Lessons in Acceptance

When my eldest sister was diagnosed with acute leukaemia and given a month to a year to live, I had to scramble to be there for her. You see, I was deathly afraid of hospitals, and almost fainted the day she had her spinal tap. I had to find a way to conquer my phobias and help her.

Someone suggested a conference being offered at our local university, on death and dying. I signed up. It included a weekend workshop with Dr. Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine, and Miracles.

While there, I heard about Reiki – a system of balancing energy. I signed up for that too. Soon, I was meeting every Wednesday with practitioners of a variety of “healing” backgrounds. I became a workshop junkie, attending every retreat and conference and absorbing it all.

My sister thought I was nuts and would have none of it. I, however, was undergoing a vital transformation and embarking on a path that would encompass my life. I cannot begin to describe how rich and fulfilling those years were. I was very blessed.

And I was poor. The dichotomy got to me. It was not enough to do such soulful work, I had to support my family. So, I went back to school and became a teacher.

And then, I got sick. Too ill to work. I thought I had lost it all…until things started to get worse, and I had a little talk with the Divine Being upstairs.

“I accept that I’m not in control,” I conceded for the millionth time in my life. “I accept that you have a different plan for me.”

It’s not cancer. It’s yet one more rare and incurable disease to add to my list, but at least there is a treatment for it.

And later today, I’m going next door, where family has gathered to watch their father die. I have offered my services.

(My challenge this week is acceptance. Won’t you join me?)

Posted by

Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

21 thoughts on “Lessons in Acceptance

  1. Thanks V.J for the challenge on the theme of Acceptance. I have taken the liberty to widen the topic beyond death and dying.People suffer from cancer threatening disease, and I find it strange to call it “terminally” ill, and to think Acceptance is the final graceful exit.

    Dr. Lim Keng Huat, http://www.wonkywizard.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a powerful post … a reminder that worst-case-guesses may be the natural human response … but we need to save a little space for hope.

    So glad it’s not cancer. Is there a name for what you’re suffering?

    Your post about itching with pain if scratched took me back to the ’80s when I suffered “wet eczema” on both hands and literally tore my skin up scratching (and crying). Came home from the hospital after having my 2nd child with this. Tried all sorts of things that didn’t work. Went on for months. Then (for unrelated reasons) I replaced the well water filter with a reverse-osmosis filter – overnight the eczema vanished. Can only guess, but I’ll forever blame chemicals in that original filter … likely those same chemicals in some sanitation process in the hospital.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jazz. Your story reminds me of what my younger sister went through during her child bearing years – I wonder if it is also hormone related. I have Lichen Sclerosis – rare enough that most of the medical practitioners I’ve come into contact with don’t know what it is, but now in the hands of a specialist that does – thank goodness. Relief is on the way.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So happy for you that you have a name for your troubles and relief is on the way. Wonderful news that you’re out of the limbo period of waiting and worrying. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Not Cancer. The 2 words you were hoping for. Thank goodness. Acceptance is still a challenge, though. So glad there is a treatment for you. Offering help to your neighbors will be healing for them…and you…as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is beautiful V.J.. Acceptance is a difficult thing, and for me, it’s something I have to revisit often. I’m so glad to hear what you’re dealing with is not cancer, and that there is treatment for it. I love that you’re able to be there for your neighbors; I’m sure this is an invaluable gift to them.

    Liked by 1 person

Your thoughts matter...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.