Lain's Log

Time to move on

May 20/11

I need to point myself in a new direction. But how to do it?
Since my diagnosis on March 9th, I've found the tendency is to stay frozen in one spot. Frozen out of fear? Frozen because I really don't know which way to turn or who to turn TO? Whatever is going on here, it sure hasn't been moving AHEAD. As Stephen Sondheim wrote - "Move on!"
(Easy for you to say Stevie baby! I know you're a genius, but how?)

Years ago, a friend, Mary Morgan McKnight sent our family a set of 36 "Calm Cards" which she wrote to help those in stress. One of them says, "If you can't do anything else, just turn toward the light. A slow gentle turning - that is all." Decided to walk, taking in the fresh air. Another of Mary's cards suggests, "Think of moments in your life when you felt most alive and happy. What were you doing?" I just kept walking and came across a garden centre with lots of colourful flowers. Stopped to look at them. Another "Mary card" asks you to receive what nature is giving you. What I got was colour and beauty.


So many pretty flowers!


Continued the walk till I hit Postables, a greeting card store and post office on the Danforth. My goal was to mail a box of sentimental, nostalgic items to my 85-year-old Dad (Rex Loring) in Oakville. During the clean-out of our late Mum's things at her home, my sister Carrie and I, discovered a number of items my Dad might enjoy perusing. It's been decades since he's seen them - old articles about the CBC years, some from his radio days at CHEX in Peterborough and even an old LP of the musical Irma La Douce - the original broadway cast album featuring Keith Michell - (the only item Dad actually requested). He saw the show with Mum when they were newlyweds and loved the music. Mailed off the box, which he should receive (likely with surprise), later today.

Leaving Postables, I discovered a rack of greeting cards. (as a card fanatic, it was hard to believe I'd never seen these particular ones before). They're made by a company called Blue Mountain Arts. I stopped and read a number of them. I usually prefer funny cards, but the messages on these cards just hit me, and I ended up buying a few - not necessarily to send to people, but just for myself.

Blue Mountain Arts cards


One, in particular made me laugh, since it said on the front,
Hang In There. This is the expression Mum asked me to say to her almost every day, as an affirmation that things would be OK. I always signed off my phone calls with her using that line.

This one caught my eye!

Inside, is a long message. In part, it "spoke to me," saying;
I'm so sorry you're going through a tough time right now. My heart goes out to you with a lot of faith that everything will be okay. I know you'll be able to handle the challenges ahead. Don't be too worried about how things will turn out. It may take a while, and there may be a bit of an uphill climb. But I know that you will do everything you can to make sure that any changes turn out to be changes for the better. Hang in there.

Another card is all about New Beginnings.


Inside, (again - in part), this card says, "It isn't always easy to make changes. Make sure you stay strong enough to move ahead, because there are some wonderful rewards waiting for you. It won't make sense right away, but over the course of time, answers will come and the path will be easier to see."

After years of devoting time to others, it's been rather foreign to me to turn serious attention upon myself. I'd much rather be out doing fun, wild, crazy and exciting things. One treasured and very special old friend recently told me, I need to focus all my energy on my upcoming medical appointments and to get better for my husband, my kids and myself. I will try to do all that he requests, as I know he is kind, caring and very wise.

The day after my diagnosis, my brother-in-law, Garth Mosbaugh (of The Nylons) wrote me an email message. Though he split with my sister 16 years ago, he's remained deeply connected to our family, (especially to Carrie and to their son, Lee). Garth and I first met as teens, so he knows me well.

Garth and Lain - at The Nylons show - May 6/11


I was stunned at the kindness and loving nature of his personal message and hope he won't mind if I use some of it here. Even reading it over now, I'm so touched by his thoughts. Naturally, as a songwriter, he sure knows how to write with emotion and straight from the heart.

From Garth:

"I am deeply saddened to know that for all of the love that you have put out, for all of the generosity and kindness you have given and for all of the sacrifice you have made, you now have to face this undeserved ordeal.
That said, you now have to learn a new way of life that will get you through this. It may be foreign to you but I encourage you to follow this advice. I am not a religious person but I am aware that faith can indeed move mountains. It is a fact. I say this because I have faith that you will get through this intact and having learned more about life than most of us. That new way of life is to find balance. The balance to which I refer is the balance between selflessness and selfishness. To this point you have leaned hard on the selflessness and giving of yourself that we all have come to admire and love. As crass as this comparison seems, your life is like a matured investment and the time has come to collect. There is no doubt that those who love you will rise to the occasion of taking care of you, supporting you and helping you through this.
But your task is to do the same for yourself.

Now I know that saying to someone "take care of yourself" can sound mundane like "see you later" or "I'll call you" but this time it is real and as serious as life itself. I know it will be hard for you. It is not your nature. I also know that your nature, kind, giving and compassionate, must now be directed more toward you. No guilt. No excuses. Be strong and positive, let those who love you take care of you and take care of yourself.

I love you and I am but one of many".

Thank you so much Garth. I'm hearing you.

Now, as Sondheim says, "Move on!"



Bernadette Peters & Mandy Patinkin do their killer version of Move On!

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3 Comments:

At May 20, 2011 at 11:34 a.m. , Blogger Rachel said...

Great to stumble on your blog! Best of luck with your journey! Have you heard about FAMEDS fight against the FDA to continue to allow Avastin to be on-label for the 17,500+ women with metastatic breast cancer that the drug is working for? Please sign and share our urgent petition to save these women! http://fameds.org/petition.php

 
At May 20, 2011 at 9:06 p.m. , Anonymous Carrie said...

Mandy, Bernadette, Steve........Good God, they say it SO well.........Move on indeed!

 
At May 27, 2011 at 12:14 p.m. , Anonymous Carrie said...

Not to mention Garth, of course! Good with words, these talents!

 

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