I have four beautiful comments today after yesterday’s post. Check those out. And I am copying and pasting Cris’s mega long and thoughtful comment here in a minute. It is so personal, bless her. But first I have to fill you in on what happened yesterday at the doc’s.
It is not long and involved but short and simple. My one renegade number came down significantly with one week of vacation. So, I am having another week off and then going in next Wednesday for another test to see where we are at. If it is below the threshold then I get to continue the trial but at a lower dosage of the agent. And if I am not below I will have another week off. I have six weeks to complete this process. Sounds all scientific and tidy. So I am remaining optimistic.
So, really the main point is that some nice comments came in on the topic of me saying that I wonder if this is the last time I will plant corn? Jokingly Henriette said, “Don’t buy green bananas” in her comment. That’s funny!
But here is what our Caminoheads South America Bureau Chief Cris wrote:
What a poignant post… I should be turning on my work computer but I decided to post a comment here. In this culture when we think that “time is clicking” only when we get a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness (not even the others!!!) or when as women we arrive to the 40ies, it is easy to forget that we are mortal human beings, all of us, at A N Y T I M E. And in this culture too, when we talk about “lost battles” or “life has been taken by…” we forget that life just happens, and we live the life we have been given, and while we do have choices, we don’t choose the life we have.
And I am going to go personal here, mostly because by now, the readers here are my neighbors and my fellow pilgrims and going personal (or sharing our hearts) is what we do with those who share our lives with us.
My mother died at 39 years old of liver cancer. I was 5 years old when that happened. And I have not a single memory of her, or my life with her, how she looked like, nothing… And for many many years, I told that “My mother died when I was 5” as if I would be saying “I bought plants for my apartment”… it was part of my story, but I was not owing it. In 2013 I went to London for the first time and visited Kensington Palace, well not the palace, but the gardens, and there is a small tower with a clock and there is this sentence written below the clock that reads: “Time flies”. I was recently divorced and for the first time thought that since a very young age I knew that time is short, that lives can be taken at a young age, even if you have young children to look after, even if you have a lot to do, a career to pursue, a mortgage to pay, a trip to do, still to meet the love of your life, etc. but I never thought that way before and that haunted me for a while. The next year I went to the Camino. I spoke with my boss and while my job was the best thing that was going on in my life back then, I said that if I wouldn’t be granted a leave, I would be quitting. I was granted an 8 weeks leave and I left.
Thinking of my mother’s story, the Camino and John O’Donohue’s book, my own life experiences, all that started to re-shape my way of seeing “life”, not even my own life but everybody’s, and it was more clear to me that we are here on a journey, that is more likely to be an on-foot one, that a speedy highway one… and while preparation is key, it doesn’t grant an insurance, even many who have trained before going to the Camino got blisters and injuries that made them stop their pilgrimage, change their plans, skip sections, etc. Some others were lucky to get to Santiago, but the ones who got there, realized that the journey continues beyond Santiago, and by then we know that our journey may be cut short because of blisters and injuries; or that our journey may include skipped sections. But, as pilgrims too, we rejoice in the fact that we left the comfort of our lives in our sofa, and set on a pilgrimage, that has nothing spectacular, it is not easy, it includes the risk of being cut short, or blisters and injuries, but I am sure at some point we will be able to tell the story of our lives and the best will probably be if we can say: “I had such a great journey.”
But the reality is that nobody knows when it will be that moment, blisters and injuries only are reminders that we have to do the best with the time we have walking. The ones who don’t have blisters and injuries, may just walk mindless and are taking the risk of their lives being taken by a car rolling over them…
Just a couple days before Jean Vanier’s death, I was listening to the conversation Krista Tippet had with him. I had listened to it before more than once, but each time, it is revealing. This last time it touched me thinking of my aunt and her disease too.. but anyway, in that conversation, he said the below:
“Death is a passage, which will be an extraordinary discovery, something that’ll be so amazing that we can’t even imagine it. It’s like my little niece who died of AIDS, and she wasn’t a believer. She said, “What it’s going to be like?” And I said, “Well, you’re going to fall asleep. And when you wake up, you’ll be in such joy, such peace. Something that you’ve never, never lived before.” And she said, “But I’m not a believer.” I said, “But you remember when you were in that apartment in Paris, and there were some Turkish immigrants that you make cakes for them. I’ve always seen you as somebody kind. And so your kindness, you’ll find — it’ll be OK. And then the rest we will discover. It’s going to be exciting. It’s going to be wonderful.”
I am not strong in my faith, but I hang into the fact that I love my neighbors and fellow pilgrims!
Thank you immensely dear Cris. It all seems as you say loves, Felipé.