Saturday, September 10, 2016

No title because I have no idea.

Each day, I want to write to you and share with you. I want to tell you what happened, why I was absent from this space. I, desperately, want to explain the lessons I learned and personal discoveries I made. But, I couldn’t and can’t. Not because I don’t trust you, but because I don’t know how to put any of these experiences into words. I don’t know how to tell you what flirting with death feels like. Because when that date with death actually happens, I am not thinking, remember this, record this, you will remember this one day

I stood under the Sistine Chapel and can tell you, in detail, about the moment I looked up, and noticed the ceiling and felt my breath leave my body. I remember the first time I witnessed the birth of a baby and the magic that fills the room...especially right after she is here. This time though, without magnificent ceilings and magical babies, I only thought about survival and the unknown. I only thought, please dear Lord, do not make this whole death thing painful. If this is your will, then so be it, but please make it easy. My thoughts weren't beautiful like the ceiling and they weren't magical and filled with love like those few moments after a baby arrives. They were confusing and unknown.

One Friday, this past June, I planted and potted, all afternoon, on my deck. This kind of day is not unusual, I have done this for days and weeks, since the first week of May. I remained determined to create my simple, container version of a garden. A true and tangible realization of a dream. A real, flowering garden watered by my heart and soul. My philosophy has always been and forever shall be, do what you can when you can. So, I designed a container garden in March. 

I researched deer resistant flowers and plants, and watched more YouTube how-to videos-- how to plant Dahlia tubers-- than you can imagine. I planted the tubers when they arrived and I made an obnoxious number of trips to the local nursery. I killed and over-watered and didn’t realize the importance of soil and sun and drainage. I chose difficult to grow plants and easy to grow plants, and I learned from each of them. But, then, this Friday, in June, I had to leave my garden for a few hours to go in for a quick and routine test. An MRI. Moments after the test, as I was quickly transferring mounds of laundry from the washing machine to the dryer,I received a call. The caller told me I was septic and must go to the emergency room as soon as possible.

I yelled and screamed. I tried to convince everyone these results weren’t possible. I was, after all, moving forward. I was working on a dream. I was paying my bills and showing up and doing all the things we think we need to do to live well. And then, boom. All was not well. I panicked. I refused to go the hospital. I insisted I could not do this again. I could not be sick. I would not take IV medications. ‘I am not doing this again’ is all I could say, over and over again.

And then I went into my bathroom, my very safest place. And I called my friend. The friend I call when I can’t do it anymore, the friend I call when I don’t believe in anything anymore...especially me.

I said, “ I have to go to the hospital because I am septic and I don’t want to.”

He said, “ Well, you understand this feeling more than most people.”

I said, “ I know, and I don’t want to go. I just don’t think I can. Just please tell me I can do it. Just say I can and I will. Just say it will all be okay. ”

He said, “ Sarah, you are far more resilient that you give yourself credit." 

And then I cried and asked him what the damn meaning was of the Book of Job, in the Bible. I cried and sobbed and asked. And he answered.

He said, “Well, I think there is some comfort that lies in the unknown.”

And I didn’t get it. At all. I thought the letting go and the unknown were full of fear, not hope and love. 

And then I suffered through these months of the unknown and only came out with more peace and comfort than before. And tonight as the rain poured, so did my a baptism, and I thought of my friend. And I messaged him. And this is what I wrote. 

And then I sent pictures of the silly little deck garden I stared in March.

We do not know anything for sure. Our only power lies in hope and love and faith...all things  unknown. We can force anything we want, we can ask for anything we want, but when we let go, when we let go of the requests and the have to's and should's and would's...our true self takes over. Our will to live outweighs our fear of the unknown. We take the risk, the leap of faith, that all will be well, even if we are not in control.   

I am having a hard time this time around, because I know so many things for sure and I don’t feel qualified to share these things. Because I am just human and make so many mistakes and lost my faith and fail at love and I hurt people. However, in the moments in the bathroom when I continued to repeat, Your will, not mine. Your will, not mine. I only thought of the mark I will leave when I am gone. Nothing about success or rules or time or right and wrong. Only thoughts of how I made people feel. And some thoughts had to be handed over to the unknown. And some thoughts were certain. I didn’t know the mark I would leave. I just hoped and prayed and loved. Because it was all I could do, in the end. It’s all any of us can do, ever. Just love. Just hope. And just pray in anyway you can.

The unknown sounds so scary and dark, like the night. And then the stars start to twinkle and shine and you know you are safe to let go and just admire...the unknown. Forever and always. 

I will be back. I will share more. I think of you, daily. 

Thank you for showing up during the certain and the unknown. You are loved. Each of you has left your mark. You helped a stranger. You are loved.