Wednesday, March 20, 2013

my one word

 A couple of weeks ago I pulled myself together and finally managed a blog post.  I don't know if you all read it, if you did you remember my story about meeting Faith, Preacher's twin, in the Dallas clinic.  Since meeting her the word faith has been kind of my go-to word when things start to go haywire or when I am having particularly low moments.

Unfortunately things have not been going any smoother since last I posted.  Clarence had to "sit out" of radiation for two weeks while we tried to figure out if he had a gastric ulcer or major kidney issues.  There was a particularly low day where one vet told us his kidneys were failing and used words like "hospice" and "make him comfortable".  Tom got in the car and drove him straight to Dallas after that for an ultrasound and we learned that that was not the case.  But it made for a few wretched hours.

My point in this post is not to whine about those moments but to share the way I've gotten through them without heavy sedation.

Several weeks ago, before meeting Faith, before going to New York, back when he was still on chemo...he was at the clinic here getting what would be his last dose of chemo.  It was a particularly scary time because we had just learned that the tumor was growing and causing kidney issues.  Tom had gone to an art installation called Architects of Air with some coworkers.  I was at home working and worrying.  My phone buzzed and it was a text from Tom with a picture from inside the installation, that said "Had a really good moment right here.  I felt like I could feel his treatment working today.  I love you."  I think I literally fell back into a chair.  A wave of emotion came over me, it was an overwhelming feeling that everything was truly going to be ok.  I don't know how else to describe it with out sounding SUPER cheesy, but I felt like something bigger than me was telling me that things would be ok.  I had a good cry and tried to get back to work.  I had been working on a necklace that had a line from the movie Miracle on 34th St. - "Faith is believing in something when common sense tells you not to."  I just sat there reading and rereading that quote wondering what the chances were that I would just happen to be making that necklace at that exact I promptly got up and painted the quote right on the wall in my studio then and there.  I knew I needed to have that quote at the ready, I needed to see it often, and remember it.

So with all that said, I'd kind of forgotten about that quote.  I know!  How did I forget it when it was such a huge moment for me?!?  There it is, smack dab on the wall right above my desk, but I haven't "seen" it in weeks.  Today I got an email from a customer about a charm I made for her several months ago.  The charm read "Trust" and it was her "word of the year".  Maybe you have heard about this new trend to choose a "word of the year" in lieu of New Year's resolutions.  I have had several customers order their "words" on various pieces of jewelry over the last couple of years but I've never thought to ask where the idea comes from.  For some reason I decided to ask this particular customer about it when she placed her order a few months ago.  I hadn't heard back from her until today when she sent me a link to a website that describes the theory behind the "one word".  She also sent her blog post describing how she chose her "word of the year".  The whole idea is to not make this long list of resolutions that you may or may not keep and set yourself up for failure but to instead choose a word that you want to apply to your life.  Reading about this idea made me think about Faith the dog.  Since meeting that dog I cannot tell you how many times I have said that word over and over and over again in my head.  I have whispered it into Clarence's fur, I have chanted it out loud, I have prayed that word.  That is my one word.

Shortly after this email exchange with this customer Tom called me.  I was telling him about the whole "one word" thing and he said "Isn't that the word in that quote on the wall in your studio?  The one you wrote that day?  When did you write that?"  And the whole thing, all of it came tumbling into place.  That day that Tom texted me, the day I painted the quote on the wall, that was weeks before I met Faith in that Dallas quote my friend Joanne "there is no such thing as coincidence."

I know all of this may feel very cheesy.  I feel sort of cheesy even typing it.  But if you asked me to pick a "word of the year" it would never ever have been the word faith.  The word has lost some of its impact for me, it's on all kinds of plaques and, I don't know, it just feels over done.  I am not a very religious person and I don't want to get all syrupy here, but all of these "moments" individually, and especially all stacked up together, they make me feel a connection to something.  That something is getting me through, it is making me believe in the choices we have made, it is giving me the strength to get over another hill.  It gives me faith.