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Soul Cells

Fight Like Mike Friday March 1, 2024


I realize I have posted a lot today.

I do apologize for that. 

Just read what you want, haha :) 


This past Sunday at church , 

Anna ( our pastor ) preached a sermon on Psalms 46. 

Be still and Know. 

She talked about the pause at the end of a verse . 

The Selah . 

Selah is the word only found in the Psalms.

It means to rest and wait.

With intention. 

To listen. 

To be still. 

Her charge was just that this week. 

Listen for God’s voice. 

It’s not always a loud voice. 

But often quiet. 

And through other people. 

When we are open.

When we are still enough to finally hear it. 


I have been trying , 

It is hard. 

Trying to stop scrolling social media. 

Stop feeling inadequate. 

Stop playing the comparison game 

and wondering why me.

To stop living vicariously,

 through someone else’s filters. 

Instead be quiet and listen.

It is  hard. 


 This morning. 

After I dropped Jake off at school 

I was driving down Henderson Mill Rd. 

In a rush to make it to orange theory on time. 

I was slowed down by the trash truck. 

I was anxiously  stuck behind it ,

trying to figure out how to go around it,

 but couldn’t because of the cars coming the other way. 

I took a breath. 

( or maybe let out a frustrated  sigh 🙄) 

And looked up at the sweet man hanging off the back of the truck . 

He was waving. 

I looked over at the yard on my right

to see who is was waving at. 

There was a little boy. 

Sitting on a swing on his front porch. 

The little boy was waving back. 

It was trash day. 

I could see in their smiles to each other 

that this man and little boy knew each other well,

almost like they must do this every week. 

Neither were in a hurry.

Just happy to be seen by each other.

That it was the highlight of each of their days. 


I almost missed this sweet  encounter this morning. 

I was in a rush. 

I wonder how many moments like this I miss ?

Because I am in my head worried about the

next important thing to me. 

There is so much good in this world. 

You don’t have to be the most liked post on social media. 

You just need to feel loved by one little boy on a porch.

It can be enough . 

It is enough. 

Why do we need more? 

Why do we feel we need to be seen by the world at times? 

God see us here. 

Now . 

While we are just being fully present ,

with all of our heart and soul. 

While we are genuinely smiling and waving 

to a stranger. 

Can we let that be enough?

Can we believe that God’s love is enough 

to carry us when we

 do not feel loved

Or seen or important?


Sometimes, somedays, some weeks, 

I feel lonely. 

Being a widow feels lonely. 

At times I feel unseen.

Unimportant.

I wonder if the trash men, or the guy in the car behind me , or the cashier, or the doctors, or the teachers, ultra famous musicians, moms, sports stars, dads ,

the children struggling in school,  the ones who don’t make the team,

the ones who do make the team, and make all a's, the one fighting cancer, the one who beat it,

the elderly, the girl sitting next to you on the plane, or at the table next to you at the restaurant

I wonder …

  If they feel unseen. 

When the day ends and they go home alone

or even to a big family, 

 between the four walls of their house. 

Are there times we all feel unseen?


When I am still 

I can come back to the knowing,

that been seen by the little boy on the porch, or the man waving from the street ,  

or the lady in the truck behind you, 

the stranger, the friend,

the angel,

 in front of me. 

It can be  enough. 

It is enough. 

To be seen by God



I wrote what is  below, Soul Cells, last week. 

I have been thinking a lot about loneliness

And being seen. 

And heard. 

And feeling loved.

Hi , My name is Lindsey. 

And I really truly miss

being loved and seen by Mike.

There,

I said it. 

I know on a given day I am loved by so many. 

So so many.

So I wonder why sometimes it does not feel like enough? 

Why do I focus on not being seen by just that one person?

And this week I am still working through that. 

Haha. 


I was thinking about so many people I witness who endure things on any given day. 

Small and big things. 

They keep living regardless. 

They keep swimming. 

Never speaking of their problems. 

Never complaining. 

They keep smiling. 

And trying.

And trying . 

Day after day.  

It takes courage to do that. 


I do believe we all deserve a moment to truly be seen,

for our true deep soul cells to be seen. 

But ultimately ,I believe being seen by God alone, must be enough.

Below is a story of our dear friend Zale. 

He lives in a way to me,

that proves being seen by God is enough. 



Soul Cells

 

This time last year we were on our way to Macon Georgia for a basketball tournament. 

Jake had a new teammate and  buddy, Zale. 

Zale and Jake rode the bus with the team .

Zale’s dad ( also Zale:)  rode in my van with my mom, Celia , Graham, and me. 

We were pretty much strangers besides knowing we shared the same love for sitting in

a smelly basketball gym ,

cheering on our boys to make the next shot, or pull out the win. 


It was an early Saturday morning 

and as the sun started to rise.

We started talking about how Jake and Zale wanted to hit a growth spurt. 

Both short guards. 

We laughed and joked about their small 6th grade builds 

and their dreams for height. 

Zale then paused. 

And went on to say,

 “well Zale actually has something else pulling against him,

we will be in the car for a while so I will go on and tell ya'll

 about what  he and our family went through." 


I drove along 75 south,

my eyes fixed on the sun coming up in front of me,  

while I listened  to Zale in the seat behind me.

He told me , my mom , Graham and Celia 

about Zale’s Leukemia diagnosis and Bone Marrow transplant, 

that he endured  when he was 6.

He said, I am not sure if you know much about that,

 but he went through a lot. 


While I held back my tears, 

I could not keep the goose bumps

 from filling my entire body. 


Zale and Jake had met on Hendersons middle school team. 

Zale  was not originally on this rec team with Jake. 

But this particular weekend they were short a couple players 

and his coach asked to see if we knew anyone that could come play. 

Something that week… 

God .. Mike… a spirit.. angels …

or whatever greater powerful you might believe in 

is what  kept  nudging me to ask Zale to come play 

with Jake that weekend.


This week, Monday February 20th, 

Zale celebrated his 6th  transplant birthday. 


Just in case you are not familiar with Bone marrow transplants, 

it's a procedure that infuses healthy donor cells into your body to replace bone marrow 

that is no longer making healthy blood cells.

Doctors  use chemotherapy and radiation to  completely wipe out

 all of your marrow and immune system so the new cells can take life. 

The new cells either come from an anonymous  donor

 or if you have a sibling that is a match. 

 

You are brought down to ground zero.

 The day you receive your new cells ,

 is your new birthday. 

Day 0.

You then endure months 

of being in what they cleverly named  “the basement “.

 Where all the doubt , fear , monsters and darkness lives.

 Deep in the dark cells of your being ,

you cling to hope.

 And count up  each day….

+1… +2….+3….. +14… +30…+365

Each day counts.  

Each day feels like a year. 

Wondering if relief,

If light.

Willl ever come. 

If your  legs of lead

 will ever make it up the basement stairs. 


So to  transplant patients and their families,

 this is a sacred birthday. 

You are celebrating a new appreciation 

of each and every day. 

The true miracle of life. 

And its fragility. 


I have been thinking about Zale this week. 

I text his mom and dad, on Monday.

I told them  that every time I see him and  Jake

fighting for shotgun in my truck ,

or I see him horsing around on the mini hoop in my foyer with with Graham,

or making Celia laugh until tears. 

Every time I see him running and dribbling a basketball down the court,

I can’t help but think of 

the true miracle his life is.



The first three months as you wait for your new cells to engraft.

You are similar to a new baby. 

You sleep, you drink a liquid diet, and you poop.

You are as weak as a baby trying to lift his own head. 

You watch them to make sure they are still by  breathing at night. 

So much to the  point that Mike  would stare back at me 

 with big eyes and a fake smile - “ stop staring at me already “. ha

We watched Mike not be able to eat solid food for weeks

because of the sores in his mouth. 

Spend more time in the bathroom than any other room of the house .

There was no playing horse or alligator, or throwing the football. 

Walking from the bedroom to the kitchen for water was a exhausting..

We saw what it took. 

We saw the strength,

 the determination .

The courage

The bravery.

In those fragile months. 


And yet 6 years later, not many people know this about Zale. 

He steps on the court, tries out for the middle school team  like any other kid.

He wants cookies and cream Chick-fil-a milkshakes,

raids my pantry for Welch's gummies and cheeto puffs , just like my three. 

He plays basketball in the street with the boys. 

No one would know what he has already endured in his short life. 


But I see it,

my kids know it, 

and I know his mom, dad, and family 

think about it every single day. 


Yet sometimes in the hard 

we just need to be seen. 

Once you have been to the deep,

And  felt the fragility of life, 

It changes you. 

Deeply.


In Elizabeth Lessers beautiful  book titled, Marrow

she tells the brave story of being the donor,

 for her  sister's bone marrow transplant. 

The story parallels a  bone marrow transplant

 with the  “soul marrow transplant” they experienced, 

allowing their relationship to heal 

as the journeyed together on the  roller coaster ride of a transplant.. 

  

She writes these beautiful words,

“ what I learned from both transplants- 

the bone marrow and soul marrow transplant- 

is that the marrow of the bones and the marrow of the self are quite similar.

 Deep in the center of the bones are stem cells that can keep another person alive, 

perhaps not forever , but for a time and, in the case of my sister,

for what she called the best year of her life. 

Deep in the center of the self are the soul cells of who you really are. 

Dig for them, 

believe in them , 

and offer them to another person,

 and you can heal each other’s heart  

and keep love alive forever.”


Sometimes( well let me be honest, always- haha)  I question if I am on the right path?

As a single mom I question if I am doing it  right for J,C,and G ?

I want Mike here to comfort me and  to make a damn decision for them . 

I’m tired of the preteen attitudes.. I mean dang. ha.


Yet as the sun came up

on the drive to Macon a year ago. 

I had no doubt ,

 I was exactly where I was supposed to be. 

I live for these moments. 

For the moments where God’s voice and

Mike’s guidance.

The presence of earthly angels. 

Are louder than all of the loud voices of doubt,

  I fight in my head each day. 




Zale and our family have soul cell connections.

If you need inspiration to Keep Swimming today. 

I hope you find it in Zale, 

And in Mike. 

Because just like in them ,

YOU  have soul cells of who you really are too. 

Dig For them . 

Believe in them 

And offer them to another person. 

We can heal each other. 

And keep love alive forever. 

You got this 💪🏽







1 Comment


arichardson127
Mar 02

Lindsey, thanking you for this beautiful post with tears in my eyes❤️. Thank you for sharing .

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