Sunday, March 26, 2006

Mary, Spun of Golden Sunlight

Mary is a classy woman in Atlanta – a smart woman in her 40s, an animal lover, gardener, a sensitive woman. Mary's life has been dedicated to healing others, and her work in community service and charitable organizations is praised. She is beautiful inside and out, flaxen hair falling about her face in its journey past her shoulders, and wide-open eyes which speak the music of the inner self she carries. When I am in her presence, I sense her heart as if it is a separate party in the room. She wears love on her face. It is liquid in her voice, and it languishes in her body. Words spill off her tongue in tones which soothe those who listen. Humor is her friend, and she uses it to change a mood when hope seems lost amidst pain and fear. Visits to Mary’s office are like trips for ice cream on hot Sunday afternoons – whatever is rustling your reserve can disappear with the first taste.

Mary became my doctor first and my friend as time passed. I went to her in significant pain, feeling hopeless to change the course of events which were playing roulette with my life. I wanted to be worry and pain free. Soon a bride-to-be with a lover who had turned my life upside down with joy and tenderness, I was stuck in a body screaming at me. The love which we shared was such a rich blessing, and I wanted to fully enjoy this time in our lives. I wanted to climb pain-free onto the private yacht where our wedding would take place on a warm summer's night on Puget Sound. I had a busy agenda during the next 6-8 months with a wedding and a relocation to Seattle to plan. My spirits were sinking, anchored somewhere between depression and my chronic pain which burned like a hot iron on tender flesh.

Mary came into the room of our first meeting, radiating cheerfulness with a huge smile that pulled her lips wide. She asked me many questions and carefully listened to every word I spoke. When I finished my tale with chin quivering and tears glistening on my cheeks, Mary put her arms around me, hugged me close, and said she had magic tricks and she knew she could help me. Within the hour she proceeded to move through several modalities of treatment bringing my rigid and ropey muscles to more flexibility. She and I began a treatment regimen that afternoon which continues. Even though we now live in Seattle, we travel 2673 miles twice a year to visit friends and family, and one of the first things on our agenda is to SEE Mary. Time spent with Mary is like revisiting a book you love or listening to a story which soothed you as a child. There is much joy, lots of squeals, giggles, squeezes, and snuggly hugs as soon as my husband and I arrive. He loves her as much as I do.

Since our relocation to Seattle, Mary and I keep in touch by e-mail correspondence, sharing the news of our lives. My husband and I have eagerly awaited her first visit to the Pacific NW. Shortly after we left Atlanta, Mary fell in love with another doctor we also know and love. This news sparked a big celebration for us who were both excited to hear of their joy. How thrilling it has been to see Mary happy and to know she is sharing her life with someone who values her, respects and loves her in every way that she deserves! The glow she wears could compete with the full sun on a beach at high noon as she talks about the rewarding blessings in her life and the joy she finds in each day. She now lives with love and devotion and the enchanting dreams and plans of their tomorrows. A mountain retreat, puppies shared and loved, mutual friends whose joy of this exciting merger could be heard all over town, and finally an office practice together – these things now decorate their lives.

Recently our electricity went out leaving us in total darkness on a windy, late-winter's night early in March. My husband’s cell phone also makes a wireless connection to the internet. I asked him to check my mail while he was online. "A letter from Mary," he said, and I asked him to read it to me. This letter brought the first news that Mary has a brain tumor, an inoperable brain tumor. The words stuck in my mind – eyes fixed upon my husband’s face, searching for some sign that this was not true, registering the words, then searching again. Stunned, I sat in my chair momentarily mute. Hearing that Mary was going through this very scary medical emergency, almost 3,000 miles away, made me long for the Atlanta I had not missed before now. Oh, I had missed the friends, but never the city. Now I wanted the familiar city, wanted to be close enough to feel like I was “close.” I wanted to be able to see Mary with my own eyes.

Since that night, she has had a shunt put into her brain to relieve the pressure. There is no definitive medical plan at this moment while she and her partner research the best alternatives and the best medical facilities to handle this situation. Friends, family, and patients alike have joined together to form a huge network of love and support. Mary is adored by people everywhere. She is a lamp of hope and love in so many people’s lives, a giver of health and promise. It is no wonder she is loved in such huge proportion, an amount that seems to surprise her as she is washed in it daily. She is basking in this love, finding solace when her heart is heavy, watching the detour signs, layering talk about tomorrow with medical terms about tumor shrinkage instead of simply focusing on the mountain cabin they are building. She is focused now on living. She is cared-for and caregiver. Everyone must be worried, but we keep a chin up and a positive attitude. All I know for sure is how my heart feels. It aches at the prospect of this extraordinary woman being in any peril, this woman who has been a savior to so many, whose loving heart has been given away more times than she can count, to so many of us.

Please add Mary to your prayer list, to your thoughts, to your wish list. Send her good energy filled with healing words and images. Imagine her head filled with joy and wisdom in such great proportion that this tumor is pushed away and reduced in power and mass. Join us please in sending loving thoughts and healing energy to this amazing woman, this healing force who has given so much life to so many. She is the wondrous face of hope and love – she is MARY.

Photgraphy, Digital Art, and Rendering shown above are from our private collection.

Art Courtesy of Photographer and Artist, Nguyen Ngoc Danh, Sacramento, California

Golden Threads

Memories of mornings when your blonde hair
shone lustrous, spun like you
of golden threads and sunlight,
dance quietly across my visits with the past,
when pain was constant
and you were there; always there.

Love dressed in such a tiny package then,
vibrant motion, healer that you are.
From every cell the healing trickled out,
while fingers kneading new life
for the needy, coaxed broken
bodies back to whole again.

You walk this earth, with sight projected far
to see beyond what lies upon the path
and let your intuition guide you forward
to nurture spirits, cleanse
the body’s chaos, remove the blocks
which keep the bones ajar.

You’ve been the hope, the dream, the gentle peace
for morning's comfort or in
the evening's light that’s cast upon
the glowing limbs, as redwoods bid goodnight
to one more sun and bid a new
one’s rise for dawn’s release.

With love we come as one to sing your praise
while you are fighting for
your days ahead amidst us all whose lives
you have changed. We reignite
the loving touch you gave and send it
back to heal and light your days.


tara dawn said...

What a beautiful tribute…your love and admiration of Mary emits from every word! What a true gift she is to you, and to so many others. Thank you for sharing her healing and spirited character with us…she is in my prayers, as are you and all those suffering with her during this time. If there is anything I can do to help her in any way, I am here and more than willing. May her spirit continue to soar above her pain, and her heart be filled with peace and comfort.

krista said...

What a blessing to have come across someone like her in your lifetime. There are some people in life that have a contageous spirit- who inherently and fundamentally in who they are, turn everything they touch into something softer, nicer...She sounds like one of those people. I will think of her, and send positive vibes. Your description of her is beautiful.

Endment said...

There are so few people in our lives who radiate such inner and outer beauty. What a treasure to count her as a friend.

How difficult it is to feel helpless in the face of such need. Our prayers are with her and you

Tammy said...

Mary sounds like an angel on earth. When I read your description of Mary and your beautiful poem. I could feel your immense love and admiration. She is a healer and will fight this and win! My prayers are for Mary and those who love her.

V said...


Rexroth's Daughter said...

Sky-- I am so sorry to read about your dear friend and healer. I hope she finds great comfort in the love and tenderness that is being sent to her from everywhere.

Lorna said...

How lucky you both are to have each other. I'll include Mary in my prayers---I'll include you both.

Patry Francis said...

What an amazing person. Thanks for sharing her with us so vividly. Your Mary will definitely be in my prayers.

Bohemian Girl said...

Mary will be in my thoughts and prayers.

This was a beautiful tribute to your dear friend, teacher, healer. I am holding onto hope that all of the love surrounding her will create miracles, just as he always created miracles for others.

Bless your heart through this too...I know it hurts and is scary.

Jay said...

I'm really sorry to hear about that, but with such positive thoughts about her out in the universe, I can only hope that her ending will be a happy one.

bee said...

the tribute, both of them, was so achingly poignant to read. i'm actually speechless. thank you for sharing mary's story - she will be in my thoughts.

beansprout said...

Sky...I will keep your dear friend in my prayers. Your words are very powerful and I'm sure she feels the love of all those around her. Be well.

Mary said...

What an amazing person your friend and healer is, and what a beautifully heartfelt tribute this is, Sky.

I will be thinking of her and you.

Tabor said...

I send you my hopes and good thoughts as well. This must be very hard to feel so helpless and so far away.

rdl said...

She sounds amazing and your tribute is just beautifully written, heart wrenching. Sending positive thoughts and prayers.

Buffy said...

"She wears love on her face. It is liquid in her voice.."

I love this phrase.

doc-t said...

This hurts my heart... Mary sounds like a very RARE creature. A medical doctor who CARES. they are far to rare...

I would like to be able to DO something... if you think of anything... anything at all, would you please let me know.

I live here in atlanta, and if ther is something (i know the odds are slim) please let me know.

MB said...

Oh, dear Sky. Your love burns bright in this writing. May love light the way for all of you.

firstborn said...

very touched by your words and imagery...will keep her and those who know and love her in my thoughts and prayers.

Sky said...

My thanks to each one of you for your loving and thoughtful comments. Mary has read this post and all the comments. She is very grateful for the positive and loving energy which surrounds her. She is doing well and is amazingly strong and positive in outlook and focus.

liz elayne said...

i have been thinking about you and mary since i read this late yesterday. my prayers and good energy are with you my friend. i hope that only sunlight and peace come from all of this.

A Novelist said...

I have to say I really enjoy the pictures on your site. It makes me really homesick (I'm from Seattle). Look forward to reading more. Take care. :)

Wenda said...

Sky, What a wonderful friend you each have. I wish you both the very best and will muster up some positive energy to send your way.

Kayla said...

My daughters and I will pray for your friend each night this week. I promise. Your photography is breath taking.