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“Sorry I’m late. Got tied up at the rectory, it being Sunday and all—it was the blueberry pancake breakfast for the kids and their families,” he said standing on my front porch, a balmy breeze blowing the boxwood hedges behind him. It was Father Dan, Pastor of the College Church, his Roman collar gracing his long sleeve clergy shirt.

“You’re just on time,” I said escorting him to the dining room table around which we sat. “I’ve been looking forward to this.” I had received the Sacrament of the Sick numerous times before knee surgeries and within healing Masses, but I sensed this would be different— the unexpected pitfalls of my terminal illness, especially the long nights, still cried out for God’s mercy.

“I’m so glad to help you out, Liz,” he said smiling as he withdrew from his pocket the sacred olive oil and the pyx containing the consecrated host. Then he found the place in his worn ritual book and placed it in front of him. Only chirping of tree sparrows enlivened the silence we shared as we waited for the Lord’s fullness to manifest.

Antiphonal prayer followed a reading from the Gospel of Matthew: Come to me all you who are heavily burdened and I will give you rest. My yoke is easy, my burden light. Then dipping his fingertip into the olive oil, Father Dan traced the sign of the cross upon my forehead saying in hushed tones, “Through this holy anointing may the Lord in his love and mercy help you with the grace of the Holy Spirit.”

Then, other crosses upon the palms of my hands, with the prayer, “May the Lord who frees you from sin save you and raise you up.” It was done—graced crosses resonated within my entire person: body, mind, spirit.

Fragrance like blossoming olive trees seeped into the wiggle-room of my humanness and soothed the rough edges of my terminal illness. I would not lose heart.

 

It was clearly my intent to honor my fatigue and cut back on the frequency of my blogs, but my Dreamer had other designs. At 1:30 a.m., this dream pulled me from deep sleep; it would be worked with. Since it’s about obedience of the heart, here goes:

 I’m at the airport. In a bin, I spot a large plastic sack filled with multi-colored crocheted yarn squares that the deceased Betty Savard had worked on, intending to join them into an afghan. I retrieve the sack and will restore it to her family.

 Airports suggest places of departure and certainly reference my present circumstances: homebound yet on the move, solitary yet with a different orientation to life. In the dream I’ve not boarded my flight, as there is more work to be completed.

The large bin, a container filled with unclaimed odds and ends left behind by other passengers and later found by airport employees, suggests my unconscious. And Betty Savard, a gifted seamstress and friend, was devoted to her life, not without hardships.

My discovery of the multi-colored crocheted yarn squares is the nub of the dream: colorful pieces of my life still to be worked into a new whole. Since I do not know how to crochet, I’ll have to ask for help. And I will …

 

 

 

 

Fatigue requires my attention, so I am cutting back on the frequency of my blogs

I need to sit still, listen, and wait while the sun drenches me.

Until the next blog, my thanks and love …

 

Photo taken on the grounds of Eastern Point Retreat House, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 2013. I used to rest on this bench after returning from walks by the ocean.

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