Thank *you* for joining me today..
I am celebrating Love..pure and true…
With a story and a song..a tribute to Ginger whom I loved with my Being..and to Ginger’s owner who is my “wise friend”–a teacher, a guide, a love, a friend..
I *love* you..
Once upon a time..one year ago this month..
I was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer..
So, I quick counted my blessings..took stock of all that I’d experienced, had I lived well/right, was my heart full and happy, did I share from that overflowing well? Had I loved fully? Would my two young children know how loved they were? Would my friends? If my physical being died, would the beach fill with people who remembered how I was full of joy, peace, love…who came to celebrate the experiences we shared..
Yes..yes to all of it..And the bonus is that I took a huge leap and allowed my life time dream of living on a boat to manifest..So, double yes..I’d allowed my heart to remain open and I was glad for all of it..
My loved ones were shocked, surprised, and quite distant…
I continued to live each day as fully as possible..I hit some lows during tests and results, but all in all, I continued on as usual.
Enter my ‘wise friend’…
He loves me..he loves my children..we mean the world to him..on the boat and in life he is one of my biggest sources of encouragement..When he is in my life, he gently challenges me in the best possible way to dream, then to allow those dreams to manifest..He comes in and out of my life as naturally as the tide rises and falls..
We had taken different paths, but at this time he was led back into my life..and what he did was to love me in a way that I would allow, a way far different from that he had expected, but he customed Love to me instead of pushing it on me..
He took a job within my marina, across from my boat and that meant that any time of the day, we could glance across the harbor at each other and smile..He represents to me utter joy, adventure, faith, love..so looking across the harbor would remind me of those things.
So dorky, we’d wave across the harbor..hello I see you..mega watt smiles lighting up the area between us..
That is as close as I would allow him to be..
And this story isn’t about him..it’s about Ginger..
Ginger is a pit bull with the cutest face in the world..boat trained, used to being held and coddled, lovable in all ways..
Ginger was my wise friend’s dog, his best friend, his companion…and he gave her to me and the children..perhaps the best present I’ve ever had..he gave me his best friend to love on me because I needed love, and that is the form I would best accept it..
Gol. I took her everywhere..to the park, for my last few times running on the beach at water’s edge, to the hills and my favorite hiking trails..my constant companion..During that time, fear allowed many of my closest friends to shy away a bit..so Ginger’s company was a huge blessing..
Talk about love. She was used to my friend holding her while she slept..so I let her into bed with me…I would open the hatch and we would stretch out together..in the sunlight, the moonbeams…Lots of times I would cry and she would lick my tears..and I would think “thank you” thank you for Ginger..I would fall asleep with a smile in my heart and on my face..
Is that possible? BAM stage 3 cervical cancer..so much unknown..yet a smile in my heart and on my face..*that* is Divine love.
And my wise friend checked on both of us constantly..smart of him since I wouldn’t have allowed him so much space had Ginger not been there..I wouldn’t have wanted him to love me and experience the pain of ‘losing” me…but there he was every day, checking on us all..a gift…
Everyone knew I was ‘all right’ because I was able to care so much..
The thing is, Ginger was well over 70 lbs, and couldn’t negotiate the boat stairs into the living area, so I’d have to gather her up in my arms, pretty much catapult her up the stairs which are about 4 ft high and I’m only 5’1…kind of toss her bulk through the hatch and into the cockpit..and the internal damage and pain from that was great..I wasn’t to lift anything over 10 lbs, so it hurt..a lot. Coming back in was easier, we’d walk the deck of the boat and enter through the front hatch which is right above my bed so we’d often just lay there together to rest…I needed lots of rest, so this was another gift..resting with Ginger. I loved her, so I went through this routine at least three times a day, sometimes more…My Spirit soared, but man my body hurt…
Ginger and I took long walks everywhere..My favorite walks with Ginger were either late at night after work or early in the morning before work..we’d walk in the dark under the blanket of stars..around the harbor that has been the scenery for many of my dreams..Because she had me out at those times, I would reflect under the moon and my heart opened even more fully…
My children adored her as well..But I knew she was Mine..we were connected..that connection blasted through any reticence I had about loving fully..Ginger opened my heart..
My wise friend did that for me..allowed me to learn Love like I had yet to Know..
There is an unfortunate ending..after one month, Ginger bit my son terribly bad so we could no longer keep her..
On the last day, I cried and cried and cried..more than I cried ever..felt like my heart was breaking..I wondered why God would gift me with such extraordinary but for a temporary time only..why not forever…I let Ginger into my bed, into my heart, into my life..fully…and I loved her..More than anyone knew, I loved her..
That love continues on today..I’ve learned to allow my heart to remain fully open, to experience All in this moment.. I don’t need to know there will be another moment to share..I just allow myself to celebrate this one that I am in..
I used to dance with Ginger..I’d put the music on as loud as possible, jump around and she’d jump with me..in our little cubicle of living space on this boat..she’d lick and jump and play.. I think in my life, besides my children, Ginger is who I expressed love most to..I loved my wise friend and a few others incredibly so, but I never expressed it like that..so freely, so joyfully…
So..when Ginger and I danced (and yes, the kids were often there as well, jumping and singing)..we danced to the following song..
One year ago, I was diagnosed with stage 3 cervical cancer..I didn’t know if I would be on Earth to raise my children or to sleep under the moonbeams or to share a smile..but I chose to love fully…
And I would do it again..in a heartbeat..
May this song bring joy to your life, may you move a bit remembering Ginger and I, and may you tell the people closest to you that you love them..Shout to the rooftops..”I love you, I love you, I love you…”
There is a twinkle in my eye and the happiness in my heart lights my face as I read these words, listen to this song, and think how you will recall the ones you’ve loved so joyfully…
Did I say it right? Probably not as eloquently as some..but when the full moon shines this evening, it shall be with memories of Ginger and I dancing and running and hiking and stretching out in the v-berth..that I tell the Moon I am thankful and my heart is completely open..
Much like the tide, my wise friend enters my life with full presence and a new gift..then leaves again with quite a distance..I celebrate the gifts…and I live fully through the distance..
Thank you, my wise friend, for loving me in ways that change my life…and thank you Ginger, for spending time with my family..