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gratitude

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December 17:

  1. organ music from the theatre next door
  2. a movie called Heartlands and an old favorite called Return to Me
  3. full moon appearing gold in sunset
  4. praying out loud (home alone for days)
  5. canned chicken noodle soup

December 4:

  1. bats flying drunkenly across the cobalt sky
  2. christmas lights in my neighborhood, mixed with palms and spanish moss and all things tropical
  3. a birthday gift from my roommate- a glass jar re-made into a hanging lantern for a candle with an owl printed on two sides
  4. a book of prayers, lent from a friend

December 2:

  1. first crickets in early nightfall
  2. my sister’s music suggestion (blackmill), windows open, floors vibrating
  3. a sweet note from my roommate left on the fridge, making me laugh out loud
  4. encouragement from past and current friends- not feeling completely forgotten
  5. Hosea (the promise of restoration and God’s relentless love)

November 29:

  1. my sister’s kitten (there really aren’t words for the level of adorableness)
  2. warm clothes from the dryer
  3. my dad and my sister and their compassion
  4. skype with my brother, sister-in-law, and their two sons, the infant one looking so healthy and strong and everyone bubbly and happy
  5. my sister raiding my closet- seeing my dresses look so cute on her and giving them away (fully resigned to my life in ironic workout clothes)
  6. my six-year-old nephew has his own e-mail (good things in our future…)

November 28:

  1. my sister arriving safely
  2. warm home
  3. caring family and friends and a kitten so small and adorable you wouldn’t believe it
  4. clementines in a bowl
  5. thanksgiving meal
  6. face-time

November 27:

  1. making place-cards with twine and floral sketches, contributing in a small way
  2. Thanksgiving eve at home alone with Jez (but not feeling lonely)
  3. falling asleep excited about the morning, like a kid on Christmas Eve

November 26:

  1. morning Scripture in Hosea
  2. paper snowflakes!
  3. the end of a bad headache
  4. a poem called “Snakeskin” in my inbox
  5. far-away friends that haven’t disappeared

November 17:

  1. dreams where I am healthy and I do things that I don’t allow myself to think about in my waking-life
  2. songs from the past
  3. spanish moss

November 16:

  1. bold cats in my neighborhood
  2. three palms growing from one trunk
  3. the bright, sunlit wall of a building against the stormy sky
  4. the resources to try new supplements and vitamins
  5. fallen palms on the sidewalk
  6. a stack of books from the public library- biography-mania
  7. the smell of breakfast being cooked (by someone else)
  8. nodding off into a book, slipping into sleep between sentences, the end of the day
  9. my face growing uglier with time, avoidance of mirrors, trusting

November 7 & 8:

  1. the end of nausea
  2. the orange glow of sinking daylight across skin
  3. my father’s reassurance
  4. a late-night e-mail from the NIH
  5. the final seconds in a sunset, last speck of gold a flickering ember on the horizon
  6. clean sheets after a bath
  7. my dog hanging out of the car window,  her ears in the wind
  8. freshly-bathed Jez, smelling like shampoo
  9. finding artwork from two months ago.  the words were full of specific anxieties that have since been calmed c-o-m-p-l-e-t-e-l-y, by the power and graciousness of God (not only calmed but reversed and re-made into strengths instead of fears)
  10. independent bluegrass on the radio on a sunny Saturday morning

November 6:

  1. smell of just-peeled oranges on sticky fingers
  2. skype
  3. kind pharmacists
  4. this bed

November 5:

  1. fresh vegetables: spinach, baby bella mushrooms, crunchy yellow bell-peppers
  2. clear night sky, the surprise of stars
  3. the sound of string instruments rehearsing next door; viola, violin, & cello filtering across the alley and into our apartment
  4. a segment on npr about life on other planets

November 4:

  1. silhouette of cats in glowing windows
  2. couches left outdoor on porches and patios
  3. dance of streetlights across blowing ferns
  4. Jez and her tennis ball, like long-lost lovers
  5. warm clothes passed from my roommate, just in time for chilly November
  6. a dream about high school friends and an old boss, all living in a house by the sea, my two friends with variations of my dandelion tattoo on their wrists and Jezabel catching big silver fish
  7. my sister’s new kitten

November 3:

  1. pitter-patter of last raindrops falling from gutters in the morning sun
  2. birds on telephone wires
  3. steam rising from hot tea
  4. first waking moments after a nightmare
  5. smell of wild mushrooms
  6. empty blue sky
  7. wrought iron lantern on cobblestone streets
  8. full belly and deep sleep
  9. my father sharing a song with me
  10. a 1/2 lb burger
  11. coming home and feeling totally depleted but internally sound and drifting off, dazed in all the good things

November 2:

  1. the black silhouette of palms against the light of dawn
  2. bob dylan on the radio, crossing the bridge towards Tampa
  3. grey, rainy Saturday mornings
  4. “Weekend Edition” on NPR, going other places with imagination
  5. a picture of my mother’s kitchen, the tree outside red and orange
  6. three-wick candles

October 30:

  1. tuesday evenings
  2. sweet, crisp golden delicious apple slices
  3. the curve of the sofa beneath my back
  4. wind through the apartment, rustling the bamboo palm
  5. twine tying back white curtains
  6. food in the cabinets
  7. wispy and weightless clouds, like broad brushstrokes across blue sky
  8. the white lines trailing jets and airplanes left like artifacts
  9. the woman who drew my blood on Monday and our connection; God pursuing me even in my most ungrateful and wretched mood
  10. an unexpected and inconvenient lesson in “yielding to others” (true learning)
  11. the communion of eyes on a single flickering flame, slowing down the world
  12. the beautiful singsong of my new favorite word: surrender
  13. memories, the way they start off small and then snowball to uncover details forgotten and lost over time
  14. earplugs
  15. laying on the carpet and spooning my dog
  16. honey in coffee
  17. the sweeping of headlights across dark walls
  18. mason jar cupping a single wildflower (concept)

October 26:

  1. deep, sound, dreamless sleep
  2. my puppy dog leaning on my legs in the warm morning sun
  3. this riveting documentary last night called Blackfish about orcas in captivity at Sea World
  4. lace curtains in open windows, ballooning slowly in, then sucked back, then swelling again, ever so slowly
  5. brick walls through lace curtains
  6. ray lamontagne’s husky voice, taking me somewhere long ago and fully present all at once

October 25:

  1. jazz clarinet
  2. an oversized hoodie and a cold night
  3. live NFL game!
  4. sunny, cool Friday morning, luxury of watering plants
  5. i don’t care what it really means, cold air makes me certain that a change is coming

October 24:

  1. runny egg yolk
  2. cold, grey mornings flooding the apartment, all the windows open
  3. scraping the seeds and stringy insides from an acorn squash, thinking of my mom
  4. helpful phone attendants in medical records offices
  5. my father’s diligence in finding medical answers, daily
  6. walking Jez on a longer leash than ever before, so that she can wander more without pulling on my arm
  7. prayer, glad-of-heart, & the scripture in John of the blind man who can see because Jesus spat in the dust, rubbed the dirt across the man’s eyes, and healed him

October 12-22:

  1. spilt sidewalk chalk
  2. dreaming puppy on the rug
  3. a new tea kettle
  4. violet blossoms growing on a white fence
  5. an orange cat in the sunshine
  6. a lesson in Rejoicing and Submitting
  7. the smell of a slow-cooker, my roommate filling the apartment with cooking
  8. comfortable couch
  9. an e-mail with a new doctor
  10. the parking lot filling with excited families
  11. florida orchestra at vinoy park
  12. full moon over dark water, boats rocking still in the blackness
  13. the house with all of the green parrots
  14. inspiring interviews on NPR, lately Andre Dubus III & Julie Andrews
  15. strawberry popsicles
  16. the top of a pink high-rise at the end of the alley like a castle in the sky
  17. when someone suggests a song to listen to, this kind of communication
  18. sleep

October 11:

  1. the smell of a sweet potato baking in the oven
  2. from the other room, a song being learned on an acoustic guitar- slow, clear notes, repeated again and again, building in complexity
  3. two squirrels on the telephone wire racing together through the tree tops
  4. the cool of this morning, the arrival of faux-fall (florida)
  5. a story lifting off a page, becoming vivid, with an author’s diction and scene selection
  6. stirring oats into boiling water
  7. my dog lying perfectly still, trusting me to wash her wound with a warm wash cloth
  8. a dream so vivid that is cloaks the rest of the day in its essence
  9. the stretch in the muscles of my thighs when my hips turn sideways, making my body an L across the mattress
  10. wild green parrots roaming my neighborhood

October 9:

  1. Me: a panicky mess on the phone, shaking in anxiety, talking in circles… & Mom: “You’re not doing anything wrong.” (thanks be to God)

October 2:

  1. bromeliads on the kitchen table in the morning sun and coffee left in the pot from my new roommate
  2. Jez in the car, sitting in the front seat and resting her chin on my lap, my lovely lil’ passenger in life
  3. listening to a song suggestion from a new friend, lights off, transported into another world
  4. my dad helping me with Jez
  5. Sunday morning, the pastor at church offering to pray for my healing, telling me about his daughter’s illness—the sight of her, later, so radiant and beautiful, holding her child—God responding with a promise of SOMEDAY
  6. every time I turn the key in my car and it starts
  7. walking a short distance through my neighborhood at dusk, really slowly, taking in all of the beauty: giant banana plants 2-stories high, flowering magnolias, and a thousand other bizarre and beautiful plants, all patch worked together between homes with toys in the front yard and glowing warm-light through the windows and families gathering for dinner… all working together to give me this gigantic breath of hope, knowing that this is a magical place that I am meant to be
  8. a discussion at Bible study with my wise friend and being reminded that He is a good God
  9. the phone call from the department of my immunologist, changing my appointment from mid-November to next week (!!!)
  10. the bay at dusk, thin pink clouds swirling across grey storm clouds, just sitting and watching the joggers, walkers, roller bladers, bikers, kids with kites, dogs with frisbees, lovers hand in hand, feeling a part of it
  11. on my mind for a week: Hosea 6:3 “Oh that we might know the Lord!  Let us press on to know him; He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in the early spring.”

September 23-28:

  1. waking up each morning this week to the sight of my mom, sitting with a cup of coffee at the kitchen table, my dog leaning up against her legs
  2. being cooked for by my mommy- our usual meals of brown rice, steamed squash and greens, turkey,  burgers, cucumber salad, sweet potatoes, yum yum yum
  3. three solid days of rain, the day and night, cooling the earth so that we could open the windows in my apartment and listen to it pound the ground and the rooftop incessantly
  4. the ocean after the storms- massive waves stacked out to the horizon, dotted with surfers, and the sky at sunset turning blue then gold then fire-red, nearly too much beauty to stand inside without trembling
  5. taking communion with my mom and dad
  6. writing about the time I spent in Colorado a few summers (a million years) ago and really being transported for two hours out of my life and into the world of this memory, recalling details in such rapid succession that I am more there than here
  7. the view from the window of my apartment, watching my mom walk Jez across the parking lot to my car- coffee cup, purse, and leash in hand, on their way to the puppy-doc- my mom like Mrs. Milan
  8. my cupboards and fridge full of groceries and tons of leftovers;  being cared for, in general, given the chance to really hibernate and be totally still and at peace, while my mom took the reigns on so many tasks that would otherwise add up to be a mountain
  9. going to community group with my mom; also, the two of us talking about God and to God together
  10. my appointment this week- the doctor himself- and the whale sculptures and little seeds of hope that maybe there will be some answers someday
  11. the way my mom appreciates clouds and interesting colors in the sky with child-like fascination, like she hasn’t grown numb to everything already, like the two of us aren’t too cool to marvel at the way the light fades at dusk, and really mean it
  12. a piece of chocolate cake and a pink birthday candle and a bunch of wishes, for no particular reason
  13. here and now, this afternoon light coming through the lace curtains and my dog napping by my bed

September 14:

  1. waking with a fresh perspective, after an encouraging late-night phone call from a dear friend
  2. admitted to every grad school program I applied for, having the courage to really consider the possibility, less afraid
  3. reading poetry all morning, crying from joy and this deep, sweet feeling of knowing all of the beautiful, heartbreaking things that make life worthwhile are NOT LOST even if this illness never lifts
  4. seeing pictures of my nephew at his sixth birthday party and pictures of my mom and sister, too
  5. trusting God, knowing He will provide and fulfill my needs… in ways beyond my imagination

September 8:

  1. fully submerged in a fictional novel!  yay!  House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
  2. thinking about God all morning, how the same Creator made the wild black-eyed-susan flowers perfectly crayon-yellow and also made winston churchill and also the giant squid, feeling awed and fearful
  3. an e-mail from a sweet friend I met here, who is dealing with health issues similar to mine, S. :), and who always makes me smile
  4. my dad making dinner and cooking bacon for my puppy-dog

September 6:

  1. this tiny post office inside a used book store, where the friendliest woman helped me mail a package and was just so pleasant- she even used the word “swell” multiple times, naturally, in conversation
  2. looking through the bookstore- reminded of so many beautiful novels, like old friends or vacations past- not tempted to buy anything, but rather to hold of a few of my favorites, open their familiar covers, read a few lines, and then place them back on the shelf
  3. frozen bananas !!!!!
  4. taking Jezabel’s lamp-shade cone collar off and letting her roam the room, unencumbered by the additional 30″ of slobbery plastic she’s been wearing since her surgery last week

September 5:

  1. getting mexican-food with my dad last night and having a wonderful time, stepping outside of the bar to see the purple sky broken into pieces by six bolts of lightning
  2. a miraculous dream about visiting India and seeing an old friend there, and no illness (of course- still grateful every time my dream-self is healthy)
  3. Jezabel healing well, day-by-day, playing a little tug-a-war this morning with her rope, even though she’s wearing a 30″ lampshade cone
  4. in the early dawn, writing out Lamentations 3:22-23 on a paper plate, reminded that “the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

August 3:

  1. an unexpected phone conversation with my lovely Grandma Anne, full of laughter and compassion!  specifically, her story about being in an elevator and speaking bluntly and bonding because of it!
  2. going to the park and laying in a grove of palm trees, their slender trunks bending towards the sun, the spikes of their leaves reflecting silvery light from the sun like sparklers (magical land)
  3. reading more of the book of Matthew
  4. a nice conversation with the man who framed my maps, while he worked on changing the mounting hardware (because it broke!)  anyway, he was kind enough to come over and fix things
  5. cooking with cowboy-boot seasoning
  6. writing a few sentences where my brain was actually working, which really hasn’t happened in the last week, though I have been trying over and over
  7. reading a really good essay about mountains
  8. talking to the woman at the corner store, a pretty rough and tough woman, who turned out to want to share a bit of her story with me, which is a serious blessing

July 22:

  1. Jezabel playing with a sandy, rotting football like it is her greatest achievement
  2. getting up in the middle of the night for a peanut-butter spoon (old habits die hard)
  3. reading about a new book on chronic illness, called Chronic Resilience
  4. the SILENCE at my dad’s house, and the way this lent itself to a very productive three hours of research on online graduate school programs (!!!)

July 21:

  1. seeing pictures from a friend’s camera over a year ago; a picture of me smiling in a black pea coat by the water in Baltimore
  2. having the energy to walk 2 blocks to cvs, finding that cvs has a gluten-free cereal (cap’n crunch), and then eating most of the box while listening to tom petty
  3. sleeping last night 100% natural
  4. remembering to get back into the magic moments routine!

July 7:

  1. a spontaneous dinner at a random steakhouse
  2. feeling hopeful, for the first time in a while, that I might be getting better, just really really really gradually
  3. a sunny morning and afternoon, after many days of storms
  4. losing track of time in the company of another (the world’s richest blessing…)

June 29:

  1. having the wisdom to say “no” and stay home all day
  2. catching up on Modern Family
  3. feeling terrible, moody, overwhelmed… but knowing it would change and get better
  4. at night, coming up the back steps, all slick with rain: a big, charcoal-grey snail, reminding me that maybe things are getting better, just at a very slow pace

June 28:

  1. a box from my uncle David & cousin Ben!
  2. a beautiful mug with red, yellow, and blue flowers
  3. a sweet, heartfelt note
  4. feeling supported

June 27:

  1. going over to my neighbor’s house for an evening church/ community gathering
  2. listening to my former co-worker play guitar and sing- blown away by her beauty, inside and out
  3. listening to a woman pray for me and say the things I’ve been thinking— less about recovery, more asking for grace through the process, regardless of the outcome

June 26:

  1. picking up my smoky mountain topographic maps from the framer (they look awesome)
  2. scheduling a petscan and feeling hopeful that there will be some explanation for why I can’t end this neck pain
  3. tremendous thunder storm followed by a picture-perfect rainbow
  4. going over to my friend’s house and sitting in this comfortable recliner, listening to music, and watching him mount his flatscreen t.v. on the wall

June 25:

  1. putting collage over whale sketch and listening to new music
  2. going to dad’s house and laughing at the pretentious restoration hardware catalogs
  3. looking at the horizon through a telescope
  4. lightning storm on the drive home- huge flouresent cracks in the sky

June 24:

  1. sketching out a gigantic humpback whale on 3 poster boards
  2. a good sleep last night; the kind I haven’t had in a long while; the kind where you wake up and aren’t sure where you are (bliss)
  3. burning dried sage from Gunnison, Colorado, circa July 2011 (a million years ago)
  4. maybe beginning to move past grief over failed igg treatment

June 22:

  1. going to the Dali museum
  2. going into the cafe and saying hello to co-workers
  3. throwing a penny in the pond and making a wish
  4. a thunderstorm- really dark sky and cracks of thunder- as soon as I walk in the door

June 20:

  1. at dusk, a brilliant and stubby rainbow appeared above my neighbor’s rooftop
  2. feeling interested in the possibilities of submitting essays to small publications (a project I can do here & now)
  3. these two grey doves hopping around on the telephone wire outside my window, dancing closer and then further apart, while I’m listening to Tolle talk about relationships
  4. a jazz concert at the music hall directly adjacent to my apartment, and I could hear the alto sax warming up in the rehearsal room for an hour before the show…turned off the ac and music and just sat in the heat of 6o’clock feeling groovy

June 19:

  1. watching A Life Among Whales and becoming more in-love with whales
  2. listening to whale sounds and being moved to tears (not like this is very difficult for me these days!)
  3. feeling rescued by the voice of my mom
  4. turning on the paper-lantern above the kitchen table, its globe like the moon inside my apartment

June 18:

  1. receiving the most moving and lovely letter from my Grandma Anne… a card with yellow and white calla-lilies and words beautifully honest and open
  2. a black butterfly that keeps fluttering past the window I sit by
  3. a visit with my psychiatrist:  she is encouraging, practical, and kind… making the suggestion of online courses and saying to me, on my way out, “Glad to be a part of your team.”
  4. a day with lessened pain and heightened acceptance (Rx)

June 17:

  1. a good night’s sleep
  2. calling my mom and talking to her and feeling close and understood
  3. hearing my grandma B’s voice in my head, encouraging me to get ready and get out the door to my doctor’s appointment (as I saw her do, so many times, when she felt truly terrible)
  4. driving back west over the bay into St Petersburg

June 14- June 16:

  1. my nephew and I spread out on the living room floor together: coloring monsters and making masks out of construction paper
  2. dancing with my nephew, brother, and sister in the parking lot of a dockside restaurant to a cheesy cover band
  3. watching my brother take his son out into the choppy waves, sending him to ride his boogie board just the way our dad used to with us
  4. eating a big lunch after an afternoon at the beach (my dad grilled burgers, hot dogs, and chicken breast). My nephew ate a hotdog and part of a burger, chewing more and more slowly, even as his eyes drooped closed and he nearly fell asleep eating!
  5. creating a giant board game with a rainbow of construction paper on the floor- our bodies the pieces and the iPhone app the dice (finally, a use for it!)
  6. seeing my dad, brother, and nephew all sitting in the surf together- a row of knees and floppy hats and smiles- 3 generations of my family
  7. bobbing in the glistening calm ocean on our last day together- floating in the warm water and just being silly and happy
  8. my nephew talking about how he will soon have a baby brother, who will like warm milk and cry a lot but not because he is sad but just because he wants to talk
  9. seeing my sister’s imitation of how a duck walks
  10. breakfast and coffee on the morning of father’s day with two great fathers
  11. stopping to get ice cream; my nephew, delighted with his enormous banana split: a messy pool of  cherries and whipped cream and sugary syrups; the five of us at a picnic table, under a bright street light, beneath a dark night sky
  12. Jez and my nephew together (‘nough said)
  13. playing chess with my nephew, who is so patient and focused and willing to explain

June 13:

  1. finally, Jez has over-exercised (which means a lot, for a six-year old lab whose zest always appears bottomless)
  2. coming home to my apartment after two days with no AC and finding the plants happy, with new growth
  3. naming the three by my chair: Hendrix (the big bamboo palm), Violetta (the draping, curling pothos), and Mauve (the shyer, smaller bamboo palm, that has yet to thrive).  Fiona is the elephant ear that perpetually has one dying leaf and one growing leaf).  So: Hendrix, Violetta, Mauve, and Fiona.  See, I do have friends.

June 12:

  1. the kind of nap that can happen only after a soak in a pool and a hot shower
  2. sitting under a tent by the ocean- the shade allowing for a long stay by the sea
  3. watching Jez play fetch in the surf- off-leash- perfectly behaved
  4. being around the sweet naive energy of teenagers

June 11:

  1. seeing the ultrasound picture of my new baby nephew, his face so detailed and precious
  2. re-reading parts of Interpreter of Maladies and being reminded in that far-away sort of a feeling what romantic love can be like
  3. watching Jez encounter her first swimming pool: loves to swim, but still working on how to actually get into the water
  4. finishing an entire novel (something I haven’t done since Gone Girl this fall): It was Brian Doyle’s The Wet Engine

June 10:

  1. writing for an hour this morning and really enjoying it
  2. smelling the newly-potted rosemary from my writing spot here at the kitchen table
  3. cooking a saute called “things in the fridge that will go bad in the next two days” (yellow bell pepper, white mushrooms, spinach, and chicken-sausage in olive oil)
  4. a personal phone call from my Infectious Disease doctor, following up on my visit to the ER (for some reason this makes me feel like I won’t get lost in the shuffle or slip between the cracks or get filed away under Hopeless; not yet, at least)

June 9:

  1. teaching Jezabel to roll over successfully…. I think… though we hit the bottom of the Milk-Bone box doing it
  2. watching a late-afternoon storm come in- turning the sky charcoal grey and causing a hell of a riot in the treetops- and then clear for the evening (this seems to happen every day now, lately)
  3. walking down the block to the food mart and tying Jez to the Tampa Tribune stand, where she sat like a perfect angel while I went inside to buy some cokes
  4. another day without a headache?  I’m sorry, this doesn’t get old.  feeling relieved and exhausted and content.  goodnight, moon.

June 8:

  1. waking up after a night without severe headache!!! weeeeeeee!!!!!
  2. noticing and respecting my body & mind’s adverse response to all stimulation: tv, radio, reading, music, books-on-tape, internet, texting, cell phone, etc.  Deciding to spend the day in my apartment avoiding ALL OF THIS (except these designated 20 minutes—happening now).
  3. an evening thunderstorm during which I fell in and out of consciousness in my chair by the window, finally deep deep deep relief after the last 3 days trauma
  4. filling the day with things like: cloud-watching, nail-painting, mind emptying, mind-wandering, dog-brushing, pruning and watering my plants, and silent meditation

June 7:

  1. honesty: the feeling of valium shooting into my IV and laying me down out of anxiety and pain so instantly and without choice: ooooo heaven is a place on earth
  2. IV valium (earned 2 spots)
  3. nice staff at the ER
  4. coming home to my apartment after a day at the ER and feeling confidence to handle headache situation, much thanks to my dad’s assistance and the ER staff

June 6:

  1. my dad coming over and just being present (a break from being in pain & alone)
  2. the world’s largest ice pack sinking into my eye-sockets and relieving some of the throbbing eyeball-pain
  3. walking out of my bedroom at dawn in agony but still pausing at the sight of the morning sun coming through the window, hitting the details of each of the houseplants plants and thinking “hmmph, damn that’s purdy”
  4. imitation ice cream (almond milk): SO Delicious! “Cherry Cordial”

June 5:

  1. re-potting the bamboo palm
  2. a nice message from Mandy
  3. letting the dishes pile up in the sink (self-discipline)
  4. soft rain

June 4:

  1. a kind e-mail from my former employers
  2. playing tug-a-war with Jez on the floor and appreciating her presence
  3. seeing a chipped ceramic vase in my neighbors yard with the most beautiful siddharta buddha face
  4. watching a movie and being moved to tears (it’s called Jeff, Who Lives At Home)

June 3:

  1. waking after another night without migraine
  2. having the courage & energy to check the mailbox after weeks and finding 3 letters from Grandma Anne
  3. finding Ekhart Tolle’s The Power of Now available for free- narrated by Tolle himself- here
  4. resting and listening to an afternoon rainstorm

June 2:

  1. bright pink bandaids that match my fingernail polish
  2. a long, kind message from Janet- a fellow guide at Quetzaltrekkers and a woman I am so happy to have known.  She wrote, about one time on a hike up the volcano El Hoyo when she was neglecting to build a fire and instead watch the sunset, “I listened to my iPhone to ‘The passengers’, dancing like crazy to this fucking song.  And I was thinking of you. Because you and El Hoyo are the same for me… I hope you will be fine.  You are my passenger.  Stay here.  –Janet”.  This really brought tears to my eyes.  Just to feel loved and known and accepted… my life has been so rich with special people.
  3. being reminded by another friend from the past- a guy named Tom who I met in Gunnison getting my Wilderness First Responder- who subsequently told me about Quetzaltrekkers- to listen to Ekhart Tolle.
  4. finishing my last IGG treatment and having my dad take care of me and make sure everything went smoothly and drive me back to my apartment, where I plan to rest and hope hope hope that my body is changing for the better

June 1:

  1. IMITREX and the end of the migraine headache
  2. no migraine headache following IGG infusion
  3. watching my dad and my dog play on the beach at sunset
  4. waking up at 5am and looking out to see a sky full of stars

May 31:

  1. IGG arriving early in the day
  2. rainstorm

May 30:

  1. my brother, Elliott, and his son, Skyler, are coming to Florida for a visit in June!
  2. a bubble bath in the morning
  3. receiving this message from a friend I met while guiding hikes for Quetzaltrekkers: “Grace- I saw your note and wanted to wish you good luck. I also saw you conquer the highest volcano in Nicaragua so I know how tough you are and I know you will get better soon! –James”
  4. painting my nails bright watermelon-starburst-pink because no more washing dishes at work

May 29:

  1. the privilege and resources to try IGG infusions
  2. no serious side-effects that are expected (headache, nausea, abdominal cramps)
  3. my dad taking Jez on a decent walk, and her coming back all smiling and panting and happy
  4. realizing that I won’t have to get up at 5:30am again for work anytime soon

May 28:

  1. fireworks last night exploding in perfect view of my window
  2. swimming in the ocean and staying on the beach through the storm
  3. having a “home away from home” that is so quiet and close to nature and open to me (thanks, Dad)
  4. feeling loved and cared for by people all over the country- friends from the past, friends now, family, extended family, etc. on facebook

May 27:

  1. sitting on the sidewalk at 6am, listening to the birds and watching the sun come up
  2. being reminded, out of the blue, that when the clock reads “1:11”, you’re supposed to make a wish
  3. the tiniest human I’ve ever seen: an infant asleep on his father’s shoulder, in the middle of the cafe
  4. my co-worker reminding me, two times, that he is here for me to talk to

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