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At 6 AM., I awoke with this dream:

I’m alone, content. I put my whole heart into singing lullabies until I no longer recall the next verse. Then, I recite nursery rhymes that I remember; their melodies and rhythms and repetitions tinkle, within, like my neighbor’s wind chimes.

A soothing dream, its story is unlike any I’ve experienced. I appear well, having sufficient breath to support both singing and reciting; their rhythms and repetitions lighten and enlarge my world. My bloodshot eyes smile, unlike my usual glum look when alone.

Within my psyche exists a caregiver, intent upon helping me befriend my terminally ill body and relax into each moment, despite death’s shortening them—A unique time in my life, I can only do this once.

But there was a time when I had belted out “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” marveling how the nursery rhyme echoed off the walls of my study. My Pilates coach recommended this practice to increase the stamina and volume in my speech. It worked for a while until, too fatigued, I stopped. 

However, the gift of this morning’s dream implanted these nurturing ditties within my unconscious and reminds to pull one of them out whenever overwhelmed—Like “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” reminding me to gently pull for my body needs and access Higher Power’s grace for the next challenge. After all, it’s only a stream…

One year has passed since signing up for hospice for which I am still eligible, per Medicare’s guidelines for participation. Aside from my lung issues, my advanced age also qualifies me.

That first week of hospice was overwhelming. In and out of my front door streamed hospice staff, each with their expertise: the nurse’s explanation of hospice with its multiple forms requiring my signature, the social worker’s information about burial plans and agencies with paid caregivers, and the chaplain with spiritual balm for my frazzled spirit. In and out of my front door also streamed deliveries of a concentrator, six tanks of oxygen, and a portable oxygen tank, followed by Mucinex from hospice’s pharmacy. My lawyer, funeral director, and Pastor also visited and received the final touches for my burial plans. Then, my phone kept ringing with teary-eyed friends.

Admittedly, that week of high drama felt like forced feeding, all the more painful because of flying high on an inappropriate dose of Dexamethasone, “the little blue pill,” mentioned in my early blogs.

Then, days, weeks, months passed, with ninety-day visits from the nurse practioner to evaluate my decline that warranted the continuation of hospice. Last spring’s additional helpers for personal care firmed my case.

Blogging this process has left a trail of new learning: books reviewed, seasonal changes outside my study window, significant dreams, vignettes of helpers, emerging sense of my mortality, prayers, together with my recovery work in Chronic Pain Anonymous.

The fact remains—I’ve not died! And there appears little clinical evidence that this will happen soon. 

So I’ve re-framed my sense of dying to that of living in the body of an old woman, a time of low drama with languorous phases of soul-looking at the significant. Such surrender will inform my blogs with content larger in scope than what I’ve produced. That’s my hope.

Thanks for your continuing interest.

What happened to the summer? How did August 24th happen? Last March’s alarm over the Covid-19 pandemic has petered down to anecdotal reports. And it feels like last November’s hospice sign-up occurred two weeks ago. Like trick mirrors at a carnival, Planet Earth’s vertigo fuels caricatures of reality. How not to be duped, maintain balance, and not topple over?

Is anyone paying attention?

This is a bit of a stretch but could we be enclosed in a Time Machine, its throttles set at full tilt toward the future? Who or what sits at the controls? For what reason? Within the depths of emerging technologies lies darkness, too opaque to penetrate and only surface when convenient for the agenda of the global puppeteers.

Indeed, such sleight-of-hand appears to be the new normal and few are aware of the paradigm shift disabling our senses, watering down our values, and scarping our dreams. Like frogs slow boiling over low heat, we will eventually lose our life if measures to stay conscious are not rigorously taken.

“But that requires effort—takes me away from my nightly Netflix,” you might hear. “I much prefer hanging out with buddies of like mind. That’s all the support I need. Do leave me alone.”

Such attitudes cry in the face of Spirit’s passion to companion us in truth. And only within truth’s ambiance do we discover ultimate meaning for getting out of bed each morning to face each day’s challenges.

This is especially the case in waiting, with my eyes wide open, for the next insight to explore, then blog. Eternal life can’t be that far away, but maybe it is.

 

 

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