Plunge, I remember, like it was yesterday, you told me to jump. You promised I would not regret it. WELL you are half right; it’s the other half that I am upset about.
I have been plunging all of my life: into two marriages, into bad career choices, moves around the country, crazy relationships, bizarre hairstyles, and the list goes on. I once plunged into a deep dark lake in the middle of the night, skinny dipping after a night of drinking with friends, two of us, swimming across the gravel pit lake. Unfamiliar with the layout of the lake we swam for what seemed like forever. I was sure I would drown before I reached the other side. Thanks Plunge, you and your great advice.
In all honesty, I realize that I am capable of using my own judgement, but I rather like the idea of placing all the blame squarely on your shoulders. There have been occasions where I was fortunate that I plunged right in. Had I taken time to overthink opportunities, I tend to do this; I would certainly have regretted the missed opportunities.
I had intended this note to tell you that I am extremely upset with you. Well, I plunged right in without thinking it through. I must admit I have had an ah-ha moment, a revelation. I am thankful to you for your wonderful advice. I have had many opportunities that could have been missed had it not been for you.
Thank you Plunge, I appreciate you.
This is part two of a three part series. In part one I told of what I lost through cancer. In this second part I tell of what I found through life threatening cancer.
I Found Fearlessness
I was given the challenge of a life time, do I just give up of fight like hell. The oncologist offered me five options, one was to do nothing. The other four were frightening. I chose to do nothing and he immediately snatched that option from the table. I was already defeated. I left the decision to him and my daughter.
Without boring you with the ugly truth of cancer treatment I will break it down into simple terms. Over the next eighteen months I had eleven surgeries, thirty three consecutive radiations treatments, and two courses of chemotherapy. I lost about forty percent of my weight, my ability to drink, eat, and swallow. I began having seizures, became extremely malnourished and dehydrated. On Christmas Eve I had a feeding tube inserted directly into my stomach. This was in place for thirteen months during which time my jaw was frozen. My esophagus was so burned I could not speak for over a year.
I died twice during this time, a very peaceful and beautiful experience. I was brutally pulled back to the living. I had always known and loved God but I depended on him more than ever. I gave him my entire heart, held nothing back. People were praying for me in two states and angels kept finding me, wherever I was. Total strangers approached me in the hospital and chemo lab and told me that God had sent them to me to offer prayer and strength. I couldn’t speak yet I received calls from friends who offered support and prayers. Not my husband, I never heard a word from him, for two years, nothing.
One day I received a call and he told me he had moved on, he had filed for divorce. I wrote him a letter begging him not to do this at this time, it would kill me. He pursued it anyway and I almost died. Having a desire to help the underdog was always a trait I owned; this time I was the underdog. I told him I would live in spite of him. He could not have the home and business that I bought and worked so hard for. Spitefully I told him I would burn it to the ground before I gave it to him and his girlfriend, and I fought like hell.
His ego and philandering saved my life. To this day I know I could not have lived had he not offered me the opportunity to fight? How had my life come to this? I felt like Job. What more do you want from me God? I never complained to a living soul, I trusted God. He gave me a new chance, a new life and a new beginning. I have found that I am quite happy without all the trappings that once owned me. He provides me with what I need, not always what I want. I am content and usually happy. I just passed the five year mark for cancer free survival. I have had several other small cancers along the way and God walks me through it. He has given me life and strength and taken away all fear.
I found fearlessness.
Buried In The Garden
Mrs. Darcy’s son was talking to my father. He was grown and as tall as my father. They were pointing out back to Mrs. Darcy’s garden. I watched and listened for a bit then worked up the nerve to ask where Mrs. Darcy, aka Granny Grunt, had been. She’d been gone for days. We liked that. All of the kids in the neighborhood thought she was a witch who lived alone in her house. She tried to poison us with something she called Hound’s-tooth, she said it was candy. We knew better.
Her son told me she was gone, and then he continued talking to my father. I heard him say he buried her in the garden. I was horrified; after all we eat beans from that garden. I ran off to tell the other children who were hiding in the field. They were as horrified as I was. After discussing it for hours we decided to look for Granny Grunt later, when no one was paying attention.
After dinner we met in the garden. We saw a spot in the corner of the garden where the earth had been disturbed. There were five of us so digging by hand was quick. It wasn’t long before we found a sheet with something inside. We tugged and pulled it out. We sat and looked at it for a bit, thinking that Mrs. Darcy was smaller than we thought. Perhaps you shrink when you die. After a couple rounds of rock, paper, scissors we had Jesse open the sheet.
Mrs. Darcy’s gray hair was there, it frightened us, and we fell back from our squatting positions onto our bottoms. We shamed Jesse into continuing with the sheet. He grabbed the corner and pulled with all his might. The body fell out and we shrieked. Upon catching our breath we looked closely and saw that it was not Mrs. Darcy but Candy, her dog.
My mother came out to call my sister and me in for baths. She found us all in the garden squatting and looking. She wandered over to see what we were doing. When she saw Candy on the ground before us she was appalled. She marched us into the house while explaining that Candy had passed away. Mrs. Darcy had gone to stay with her son and Candy had died there so her son brought Candy home to be buried in her own yard. Mrs. Darcy would be staying with her son and his family for awhile as her heart was broken. We were in big trouble….
We made love beneath the sun
A breeze blew across the field
and dried the dew upon our skin
We each heard the music, saw the
Suddenly the rains poured down
to wash away our sin
When the rain subsided
we found our love again