When I was a little girl, my biggest fear was that my Granny Coady was going to die. As a child, my grandmother was my constant source of love, comfort and security. She was in every sense, home, and the thought of losing her terrified me. I remember lying in my bed one night; I was about 10 years old, and praying to God to just let my granny live until I was 16. (I might note that my grandmother was in perfect health and the prayer was coming from a complete place of paranoia. Also, to me at the time, 16 seemed to be an appropriate age where I would consider myself grown up enough to deal with the devastation that would follow the death of my beloved granny). It’s no great surprise that when my 16th birthday arrived I was overwhelmed with the weight of the bargaining chip I had played. This is where it started, my incessant need to haggle with the divine.
Despite the fact that over time my relationship with and notions of God have changed, old habits die hard. Sometimes at night, when I’m rocking Coady back to sleep, that old familiar feeling of panic will rise up in my throat and I find myself silently suggesting, just until he doesn’t need me, or just until he can remember how much I love him. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t entertain the idea of dying as even a possibility, I’m just saying, if I can buy a little time here and there, there’s no point in wasting an opportunity.
It’s been just over a month since my diagnosis. Last week I had Dave shave my head. I cried and he held me.
There is something to be said for having to face one’s mortality. I feel authentic, strong, loved and at peace with even the rebellious cells in my body. On a daily basis, whenever I become aware that my mind is drifting I say to myself:
I am in the process of healing my body.
I reject the disease in my breast.
My tumor is melting away like the snow.
Thank you for this lesson in gratitude.
It’s getting late, tomorrow morning I’ll call my granny and tell her about my day.