Archived entries for Life

is there a buddhist in the house?!?

“Would you like to have spiritual care?”

The question scared me. The nurse had been casually going through various pre-op necessities, taking my blood pressure and checking my pulse and asking if I were allergic to latex. My impending translaminar foraminectomy was classified as elective surgery. “Spiritual care” sounded like “last rites” to me. Had I missed something in the surgeon’s office?

I discovered that the Methodist Hospital of Houston simply and charitably provides any spiritual presence for any patient who wants it. After quickly confessing that I was a Buddhist and then blithely announcing that, nah, I didn’t need any help, a tangle of unthought thoughts hit my head like sticky spiritual cobwebs.

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an annunciation, with the meter running

“Kids. Are. So strong. Resilient. You give them. Your love. And they are fine. They can handle anything. Believe…”

Many more words came from this man I never saw, but his words turned into clouds around me. Eight years ago, they enveloped me and evaporated me. They imploded my well-constructed mental merry-go-round for living life as a high-functioning lie. And, they made plainly obvious everything from the uncomfortable fact that I was collapsing to the experiential fact that angels do walk among us. Or, sometimes, drive taxis.

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we interrupt our program to blurt something out

Something is starting to hit me. Hard. Not bad, sad or difficult kind of hard. Just weak-kneed, brain-fried, and overwhelming kind of hard. Integrating my past with the present and with hope and grief and growth and—if I am really lucky—grace kind of hard.

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