on the other side of fear

Jim&Vic Selfie Italy Vaca Collage.PNG

As with last week’s post, this week’s post is in celebration of the 7-year anniversary of my mastectomy. I wrote the poem below for my husband, Jim, after my surgery. He is an amazing partner who loves me completely, for all that I am, however imperfect that might be – and who I love more than anything.

So much became possible as I leaned into my vulnerability. I found my way to the other side fear. The possibilities that awaited me were moments of deep love, interpersonal connection, immense peace and contentment, and even joy and gratitude.

Do You Know

Do you know
what it meant to me
to have you there in my most vulnerable moments
when I was afraid and uncertain about what I would see?

Do you know
what it meant to me
to hear you tell me I was beautiful
when I sat on the chair with the bandages removed?

Do you know
what it meant to me
to have you tenderly touch me
when I was so fragile and exposed?

Do you know
what it meant to me
for you to see me as pretty
when in front of me were wounds and scars?

Do you know
how truly important
your love was
to bringing me to the other side?

 

 

* We took the selfies in the opening photo collage during our 2018 summer vacation to Sicily Italy (Catania, Ortygia, Vendicari, Cava d’Ispica, Ragusa, Caltigirone, Cala Scibetta).

* I first posted this poem on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog

 

a parent’s love

M&D for Love.PNG

LOVE

They sit quietly.
They are calm, or so it appears.
They hold each other’s hands,
channeling their strength to each other.
They steal glances and kisses,
grounding themselves in the love that bonds them together.
They smile,
They speak softly, kindly.
They focus on being supportive.
They are here to give.
They continue to give.
It’s never-ending, a parent’s love.

Their precious baby girl.
A grown woman now.
A challenge along her journey.
They want to remove the obstacles for her.
Yet, they know, as they always have, this is her path.
She’s strong.
She’s spirited.
She can do this.
In her own unique way with grace.
And, how do they know?
The same way they knew she’d climb all the mountains before:
LOVE.
Their love.
It gives.
It continues to give.
It’s never-ending, a parent’s love.

My parents visited last month for about 10 days. I love that they can come in their RV and be our neighbors for awhile! It is way too long between visits, and always super special to be with them and to feel their love close up.

Last week was my 7-year anniversary of my mastectomy – I almost forgot! Amazing how it’s possible to integrate experiences into your life in a way that they are not something negative to dwell on, but rather a source of strength and possibility.

These two events inspired today’s post about my parents, which I wrote upon reflection of them sitting in the hospital waiting room prior to my surgeries.

Mom&Dad TX Dancing.PNG

Mom&Dad TX Dancing 2.PNG

* The opening photos were taken a couple of weeks ago when my parents were visiting and we had lunch together in Iowa City. The closing photos are from my parent’s website – out dancing with friends in Texas.

* I first published this poem on my Mostly My Heart Sings blog.

 

This Precious Moment

Guzelcamli Turkey.JPG

This Precious Moment

I look into your eyes;
a deep well invites me in.

I listen to your words;
their syllables envelop me.

I touch your presence;
a palpable energy showers me in light.

Illuminated, you leave me curious.

What awakens your spirit?
What makes your heart sing?
What do you love more than anything?

Here. Now. Together.
We live in this breathing, precious moment.

One of the gifts of my job is that I meet amazing people. Truly amazing people.

One of them is Katiuscia Barretta. We met through the Mindfulness@IBM community that I started in 2015. She was instrumental in growing our community and creating awareness of the value of mindfulness in the workplace. She wrote a series of blogs about the neuroscience of mindfulness and made connections with the qualities of working in agile ways and applying design thinking. We led four different 6-8 week mindfulness series during 2015 and 2016, and we are at it again right now.

Part of Kat’s approach is to close each week’s session with a short inspirational reading, usually a poem. She introduced me to some wonderful poetry (such as There’s a Hole in my Sidewalk). And, she invited me to share my own poetry. One week we came up short and I was inspired to write something.

This poem was inspired by practicing mindfulness with Kat and my colleagues at work.

 

* I took this photo from Dilek National Park in Guzelcamli, Turkey (which has a view toward Samos, Greece).