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.
Memories of mornings when your blonde hair
shone lustrous, spun like you
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
You walk this earth, with sight projected far
to see beyond what lies upon the path
and let your intuition guide you forward
You’ve been the hope, the dream, the gentle peace
for morning's comfort or in
With love we come as one to sing your praise
while you are fighting for