This was our original wedding day. Lammas, the harvest festival. We were planning to decorate the tables with apples, a symbol of the harvest and also abundance, nourishment and fertility. As it turns out, Gary and I were blessed with all of those things despite being married in the first days of spring. Today, instead of waking up early to get one last anxiety-fueled run in before hair, makeup and photos under a dreary Seattle sky, I slept as long as I needed to, ran a slow but satisfying treadmill 4 miles in air conditioning and laughed as Gary sang ridiculous songs to my ever growing belly. WAY better.
This is the time of year of abundance. It is also the beginning of heading back into the dark days. I like this parallel, this seeming contradiction. It is a time of celebrating how much you have, of enjoying the riches and pleasures of the world, while still acknowledging that these are fleeting. We've had so many good days, days of strength, of vitality, of positive energy. But right on the other side of life's blade are these days of worry, of pain, of hospital monitors and the Intensive Care Unit.
This morning, Mom was feeling better than yesterday. She'd slept well and the pain had lessened a bit. I think once again that we're so lucky, that the pain isn't staying or getting worse or becoming unmanageable. She has tubes connected to her back, to her port...so many she can't keep track. But everything is stable. She's just exhausted.
She has been fighting non stop for seven months. Every day brings new challenges, and just as one thing is figured out and conquered, something else pops up. She has so many doctors, nurses, therapists, rabbis, friends and family members orchestrating interventions, treatments, workouts, spiritual advise, laundry, mail sorting, bill paying, insurance wrangling, and scheduling that it's sometimes literally impossible to keep track of anything. Except how hard she's fighting. How much she loves her life. How determined she is to persevere with grace, dignity and a will of steel. We are so blessed with abundance. Even when the days turn dark and cold.