For some reason, cancer, the dreaded C word, has been a part of my life for a very long time. My mother had it. My father had it. One of my best friends had it.
I’ve been holding onto a secret these past nine years, and feel it is time to come clean.
In the fall of 2009, my husband Thomas and I were staying overnight in Louisville, as we were moving our daughter back to Nashville the next day. She had recently graduated from college and was moving back home. As we settled down to sleep that night, I had been reading A Course in Miracles, and was lying awake, staring out into the dark room, thinking. Suddenly I experienced a vision - I was so confused!
"Sometimes shadows are the only light we see."
- Leo Kotke
It was my birthday.
I was at a Leo Kotke concert with my sweet husband and family. The guitar music poured over me with quiet joy and contentment. I was happy, the venue was just right, we were sitting almost in front, and it felt intimate and joyful.
Before my mother died she said to me; “I wish you could stop trying to fix yourself! Why can’t you just be more like me?!”
I have a dining room cupboard filled with dishes and china from relatives who have long since died. I never fully thought about whose they were because my younger sister remembered it all.
She died six years ago.
It seems much of my life has been filled with meaningless activity. In my younger years, without much of me to operate with, I tried to please as I was hoping for value and purpose. I worked at jobs I hated, tried to stay in struggling relationships for the “sake of the children”, and was mediocre at parenting.
As a young woman I was terrified to stay alone in the house overnight. As the mother of two young children, I would bravely pretend confidence and bravado. One night when alone in the house, I lay awake listening to the sound of rustling leaves under my window imagining the footsteps of the intruder outside.
Fear paralyzed my body and my mind.