Monday, 18 March 2013

Assorted Good Things

I haven't posted in the last week because it was March Break.  I had very few lessons and used my week to start my major Spring cleaning.  This is a good thing in that 2 years ago I didn't have the energy to do it.  Last year, I wasn't well enough to do it.  I love the smell of a clean, aired out house as well as the knowledge that all the nooks and crannies are cleaned.  Just the knowledge that the dust bunnies have been evicted from their hiding places makes me feel rejuvenated and satisfied.  Order has been restored and my world (inner and outer) feels less chaotic.  This is the one time of year where I can indulge my compulsions and justify my acting on them.  I always feel more at peace with a clean home around me.  So I've started my Spring Cleaning and am slowly and methodically making my way through my home.

A few weeks ago, I received a poem from my mother's cousin.  I had never met her mother (one of my great-aunts) because she had died of breast cancer many years before I was born.  However, I knew the story of my grandmother's sister.  Anyway, my mom's cousin informed me in a letter, that arrived along with the poem, that she remembered this poem hanging as a plaque in the hallway outside her mother's bedroom door.  This plaque gained it's place in the hallway not long after my great-aunt had received the diagnosis of terminal breast cancer while she was pregnant with another child.  My mom's cousin sent me the poem because she had been one of my supporters from a distance and she also had a recent health concern.  She felt that I would received comfort from the poem.  She was so right!  I want to share it on my blog.

God hath not promised
Skies always blue.
Flower-strewn pathways
All our lives thro';
God hath not promised
Sun without rain.
Joy without sorrow,
Peace without pain.
God hath not promised
We shall not know
Toil and temptation,
Trouble and woe:
He hath not told us
We shall not bear
Many a burden,
Many a care.
God hath not promised
Smooth roads and wide,
Swift, easy travel,
Needing no guide;
Never a mountain,
Rocky and steep,
Never a river
Turbid and deep:
But God hath promised
Strength for the day,
Rest after labour.
Light for our way,
Grace for all trials,
Help from above,
Unfailing sympathy,
Undying love. 

I can just imagine my great-aunt reading this daily as she was pregnant and knowing that she was dying of breast cancer.  When I remember back to being pregnant with my own children, I can just imagine the bittersweet feelings my great-aunt must have felt.  The joy of carrying a child and feeling that child move within you but then also knowing that you would not be around to get to know and watch this baby grow.  The sorrow that my great-aunt must have felt as she also had two little girls already and knowing that she wouldn't see them grow and mature.  Myself, I find deep meaning in the last stanza of the poem.  Strength, Rest, Grace, Unfailing sympathy, Undying love and a Light for our way.....these words and phrases give me comfort and a feeling of a constant presence is with me for me to lean on at all times.  I share this not to "force" my own beliefs on anyone but as an attempt to offer comfort and another "tool" to help other people/friends who are currently going through diagnostic testing and/or are newly diagnosed with cancer.
On a happier note, I've been able to sing a little more all the time.  I've been attending my church choir rehearsals.  At first I could only sing alto.  Then I could sing some soprano but drop to alto because my range hadn't developed to the higher notes yet.  My stamina for singing during a full rehearsal has also been increasing.  I'm very tired on Fridays after the evening choir rehearsal on Thursday nights but I'm happy to be back singing again.  Yesterday morning, I sang in the choir for the church service for the first time since November 2011.  What a joy it was!!!  I was asked if my voice was back 100%.  I think it is about 80%.  I don't have my full range back yet and some of the higher notes are not consistently there.  It takes more effort for me to sing than it did before but that is just because I'm out of shape.  I'm so happy that I'm able to participate in the choir again!  I must say that I find myself getting "choked up" as I sing the hymns.  The meanings of the words and phrases in the hymns seem to touch my heart and soul much more deeply than they did before I was sick.  This says a lot because the words and phrases have always meant a great deal to me.  There were numerous times yesterday in the service where my eyes would fill with tears and my heart would be full of emotion.  But again I can't express how much joy I'm getting out of singing again!
Singing helps me to worship, praise and fully feel the presence of God.  Music is a balm to my soul and always has been.  It feels so wonderfully good to be alive and to be reaching new milestones as I continue to heal.

1 comment:

  1. I bet you are really excited about singing! That is something you've no doubt really missed. I'm happy to hear that this part of you is healing as well. One day at a time, and one foot in front of the other.

    That is a beautiful poem. It is so inspirational. I've never run across anything as lovely as this. Thank you for sharing it. How sad about your great aunt. It breaks my heart just thinking about it. What a bittersweet situation to be facing. Birth and death together at the same time.