Be Like a Tree

“Be like a tree and let the dead leaves drop.” Rumi

 It’s hard to explain, it was just an inner knowing that I was finally ready. It was like I had finally mastered the balance between the head and heart. And this is no small feat for me, because I have one of those minds that you need to keep busy, or it wants to run the show.

But I had a job that was keeping my head busy, and my heart was ready and open to get back to putting a little pen to paper. In true Gemini fashion I had started three books and shelved all of them with one excuse or another.

Now I knew I was finally ready to get serious about it. I started to read the first one named “Queen of Denial”, and as tears poured down my face I realized that it was already written. Unfortunately, just by someone else, a favorite celebrity of mine. She had recently published a beautiful book about the journey she was having with losing her Mother to Alzheimer’s. It was beautifully written, and a lot of what she shared rang so very true to me.

So, I have decided that perhaps I will just let the dead leaves drop and not struggle to finish something that consumes so much of my heart. I will just let this particular book stay the way it is. Half written and half in my heart. And I will focus on the other two books. But as for blogging, for the next little while, I will share pieces of the ‘Queen of Denial’, which is my journey with my Mom through her eight-year battle with terminal cancer. So here we start with a little story telling from week to week ….

Your Mother has a malignant tumor and it is fairly progressed, it has been hemorrhaging for about a week, so we have been giving her blood transfusions continually since she arrived.” The Doctor stood towering above me with what appeared to be a confrontational look on his face.

The blood drained from my body and I was sure I was about to collapse.

“May I please sit down?” My head started to spin, and I wobbled into the nearest chair. I put my head between my knees without as much as a thought about how ridiculous this must appear. Vomit was rising in my throat, I choked it back. I opened my eyes but they couldn’t seem to focus. Heat was rising in me, and I thought I was going to pass out.

He called a nurse and asked her to bring a juice. Then continued,” she has probably had this tumor for upwards of a year and so it will definitely be Stage 4, which means that it will have moved to other parts of her body.” “We won’t be able to determine where it has moved to until after we deal with removing the breast and tumor. “

“She will require an emergency radical mastectomy as soon as we can get her stabilized, we have to continue transfusing her until we can get her strong enough to operate.” There was a long pause as though he was contemplating, what or how to say it kindly, “She is definitely the Queen of Denial”, he said. I could see that he was trying to be gentler, as he realized that I was crushed by this news.

The word cancer was ringing through my ears. When I sat up, he had a container of juice for me to drink. I swallowed it down, trying to absorb what was happening. The heat in my body started to dissipate and I could at least see. I looked at my husband, he looked as though he had been hit by a truck. The stress on his face was heartbreaking. He grabbed me and hugged me tight, then we both burst into tears.

I will see you again when we have the operating room booked, it will be as soon as she is strong enough and we can arrange for surgery. He glanced at us both with a mixture of sympathy, and what appeared to be a little anger. I got the strangest feeling, he was less than impressed.

We went to see Mom. She glanced guiltily at me when I arrived. She was absolutely as white as a ghost and looking very frightened. I had never seen her look so frail or ill.

“I love you Mom”, as I kissed her on the forehead.

Tears started to spurt from her eyes, “I am so sorry to put you through this, I am such a stupid, stupid woman.” She started sobbing, violent gut wrenching sobs.

“Mom stop, there is nothing to be sorry about.” “Just rest please, we will talk later.” I grabbed for a chair to sit on, still feeling very weak in the knees.

I looked up at my husband, seeing the pain in his eyes. “I think that I will be camping out here for a while.” “Are you able to handle things with the kids?”

“Of course,”, he said. “Please make sure they know that everything is going to be okay.”

Not knowing this for sure myself, but I wanted desperately for them not to worry. He pulled me to my feet, gathered me in an embrace and whispered in my ear. “It is going to be okay, I’ve got the kids just don’t worry.” “If you are okay, I am going to go home and see how they are doing, they haven’t even had time to absorb this so they will probably be freaked out.”

I looked over at Mom, who was having a very hard time keeping her eyes open. I kissed her forehead.

“Mom, everything is going to be okay. Why don’t you grab some sleep so you can feel better?”

Her eyes closed, and I collapsed into the chair, stifled a sob and tried to gather my thoughts together.

How did we get here? I wondered. Why hadn’t she told me? What was she so sorry about? None of it made any sense, at all. I should have listened to my intuition; my stomach had told me that something just wasn’t right. I didn’t listen and here we were.

Love and Light

Jacquie

4 thoughts on “Be Like a Tree

  1. Julie says:

    Some days, it seems like the leaves will hang on forever as I am still waiting for the last few clingers to drop! It got me wondering that perhaps there is a reason for the delay ….to offer us protection from the elements, to trap much needed moisture for survival or simply to give us time to adapt to the changes from one season to another? For now I welcome the clingers until they are ready to fall off! ❤️

    Like

  2. Anne says:

    How wonderful that you have written about this personal journey, Jacquie. I think it could be very helpful for others going through something similar. I look forward to reading the next segment. .

    Like

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