The doctor’s words resonated in my mind.
Not the most virulent form of the disease, but it’ll still be a difficult time.
How difficult, how long, how anything? No matter how many answers I was given, they didn’t silence the questions that rose in a chorus inside.
“Mommy. Mommy?” My daughter’s voice broke through my reverie. Absent-mindedly, I poured her a bowl of cereal and set it on the table. How could life be so ordinary and so extraordinary at the same time? Perhaps, I should have put her cereal in a bone china bowl. Everything was out of time, out of synchronization. All because of one word.
“Will you read to me?”
“Can we go for a walk?”
She eyed me with a puzzled look on her face and pouted, then fished in the milk for bits of cereal. The phone rang. More questions, promises of endless forms to fill out. They’d be the death of me. I grinned wryly at my pathetic sarcasm.
How long had this unwanted disease been developing inside me; when did the first cells begin dividing erratically, discordantly? Why could I not tell that I was harbouring something that was not in accordance with my being?
The fatigue had stolen over me until I felt as though I was dancing a waltz to four four time, out of step, out of time, not keeping up to the world around me, failing, falling.
“Mommy, I’m done. Story now?”
We cuddled on the sofa, both wrapped in the same fleecy blanket. Her warm body pressed against mine, her breathing rose and fell in a gentle cadence and wafted a fragrant blend of babyhood and girlhood, princess and drama queen. No, God, no, I need more, much more than this. I’ve not yet heard her sing the whole “ABC song.” I want to hear the “Bridal Chorus” from “Lohengrin” for her. I’m selfish enough to want to hear her hum Brahm’s “Lullaby.”
We read the story and then another. The day passed.
Another day passed. A turning. A moving.
Choices to be made.
Life has become a dance.
Sometimes, I feel like I am being pulled from one dance partner to another, never sure where I am going next. Sometimes, it’s a slow dance, waiting, just being held close by those who love me, savouring, being, knowing, resting. Sometimes, it is simply swaying in one spot and breathing.
I often wonder why me? and answer my own question with why not me? I’ve been busy for so long, doing too much, perhaps, and maybe this is God’s way of saying it’s time to take a rest. Even music is defined by the inclusion of pauses and silences amidst the crescendos, not just sounds imposed on the air waves.
Would that the offensive cells in my body succumb to the prayer that they align with God’s design for harmony, that every dissonant measure be dissolved. It has become my prayer, my plea for a miracle, my song for survival.
The sun rises each morning, and I am triumphant that this is a new day, a new world. My Father’s world.
This is my Father’s world, and to my listening ears
All nature sings, and round me rings the music of the spheres... *
The sun rises and sets, and round about it the planets move, their massiveness providing no hindrance as they glide in a celestial symphony, a planetary dance of monumental proportions. What sound is heard as they sweep majestically through space?
Surely our Father who sets the planets to spin and shine will remember me and my malforming cells and the disharmony they have wrought in my life. His voice calls all of creation into being, from the smallest of insignificant cells to the most magnificent of heavenly bodies. At His command, the thunder roars and the waters flow, the forests flourish and fields of grain yield bountiful harvests. The earth is His music.
I wait. I hope. I believe. I dance.
“Mommy, can we sing?”
“Yes, baby, we can.”
* “This is My Father’s World” Words: Maltbie B. Babcock, 1901. Music: Traditional English Melody.
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