The above is particularly meaningful for me; as my experiences over the last 10 months have embedded this truth to a degree where human doubt and the illusion of separation have receded into a faint distant memory as if they had never been. Some of you may have noticed that I have been very quiet for many months. This is not an accident. In May this year after 56 years of robust health [which my consultants described as ‘disgustingly rude health’] with no medications, out of the blue one day, a day like any other…an emergency overtook me and within hours I had been rushed into hospital where I would stay for a week, running the usual gauntlet of tests and some more of a more invasive kind. I was not in the least perturbed, my robust health would see me through, I had no worries. Result after result came back, fine, fine, excellent, really good, excellent…until the final result came 7 days later diagnosed cancer of the lining of the womb.
To say your life flashes in front of you was not exactly my experience, I would describe it more like being run over by an express locomotive in slow motion…because we never think it will happen to us. Especially not the healthy us. Not now, not with so much to live for. Even the consultant had the grace to look shocked. And then the miracles began. If the random emergency had not happened, he assured me…this would never have been picked up. No test would have diagnosed this. It was the earliest possible stage. The cancer was well contained…in a “most beautiful position”…An operation could be all that was needed.
From that point for 24 hours I shook, wobbled, howled and was filled with an animal type fear in a very human way. I had to tell my husband [who at 20 years old had lost his own father to bowel cancer;] and see the horror and pain in his eyes. I had to tell my 5 children who would then tell my grandchildren. I had to tell my elderly parents, 88 and 92…also in robust health who would swap places with me like a shot…if only they could. And I had to really decide things that I had not had to decide upon before. How now did I want to handle this, what did I want to do…how could I travel this journey. There was no escape hatch, no way out, I could not bargain, plead or do anything right now to get out of this. I had to go through the middle of it. This is a very individual journey accompanied by those who love and surround us.
After the first 24 hours a divine strength filled me to overflowing. It was as if the Higher power had infused me utterly and was the strength that I was not. It cushioned and supported me, gave me clear thinking and courage and hope. I did not assume everything would be physically all right, far from it. But I knew that whatever happened, I was alright. I did not need to plead, or bargain or do anything except be and hug that Love. I knew that the Divine Love we name God loved me and was reaching right down and cradling me, supporting me, hugging me…and walking alongside me. I never felt alone, there was a complete tangible presence with me at all times, so near I could almost reach out and touch it, smell it, feel it. The ‘worlds’ were colliding, there was no space in between, no distance…just Love. Any outcome was guaranteed to be Love. It was not for me to reason or understand, it was completely beyond all that.
6 weeks later I had the operation. I was surrounded from the start by loving caring [and spiritually aware] professionals, and embraced and cushioned by the Divine Presence throughout. In the anaesthetic room, which is quite small and filled with equipment, the whole operating staff came through to see me, have a chat, reassure me and generally touch base with me. The atmosphere was relaxed, unhurried, peaceful and felt safe. As they left I could actually feel my parents, my grandparents, my husband, my sister… I could tell you where they were standing and how they were smiling at me…I could literally feel them as if they were physically there with me…at one point the room seemed somewhat overcrowded to say the least! And then, I was away…in their expert hands.
I woke after 4 and a half hours in theatre…exhilarated [I am told it is the opium high!]…and listened to the rain on the windows and the Sea King helicopter revving up outside our beautiful Highland hospital, its crew dedicated to saving life in whatever conditions the weather throws at them. That was an awesome 8 hours before daylight broke, just resting in and breathing in the most rarefied atmosphere of Divine Presence, giving constant thanks in that breathing in and out for being alive, for coming through the operation, for my children, husband, life…for living in a country where medicine makes this possible whether we have money or not, for our medical ability in this country, our being able to have the drugs and anaesthetics’ and specialist equipment that makes all this possible at all….there is always so much to be grateful for. The following day I came home to the sheltering love of my husband, and over the next few days and weeks my daughters came and stayed for a few days at a time, each bringing their own unique gifts of character and colourful personality which all combined, produced a loving healing space. A week later the biopsy results came through. Clear…no need for further treatment. No chemo, no radiotherapy. There was a gift in the earliest of diagnosis’s.
For 10 months I have not blogged. I have simply been present and accepting of life in each moment. And there have been casualties and deaths. Deaths of unhealthy ‘friendships’ that masked hidden agendas of treachery behind their seemingly friendly faces as they sat in our social circles. For that we are most grateful. These things have no place to exist in the home of Divine Love. Deaths of situations that were no longer desired or healthy. And there have been births… in Divine gifts of the arrival of the new, and the restored. Much more than cancer was cut out. And much more has been given back to us than just life.
For 10 months I have been happily sitting in the silence, breathing and drinking it in. What next? was not a thing I was prepared to hurry myself into answering in any way. What would be would be. If there was nothing to come for me to do, that was fine. If there was something for me to share that too was fine. Love is always the answer to the question. It is who we are.
Love is its own constant answer to its own eternal question…and Love is the Silence and the Never-Ending Conversation.