition on, the music started. The very first lyrics I heard knocked the breath out of me. Here I was, as scared as I've ever been in my life and I was given the only two words that could possibly ease my panic.

The lyrics I heard? "Fear destroys." I firmly believe there are no coincidences and I knew those words were a gift to me. I realized then and there that fear was a useless emotion and I was somehow able to put it aside. Once the fear was gone, what I found instead was an awareness of feeling protected and a certainty I would get through this - no matter the outcome of the biopsy. Thankfully, my biopsy was negative.

Why relate this story now? I recently had another abnormal exam. But this time I did not let the fear seize me. I had learned my lesson, once and for all - "fear destroys." Yes, the fear automatically welled - but I was immediately able to banish it. Fear was quickly replaced with optimism, patience and strength. Once again, I was blessed with negative results.

Sadly, I lost my dear friend Charlene in January 2001. I think of her everyday. Not only because I miss her, but because I still marvel at the tremendous faith she had for seven years, as the cancer ravaged her. Up until the end, she was optimistic and sure of a cure. She had obviously discovered that "fear destroys" long before I did. Fear was never in her vocabulary, not even when facing death. As a former priest of mine said, sometimes death is the ultimate healing. I think Charlene knew that.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Easter Blessings!

Wishing all my friends Easter blessings. If you are not Christian, then consider it the blessing of Spring - of warmth, renewal and hope. You may think it odd that I am posting Easter wishes, several days after the fact. However, in my church, the week after Easter is called "Bright Week" - the Easter celebration traditionally lasted all week long. For forty days after Easter we continue to rejoice and we customarily greet each other with "Christ is risen," to which the response is "Truly he is risen."

Our daffodils have been stymied in their attempt to bloom. There is a coldness that has settled in and it won't leave. I promise photos when they do bloom. On Easter morning, my husband found a mere dozen that had been brave enough to open in the freezing weather and cut them to adorn our breakfast table. He knows it's not Easter without our daffodils. While we wait patiently for the daffodils, here is a beautiful bowl of the traditional red eggs that my Mom made for Easter.