The looming beast of the ‘Old Vic’ had been conquered and so the next spiral in the journey was at hand [see Thameswood – Part One]. Like with all journey’s, there is that element of the Hero’s Journey[Wikipedia] afoot in the narrative. Perhaps the guiding archetype of all life altering Journey’s resembles that of the Hero’s Journey.
So now I guess you could say I had arrived at Campbell’s “THRESHOLD – the beginning of transformation.”
Thameswood Lodge was not setup to accommodate partners. It was a dormitory style room with 2 single beds with a shared full bathroom. Most of the guests at the Lodge had “roommates” who were strangers to them. Most of the other couples in our position had often pushed the two beds together. For some reason I can’t remember, we never did.
Tim’s radiation treatments were not going well at all. His whole intestinal system from start to finish was turning every meal into an internal ordeal. It was at this time I had began to massage his lower back as he sat there hunched over in pain on the toilet, waste basket at his feet. I had become more than a girlfriend, more than a lover and partner.
Valentines Day fell while we were at the Lodge and rather than flowers or chocolates and such, he had bought 3 Magazines – a new Canadian Gardening Mag and 2x Birds and Blooms & a beautiful card. One of other girls later that day asked me what Tim had done for Valentines…when I told her she looked back at me confused. :) Oh, yes, things had changed. I was very pleased with my gift, which confused her even more.
As I have looked back on those days for this post, I have come to realize my role had become Anam Cara or “soul friend” – “The anam cara was a person to whom you could reveal the hidden intimacies of your life. This friendship was an act of recognition and belonging. When you had an anam cara, your friendship cut across all convention and category. You were joined in an ancient and eternal way with the friend of your soul.”
February 25 2012
Sometimes, well, often lately I think we’ve both felt confined. However, we are on a new chapter – radiation/chemo has been stopped for good. Tim’s liver is now inflamed and he can barely eat and the pain is worse. No more living in 2 worlds though; we are HOME.
Tim was a little bitchy the whole day yesterday. I would imagine due to worry, sleep deprivation, hunger.
This morning we got up together around 6AM. It just felt so good to be back at the Cottage I guess we just couldn’t sleep anymore. He was feeling around his armpit and says he found a strange lump. I’m frustrated and worried too; we’re like two jumpy cats just waiting for another blow. I told him it could be just his response to a virus and he did say he thought he was getting something. He has no immunity left I would imagine, makes sense he would catch something.
On the drive back yesterday I said to Val I’d miss the Lodge, which isn’t correct. What I will miss is the people. Terry, Dave, and the other Dave, the 2 Jills of course, Elsie, Frank, and sweet Emilio, and the Newfie Ladies :), and I can not forget Sharon & Reeves.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”.
This morning I finally got the living room back to looking like a living-room. When Tim was sick we had moved the bed into the middle of the room so that when he awoke his first view would be the lake. It began to give our lives focus and we would both lay together and watch the birds or just feel the sunshine streaming in.
I’m just now seeing things a little clearer. Symbolically, I guess “cleaning” that room and re-arranging it back to some normalcy helped me to see more clearly. I now see this journey in a new way, with new eyes.
After A While…
After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn that love doesn’t mean possession
and company doesn’t mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses aren’t contracts
and presents aren’t promises
and you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of an adult not the grief of a child.
And you learn to build your roads today
because tomorrows ground is too uncertain for plans
and futures have ways of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
so you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure
that you really are strong
and you really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn…
by Veronica A. Shoffstall