Saturday, December 10, 2016


I am in my new house (the one in which I currently live) and expecting company - Calvin - my hairstylist (who, in real life, I had just spoken with that day about purchasing a wig because so much of my hair has fallen out). Calvin arrives, but I am falling asleep and would like to stay asleep (even in the dream, I realize how precious sleep is, because even in the dream I remember I can never sleep bc of my brain damage).

So I am alternating at this point between trying to sleep and trying to entertain Calvin/show him around.

We go upstairs and Reba Olcott is there. (Reba is a friend from The Mayo Clinic pain management program, where I spent all of last April, being treated like a non-compliant hypochondriac). Calvin is in another room, so I continue the tour with Reba.

The house morphs and somewhat resembles a home I lived in at the end of high school.

We go into a room that is within the house where my brothers, sister and I lived previously (small), but in this dream it is a very large spare bedroom with walls made out of the drop-down ceiling material. I remember even in the dream being impressed at how large this spare bedroom was.

I go into the room and above the bed there is a lofted space with another bed. This shocks me. I never knew it was there before, but I smile. "This was Madison's secret room" or something like that I say to Reba.

For those who do not know, Madison is my sister who passed away in a car accident in 2007 when she was only 16.

At this point Calvin joins us just as I am wondering how to get up to Madison's room.

I see what appears to be a wire way up to the lofted bedroom on the back of the closet door, which most people would just hang shoes on. It was a shoe rack, but somehow I could climb it? I use that to climb up.

Calvin and Reba cheer me on from the ground, as suddenly the staircase becomes, like, some sort of bungee/highwire thing that I use to swing up to Madison's lofted bedroom.

When I get up there, there is a clear glass jar encased inside a giant grandfather clock. The clock is ticking, but I am staring into the vase, as I see Madison's reflection - a reflection of a picture she took in high school which now is carved into her tombstone - reflecting at me through the vase.

"Madison is here!," I say. I look down at Calvin and Reba - "Can you see her? She's right there! Can you see her?"

They both answer that no, they cannot.

I need to say here that this was a reflection of a picture - Madison was not trying to actually communicate with me in any way...

But then I saw it - from the urn inside the grandfather clock - there was a vein pulsing in Madison's neck. And the vein got bigger and bigger and bigger - pulsing as if it was going to explode.

And I realized, it was not a vein, it was MY GOITER - the one I developed back in September when the thyroid problems started coming on.

I woke, terrified.

I am frightened of what this means.

I am frightened it means my time on earth is limited, and something having to do with the goiter or some other part of my illness (the sleep, the pain stuff) is going to kill me. Or leave me bed bound, as I was in a secret bedroom.

I know it sounds like mumbo-jumbo, but Madison hasn't appeared in one of my dreams since right after she died. And the context of this dream was not comforting. It was not healing. It was terrifying.

And there is so much symbolism - the clock, the urn, the tombstone picture, the bedroom in the sky...

Clock, urn, bedroom in the sky - is this a death omen?

Does anyone out there have the power to interpret dreams?

Thursday, December 8, 2016

And you can tell everybody that this is your song

I have a debilitating chronic illness that I fear will kill or forever disable me.

That said, I am the luckiest woman alive.

See, in His infinite wisdom, God saw fit to grant me YOU.

You, friends, at whose wisdom, caring, compassion, patience, parenting skills, generosity I marvel.

Sincerely, I sit in awe of you.

I spend the hours that I am not terrified being instead humbled and amazed.

I know some people who are truly so remarkable that they may - and must - be among the greatest on the planet.

That is not hyperbole.

Shit situations tend to bring out the best and/or the worst in people.

And make no mistake, I am in a shit situation.

But from this situation I have gained perspective.

Not that I didn't know that you were amazing before... but perhaps my new situation gave me more time to truly ruminate on it. And gave you chances to shine through my darkness.

Either way...

As I type, I think of those persons who passed on before me and the lessons they taught. The bravery they showed. And I hope to one day even be a pale imitation of their example.

I think of those whose lives, lived however briefly, nonetheless had a profound impact on me.

And I am grateful.

I am grateful to those of you who stepped up and forward when I got sick - offering support from sometimes the most surprising of places.

I thank you.

As I type, I have friends going through the greatest of adversities - one friend suffered the loss of her husband and then was robbed within the same month. Her resilience is astonishing.

Another friend is donating a body part to a complete stranger.

Given a thousand lifetimes, I will never be able to fully comprehend that level of compassion. Or why someone so spectacular has found it in her heart to love me.

Another friend fought her way through every kind of abuse and through homelessness to become the first college graduate in her family. And though it was a different fight than my own, I hope one day I can show even one iota of her strength.

I have a student in my life who has grown into the most incredible young woman. As smart and beautiful as she is brave, it is a goal of mine to one day be actually deserving of her admiration.

And then there are a few who have stepped out from the shadows to offer me kindness and support when they know I am not able to return it. Each of you taught me the meaning of true, selfless caring and compassion.

It is through YOU I have seen God's grace.

For the past year and a half I have prayed over and over and heard nothing.

I have felt God abandon me to my fate.

But when I look to the left and right of me, I see the Gifts of the Spirit shining through people who, for whatever reasons, were placed in my life, and my resentment turns to gratitude.

I passionately love each and every one of you.

I stand in awe of you.

Thank you.

Thank you.

Thank you.