In May 2017 I began finding daisies sprinkled throughout our property, daisies we did not plant. They were my mom’s favorite flower. I think she left them for me to remind me of the journey we took together, especially the lessons learned through her cancer and death. I’m sharing them now in the posts labeled “Daisy Chronicles.”
In the middle of my mother’s first round of cancer treatments there was a particularly dark day. It wasn’t that the prognosis had changed (back then she was expected to recover) or that we faced an unexpected challenge that day. It was the accumulation of challenges that had slowly and quietly closed in around me.
This dark day wasn’t dark because something had changed, it was dark because nothing had changed. Things had gotten harder and there was no relief in site.
My mom broke her hip 6 weeks earlier and due to her type of cancer the oncologist felt that it was too dangerous to wait for a hip replacement to start chemo. The alternative was that my mom would go through 3 months of chemo with a broken hip. I was one of the only people who could transport her with limited pain so it was hard to share the responsibility of her doctors appointments with anyone else.
My husband’s stress levels were off the chart due to work pressures.
My children were 2 and 4 and their combined physical and emotional every day needs felt overwhelming.
I was running my business in between the cracks of all of this and struggling with the disconnect between the success I expected to have and the success I was actually experiencing.
If I could travel back in time to that day I would hold my slightly younger self so close and just hug her. And after a while I would take her by the shoulders, look her in the eyes and tell her that eventually all of this would get easier. I would tell her that she doesn’t have to try so hard to be perfect for everyone. Most importantly I would tell her that the Divine is so much bigger than she understands in that moment and if she could just let go everything would feel lighter.
But even though I haven’t figured out how to do this, I know the Divine was with me on that day.
It was 1 am in the morning. My husband had gone to bed. I was sitting on the couch drinking my 3rd or 4th glass of wine staring at the television. I was trying to numb the pain. I felt alone. So very, very alone.
This was long before I learned how to surrender to the Divine. Long before I learned to pray constantly for support. So instead I drank wine and watched tv to escape the deep ache I felt.
I was flipping channels and landed on a PBS special featuring The Canadian Tenors. Something made me stop flipping. They were interviewing one of The Tenors and soon transitioned to another song.
From the very first notes of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah something inside me broke open. Each note filled the ache. In that moment I knew deeply and completely I wasn’t alone.
To this day when I feel the ache that sometimes comes with being human I pull up The Canadian Tenors on youtube (besides being crazy talented they are also total cutie patooties) and my soul sighs, my body relaxes. It is a reminder to me that even in the darkest moments I am not alone (and neither are you.)
There is always light at the end of the tunnel but when its been a long journey through that dark tunnel my experience is that the Divine will always send sparks of light to remind us how cherished we truly are.
The Canadian Tenors have since changed their name to The Tenors. I’m including one of my favorite songs below to give you a little inspiration just in case you need it.
If today is one of those dark days hear these words:
You are loved.
You are cherished.
You are never alone.
In love and light, Patty
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