Last night I took a ferry to an island on the Casco Bay, to join many other dear friends in the back of a pick up truck for a ride to our dear friend Ronda’s : Alive at 45 party. For those of you old time Mama C readers, you now Ronda, as Tia, Sammy’s Godmother/Musical Guru/one of our oldest and dearest, and the friend who came across the country to meet Sam’s first mom with me, six plus years ago.
Last year on her birthday, we all went dancing, and I wrote about the night here. Only one year later, and we were celebrating the fact, that is seems rather miraculous that she is alive. I could not begin to do tribute to her spiritual, physical, emotional, and self healing journey here. One point only a few months ago, I was begging her on the phone, tears streaming down my face to choose a certain medical path to save her life. I thought she was being so selfish when she insisted on finding her own path to wellness, even if it meant her own death before she figured it out.
As you can imagine, this post could be a blog in itself. Instead it is merely a quiet, day-after-great-joy-and-sweetness recognition on this Sunday, that every birthday is really an Alive at 45 occasion for all of us. Tia asked us to bring food, champagne, and any thoughts we had on what the word transformation meant to ourselves or for her, in honor of this occasion to gather with her, and not because of her! I had to catch a boat home before those assembled were going to help her cut her hair, as part of an outward transformation!
What amazes me this morning is how much of a shift she managed to orchestrate in those around her; in looking at how we choose to heal verses how healing is often chosen for us. She is living proof of how the former can contribute to a miraculous, albeit slower and eventual outcome.
A need for speed in wellness is something she challenged with weeks and weeks of rest, and rest, and more rest. With no health insurance, or income, this was a choice her community came around her to support in every way imaginable. It was a gift she gave all of us: the opportunity to know we were helping her to get better one meal, or phone card, or heating oil payment contribution at a time.
In our friendship, she taught me a deeper layer of trust, and an opportunity to look more closely at how my own fears around loss were guiding me, and my parenting. She invited me join her in her choice to heal, and not to fight it every step of the way.
In that invitation lay a transformation of its own.
Although by no means “cured” by this standard or that, she is thriving beyond what most of us are doing who are considered in “good health”. She is living her life with a kind of deliberate intention for well being, that I haven’t seen in action like this before.
Happy Alive at 45 Tia.