"Our soul must perform two duties. The one is that we must reverently wonder and be surprised. The other is that we must gently let go and let be." Julian of Norwich

...Cancer teaches both!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I am a Lost One in a Foreign Land...

There is little more to add this week.  I am working with the palliative care team to get the right mix of pain medicine.  This is an ongoing process which seems to be bearing some fruit.  I am, at least, emerging from the fog enough to write a cognizant paragraph or two.  Maybe not!

I am deeply grateful for the gift of companionship that has been shared with me at this time. This gift is given in so many ways.  The very word "companion" has always inspired me.  It's roots suggest a literal sharing of bread, "com - pan" with bread.  Much of the companionship I share these days is indeed "with bread".

I have many colleagues, family, and friends who live deeply with me through these days of my illness.  I am mindful of their presence, their compassion, and their love even though my illness has created this barrier.  Not a real, physical barrier, but one of sleepiness and immobility.

People ask, "Should we call?  Can we visit?  When are your "down times"?.    Well, for now, I still enjoy afternoon visits in the condo and Pam and I enjoy weekend visits, mostly at home.  Email is probably the best way to connect.  If that changes we will let you know.

We are NOT Alone.
I wrote at some point earlier in "A Cancer Journal" of the very "real presence" of those who break bread and walk with us in our times of trial ("We Are Not Alone").  it is equally true that many of those who have shared their lives and since died remain with us divine companionship.

One of my favourite living mentors is Joyce Rupp.  I share this short prayer as a reflection on my own inner geography at this time. It calls for a slow, prayerful reading, if you are lucky enough to find such space in your life.

Divine Companion,
there's an ache in my heart
that stretches like a canyon,
crying out for all the familiar
faces and places of yesterday.

All the tears of my loneliness
gather themselves together quietly;
a hollow sadness rises in my soul
and presses against my every moment.

I am a lost one in a foreign land,
an orphaned one without a home.
I am out of place and unsettled,
yearning for peace that hides from me.

My feet take me through each day
but the rest of me just drags along,
wondering if I will ever feel at home,
doubting if this path is right for me.

Ever-Abiding Life Giver,
be a source of hope for me this day
as I adjust to this great change.
Be a sparkle of joy in my spirit
as I struggle with the pain of farewell.
Be a strong connector of love for me
as I leave many treasured ones behind.

Consoling One of My Heart,
assure me with glimmers of peace
that this transition can be a source of growth.
Grant me hopeful eyes to see beyond today
to the time when joy will tumble freely.
Lift up my heart and comfort me. 
Joyce Rupp
Peace be with you...  Rob; in Vancouver

"Life is short.  And we do not have long to
gladden the hearts of those who walk the way with us.  
So let us be swift to love.  And let us make haste to show kindness." 
Henri Amiel