Friday, June 11, 2010

Love Drives You Mad

Love drives you mad
from revelation to revelation
through ordeal after ordeal
until humble and broken
you are carried tenderly
into the heart of the rose.
- Jalal-ud-Din Rumi(Translated by Andrew Harvey from A Year of Rumi)

It is hard, when my mind is consumed with thoughts of my daughter and her well-being, to focus on what I need/want/could/should/would be doing if my thoughts were not consumed with my daughter and her well-being. And then I realize -- it is okay. There are no shoulda's, coulda's, woulda's when a mother is heartsick for her baby.

I spoke with Liseanne a couple of times yesterday. At one point we also IMed for awhile and I had to laugh -- once a mother, always a mother.

"Oh, and don't forget to brush your teeth," I wrote.

"I don't have a toothbrush," she quickly typed back.

"Maybe Ashley, (her roommate) can bring it," I responded.

"She is going to. Later."

"How's the hospital treating you?"

"They're very nice."

"How's the food?"

"Not bad. And it's free."

And it's free.

A student's dream. Not bad food and it's free.

"Think I might just stay a few extra days for the free food." she quipped.

"Don't be a naughty girl. Mother's don't like it when their children are in hospital."

"Okay, I promise. I won't stay longer."

"Good girl."

"Wait. Did you just call me a good girl?"


"You must be stressed."

"Nope. Just checking to see if you're paying attention."

"I am."

"Oh my, what have they done with my daughter?"

"Haha. I'm right here."

"I wish you were somehwere else."

"Me too." Pause. "I love you."

"I love you too."

Good girl is a no-no in our house. What's amazing is how the idea of 'good girl' versus 'bad girl' has stuck. When the girls were young I was vehement about not using the phrase, "Good girl".

If you're not a 'good girl' does that mean you're bad, or simply neutral? We are all 'good' at our core. It's our behaviour that can be optional -- but we as human beings are not 'good' nor 'bad'. We are perfect in our human condition.

The girls joked about my insistence of interviewing teachers to find out what words they used to commend the girls on things they'd done well -- there were several pre-schools that were not graced with my daughters presence because the principle responded, "Good girl."

My dog is a "Good girl", I replied. "My daughters are fundamentally good. Please applaud them on their behaviour, but never question their inherent worth and value by phrases such as 'good girl'.

I know. I know. I was a bit of a wild woman... But, the beauty is, both girls understand the difference between behaviour and their worth. Both girls understand the power of words to create our beliefs which create our experiences. And both girls know -- they are magnificent human beings.... who... like all human beings, sometimes indulge in behaviours that are less than optimal!

We can change and adapt behaviours. There is no need to change who we are as human beings. We are perfect.

Liseanne is now out of the hospital and on her way home -- I'm just waiting to chat with her to find out more.

It was a long day yesterday -- and it was a day of clarity, of awakening, of learning, of possibility, of hope, of Love.

I received a call in the afternoon from a woman who runs the International Student's Program at the university here. Some years ago her daughter and my eldest daughter went to school together. We spent some time as 'moms' watching our girls in various activities and along the way, enjoyed each other's company and occasionally shared a social event or glass of wine together too. But, as often happens in the busy-ness of life, we lost touch.

Yesterday, when she saw Liseanne's name on the report that came through from the University in Vlissingen, she phoned to reassure me and to offer her support.

"We've already started the insurance paperwork," she said after establishing our connection. "Liseanne won't have to worry about reimbursement as we'll pay everything from here."

Now that's a relief -- I'd already told Liseanne not to defer any tests or treatments as we'd figure out the insurance issues after the fact. Not having to figure anything out definitely eases the stress level.

We chatted some more and agreed we'd love to reestablish our friendship. "I really enjoyed your company back when we spent time together," she said. "I'd love to reconnect."

"Me too," I told her. "Perhaps this is one of the gifts of this situation."

We laughed and agreed to get together this evening for a visit -- and maybe a glass of wine. :)

There is another gift in this situation. Her daughter was diagnosed with epilepsy when she was 12. Since then, through diet, minimum drug intervention and a conscious regimen of well-being, her epilepsy has not manifested itself in seizures or other ill-effects.

While we don't know for sure the cause of Liseanne's seizure, epilepsy is one of the considerations the doctors are taking seriously. Being reassured by someone who's been through it with her daughter definitely helps!

Another gift is the immediate care Liseanne is receiving. Here in Alberta, our health care system is under-siege. If it is not life-threatening, wait lists abound. To have an appointment with a neurologist within two-days is unheard of -- even for those in hospital. To be booked for an MRI within 5 days, for a non life-threatening situation, would be a miracle here.

Liseanne is in a place where she is receiving what she needs, when she needs it -- to be able to live without fear and the pressure of the unknown adding to her stress level.

That's a bit of a miracle in and of itself.

So, while I have no more news, I do have a greater sense of balance. Liseanne is exactly where she's meant to be -- and, whatever the 'diagnosis', between the medical community and our community of support, she will get through it.

A girlfriend and I were talking yesterday and she said, "I'd tell you she'll be just fine but I know that won't help you."

"Thank you. It's not a reassurance. People telling me, 'she'll be okay' when we don't yet know what the issue is, always feels like a lie."

My girlfriend laughed. "I always forget how you like information first. Me, I'd prefer people just tell me, she'll be okay. I can lean on that belief."

"I can lean on it too," I told her. "But when I don't know what the 'problem' is, I get antsy with the blanket, 'she'll be okay'. It makes me feel as if I'm avoiding reality."

"Ah, yes," my friend quipped. "Reality at all costs."

We laughed and agreed -- whatever this is, Liseanne will be okay. She's got an amazing support group. Some women who are strong and fearless in their support and, above all, people who love her and would move the earth to make room for her beauty and passion to flourish in our world.

This friend was with Alexis when, at 18, she had a lump removed from her breast. It was benign but for awhile, the fear of the unknown shadowed our belief, 'she would be okay'. On the day of Alexis' surgery, we sat in the waiting room of the clinic, my 18 year old daughter and four women who love her dearly, all friends of mine who came to support us.

I remember sitting in that waiting room, surrounded by these powerful and caring women and thinking -- what an amazing circle of love.

We live on a planet that is round, like a ball. A giant circle orbiting through space. We are on one planet, in one space, breathing the same air. No matter where we stand -- we are all connected through the very earth space we share, the human condition into which every single one of us was born. the circumstances of our births may be different. The realities of our lives may vary -- but we cannot get away from the fact, we are all on this same planet, circling through space and time together, breathing the same air and walking in the same atmosphere.

We are all connected -- and in our human condition here on earth is the thread that binds us to one another.

My daughter will be okay. She is okay. Not because she had a seizure and is getting medical attention. She is okay because she is connected through a tie that binds her to my heart that is connected to your heart that is connected to every other heart on this planet -- whether we can see it or not.

She is part of a circle of love that knows no bounds. A life-giving support system that lifts her up, regardless of where she's at, to give her hope, possibility and above all else, Love.

We are all connected -- and it is that connection that makes us so amazing. So awesome. So incredibly magnificent.

Thank you for all the words of encouragement and support. For the prayers and hopes and gentle touches you share so freely.

I know I'm scattered today -- and that's okay. Because I know, there are those who are picking up the slack, filling in the gaps where I am missing my beat. I know, the rhythm of my life is strengthened by the harmony we create when we listen to each other's heart beats and offer our love, support and encouragement so that each of us can keep beating our unique timbre without fearing we will not be heard.

I feel heard. I feel supported. I feel loved. And I thank each of you for your grace and beauty and light on this path. I thank you for carrying me so tenderly into the heart of the rose.


Anonymous said...


glad to hear everything is fine + lessons learned

I guess it was a very good day after all


Brandi said...

Take care friend. Glad to hear things are better! hugs said...

Wonderful post; thanks so much for sharing all the blessings and concerns with us. It sounds like you did a wonderful job raising her (my kids still don't quite understand my fetish around the power of language like "good girl") and are remaining present to her in all the ways that are important while honoring her own competence. Good work, mom -- and how lovely, in the midst of fear, to see the earth's roundness, connection and harmony. What an inspiration you are!

S. Etole said...

good news is always good ... blessings

Maureen said...

I'm late checking in today. Just want you to know I'm thinking of you and yours and embracing all that you are.