when it rains

When it rains, it pours, and sometimes the accompanying winds threaten to take the roofs right off what little shelter we have in the world.  And sometimes…sometimes the roof goes. 

Heather Blakey, webmistress, teacher, guide, guru, Friend, is in the eye of such a storm yet again.  I have not offered her any words of wisdom or comfort because, one, she is older and wiser than I, and two, could any word be true enough to comfort a daughter watching her mother die?  Not from my personal experience on the matter.  And so I’ve read the kind words sent from others and wondered about storms and grief, my own grief and memory of grief rising up like the floods on the Canadian Prairies. 

Heather’s mother has cancer of the eosophagus, and I lost a very, very dear and important friend/guide in my life to that just a few months ago.  Her absence is very keenly felt in my life today.  Tears well for her near daily every time I go near my gardens, a subject we discussed often.  Elizabeth loved gardening and adored all plants, but she was wise enough to assure me that “A weed is ANYTHING you don’t want in your garden, my love.  If you don’t like roses, then OUT they go, and don’t you feel a whit of guilt about it.  A garden is supposed to be a thing of pleasure, not a task to be tended to grudgingly.  Make it what you love and to hell with what anyone else says.” 

The most important women in my life, and I think the most important women on earth indeed, are those who are strong enough and smart enough to encourage the world’s daughters to tell society to “go to hell and just let me live as I was meant to live, in peace, in beauty, in pleasure.”  From what I have heard, Heather’s mother is such a treasure, and so her weakening condition is a heartbreak that touches all intelligent women. 

I wish Heather a continued connection with that deep down still spot inside her that withstands the ebb and flow of every flood, and the force of every emotional hurricane.  I can think of nothing more to say in the face of a normal but nonetheless devastating pain of life.

Love and honour,

Steph

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Stephanie

I am an artist and curator at large in Hamilton, Ontario. Moreover, I am also a serious patron of the arts. It is not enough to work on my own art, though that is a vast and satisfying part of my life, I also deeply enjoy the company of other artists at all stages of their careers. Emerging artists, mid-career, and established artists all have their particular energies and visions to share that are fascinating to me. The art and literary worlds are my sources of entertainment. I spend my time and energy exploring and celebrating both.

4 thoughts on “when it rains”

  1. Cancer is a steadfast and wily opponent of mine. It’s taken my grandparents; Yet it spared me my father. It took my father-in-law quickly. It’s succeeded my efforts enough for me to respect it. For along with all of the grief and loss, there is and always shall be hope and love. And there is dignity in succumbing to this disease; this disease that comes with its own kind of loathing and pain. There is dignity because memories live on. Where the physical shell fails, the mind lives on. Much love, hope, and dignity lives on. And I fight on. We must. Hope. On.

  2. Been there too. Hard to bear. Offering words of kindness and longevity to Heather, as the wisdom part comes through later, with the grieving, as I have found. It’s the only way to understand life, the profound mystery that often baffles us.

  3. Cancer is a vicious and unpredictable disease. I happen to be a survivor of esophageal cancer, thanks mostly to alert doctors and an angel of a surgeon. That is perhaps why I feel so close to Heather on this one. Having survived it is a victory, however, one lives with the question…could it come back…where and when will it strike again? I try not to think of this, but it’s there all the time.

    I have a dear friend who is in the last throes of pancreatic cancer…she has days, maybe weeks left. It is so hard to see this vibrant woman, a retired army colonel, slipping into a mere shadow, a skeleton of her former self. Despite her situation, she is an inspiration to those of us who know her. Her acceptance of the inevitable is beyond measure.

    There is no doubt that this disease is the scourge of our time.

    Vi

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