Many Ways to Give

Light at Last!

Today is Mother’s Day.  My last post was on the day that mom died, December 30th.  Someone recently let me know that there are followers of my blog who don’t actually know me and are curious about how I’m doing.  Time for another post.  Hopefully my last.

I’m feeling good.  In many ways, I am happier than I have ever been.  Much weight has been lifted.  Except for a daily pill, my cancer treatments are finished.  I had the last infusion in February and had my port removed soon after.  Although my white blood cell count remains low, leaving me especially vulnerable to infections because the bone marrow has not yet fully recovered, I think of myself as done with the cancer stuff!

I have also lost a lot of body weight (on purpose).  I know, through statistics and personal experience, to remain humbled and to enjoy this while I have it.  Roughly 90% of people who lose a significant amount weight gain it back, and I have certainly experienced that myself.  Excess weight is a very complicated thing.  I will just enjoy where I am now, not knowing where things will go from here.

The loss of both my parents in one year was, of course, horrible, but it is the normal course of events.  My dad’s last six months were difficult, and mom’s last year and a half was especially hard.  The sudden change in living situation, the loss of her soul mate, and all during a pandemic was horrendous.  In many ways, the development of a brain tumor was a gift.  She became very confused, but also calmed.  The anxiety I felt about the future of my parents, their health, and their financial situation, is now gone.  Lifted completely away.  Sometimes we don’t know how heavy a load is until it’s been removed.  I often wonder if I am not grieving properly, but I know that everyone does so differently.  I have no regrets, knowing that I walked them home the best way I know how.  They are gone.  But their gifts?  I will always have them. 

In some ways I feel as light as a feather, floating, enjoying life very much.  Last week the feather got a little rained on as I finally returned to the National Institutes of Health where I’m followed for an autoimmune liver condition.  Because of the pandemic/cancer induced hiatus, it had been a while.  The blood numbers are apparently going in the wrong direction, and the doctors want to add another medication to the five pills a day I already take for it.

But I feel grateful for the lightness I have now, experiencing joy where I find it, like the pictured elephant.  I know that tomorrow may be different, but today is a good day.  Through the last 18 months I have learned many things that I have tried to share with you.  My last thought?  There are lots of ways to give.  Through this horrible time, I have received gifts from many people.  And all so different.  When I see pain in someone else, I often feel frozen in fear as to what I can possibly do.  But I know now.  Just do.  Whatever I can think of.  We can’t go wrong.  The only thing that I received that hurt was the questioning of my religious beliefs.  But even that, I know, came from a wellspring of love.  I chose to receive the love.  The gifts showed such a breadth of diversity, that I now realize that there are many, many ways to give to people.  We just need to do it.  The love will be felt.

I am enjoying the beauty of the present, with anticipation of a future, but know that whatever happens, I will accept it and do the best I can.  Journeys are made smoother through the gestures of friendship.  Kindness is everything as we walk through this great mystery that is life.  Thank you for yours.


6 thoughts on “Many Ways to Give

  1. Your writing is an inspiration to us all and for me in particular one of your closing phrases, “I am enjoying the beauty of the present” captures your message best.

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  2. SO beautifully written. I appreciate the reminder to “just do.” Thank you for sharing these nuggets of wisdom with all of us. Your life story is an inspiration, and there’s so much more to come of it. 😁

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  3. Thank you for sharing your reflections, Debbie. Your words are so very eloquent! One of the lines that resonated most with me is “Sometimes we don’t know how heavy a load is until it’s been removed.” I know you loved your parents dearly, yet their declining health presented many heartwrenching challenges. With those challenges lifted, in addition to the end of your cancer and your weight loss, I am relieved that you are enjoying a happier time. You’ve done a remarkable job with remote teaching; now it’s almost time to enjoy your summer! I look forward to spending some time with you and other fully vaccinated people soon! Sending lots of love

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  4. Thank you for this update, Debbie. I have been wondering how you are doing. Your thoughts convey a sense of peace that is a gift to the reader. I wish you all the best as you look forward to the next steps on your journey.

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  5. Hi, Debbie, your relating of your hard-learned journey through life to a place of acceptance, peace and joy is an inspiration. The sharing of all of it has been a gift. Thank you for that.

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  6. While I’ve hated the circumstances, I have treasured sharing your journey and hearing your thoughts in this blog. You’ve been through so much. I am glad your precious life is moving in a better direction.

    You still have so much to offer in this blog. You are an exceptional writer and an extraordinary interesting person. I hope you’ll reconsider and keep posting. We aren’t following your disease, we are following you. Of course, the decision is yours, but your posts will be missed.

    Big hugs!

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