Thursday, July 2, 2009

That Hideous Strength

I had a dream that I was running and I never got tired, but I was carrying all these random things that hindered me and I didn't want to carry them, but I didn't want to leave them either. I was in the neighborhood of the house I lived in when I was a young girl, but no one in my family was in the house when I walked in the front door. No one was there at all.

It was a strange dream and I only mention it because I feel like it has something to do with...something. I'm sure the only meaning behind it is the fact that I've been jogging and last time I went out I got cold...thus why I was carring a bulky hoodie in my dream. Makes sense, right?

However, as is my wont, I looked up my dream online and every site I visited told me in no uncertain terms that to dream that you are running with ease signifies freedom and confidance. I hope that that means my life as a whole, because I don't feel free and confident at the moment. I feel trapped and stressed and anxious and incredibly vulnerable. There are too many things happening in my life and as I've thought about how to record them, I simply come up empty handed and overwhelmed by the plethora of thoughts coursing through my mind.

My beloved Nonna, grandmother on my father's side, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer last month. Oh dreaded word! I had a co-worker a couple of years ago who was diagnosed with the same. He quit on the spot and spent his last days enjoying his family and enjoying life. He died 9 months later. This is the first thing I thought of when I heard the news. No, when I first heard the news I couldn't think of anything behind the searing pain in my mind. I couldn't focus on anything else but clenching my skirt in my hands because somehow it seemed that as long as I held on tight enough, everything would refocus.

Everything has not refocused. The tears have not stopped since and they come at the most inopportune times. Like right now. Sitting at my desk after a frustrating morning and I think of when I stayed with her for 3 weeks when she fought and beat cancer the first time 10 years ago. "The most important tool in the kitchen are your hands," she told me as she measured grated parmesian cheese in her work-worn, beautiful hands. We were making zucchini pattis like only she can make them. It's funny how I can make them exactly the way she does, follow all the steps and use all the same ingrediants, but it's never the same. Life will never be the same without her.

And yet, I still have hope that she'll survive the chemo and the radiation as they shrink the tumor and operate to remove it. The fact that the doctors are hopeful, in the face of such a hopeless cancer, gives me hope that I am all at once grateful for and completely scared of.

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding..."