October has been a trying month. I am grateful for Nature’s changing palette, which draws my eyes up, and directs my mind to a greater good.
My friend Alethea has been bravely facing Metastatic Melanoma for over six months. She entered hospice care this week and is still laughing and sharing her zest for life. What a gift it is, to love someone who loves life so much! By knowing Alethea, I have learned about gratitude, resilience, and choosing joy. I am eternally grateful for our friendship.
I painted this cityscape last year during the BBC Sherlock Season 3 Premier and am sending out 4×6 glossy prints in exchange for new $10 donations to Alethea’s cancer fund. All you need to do is visit Alethea’s You Caring site to donate $10 or more, then send proof of donation, and the address where you’d like your print sent to soangiewrites at gmail.
The cost of cancer is substantial, in both financial and personal ways. Thank you for helping me support my friend Alethea and her family. XO
Delicately strung between daylight and darkness
Unfolding beauty, boldness, and grace
Have you ever seen eyes blink hopeful?
Or heard words burst forth as glee?
Have you embraced warmth and been nurtured?
And cried tears upon bidding farewell?
I am thankful for friendships, choices, and chances. The universe is in and around and upon us. Thank stars we are never alone.
Your friend is your needs answered.
He is your field which you sow with love and reap with thanksgiving.
And he is your board and your fireside.
For you come to him with your hunger, and you seek him for peace.
When your friend speaks his mind you fear not the “nay” in your own mind,
nor do you withhold the “ay.”
And when he is silent your heart ceases not to listen to his heart;
For without words, in friendship, all thoughts, all desires, all expectations are born and shared, with joy that is unacclaimed.
When you part from your friend, you grieve not;
For that which you love most in him may be clearer in his absence,
as the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain.
And let there be no purpose in friendship save the deepening of the spirit.
For love that seeks aught but the disclosure of its own mystery is not love but a net cast forth: and only the unprofitable is caught.
And let your best be for your friend.
If he must know the ebb of your tide, let him know its flood also.
For what is your friend that you should seek him with hours to kill?
Seek him always with hours to live.
For it is his to fill your need, but not your emptiness.
And in the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures.
For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.
I could lay down my weapons
Drawn in response to fear
And the notion
Of never being dear
I could link my heart and hand
Open with welcome
And the awareness
Of being home
I could soften into myself
When life seems uncertain
The way I would with a friend
Striking out from the darkness of space
A diamond-hued flicker
You were stardust, baby
Here for just a moment
And my, how your heart twinkled
This photo is from 7 weeks. It’s the last time we knew she was healthy and on the way. The last time we felt a guarded hope. I didn’t take home the photos from my final ultrasound. The one showing head and shoulders, arms and elbows. The one revealing the stillness of her chest. I am haunted by the memory of that final ultrasound. The movements of the midwife. The look on Steve’s face. The way his heart crashed to the floor with a shattering silence. I am haunted by my vacancy. How without effort I cocooned myself in numbness, delaying waves of grief that would later shake my life.
This is Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Day. Tonight at 7pm, in all timezones, worldwide, you’re invited to light a candle. Let it burn for one hour. Help create a Wave Of Light in remembrance of all gone too soon. Remember me and Lillian, our very-wanted girl, lost to Turner Syndrome at 11 weeks gestation. Thank you.
We’d tried for over three years
Then entered an improbable space
Twice we saw her heartbeat
Once we saw her still
It took me awhile to cry
Three years later
To mark the learning of her demise
The cloth which covers my heart
All the grief is spilling out
I can say what I know of pain
How it has changed my life
To learn to accept that which
Just cannot have happened
How could this have happened?
Being pushed continually to my knees
By waves so tall and wide and blue
Is an honor
Truly, I love and need and want greatly
My never-over-her is testament to that
Tonight’s post was inspired by the Write ALM prompt, lullaby. I tried to write this morning and couldn’t find anything but tears. Tonight, though, I am sharing a song which brings comfort.
I’m grateful for cool air and Autumn color, gentle rain, a warm house, the love of my pets and family, and coffee time with Steve.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.”
― Melody Beattie
Evening falls. Shadows creep from corners. Stillness hovers over home and mind. It’s easier to grieve in darkness.
Hurricanes are lifted. Taper wicks are trimmed. The hiss of the lighter breaks the silence. Flames flicker and dance.
The mantel is aglow. My heart answers. Warmth reaches into the quiet.
The ritual of October resides above my hearth. Mourning is met with compassion. Grief needn’t be carried alone.
October is Pregnancy And Infant Loss Awareness Month. Learn how to participate in next week’s Wave Of Light by clicking here.