Saturday, May 31, 2008


Finally, I get the chance to stop and blog a tiny bit this morning. Last night, I tried, but I started falling asleep as I was typing, so I gave up and went to bed. After a long day, I was thankful to win a deeply desired rest that has been evading me the last few weeks. Allergies and a frenetic schedule have been chasing me crazy. =) This morning, I feel a sense of restoration that is beyond appreciation.

Part of that restoration comes to me (other than the wonderful Claritin-D, that I have to swear by!!) through a reminder of what life truly is about. I had spent yesterday going to mass, catching up with good friends, sharing some pretty crazy stories over brunch and a lot of laughter. After brunch, I had been somewhat emotionally exhausted. Between a lot of intense writing the last few days, struggling with breathing while singing (allergy induced asthma), then seeing an old friend of mine who I had been concerned about now involved in a healthy, happy and solid relationship... I was going through a roller coaster of emotion. Happy for them, yet..... also, something else.

Towards evening though, I got a phone call. An older lady friend of mine (a mom figure in my life) called me and told me that her sister-in-law (a lady I've spent quite a bit of time with the past year) was in the hospital in a coma. She's been battling cancer for quite awhile, but went into a coma the last couple of days and has only 1 or 2 left. While her doctors are stunned that she has lived this long, those of us who know her realize it is not so strange. I had prayed I would have the opportunity to help send her off and was so glad to get the phone call giving me just that. As my friend and I hung out with her, I had the opportunity to sing her a few songs and pray her well on her journey (Divine Mercy chaplet). As I sang to her, I kept calling to mind her story, and all that she's been through in this life. If I ever get the opportunity to write about her life one day it would be an honor.

You see.... she is one of those individuals who truly has much to say about life and suffering, hope and death. To say her life has been remarkable would be an understatement. She was born in Poland, the eldest child of Russian exiles and a survivor of a Nazi Labor Camp. To give a tiny bit of history, the Nazi's were quite intent in wiping out the Polish people. There are many who forget that they were just as focused on achieving this goal, as they were in exterminating the Jewish race. Some of what she went through during that time is beyond words. In the midst of complete and total deprevation, and in the knowledge that most of her family was being wiped out, she became a woman of God. She went forward dedicating her life to giving everything she possesses so that others might have hope. Literally. She brushes it off and states it was an easy decision to do so, but I realize the magnitude of that statement.

I was lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time with her this past year. While preparing meals for her and chatting, I have watched her and I have learned. Intensely devout, fiercely intelligent, deeply respected and a charismatic leader, she has traveled far and suffered greatly, with a spirit that I can only say is indomitable. I am often amazed to discover who she knew/knows, and the impact she has made on all those who have come into contact with her. Not that she didn't have her moments, of course she did. But through it all, her attitude always remained fixed on the knowledge that her beginning and her end centered on one person. She knew the full meaning of "Who am I?".

Naturally, being with her also reminded me of others who have left. Those who have died. Family. Friends who have departed so young. Others who have not died, but remain with me in spirit, while they remain physically seperate of me. All those who you say goodbye to, but it's not really a goodbye. It's a "till we meet again".... "till we meet again and share a meal in heaven together". ( we all make it, but I will leave that consideration to God... I mean, Who am I?)

As Nell and I chatted, we had the opportunity to talk a little about that and share some good stories about special people who have come into our lives, that we'll never forget. Can't forget.
It's hard not to think of all of that, yet for me, it's a blessing. A blessing to be with her towards the end. A blessing to be reminded of special people and that .... we aren't limited by our bodies. We aren't limited by our space. We are only limited by our faith... or lack of it. Life can get crazy, and life can be hard at times, but it is ALWAYS amazing because of all of the above. BECAUSE there's difficulties, BECAUSE it isn't always easy... Life can be that much more gorgeous if you know how to see.

Tyna knew how to do that. Walentyna Narowski ... knew... and knows. And I wish her well. Save a place for me Tyna!! =)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------Update: Tyna died at 3:15pm, during the hour of mercy, the next day.