Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Tale of Two Bracelets....


Man, my arm is naked.

Unless you've been living under a rock -- or just haven't checked my blog in a couple of days, you know that I lost Mom's bracelet yesterday. What you don't know is that I'm surprisingly okay about it.


I am.

I can't explain.

Oh, the drama that ensued the last time I lost it!! October 28, 2007. Barely three months after we lost Mom. That bracelet was so much more than a bangle with scripture on it. I'd worn it every day since we'd buried her. That bracelet was this whole circle of grief that I carried with me everywhere. And when I lost it.... I can't even begin to tell you the emotions that bombarded me. I felt like I'd let Mom down. That maybe if the bracelet wasn't important enough for me to hold onto, she hadn't been important enough to me either.

I know. We're not exactly talking rational here. But if you were around back then, you know there wasn't much about me that was rational.

Losing the bracelet again hasn't been a good thing. I know there's going to come a time when I'm really, really pissed at myself for losing it.

But for now, it's been kind of a positive to take a break from it. Even if I do wish it was going to be a short break rather than a forever break.

Annette and I talked about it last night. Annette also lost her Mom to cancer -- in so many ways, as I've walked this walk, she's been a couple of steps ahead helping me stay on solid ground. Annette knew just where I was coming from when I told her I felt lighter without that bracelet.

Mom has been gone almost two years. Twenty months of my wearing that bracelet -- of getting up every morning and putting on that mantle of grief. Every morning. I didn't realize that was what it had become, and I didn't realize that was what I was doing. But over the last couple of weeks I think God has been preparing me for this.

In the last few weeks, I'd noticed how worn that bracelet was getting. How it was misshapen. And I wondered what I was supposed to do when you couldn't read the scripture any more. At what point would I need to put it aside.

And then, yesterday, it was gone. And I'm okay. Really. I am.

I discovered it was missing yesterday when I moved my arm and it felt too light. Mom's bracelet was gone. All that was left was my Brighton Breast Cancer bracelet.

Part 2

(I know. Hugely long post. Bear with me here.)

This morning I logged onto Facebook and was met with an update that immediately struck a cord with me. A friend had written that she was having a port put in today.

And I knew she had cancer.

It's crazy how a simple statement can say so very much.

Ann works with Gibbs & Soell, the company I used to do PR with "back in the day." You know, back when I wrote magazine articles about cotton farmers and entomologists and herbicides. Back when I could tell you how many heat units were needed for cotton to reach cut-out. And the best place to eat in Greenwood, Miss. And who to look for at the Milan No-Till Field Days.

I knew Ann in a whole other life. She stayed with G&S. I left shortly after we moved to Austin, so Biggsy could get his MBA. I can't tell you how proud I am of Ann and what she has accomplished -- she rocks.

We recently re-connected on Facebook -- just like so many bajillion people who are touching base with people they haven't talked to in years.

This morning I looked further. Port. Anti-nausea drugs. Chemo. Something was amiss.

I found a link to Ann's blog. And I read. And read.

Listen gang, this girl is my age. MY AGE. She has two young daughters -- younger than mine.

AND she has breast cancer.

Down to one bracelet, I knew where it needed to go. That bracelet has power. That bracelet is the one our team gave me this year. It walked the 3-Day (as much as I was able to walk.) It has the power of 3000 people taking step after step to find a CURE. On days when Ann needs to feel like she has an army behind her, she can wear that bracelet and KNOW that is the case.

I sent it to her today. Along with lots of love and a few treats for her girls.

Now here's the deal....

I have one more bracelet. Carla gave me a second Brighton bracelet for my birthday / Christmas. I'm not going to wear it every day. I need to feel lighter for a while. But I'm gonna wear it. And I'd really like to keep it. So all you buddies out there who are reading this (all four of you) -- STAY HEALTHY! No one is allowed to be diagnosed with anything bracelet-worthy.

Got it??


Please send prayers Ann's way. I've added a link to her blog on my blogroll. Casa de Camden. I know she could use all the warm thoughts and prayers you can spare!


Michelle McMillan said...

Love ya,


Kayren said...

It took me a few weeks to decompress from the 3Day last year- it might take me a few hours to decompress after this post. While a bit long it was full of depth- Thank you for your honesty and sharing your thoughts and feelings as you conquer each hill/mountain in your circle of life. Love you!