What Really Matters

I want to share something with you. I had a health scare this last week. A very big, very frightening health scare, the kind that presented the possibility of becoming life threatening. I wrote the blog post titled, "Meeting Fear Head-On", the day after I discovered something was wrong. I wrote from my heart as a means to steady myself, as a way to reinforce my beliefs. I was rattled. I was shaking. I was already missing my life because I felt this sudden discovery could possibly take my life away. Through my expertly disguised panic, so as not to alarm anyone until I was diagnosed for sure, I became acutely aware of what I felt I could lose. The hugs and kisses of my child came immediately to mind, my heart-to-heart and surprisingly honest talks with my oldest daughter, the beautiful love and companionship I share with my man, and all of the beauty this earth surrounds me with daily....not the least of which is this achingly beautiful landscape called Kentucky. See, I had rebuilt a life for myself out of the one that died last year. I carefully filled it with all of the important things, and none of the things that didn't matter, or serve, or nurture me anymore. I felt the brunt of this terrible joke that I feared was upon me.....that I had come so far only to have to deal with this! I did get to a point last week though, where I could say with a fairly strong degree of certainty, that if things were going to change for me, if I was going to have to face an illness that could prove lengthly or fatal, then I would use the time to write and document the events in hopes of connecting with others going through the same thing. I humbly declared that I would treat whatever was going to happen as a gift. A gift that would reveal itself as I became immersed in it.

Well, thankfully I am alright. Gratefully, and with tears streaming down my face, I received the news that I was healthy, that the offending problem was benign. I took the deepest breath of air, and felt nothing but relief. As I walked out of the hospital I heard the birds for the first time in a week. I mean really heard them. They were loud and insistent! Even if I had walked out with troubling news to bear, the birds would have still been singing, because life goes on. And it would have, albeit differently for me, but life would have gone on, and endured and been a blessing regardless. But on this particular morning I really heard the birds singing, and the sun on my face was kissing me with a warmth and gentleness as tender as the most sensitive lover. The sky was bluer. The sounds of the city were sharp and clear and beautiful. This is what it's like to get your life back!

As I went to bed that night, as I laid myself down on what felt like the softest sheets in the world, (where did these come from?), I let myself go. I let my body relax and melt into my bed. My pillow felt like a cloud, (did it always cradle my head like this?). I felt gratitude for the four walls that held me that night. The moonlight shown dappled through the lace curtains. The night sounds coming from the woods outside were magical, and I cried. I cried for all the beauty of this life, all the creature comforts, and all the intangibles too. I realized that for everything I felt gratitude for, not one had anything to do with money. Or physical beauty. Or status. Or excess. What really mattered was love. I am a rich woman. I have abundance and authenticity. I have senses that have been heightened to a new level now. I thought they were pretty good before, but now they are precisely tuned to what matters most.

The song by Tim McGraw, "Live Like You Were Dying", comes to mind. What I would add is this: Live your life everyday. Hold those you love close to you. Allow for the frailties in others. Be kinder then you need to be, we never know what someone else is going through. Cut the ties with things that do not serve your highest good. You know what they are. Be brave and live with patience, ease, and a gentle heart. If this sounds preachy, forgive me. I preach to no one. Your path and mine may be very different, and I love that about all of us! But my message, if that's what you can call this post, is simply this....focus on what matters. Life is short in the grand scheme of things. The choice is ours daily. I wish you peace of mind and heart. I wish you peace in your daily life. A deep, full, unconstricted breath. The music of the spheres, the laughter of children, the sound of rain, the song of birds, the very air that fills our lungs. I wish you joy in this very moment. I wish you bliss. I wish you love. May this day be gentle with you.

**May I also add, for anyone dealing with a life threatening illness, I send you healing energy. As I sat among those at the hospital, those within the full grasp of dis-ease, I felt a kinship. The eyes do not lie, the pain contained within was palpable. We are all one. The sun and rain envelops us all equally, and without preference or judgment. May the blessings of this life fill you up and take away your pain.

Until next time.....blessings upon your heart



  1. You write beautifully about the glory the world takes on when you fear to lose it -- and do not. I am so glad you are well. --Lindsay

  2. Emily, from the play "Our Town", by Thornton Wilder:

    "Oh, Mama, look at me one minute as though you really saw me. Mama, fourteen years have gone by. I'm dead. You're a grandmother, Mama! Wally's dead, too. His appendix burst on a camping trip to North Conway. We felt just terrible about it - don't you remember? But, just for a moment now we're all together. Mama, just for a moment we're happy. Let's really look at one another!...I can't. I can't go on. It goes so fast. We don't have time to look at one another. I didn't realize all that was going on and we never noticed. Take me back -- up the hill -- to my grave. But first: Wait! One more look. Good-bye , Good-bye world. Good-bye, Grover's Corners....Mama and Papa. Good-bye to clocks ticking....and Mama's sunflowers. And food and coffee. And new ironed dresses and hot baths....and sleeping and waking up. Oh, earth, you are too wonderful for anybody to realize you. Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute"?

    Thank you, Lindsay


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