Thursday, October 6, 2011

Something I Want Him to Know for Sure

I met my son, Tom, five years before his actual birth.

I was cleaning my apartment, and as I walked through my bedroom, I was enlightened to the presence of a delightful, happy, young spirit that I could clearly feel to next me. I knew him to be my future son and could feel him letting me know how excited he was to be my boy and that he was ready and waiting to come to me. I had many years and lessons to learn before I would feel ready to be a mom on my end.

The encounter eventually faded completely from my mind, until eight years later when I was watching my three year old boy playing in front of me. He looked up and I smiled at him, and the experience from my small apartment so long ago came back to mind in an instant. I marveled at what an exact match this little brilliant, fun, happy, boy was to the little spirit I had felt many years before.

It has been a pleasure to play the role of mother to such a valiant soul. I love each moment and cherish my relationship with him above all else.

Tom wanted to join me in the doctor’s office this past summer, as we began to map out an invasive breast cancer diagnosis (with no family history or understandable cause). An unexpected turn that had set us both back off our heels, to say the least.

It was on the way home, both of us in deep contemplation at the enormity of our situation, that I held his hand and let him know that there is no way to know how this will all pan out; but something I do want him to know for sure is that I love him and that life (as fleeting as it can be) doesn’t end with death, regardless of any outcome concerning me.

I explained to Tom that if it is not my time, then everything we do will work, and the right treatments will fall into place for a full recovery, on what would be a very intense journey for him to witness as my son and for me to experience as his mom.

I also told him that if it is my time, then nothing we do will work, and in nearly the same breath, I explained to Tom that I have no fear of death.

We held hands tight as I told him that, if my passing were to be the outcome, I would simply move from my body and wrap my spirit around his for the rest of his days. I would be there no matter what, no matter where.

My heart burst with sorrow as I explained to my boy, that the only sadness I do feel at the idea of passing from my body, is that he may not be able to feel me, or be able to trust that I was still caring for him in more ways than he could ever know.

I experienced a depth of sadness I had never felt at the chance that he may not recognize that when something great happens during his day, that it was because I had a hand in it on his behalf. Or that when life gets tough, it was because I went to God and asked for just the right experience to make my son a better man; that there may be times in Tom’s life that he may not be able to feel me cheering him on and comforting him when in need of it.

In this moment of speaking one of my most cherished truths to my son, I gained an understanding of God, I had never fully known for myself.

So many traditions teach us to praise and acknowledge the universal hand of God in all things, even at the times that push us to our brink. And in this conversation, on one of the most tender days of my life, I told my son, that my love for him is how I know beyond a shadow of doubt, that God feels the same.

It’s not about giving credit to God so I can get to Heaven some day later on, or feel good about myself now, it’s about love. It’s always just about love, one Godly moment at a time, when Heaven spontaneously reveals itself, so pure and simple, to the heart.

In the months since being diagnosed, I have been at the brink many times (as I will continue to be for a while yet). This conversation in trying to teach Tom, (where I was being taught myself), to help him understand one of the most important things he will ever know, continues to be an important reflecting point on my own journey.

Much of the road still lies before us, but what I know so far is that regardless of when I pass from this life, I have to trust that if I could feel my son before he came, then he will certainly be able to feel me after I go, whenever that time may be, at whatever the stage in Tom's life...and in this I feel true peace.

From the day he was born, Tom has been a motivating strength in my life in so many ways. Being his mom continues to teach me many of life’s most important lessons, and as always, I love him for it.

In the course of treatments so far, and to the astonishment of my many doctors, the tumor has dissipated down to near nothing and prognosis is looking good. It gives us strength to continue trusting that we are on the right path. I know this initial outcome is a result of much of the prayer, faith, fasting and support of so many of you, and Tom and I want to thank you. As it stands now, we have reason to expect nothing less than full recovery by early 2012.

It has been important for me to pay attention to the fact that this journey has not been an easy, quick fix. No miraculous snap of my yogi fingers and “poof” it’s gone, no immunity from life experience that pulls me up by the roots, just because I’ve tried to do my best to create optimal health in body, mind and spirit. Only a deep and increased capacity to fully experience it all first-hand, and for that I am grateful on many levels.

As the path of necessary treatment regimens have scrolled their way out before me, the message that has shown up is: that for now I am to labor at the “brink” of things. For now this is where I am, and this is where I will understand love in ways not possible otherwise.

Tom and I know we are not on our own in this experience. We thank you, thank you, for every kindness, and we continue to lean on them with gratitude that surpasses words.