On Prayer: A Short Letter

[A letter to a mentor, Sr Pauline O'Regan, in New Zealand]

I was reading over the weekend about ‘unlocking meaning in life’. The key elements it seems are 1) belonging; 2) purpose; 3) storytelling; and 4) transcendence or a sense of awe. On storytelling, a professor who studies “narrative identity” found a trend in the stories that people with meaningful lives tell themselves. Their lives are a redemption story (aka finding the good from the bad).

Still sorting the stories of this year out of course but one, for sure, is that through Angie’s own injury, we have been able to care for one another. And, I’m absolutely blessed to have Angie through this experience. I think I am coming out way ahead on the ‘being cared for’ scale.

I’m doing well. Had a few ‘lost days’ last week – tiredness/crash after the adrenaline around surgery. My energy has returned each day. My stitches are now out along with the drains. I still have a dressing over the incision. I am beginning my physio exercises (here too, Angie’s experience is coming in handy). I don’t have any pain (although I have awareness).

Thank you for your ongoing thoughts and prayers. I am touched deeply by your love and care.

Two dear friends of ours went off to Iona, Scotland last autumn on a Retreat guided by John Phillip Newell. They have passed along two of his prayers.

The first – for Morning - came from them at the beginning of this journey. I’m saying it on those days when I am focused enough to do so (there can be an alarming drift from sleeping late, reading the newspaper long, and finding the day well underway). One of the things that is part of the recovery process for me at each phase has been to re-enter some structure – including morning reflection.

The second prayer – for Evening - has come more recently as I completed chemo in good health and heart and moved to and now through surgery. I’m integrating it into my nightly routine and finding it most helpful in supporting my energy.

Here they are [posted on Poems and Prayers].

With love

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On January 22, 2016 I went for a mammogram, to confirm that a lump in my right breast was a cyst. It was. And it saved my life. Because I was overdue for my breast screening, imaging was also done on my left breast  The mammogram and ultrasound came back “highly suspicious” for breast cancer...

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