“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said, so long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into something that’s like you after you take your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in the touching, he said. The lawn-cutter might just as well not have been there at all; the gardener will be there a lifetime.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
When I was laying in my hospital bed in ’05, I didn’t know if I would be coming home. No one could figure out what was going on with my body. I was so weak, even sitting up in bed was exhausting. I couldn’t eat as every time I tried to put something in my stomach my insides would scream in pain. The intense migraines were getting totally unbearable. There was the extreme vertigo and the weird things happening with my heart.
One evening during that weak, I suddenly had this really odd sensation run through my body. It was quite scary and the next thing I knew, my whole body went thought this strange seizure-like experience. Every muscle in my body starting contracting. I remember looking down at my hands and they were all contorted. They reminded me of the hands of someone who has been afflicted with severe arthritis. A nurse sat with me through this and then they called my husband. He got the kids settled at home and then came and sat with me till I was settled enough to go to sleep.
The whole experience, though, left me very unsettled. All I could think about was my family. How many things were left unsaid. If this was my last moment, what would I want to leave behind. The next day, I asked my husband to bring me a notebook and pen and I wrote letters to my husband and kids saying the things I would want them to know if I didn’t pull through this. Much of what I wrote would not be relevant to them yet, but would be at some point in there lives.
Obviously, I did make it out of the hospital and I did survive. We were finally able to figure out that all of these strange symptoms were the result of Multiple Chemical Sensitivities (MCS). Once we were able to start clearing our home of the chemicals that were triggering these symptoms, things started to turn around for me.
I eat a clean diet and fast periodically. I can’t control my environment completely, so I still have days that I wish I didn’t have to have. I have contemplated the idea of moving away to a cleaner environment, away from all of the pollution, but that would also remove me from my family. We are a small unit, which makes it all the more precious to me.
This experience left me with the constant reminder that I don’t want t leave this earthly home with things undone and unspoken. That has been my hearts desire since that time. It is very slow going, as the strength isn’t always there. Then there are the days when the brain fog sets in and things pretty much run on auto-pilot those days and there is not much chance of accomplishing any task other that the most necessary.
There are messages however, that I don’t want left unspoken. The time doesn’t always present itself to share these words, and sometimes the recipient isn’t ready yet. That is where the power of the written word comes in and it is one of the reasons for this blog. When the time is right, the reader will come.
Authoring this blog has also made me realize that I still have a lot of healing to do, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Initially, it seemed like a fairly simple process of setting time aside each week to share what I felt led to share. I have done some journaling in the past, but that is just for me. This was supposed to be something more transparent, something that I could share with others. I have always known that I am a fairly private person and that trait is one of the reasons that I feel many don’t really know who I am and what brought me to this point of wanting to open up more.
The opening up process is going to take longer than I had anticipated. I do appreciate the realm of the blogging world because even if no one is reading this, there is still some type of accountability to log in and share something, even if only on a periodic basis. And the growth will happen in it’s own time.