Monday, June 15, 2015

Rest-in-Peace....... Really

I suppose if someone dies in a war. Or if they lived a life of hardship and stress.  If they are from a country where bombs drop all the time.  Rest-in-Peace would be a great thing to say.  Simple, life-affirming, considerate. 


But... you can hear "the but" coming can't you.  
 BUT  I certainly am not tired.  I don't need to rest, except for nap time some days.  I have way too much to do.  I don't have time to rest.  I don't want peace and quiet.  I want to make a difference in this world. I want to make sure it is a better place than when I entered.  I want to find out stuff and learn stuff and grow stuff and read lots of good books and make up countless recipes and have wine on the deck, and the list is endless.  

I don't want to Rest-in-Peace.  I want to RIP through life knowing it is a precious and limited thing. If I feel like this at 60, I am sure the children we watch die, day after day have other plans.  Seattle lost another one on Sunday.  Ahmie Njie was only 14.  She was full of life and cancer.  They don't go to well very often.  Cancer is atrocious at getting along with its host.   It kills.  In unthinkable, painful, sad and depressing ways.  It takes so much with it when a young one dies.  
Ahmie is another victim.  One that touches each of us.  I didn't understand how it all worked until I was reading a book that talked about a quantum physics concept of "Quantum Entanglements."  There are those that believe particles in far reaches react with each other even when they are far far from each other.  Cancer Moms have the same thing going on with each other.  We connect when we share our stories, and we continue to feel the story as it proceeds.  We react. We respond. We reach out. We recoil. We feel.  The empathy runs deeps and long and reaches across the boundaries of the world.  

Ahmie's Mom chronicled her story and shared the ending with the world.  I don't have the ability to understand or know what Gienna is feeling or thinking right now.  I would not presume to have words or answers or even know the right questions to ask.  I do know there is an ache in my heart.  A need to take many deep breaths.  There is an empty place in the universe.  A void was left by a child that was not ready to rest.  She had too many plans and too many ways she wanted to RIP through life.  

We have become "Entangled".  


Friday, June 12, 2015

She was Surprised and I was Relieved.



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Mary-Elizabeth Sierra Lanham Named to Dean's List at Gonzaga University


SPOKANE, WA (6/12/2015)—Mary-Elizabeth Sierra Lanham, a resident of Lynnwood, WA has earned placement on the Gonzaga University Dean's List for Spring semester 2015. Students must earn a 3.5 to 3.69 grade-point average to be listed.
Gonzaga University is a humanistic, private Catholic University providing a Jesuit education to more than 7,500 students. Situated along the Spokane River near downtown Spokane, Wash., Gonzaga is routinely recognized among the West’s best comprehensive regional universities. Gonzaga offers 75 fields of study, 25 master’s degrees, a doctorate in leadership studies, and a Juris Doctor degree through its School of Law.

Among her circle of friends, this is not such a huge thing.  It is something that kids do on a pretty regular basis.  She has always been a good student and sometimes even amazing.  But it is not easy and it is something she works so hard at doing. 

Every grade, every point, every single test and quiz and report is the result of hours of study and preparation.  Radiation and Methotrexate into her spinal fluid have robbed her of many things we take for granted.  She can't memorize.  She can't keep something in her short term memory if her life depended on it.  All those people that memorize, drop the info on the page and then forget have a skill she no longer possesses.  She has to do an extended solitary process of making sure she understands and learns the material.  

She does not believe she made the Deans list and even argued with the Registrar about the posting.  

I have watched her spend every bit of her energy on being a good student.  Lots of her fun time in life was spent in the hospital and then studying or getting ready to study.  

I think back to the first time I saw the 12 inch lead door closed her into the Radiation Suite.  I knew the damaging radiation was destroying more than elusive cancer cells.  I have come to appreciate how much was destroyed.  I think it is going to be okay.  It just made the hill higher, slicker, rockier, and more difficult.   

It didn't make it impossible.