Monday, September 26, 2005


Over the last two weeks I have been dealing with one of my dreaded coughs. I have written about these frigging recurring coughs I get and am bored to tears with the subject. Last night, I actually did resort to tears. I don’t do this very often because while I don’t think I am in denial, I really just won’t go to the “feeling sorry for myself” space. After two weeks of non-stop coughing though, something obviously got the better of me, and last night as I sat on the loo just before going into the shower, I lost it!

I cried and cried and cried and really got into a space of not understanding why this happens to me, feeling sorry for myself. I felt sorry about the fact that in spite of my best efforts to keep a healthy headspace about everything, I find myself in this situation where my body just gets the better of me. I cried about the fear I experience when I get to this place.

While thinking about this today, I reminded myself of one of my core beliefs, that there really and truly is a blessing in everything. As dark and horrible as things might be at times, and as challenging and hard as the places are that we sometimes find ourselves in, if we are willing to look, there is the beauty of blessings.

When I have one of these coughs, the best place for me is on my reclining chair, with my c-pap machine on. I have to just surrender to stepping off the treadmill of my normal day-to-day activities, rest my body and take advantage of the fact that when I use my breathing aid, I don’t cough. When I don’t cough, I don’t get physically wiped out and I prevent myself from having to build up my strength and get back to where I was before the cough started.

So I thought …

I thought about my husband. How he stood there last night and watched me cry, and cry and did I say, cry!? Therein lies a blessing. Someone who knows when to say and do nothing. Someone, who in his silence and stillness creates a safe space for me to let go.

I thought about my son. This caring, nurturing being that comes to my aid with tissues when he hears me coughing from the next room. Therein lies a blessing. This strong child, who in spite of any fears he might have, rises above them and knows when to back off, take care of himself and can sense when I just don’t have any energy to spend on him.

I thought about my Mom, who doesn’t burden me with the thoughts I can read in her mind as she aches watching me pretend that I am not struggling because I don’t want to burden her feelings. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my friend Jodi who just arrived here because she hadn’t seen me on line and because we hadn’t spoken on the phone in a couple of hours. These are gestures you expect from people you have a longer history with. These are moments that shift friendships to the next level. The simplicity of a random act of kindness and love. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my neighbor Alyson. I thought about her voice mail telling me she had gone away for the weekend and wanted me to know that even though she wouldn’t be next door, her cell phone would be on the whole weekend. I thought about how cool it makes us feel when we know people stop and think about us as they go about their busy lives. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my sister who stops and calls me incessantly through her madly busy work days, just to hear how I am doing. Always being in someone’s orbit. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my friend Leigh, who sent me a bouquet of cookies because cookies are good medicine and who was content with text messages and emails telling her not to call me but to wait until I was ready to call her because I was not in the mood for yapping on the phone. I thought about how she just gets it and it is always ok with it. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about Marti, who is minutes away from getting married and how she just keeps my home, my child, my laundry, my food shopping, and, and, and all that ticking over, even though it is probably the last thing she feels like doing in her life right now. Therein lies a blessing.

I thought about my friend Denise (no, not that one, my American friend, Denise). So similar to the South African Denise in so many ways. I thought about how she too somehow laughs with me when I need her to, cries to me when she needs to, and never says no to watching Ross for me when I need her to. Therein lies a blessing.

And I am smiling as I write this, about the people who will email me and bitch at me because I might not have mentioned them in this post. Therein lies a blessing.