Fight like mike Friday- the moon
Dear Fightlikemike army.
“When we reach the end Of what we know , that’s where we find God . That’s why St Dionysius said the best most divine knowledge of God is that which is known by not knowing. “
I have reached another end
of what I know.
And God is here.
In all it’s messiness of grief.
Beneath the layers
Layers of regret.
Layers of guilt.
At the bottom.
At the very center of my soul.
I am working to get here
Where I know nothing anymore.
Where I am empty.
This is where I know God is reaL
Where Grace can enter.
How I know is because
I have felt the peace.
Like the eye of the hurricane.
Better yet ,
when the winds die down completely.
When the seas lay down ,
as the fishermen in my life say.
The sea is calm.
How is it possible.
In this mess
These extremely messy
Days of grief.
Days of sadness ,
for the entire world.
we are ALL suffering from something.
Days of sadness that take my breath.
For the kid’s.
How is it possible to feel peace.
Only because of God.
Only Because there is a force of life.
A force bigger than me.
You may not call it God.
And that’s ok too.
Or believe in God.
Maybe peace looks different to you.
This gives me hope.
And enough light for the next step.
Enough to believe.
Believe in the good.
Good in this world.
Enough that I will see Mike again.
I think of you all each and every day.
And I pray for all of your suffering too.
There are reminders of you in every corner of our house.
The Fight like Mike banner you made for us still hangs proud in our living room with each soldier standing tall on the window seals surrounding it.
You protect us and
watch over us each
And I find strength and hope in the reminder of you.
Each of you.
There are now cardinals , renamed daddy birds - in every form.
Stuffed animals , ornaments , blankets , pajamas , paintings , snow globes , lights .
There are crescent moons lights, tennis shoes and t-shirts.
Cardinal campers .
Hand written letters , emails and cards.
There are paintings hand made by you and by famous artist.
There are figurines of angels. Books of angels.
Devotions on 100 ways to be Brave.
And candles that remind us of the light you hold in our darkness.
There are cardinal trees.
And coffee mugs. There are daddy bears and crescent moon Care Bears.
My list could go on .
They are each new reminders.
Reminders of the new love we are learning to feel from Mike.
In our home , There are also many memories.
So many memories.
Thousands of memories of crying with you on our couch.
And laughing too.
Watching countless movies .
Just being with us.
In our grief.
Memories of love that reminds me we are held by an incredible army of angels each and every day.
We are held.
And I am grateful.
When God does feel silent.
“I believe in the sun
even when it is not shining
And I believe in love
even when there’s no one there
But I believe in God
even when he is silent”
I keep believing because of you.
The angel in each of you.
You have held us.
I want to send you an email every day.
To thank you.
To let you know a day does not go by where I do not smile in gratitude because of the reminders from a kind thing you did for us.
And a thank you every day would still never be enough .
I have written to Mike and to you, almost every other day these past ten months.
I want to share them all,
yet grief ...
it is a fog that sets in and I can not think clearly.
My thoughts are as clear as mud.
Grief. ( wish there was another name for it , ten months in ,I’m over the word )
It is a powerful force of energy.
And the kid’s and I are doing the best we can each day to feel all the waves of energy ,
forces of energy .
From start to finish.
Until they settle on the shore.
And peace comes back.
The peace that comes.
And it does come.
When we are empty.
Have cried every last drop.
When we are dry too.
Is able to flood through us.
Grief is sneaky.
It comes popping out at you like Graham or Jake with a nerf gun.
When you least expect a dart to your neck while cooking dinner.
Or Celia , with one of her pranks from her prank kit from Santa.
I am standing at the stove as the dart of a memory ,
the dart of grief hits my heart.
Suddenly it’s 3 yrs ago and I hear Mikes truck pull up the driveway
as I am sautéing peppers and onions for fajitas .
A weekly staple.
I can hear the garage door open.
I can feel his presence behind me.
He kisses me after a day at work .
All it took was the smell ,
just the simple smell sends me back in time.
He was back working after his transplant.
Life had started to feel semi back to normal.
The ease of him going to work and me with the kids was no longer the hard thing.
It was the good thing.
The good days where life was simple.
The smell takes me back in time.
So so many smells.
The sanitizer , the hospital one that he purchased on amazon ,
that sat fully stocked in our closet the last 4 years,.
It would have been a crime to hoard that much in 2020.
The sanitizer that became a scarce novelty this past year.
Had been a staple in our lives.
I can’t escape it in a single day now.
That smell is everything Mike.
The kids and I think it with each pump.
So many smells in a 1 hour span.
So many smells are Mike.
I can’t live here.
Back in time.
Because I am here.
My body is here.
Although my mind is taken light years away with each smell .
And if I don’t pay attention ,
if I don’t stay present.
At the very least ...
I will burn the fajitas.
I will get hit in the eye by a dart.
I will choke on the fake spider in my cup.
I will miss what Jake is trying to teach my about the latest football stats he has watched on ESPN.
I will miss the opportunity to teach Celia how to cook her daddy’s jambalaya.
I will miss it.
I will be lost in a memory.
Hundreds of miles away.
Searching for Mike.
Although my body.
My physical body is here.
My mind is often with Mike.
On the moon.
Our belief is that Mike is on the moon .
Is the moon.
Is Resting in Gods thumbnail of a moon.
Only grows stronger by the day.
Yes , Mike is on the moon.
It is our belief now.
The moon has brought me more peace than anything the last few months.
I have been in the darkness.
It shines in the darkness
“To trust God in the light is nothing, but to trust Him in the dark – that is faith.” – C.H. Spurgeon
Mike is there.
God is there.
Watching over us in the darkness.
And I am here.
I am trying to get to him.
But I can’t get to him.
My mind though,
It is on planet grief.
It feels like I’m on a foreign planet.
Orbiting the moon.
Trying to get there.
The kids are sometimes on it with me.
But they are still grounded on earth.
Kids are amazing at that.
I am supposed to be on Earth
With the kid’s , our family , our friends.
And I do have one foot on Earth.
And sometimes my whole self.
But my mind.
It is often on this planet of grief.
( so I apologize if I have stared into space while you are talking. Or haven’t called you back it ,appears I might really be in outer space )
It is an unfamiliar place for me.
Somewhere I have never been.
I am trying to learn and navigate this new planet.
Not necessarily alone.
For sure not alone.
Many are walking me through it on earth.
And I am grateful.
Maybe through one of the walkie talkies Graham got for his birthday.
Always radioing me back in.
Yet I know
Or better yet
I am learning....
I have to figure this out for myself.
I have to find joy from within again.
That is MY job.
I am realizing in the last 4 years
Mike and I had become 1.
And I told a friend lately.
That if it was not for cancer,
I’m not sure we would have experienced it ,
this deep love.
Although I wish it could have been at my expense and not his.
But the love we shared while he was sick
was something I don’t think would have happened .
if we had both not been stripped
to our most vulnerable places within.
Our marriage was not perfect.
It was messy
But love is messy
And What comes with this type of love , is the risk of loss.
“ The risk of love is loss, and the price of loss is grief. But the pain of grief is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.”
And now I have experienced the pain of losing
I am in the dark shadow
I took a risk
And now lost the greatest love
But the risk would be worth it
And it does feel like I have lost a leg , my eyesight , a heart attack.
No joke , I went to see a cardiologist last month.
He looked me in the eye when he came in the room
and said you are too young to be in my office.
But I didn’t know.
The breaking had felt like maybe it was being pulled in two
and the ache I had felt must have been real .
My family thought I was a little Crazy. I feel sure. 😜😊
They know I am ok.
But I needed to hear it from professional.
I had felt it.
Thankfully my heart is still healthy.
And physically fully intact.
Our bodies are truly amazing .
What they can withstand.
Especially the heart.
What it can hold
Is nothing short of a miracle
And so I am learning to live on one leg ,
to stand each day ,
to see again ,
To breathe again ,
to feel again without Mike physically here.
To feel the joy in my heart.
The joy that is also there with the pain.
Healing is slowly happening.
However Mike had kept me balanced.
I worried. He calmed it.
I overreacted. He made me laugh.
I panicked. He told me everything was going to be ok.
So I have felt unbalanced.
To put it lightly.
And also unable to make one simple decision.
Not with ease at least.
Accomplish anything from start to fishing.
Ginny says that’s not true.
That I am making many decisions each day.
And makes me tell her
three things I have done
and am grateful for at the beginning of each session.
And to celebrate each one.
But some days it feels like the only thing I can do well and finish completely
is an entire season of greys anatomy (maybe 10 seasons)
and 20 Reese’s Christmas trees. And having a pity party for myself .
I can for sure complete that..
A+ for my virtual learning . 💁🏽♀️
I’m sure you wonder why I would torture myself with a medical drama show on top of everything.
in the hospital
was where we found
our greatest love.
And I miss it.
Stripped of all the world problems .
And I miss our medical family.
Maybe I am just inspired
By Meredith Grey .
A fictional character.
She overcame great tragedies
Even if they were made up.
And continued to help others.
Like all the real doctors in my life.
They keep going.
It’s the least I could do too.
And so I do.
I watch it .
It takes me to Mike.
On the moon.
Mike told me every night,
We would be ok.
That I would be ok.
And so I have searched to find him.
To meet him in my dreams.
To hear his voice.
One more Time
I need him to tell me I will be ok.
I talked to a medium.
Surely she could help me talk to him on the moon.
I have gone to Accupuncture weekly.
Strangely the needles calm me.
More so I go to find him
in my meditations. To hear his voice.
Dr Lee , my Acupuncturist .
I also go to hear her voice.
She tells me the Buddhist principal that life is meant for suffering.
We are born for this.
She is going to pull me through.
I need to hear this each week—
Life is meant for suffering. —-
But we will pull each other out of it.
I’m reminded of you.
You have pulled me through suffering.
But I go to find Mike.
To hear his clarity in his voice .
His clarity .
I needed his clarity.
I hear him whisper.
You will be ok.
I sit In his closet and talk to him.
It was always his sacred space that we all tried to wreck 😜
Where his Urn sits now in the shelf with his beloved watches and below his shirts.
I have sat on the floor and cried to him.
Laughed with him and told him stories of the days.
Asked him questions,
begging for his answers.
In his voice.
I see his last oxygen tank ,
and his walker.
Along with shelves of medical supplies .
He was prepared for anything.
I tell Him maybe I’m holding onto this last tank
because the sight of it makes me breathe easier.
Maybe I am Holding on to his walker . Because the site of it keeps me steady and able to keep moving.
Like it did for him physically those last months.
Maybe it will rescue me too when I feel like I have lost my breath.
Too weak to stand.
The way it gave him life.
When missing him leaves me breathless.
I hear him here.
In his closet.
He tells me I am ok.
I cry to select family and friendS.
That never tire of listening.
Or would never tell me they can’t bare it Any longer .
They tell me I will be ok.
I tell Ginny about all of this each week when we meet virtually .
She is also an oxygen tank for me.
I get my breath back.
I tell her how I search for him.
How I want to be on the moon with him.
But I can’t Ever.
Get to him.
No the way my heart longs to.
Mike is on the moon.
I am on planet grief.
Everyone else is on earth.
I am orbiting in no mans land.
The astronaut floating with no gravity.
Gravity to pull me down.
Or to pull me to him.
Or to pull him.
I have to be pulled back to earth.
Back to making fajitas.
The kids need me.
I know this.
I have to allow you angels
Here on earth.
To pull me back.
Mike is clear about that
each and everyday.
In my head.
He is crystal clear.
I hear his voice loud and clear.
“The kids need you.
You are ok. “
I tell him I am getting stronger
That I am starting to realize ...
I will be ok.
Ginny has taught me a new way to be ok.
“ it’s ok , to not be ok “
Of course losing your sight ,
or a leg or a limb
you would obviously not be ok for a while.
It visible to the naked eye .
It’s ok to not be ok.
It takes time to heal.
But a broken heart
It is sometimes harder to see.
Unless go by the dark circles under my eyes.
I’m learning that it’s ok to not be ok.
“How could you be ok ? “My dad said sincerely.
I lost .
My other half.
And so I have given myself permission to be ok ...because I’m not ok.
To be held.
I know it doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Grief doesn’t make sense.
None of it
It is a mystery
Yet because grief is a mystery
to me ,
And has brought me back to realizing
I know nothing .
I can only believe
that our bodies ,
They are made for this.
They can heal.
Hearts can heal.
They are made to withstand
These impossible things.
Healing comes with surrender
We are miracles
We should love each day like the miracle it is.
I think it’s also
learning how to offer your self compassion.
This is how you heal.
We could all offer that too ourselves a little more often
I surrender to not knowing.
I surrender to being ok with not being ok.
I surrender to God again.
And with that.
I am ok.
I think that’s why Mike was Miraculous in his fight.
He knew he wasn’t ok.
He did what he could in his power.
He fought like Mike .
But he had surrendered .
He surrendered from the first day.
To his doctors.
You can ask them
He surrendered to them.
Knowing he did not have answers.
He had reached the place of not knowing.
I have been rereading a book Ginny reminded me of a few weeks ago.
The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer.
He says there are two types of experiences that block the heart.
When a wonderful experience happens to you ,
It doesn’t make it through your heart because you cling to it.
Like Kissing Mike after a day at work.
I cling to those memories.
Thinking they will bring the moon closer.
Or you try to push the painful memories aways
Like watching Mike’s last oxygen tank and walker , wishing I could have fixed his breathing.
Wishing it was still here helping him breathe and walk.
I push them away.
He says we either try to push them away because they bother us
Or we cling to them because we love them.
But in both cases we are not letting them flow through
We are wasting energy by blocking the flow.
And that our alternative is to enjoy life
Instead of clinging or pushing it away
Let it come up
Feel the waves
These waves of grief.
And then the energy will instead
It sounds easy enough
But it takes daily breath
Moment by moment
And daily practice
To live like this.
I’m learning how to let all the memories flow.
Not attach to them.
Let the energy flow.
It’s all stored energy.
And every memory that pops up
Every bit of stored energy,
A hundred times a day
Doesn’t always end with this peace
I am human
But it is worth continuing to try
It is best to feel it all
Surrender to it all.
Mike was the best teacher at this.
He is still
Guiding me from within.
So I get up.
I put old spice deodorant on.
It is Mike.
I’m brought back to sharing his deodorant
( him unwillingly but allowed it ,now that’s “real love “ 😜)
And I smile.
I take the next step.
I try not to cling to the
I am instead thankful it happened
And I bring his love with me.
It lives in my broken heart.
My healing heart
The cracks allow it in.
And it flows through.
Not allowing it to be stuck.
I let the memory go.
I am empty.
Where I know nothing.
And I can feel the peace from God
I come back to present moment.
I come back to the fajitas.
I keep swimming.
I keep getting back up.
Because our kids are here.
They need me.
And so I take the next step.
I will be on the moon with Mike.
And I’m not not afraid.
Not afraid to die.
I will be with Mike.
But I am afraid of not living.
Of missing what is here.
In front of me.
Not living now.
Afraid of missing these years with my little people my( annoyances and all!)
All of my people.
I am afraid of that.
And missing all earth has to offer
My job here is not done.
Mike is making that clear.
Dr Kota and I have promises to fulfill.
To the kids.
And the cancer world.
I will do my damn best to keep trying.
To be ok.
Because he wanted to know we would be ok ...
more than anything else.
And keep swimming.
No feeling is final.
Just keep going.
"Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final." Rainer Maria Rilke