So I do not know if i told you about my friend J. A few months ago, i happen to call her because she was heavy on my heart. No i didn’t. I sent her a text message as it was morning and i wasn’t sure if she was off her shift yet. She called me a few minutes later and I was so surprised to get her call that i immediately answered it. I remember her saying ” I am sooo glad you answered.” She told me that she had been having some issues for a little while but kept them to herself. Until recently, she was having intense dizzy spells . I think she mentioned a blackout episode while driving once also. The details of the conversation are blurry to me. She had told me that she had been in the hospital all night and they ran some test and found a mass in her brain. I of course made plans to head over to her house within the hour. I know there was nothing i could do but i could be with her and sit with her and listen to anything she needed a listening ear for. she told me that she had not told anyone anything yet because there was nothing to tell yet. This made perfect sense to me. She did not wish to alarm her only child Tara(22 i think) when she had almost no information. She knew it had to be serious on some level because it alerted her to go to the emergency room. This is not a common thing for Janelle to do. She had a tough exterior. I say “had” because i think its softening now. She wouldn’t dare let anyone know about her not feeling well either. Much less express her feelings about it. I personally feel responsible for not sharing with her that i think bottling up your feelings is detrimental to ones health. I feared she would not take it well and i did not wish to ripple waters with my feisty friend. I should have. I know better now to stand up more and to be more assertive. It was medicine that would have really helped her and perhaps having the knowledge may have prevented the illness she is battling now. After a massive ordeal getting clearance to get a good surgeon to look at her scans from the hospital, J found out that indeed there was a walnut size tumor in her brain. She was going to have surgery the next week. It all seemed to happening so fast it literally made my sight take a dizzy spin. It was not happening to me . I can only imagine what might have been going through her mind ya know? She is a nurse herself and has seen a great deal of sickness in her career. She was a medic for the green side for about ten years also in the military. I have told you about her before. She is the beautiful Cherokee woman with gorgeous blue eyes i told you about in the past? She was my supervisor when i first met her. She did my intake when i was hired at Royal Care. She is very strong yet very stubborn and loves to live on the edge and to roll with cats who are edgy as well. A single mother of one daughter(she was a teen mom)she worked many long hours and extra shifts at work. She related to me even though i was married at the time. Soon after beginning my work there my marriage took a major nosedive for the umteenth time and before i knew it , I was seperated and moving out . Meeting her at that time proved to be a blessing in disguise. We became close very quickly. She was smart and witty and beautiful and badass. Still is 🙂 She is about a year and a half older than me. I thought about her being my age as soon as she told me they were gonna take the brain tumor out. My vivid imagination was not much of a blessing for me at this moment that is for sure. The day before she was to have the operation, she had to get tests done and certain preparations at the hospital. I did not find this out til she was in surgery the next day but they found more cancer in her lung, her kidney, her lymph nodes and her face. This is the closest anything like this has really hit home for me. I have never been to a funeral. I have never lost anyone i loved through death yet. I have lost and grieved much loss and the death of relationships i wanted but this was totally a different thought for me to concieve in my mind. I realize more now than ever that my journey here is temporary. I knew this before all the recent events unfolding in J’s life but it still was tripping me out like i can not even express. I cried when i knew she was in surgery. I begged all my friends to quit smoking and start taking better care of themselves. Almost all of my besties are fatties who smoke and eat like shit and do not get their heart rate up outside of sexual activity. I know there are no guarantees of longevity. But i truly feel Cath that we are designed and created to live strong vital lives. I do not buy into this “i’m getting old so i just have to expect to fall apart” mentality.I am not old. Even when i am one hundred i will still be younger than a wink in time of all eternity. I fully plan to be as fit and vital as Jack Lalaine when i am an old hen.What is time anyway? I love what Moorjani says about it being nothing what we perceive it to be. She says there is no such thing as time. It all happens at the same time. at once. That all life, all things, all time are one. For where i am now in my life , this idea she proposes feels right to me. I do find comfort when meditating on this idea. J has done alot of research and investigating and came to the conclusion that chemo and radiation are just money making scandals and she was not going to take this road. I believe she wants the Gersohn(sp?) treatment. Different friends have been having various fundraisers for her to help pay for the cost of fighting her cancer however she needs to, feels to. I bought her the book Dying to Be Me that you recommended for my reading pleasure. I have been trying to hangout with her and of course willing to drive to wherever she is and bring her this powerful and inspiring book. Its been a futile effort. I even requested an address to mail her the book and a few other things i bought for her. I heard she is flying out today to Mexico today to get treated. I think she has been avoiding me because she cannot give up smoking and feels like i might judge her for it. I surely wouldn’t but i feel its my duty as her friend and sister to tell her its poison and she needs to stop. i never badger her about such choices. I am not sure really what is going on. I imagine getting this grave diagnosis comes with a whole new book of rules. I am sure she is busy trying to figure everything out but im insecure about everyone getting to talk to her. I do feel guilty for not attending the fundraiser events. But my life has been full and busy and planned out. Driving four hours to someones fundraiser for her all day is a huge commitment.I tell myself this but is this my way of coping with the madness of it all? Surely she understands that the world must go on its course in spite of the glitch in her system? I would never overtly verbalize this to her for fear of it being received negatively. Please know my heart is about love not judgement. I would want my loved ones to be there for me but i would understand that folks cannot all stop their life for me. I poured another sweat lodge this past Saturday. I set that day specifically for J per her request. She was in my last sweatlodge. Merely days before she found out she had a brain tumor. The willow branches that hold my lodge together were taken from the willow trees on J’s property before the bank foreclosed on her home. I felt strongly connected to her as i was sitting in the lodge preparing to open my ceremony before my guests came inside with me. I recognized that full circle of the medicine wheel in relation to my path and J’s and how those branches still give of themselves in service for us. I will talk to you more about the sweat another time. I knew i was connected to J in that sweat though and i trust that we did great work in our prayerful lodge on that beautiful and magical harvest moon. I am curious about how much work went into me realizing how connected we all are over all the years of my life and yet i feel so seperate from J in this path unfolding before her.I am trying to maintain that recognition and awareness of the absolute connection of all things to one another. Yet how can i not feel myself connected to her now that she has been diagnosed with all this cancer all over her body? I feel helpless regarding J. It would seem if we are all one then we could by our own faith and recognition of that oneness take our own energy and heal each other as well as ourselves. i truly believe we can heal ourselves. Her tribe, the Cherokee has become lost since the trail of tears. I wonder if that didn’t play a role in all of this? DIS ease is an outside manifestation of the dis ease inside of our hearts and our emotions and our psyche. Anyway, thinking of J intensely these days . Pray for her as well if you feel moved to my beautiful Cath and take care of yourself too. all my love
I miss you.
It seems strange as it always has writing letters to you because there has been an ongoing connection so strong since we first me that this letter seems far more for me and my simple understandings than a missive for you. 🙂 I last spoke with you via text message when Osa died. I still miss him. Strange things jog my memory of him. I was driving past a waffle house(we like to dub it the awful house)we visited the morning after he got hurt. We had to drive to Maryville to get him from the Emergency Care because they closed at 6a.m. and Osa was in too rough of shape and they didnt allow patients to stay. We had to take him from there to our vet in Seymour. I had not slept so this was quite an exhausting journey. We didnt know what to do after we left him and G and i were so emotional and in shock that we didnt want to go home just yet. So we went to the awful house. I am spoiled on organic range free eggs from our friends D and K (though i am vegan and rarely eat them anymore)that the eggs at the awful house taste truly awful. I drove past this new branch the other day and it made me miss him so bad as it reminded me of that morning. G took me home after we ate at the awful house then he left for work. I made a fire in the North all day for Osa( i guess for me too)I prayed hard that he would go so that i didnt have to make the choice to end his suffering. I guess that was his gift to me. To help me let go. The interesting turn of things had it set forth to bring upon a new dog soldier to our home. Neo. He is an Australian Shepard /huskey mix. Black with tan and white stockings on all four legs and tan and white cheeks. He has blue eyes with his lower right eye splashed with dark brown over half of it. I will have to tell you how he came to us another time. He is quite afraid of men. He is of strangers but he doesnt panic around females or kids like he does men. Isabella moved her toe on the footrest the other day and his whole body flinched. I keep coming up with these different stories in my mind as to who he was as a pup and where he may have come from. Everything about Neo is a mystery to me except that i know in less than one months time we have grown to love each other. G takes it personally at times that Neo is frightened of him but he’s patient with him. Neo teaches patience. Noone would dare lose their patience with him because you can tell it would make your own heart hurt worse than any mini panic Neo might experience. G and i had a fight recently after Neo had only been with us a few days. he ran and hid under our bed and when we yelled at each other he even growled for a second. I felt like a total failure of a human for feeding and ugly argumentative vibe and risking very fragile trust with my new dog soldier. There was a break in the rain this morning and so i decided to take Neo out on a walk as it was late and i usually walk him before eight in the morning. I let him off the leash last nite to enjoy being on our property. I had created a routine with Neo right away of taking him on a walk three times a day. We built up the distance so we could meander through the valley and wooded edge before heading back up the drive and around the small loop here on top of the hill where our house is. You could tell he was excited that i let him off his leash last nite. I was nervous to let him stay outside because in my selfishness i didnt want him to run off. I wanted him for my dog soldier/my friend…my pet. In the middle of the night the rainstorm welled up so loud that it woke me from a hard sleep. I yelled for Neo as if i was thinking of him even as i slept. I jumped out of bed and ran outside to call for him. In a few seconds he came bouncing out of the darkness towards the light i had just flipped on the porch. It took a few minutes of coaxing and a piece of turkey meat but i got him inside. He immediately ran under the kitchen table for safety but i was relieved to have him inside from the wild rain outside. That was somewhere around 4a.m. Pushing towards ten the next morning I was eager to get my body in that walk mode and to get Neo outside and one more day closer to being more comfortable around me and his new home. He loves to dart towards my bedroom and hide under the bed for twelve hours at a time …so though i felt like a bully keeping him from his hidingspot I thought it would help him avoid getting a big comfort zone noone could penetrate. I had the collar in my hand and of course he ran under the table again. Something inside of me spoke so audibly clear and knowingly that it was almost as if a message had been sent from my brain to my body and it obeyed even before i realized my idea. I put the leash on the table and propped open the door , stepped back to the edge of the porch and called for Neo. As i backed away he poked his head out to look for me as i called him. I decided that we had taken enough walks in this first month together that he has a good idea of where he is. Just as i had hoped he followed out of the house and off the porch. Our first walk side by side with NO LEASH! I was so happy that i bounced on our walk together and i even giggled out loud halfway through our route. he he . On our way back up from walking the front portion of our property we stopped in my garden and he hung out with me while i spent nearly an hour weeding the crops! We are building this connection and i think he trusts me better because i have learned to look straight into his eyes. This is hard to do with huskeys having two different color eyes. G has blue eyes and i have brown so i thought this to be especially sweet. I talk to him when we walk together. It helps me get out of my own head. I had to board him at our vets just two weeks after getting him and it was quite a challenge. I couldnt expect much support regarding my crazy feelings about it from G because he felt we should wait to get a new dog soldier until after a few of our festivals. I couldnt bear to have him put back in that disgusting cage(though a fabulous facility and program the animal shelter had) so i brought him home almost as if i had been hypnotized to do so. thats my story and im sticking to it. Seriously, he chose us just as much as we chose him. I am so excited to have him hang with me though. Of course he is at the moment back UNDER our bed fast asleep. 🙂 I have been thinking alot about you. When i feel overwhelmed as if the world is gonna swallow me whole i think how you may handle such a feeling. I wish i were near you because you make everything feel as if its gonna be ok when i am around you. Some things never change. I feel as if i am climbing an uphill battle of mindfulness in a world where mosts people are clueless to mindful awareness. I spend more time fending off the reactions and attitudes and behavior of others who do not reach beyond the banalities of this typical world we roam around in on a daily basis. its exhausting. I am not saying that i think i am better. We are all the same. Most do not realize this though. I am tired. If i were closer in proximity to you then perhaps i could bear this world a bit better with your sense of humor to keep me going.
I know i may seem self centered at times by not asking the typical questions most people ask in such correspondences like” how is the husband and grandchildren yada yada” , but my heart is stuck to what we have connected on. I do care how your life is going. I care that you are at peace and that you are joyful. I care mostly about what you have to teach me and how i can be better as a result of my exposure to you. I miss you. How perfectly suitable that the song” Waiting on a world to change ” just came on the satellite radio. Of all the mysteries in this world i am most baffled that i managed to survive to this ripe old age of 40 without totally losing track of all my basic senses and awareness. Thank you for all them prayers …haha. they are working so far. (many may dispute this statement but i prefer to selectively overlook such narrow minded individuals. 😉 Do you hear me? Can you feel the strong vibes i am sending you? I love you by the way . Beyond this galaxy.