Saturday, June 20, 2009

You are a Wonder



I have so much to be grateful for, Blogger friends. When I listen to Natalie Merchant's song, "Wonder", it reminds me to celebrate my life. I hope it does the same for you. Recently, I underwent a scare because of a suspicious lump found on a routine mammogram. How many of you have gone through this anxiety of retests, waiting for results and interpretation? My heart goes out to you. Yesterday, I received the news that it's probably normal, and I have no cause to worry. But during the week of waiting I started to remember my life so far and suddenly I remembered...

In 1992, when I was seven months pregnant with my daughter, Amber (she is singing with her boyfriend, Rafa, in the photo), when the doctor said:

"I'm afraid you have a blood disorder, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura. No, there is no cure. You will have to take steroid treatment for the rest of your life- otherwise, if you get cut, you could bleed to death. I'm sorry but there is some more bad news. Your baby could be in danger, and we will have to monitor the case carefully. She is underweight and could be born with the blood condition, too."

When I got the news, I was in shock, I understood it was life threatening. The shock was enough to change my life. I have a confession. I was over-ambitious. I was working full-time at a correctional facility (medium level prison) and was a full-time graduate student striving for another certification- this one in applied linguistics and language teaching. I was also working on an Adult teaching credential and some of the linguistic credits would transfer to the credential. I had to finish before the baby was born!

I'm afraid that I was set for the lesson of my life. I realized that nothing mattered more than taking care of myself and my baby physically, mentally and spiritually. Yes, I knew it before but I forgot. I think we all forget to do what we must. And don't you forget about the fact that you are alive? I did and I don't think my circumstance is so rare. We take life for granted. We forget that it's only here, now that we have the opportunity to realize we're alive and to :
Celebrate Life!

Fortunately, I understood the circumstances that created the problem and I changed everything I could. I read that only one in one hundred thousand people have spontaneous remission. Through excellent health care, visualization techniques, exercise, health supporting food and a burst of joy, I overcame the condition. I am the one (1), the exception, the survivor. Even now, I'm cured, my platelet count is in the normal range. I am ever so grateful.

I am a wonder! My daughter rapidly gained weight once I changed my life style and orientation. Whenever, I hear this song, I think of my daughter, the Joy-splasher, who smiled and laughed so early in life. In my heart, she is connected to all children who undergo a physical challenge, and through some miracle, "through love and faith" they overcome these challenges. She has made her way. May all children make their way...and may you, too, celebrate the wonder of yourself and your own life.








Doctors have come from distant cities just to see me

Stand over my bed disbelieving what they're seeing

They say I must be one of the wonders of God's own creation

And as far as they see they can offer no explanation

Newspapers ask intimate questions want confessions

They reach into my head to steal the glory of my story

They say I must be one of the wonders of God's own creation

And as far as they see they can offer no explanation

I believe Fate smiled and Destiny

Laughed as she came to my cradle

Know this child will be able

Laughed as my body she lifted

Know this child will be gifted

With love with patience and with faith

She'll make her way

She'll make her way

She'll make her way

People see me, I'm a challenge to your balance

I'm over your heads, how I confound you and astound you to know

I must be one of the wonders of God's own creation

And as far as you see you can offer me no explanation

I believe Fate smiled and Destiny

Laughed as she came to my cradle

Know this child will be able

Laughed as she came to my mother

Know this child will not suffer

Laughed as my body she lifted

Know this child will be gifted

With love with patience and with faith

She'll make her way

She'll make her way

She'll make her way

~~~~
If it weren't for my daughter, I would have been unable to deal with my mother's murder. Of this I am certain. She has filled my aching heart with the celebration of love and joy. An infant savior that was given to my care. May I be worthy.
~~~~
This song is from the collection, "Retrospective", which came out in 2004. In the accompanying CD booklet, I read that the song has become an anthem of sorts for hospitalized children who are in need of a miracle.

Natalie Merchant wrote: (reprinted in it's entirety)

I was asked to present an award during the annual benefit dinner for an organization funded by the family of Woody Guthrie. He had died of Huntington's disease, and this foundation funds research to find a cure. The year that I attended the event, the scientist who has isolated the gene that causes the disease was being honored. During his acceptance speech he said that, in spite of all the advancements in modern medicine, there was still a mysterious and powerful part of the healing process that no one could understand or quantify. He had seen seemingly hopeless cases that survive for years while much less seriously ill patients died in months. He said that there was no explanation for why love, laughter, or music should have healing power, but they did. Then he quoted some "Wonder," lyrics he had seen taped to the wall over a sick child's bed. Nurses in the pediatric hospital where he worked told him it was a sort of anthem for the patients there. I was stunned by his acknowledgement and touched by what he had said. I felt happy to have made something so useful.
~~~~
Natalie, I hope I am useful, too!
If you feel compelled to celebrate your own life in a concrete way, please click on one of the Compassion Opportunities posted on the sidebar (@ Braja's Lost and Found in India or Julie's Tangobaby) and share a little- "pay it forward" through PayPal. You could also lend a few words of support (in the comment section) to the intuitive artist, Dianne, who has been spending all of her time nurturing her husband through his most recent back surgery. Or go visit Paris of "Remembering Paris" and let her know that she is not alone in this life. You could leave a little love at The Pink Cowboy, where he is undergoing a challenging setback. Or leave a comment for dear loving Lori Ann of Lori Times Five who is sick and is being treated for malaria. Or? You know where your love is most needed. Don't resist being "the Wonder that you are."
I celebrate life! I celebrate you! I celebrate "the wonder of God's own creation."

A tender slow version of the song "Wonder" by the braid-wearing, wondrous, Natalie:





35 comments:

  1. hey Cyn,I'm with ya hon! I'm still waiting!
    I went through two mammograms and a sonagram two weeks ago. Both have suspicious things in them though each are different. They are now gonna watch it for six months! I believe in visualazation, prayer, good diet and positive attitude they will be gone in six months!
    xoxo & a big hug

    Ps you are a wonder! A wonderful person!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a lovely reminder to appreciate the life we have and be grateful. Great words, Cynthia.

    I'm happy to know your scare has passed. We are but fragile beings, candles in the wind.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I will be thinking of this post throughout the day. As lakeviewer said - a reminder to appreciate life and to be greatful.
    I've experienced that anxiety of waiting for test results - for weeks - and it was horrible, and made worse by an insensitive doctor who made a diagnosis (a wrong one) before even seeing the test results. Wishing you health and happiness, Cynthia.
    Catherine

    ReplyDelete
  4. Dear Cynthia,
    LIfe is a celebration and I too wish you every happiness, abundant health and much love...Happy weekend, xv.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Praise that your test came back normal and what an ordeal you have been through with a miraculous ending. Isn't it amazing that even though our head knows that life is fleeting, many suffer and that we should be thankful for health that there is no comparison until you come face to face with it. My thoughts and prayers for all those struggling with illness, pain from treatments and the sadness of no help for healing. Compassion is what we can offer, thank you for such a wonderful post today. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. I love these "I changed my life" stories. They are very inspiring. I'm so glad nothing came out of your "lump." As you know my sister had a radical double mastectomy last year. She has fully recovered since. So To Life!, dear friend.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm so happy that I got into the comment section and can respond to all of the love and celebration you all offer!!!
    (I'm having a little trouble with blogger!)

    Carol, oh dear, thank your for sharing your story and I hope that you are filled with wonderous connections, plenty of gardening and joy. Let me know how everthing is going cpittmann@gmail.com and take care. May healing love surround you! <3

    Lakeviewer, so true, the wind continues to blow...I think we have a little bubble of glass surrounding us...but it is fragile. Thank you for your visit and your intelligence. <3

    Oh Catherine, how stressful to have a doctor treat a problem and cause a bigger one! You had to go through the anxiety for so long...and it was all unnecessary. My heart goes out to you. Thank you for sharing your experience and your great heart. May you feel peace with all that life continues to offer you. <3

    Vicki, thank you for your appreciation and kind affection. May you have a lovely weekend in the beautiful French countryside. <3

    Artist Unplugged, yes it is so amazing how we forget our stay on earth in temporary.
    How? Why? I don't know...but it happens over and over again. I think people, such as your self, who dive headlong into creative projects...feel so alive. That is what we all need to strive for...that celebration...that zest! Thank you for your comments. <3

    The Pink Cowboy,
    Yes, it is so harsh to go through that surgery but much better than to go untreated. I imagine. I know her children and family would feel that way. I hope she has adjusted...and has freedom from pain. May your summer be uphill from now on...love to you, friend. <3

    ReplyDelete
  8. You have said it all. Thank You, Cynthia.I was just thinking the same thoughts this morning, as i was driving my daughter to work.Yep,yep,yep, we are connected and so if one of us struggles, we all have a part to play.xx♥

    ReplyDelete
  9. Yes you are a miracle and a joy in my life.

    You have an award on my blog. xxx

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cynthia, what an extraordinary post. I'm in awe of you. Wow, you truly are proof of miracles:) The song is wonderful and it seems to go perfectly for you:)

    My son was also born in 1992...must have been the year of blessings and revelations:)
    Hugs,
    Lucy

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow...and yes. Just yes :)

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
  12. u r such a motivation for all of us in the blogosphere too..cheers friend..

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi, dropping by from Sarah Lulu's blog. It sounds like life has been tough for you. I am so sorry. You sound like a very strong woman. Blessings.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Wow, Cynthia I didn't know you went through that anxiety when you had Amber, I thought your blood condition was diagnosed when younger. Wow, anyway I"m so glad about the mammography, sometimes we fret about results-and the results are nothing, anticipation is horrible, I"m been through that a lot, and I've had a couple of procedures done and they have been ok, thanks God. I love Natalie Merchant,she's one of my favorite singers and I love that song, I love her raspy voice. I have most of her records and when she was part of 10,000 Maniacs, she reminds me of my life in NYC especially 10, 000 M , All is well like Louise Hay says, let's celebrate life and all its blessings. BTW, Amber looks so cute in the photo,
    take care,
    D

    ReplyDelete
  15. You, Cynthia are definitely a wonder! (including your spontaneous remission.)

    So much of your life story is miraculous. I hope at some point you will write a memoir. I don't know anyone else whose life has had so much packed into it, both good and bad.

    Wow.

    Didn't know about Lori. I'll stop in and say hello, and send her some healing energy. Malaria is really bad, and epidemic all over the continent of Africa. Poor Lori. Thank you for thinking of her.

    And thank you for taking such good care of yourself. Bravo!

    ReplyDelete
  16. oh how I can identify with much of what you've written dear girl...the type a personality that pushes and pushes and wears itself out...i'm better...but still learning...thanks for sharing...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh Cynthia you have been through so much, as a youngster, teenager and as an expectant mum. Glad the mammagram did not throw up anything untoward. A couple of years ago I also found a lump that turned out to be a harmless cysts - but it is such a worrying wait.

    Amber and Rafa make a beautiful couple

    x

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Cynthia,

    you can see i got in again! i have to go back and forth between 2 browsers to read everything here,but it's ok. You have inspired me again, but you know just being here does. Your words are soothing and encouraging, look what you've overcome in your life. And look at your BEAUTIFUL girl! I'll hold your words in my heart as I continue to try to find out what it is I have. More tests this week...
    thank you so much for thinking of me and your sweet words.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I too have been through that awful waiting for those initial results only to find out I needed to have a biopsy twice. It was all very stressful but everything was clear and I'm once again back to my yearly check ups.
    Thank goodness !

    I haven't listened to Natalie Merchant in ages thanks for the lovely reminder. So glad that some of your worries have been lifted. xo from les Gang at Black Street

    ReplyDelete
  20. Thanks Cynthia for your inspiring writing, and for your visits to my humble abode. You have been through alot... One reason I visit cemeteries from time to time is to remind me that I too will reach some place like that some day, and one never knows when. It could all come to an abrupt end with something as idiotic as a car wreck or a plane that falls out of the sky, not to mention the myriad health issues that can occur.

    My father was a professor of anatomy, so I got more than my fair share growing up of medical insights... given all the ways things can go wrong so fast, it is a real wonder that so many people seem to roll along in perfect health for so long... keep smiling ! And enjoy each day !

    ReplyDelete
  21. There is a kind of bittersweet irony to your story Cynthia. In trying to cram as much as you could into your life, you came very close to possibly losing it. Somewhere in there, the balance shifted and your awarness was overdrawn. I think God just gave you a little poke to set you back on course. Thanks for the reminder.

    ReplyDelete
  22. C...your comment was useful and informative..thanks and cheers, friend..

    ReplyDelete
  23. It is a fine balance. We want so much, but first we have to just take care of what we are given. I'm so glad you and your daughter are enjoying life. Peace to you.

    ReplyDelete
  24. This is gorgeous, Cynthia - And of course I meant to award you and OWL the award - That goes without saying - Who else do I know who is as beautiful a Cynthia, as you, my darling...

    Thank you so for this wondrous piece of writing and music - Your daughter and her boyfriend look as if they have years of happiness ahead of them. And our family does anchor us to the future, n'est-ce pas? Beautiful, my friend - I treasure your words and your every wonder-ous deed.

    I love Natalie Merchant too. Thank you once again x

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hi, I love your blog, I have a blog on tb craft in general and now I'm offering my readers to download the magazine found the net, http://agulhaetricot.blogspot.com, visit me, and also appears in my online shop Maison Carré by Tita, http://maisontitacarre.blogspot.com, kiss.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing this song.....one I'e always loved but forgotten.....

    I find it amazing how our children...so helpless and small, make us so strong.....

    Thanks,

    Miriam

    ReplyDelete
  27. Hi.
    I’m really glad you’re OK. Thank God.
    I really feel your words when you say, “In my heart, she is connected to all children who undergo a physical challenge”. I now understand what you say. And I understand it deeply.
    Yes. Every person is a wonder. That’s why when a person dies, something wonderful is lost.
    Thank you for your beautiful post.
    Stay healthy.
    (I’ve updated my weblog. There is a short story I’ve written.)

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hi Cynthia, thank you for visiting my blog. Your post is touching and thoughtful. Your story touches a chord in me, as I have recently been reminded of how precious life is. Facing a medical scare really does change your outlook, doesn't it? I truly do feel now that "every day is a gift".

    ReplyDelete
  29. What a beautiful post this is! Celebrate life. Yes, indeed, we all have time for death later.

    Greetings from London.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Your beautiful daughter and beautiful you, Cynthia. It's so important to celebrate love. It is, after all, the very breath of our existence and the best of all reasons for living. What a wonderful, uplifting and resonant post. I'm so, so happy to hear that the lump you found is benign.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Hi everyone, Blogger/Explorer let me in again...I see all of these wonderful comments and will visit you at your blogs. Love to all of you <3

    ReplyDelete
  32. Hi Cynthia

    I'm so happy for you that your got good news and also that your recovered completely from thrombocytopenic purpura -- truely a miracle! Your daughter is so beautiful.

    I am a cancer survivor and will never take a day for granted. Good health habits, stress reduction and positive visualization are all important towards helping us stay healthy for as long as we can.

    I enjoyed the music -- very uplifting!

    Thanks for trying to re-connect to my blog. I have been having the same problem with some blogs too! Wish Blogger or IE would fix the problem.

    ReplyDelete
  33. Cynthia you have had a very eventful life and overcome all your trials. I hope that you will overcome the rest just as well. I know the waiting is killing one. I wish you all the love and faith you need.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Cynthia, thank you for this wonderful tribute to that great wonder life really is! I am so happy for you that you managed to master so many hurdles and trials. I greatly enjoyed reading several of your back posts!

    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog!

    ReplyDelete
  35. How did I miss commenting on your post? I am in a flurry of business and trying to cope with a new computer system at work and am sort of fried when I get home (but it's job security, lol).

    Every time I learn something about you, I am once again in awe, feel respect and realize the strength you have.

    I, too, am glad you have your daughter to help you see what is important in this life, and also that you share so much with us, that helps us in ways you can never comprehend, the vastness of it.

    Thank you my blogging friend...for just being

    ReplyDelete

Start a conversation with your comments here...