The Gift of Community


It is cold. There is a tiny coating of white stuff on the ground. I sip my tea and watch the chickadees at the feeder. I enjoy the quiet of a January malaise much as Chris E. delightfully described it back to me after reading my last post. “She sounds like a pretty French girl who urges you to rest. That can’t be all bad, but I bet she can be a bore!” I love that she saw malaise as a neutral reality – well timed for a winter when treatments accumulate. I gentle awake my poor naval cavities being re-carved by one of the drugs I am on. It is a peaceful start to a deep winter day in the pacific northwest.

There is an uncharacteristic thud at the front door. Clearly, the mail has arrived but why such noise? I dont rush to see but am heartened when I get there to find some big mail items for me – me. Hmmm…..what perfect timing since I am expecting nothing and the holidays have passed.
It is a binder and a soft, tissue-wrapped something. I open the binder and realize that I must sit down for this. Something special is happening. I feel enveloped in love as I wander through the binder pages of cards and art. I move to unwrap the tissue – the clothe prayers unfold themselves with the weight of love and hours. I am a crafts person so I know what each square represents in dedicated time, frustration and fun.
I spread them out in across the living room carpet and want to call Mike home from work to share this moment but I know that a day alone with these prayers will be far from lonely. My thanks to all who were able to participate in Binnie’s Iowa brainstorm of caring. I know exactly where they will hang!  xoxo

About marcy westerling

I am a long time community organizer with a passion for justice and founded the Rural Organizing Project in 1992. Derailed by a Stage IV Ovarian Cancer diagnosis in spring 2010, I have stayed in treatment since then. I am learning how to embrace livingly dying and hope that by starting a Phase One immunology clinical trial at UPenn in spring of 2013 I will have more time to find the sweet spots of thriving while terminally ill.

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