Notice something lovely today

“I want to share some loveliness” – Marie LePage

Photo by Jessica Allmyer

Occasionally on our journey we meet someone who inspires us and reminds us how important it is to notice the moment.  I am sharing excerpts from Marie LePage’s CaringBridge posts, who recently found out that she is losing her battle with cancer.  I love how she writes honestly about her experience and also shares a moment in which she was able to notice the beauty of life around her (highlighted in purple):

A cross post from Marie’s CaringBridge page:

By Marie LePage — written 7:50 pm 9/22/2014

You may want to sit down…

Hello dear friends and family,

I want to tell each of you this personally, but my speech is very limited these days, as is my stamina. I apologize for this impersonal way of sharing the news, but here goes. My cancer is now terminal. A significant tumor is growing behind my jaw, which is likely responsible for much of the nerve pain on the left side of my face and for the facial paralysis. In addition, there is no cure for the tumors that have spread to my lungs…..

 Photo by Jessica Allmyer

A cross post from Marie’s CaringBridge page:

By Marie LePage — 9:00 pm 10/2/2014

Hello friends,
So, as if this whole crazy cancer thing isn’t dramatic enough, today I arrived to have my port placed but eventually had to reschedule because a fire shut down large parts of the hospital where the procedure was planned! (I didn’t touch anything! It wasn’t me!!!) If I can figure out how to attach photos from Jesse’s iPad I’ll show you. It was a beautiful day for patients, visitors, and hospital employees to have to wait outside. I was quite miserable, though, because as directed I hadn’t eaten since midnight and had not had any meds. No food tends to cause headache that becomes migraine; no meds lead to other pain. The staff of the hospital were as kind and informative and solicitous as they could possibly have been as they mingled with patients and visitors and other hospital workers. It turns our that they had called the house before we left, but we didn’t get to the phone on time. They didn’t leave a message. They then went to the 2nd number, which was my cell, and did leave a message. However, I didn’t have my cell on or even with me because I was going to undergo a procedure. We had Jesse’s phone. Take home lesson: Make Jesse’s cell the primary contact number now. I will have my port placed either tomorrow or Monday morning before chemo starts.
What we know now is that the port will be placed in time for chemo to begin Monday. Our hope is the chemo will shrink the tumors enough to give me relief from much of the pain and weird symptoms being caused by them. Then on Monday the 13th I will have a pain pump installed so we can use tiny but highly effective doses of the good drugs to control my pain. I’m very hopeful about that. You know I had the procedure to put the weight in my eyelid to keep it closed. Well, turns out the swelling after the surgery actually makes it difficult to close the eye for a few days. The effect of the partially open eye on my vision is very unbalancing, so I’m still wearing a patch to cover it. I’ve discovered the most comfortable thing to wear is a soft sleep mask with the right eye cover tucked up and out of the way. I am, as always, a vision of loveliness. It’s going to take very little to fashion a scary Halloween costume this year!

Enough medical nonsense! I want to share some loveliness. This morning when I my alarm went off I once again woke not sure of where I was or why. My brain started to process why I needed to get up to the alarm and what was scheduled today, blah, blah, blah when suddenly I noticed out the window a beautiful sunrise. The fan was on, with cool air blowing over me, my feet couldn’t stop rubbing themselves on the really soft comforter and I reveled for a bit in the last soft Indian Summer sunrise. Truly beautiful!

Many of you know that despite the occasional annoyances of the animals that live in the woods and often our yard, I consider it a great privilege to be able to share living space with these creatures who were here before me and who really deserve to be here more than I do (here on this plot of land,not on the planet.) All of the rain this summer has been great for our local population of toads and tiny frogs. Last evening I decided to sit on the front porch and enjoy the pleasant weather. As I approached our dark green iron chair, I noticed a bit of lighter, dustier green on the railing. I had to go back in for my glasses but sure enough, it was one of our tiny frogs! These little guys are smaller than my thumb from it’s knuckle to it’s tip, no more than an inch at best. They are adorable! My first instinct was to pick him up, but I knew he’d be gone in a blink. Instead, I sat as slowly as I could into the chair. He poised to jump, but didn’t.

For 20 minutes or so frog and I shared a lovely summery evening. When the time was over, I was the one who left, delighted that the tiny frog trusted me enough to stay.

Oh, and a bit of triumph that really isn’t my news to share but who’s going to stop me? Tonight Kaia baked delicate, pink, almost perfect French macaroons!!! When the 2nd batch didn’t bake quite as beautifully, she returned to her research. We have a trip to NYC that will include Katie, my mother-in-law, myself if at all possible, the girls and a couple of Jesse’s cousins planned for mid-November. All of Kaia’s must-sees on this trip are bakeries and macaroon shops. This is a driven young woman!

I’m fading, but I want to say a special thank you to Jane and Christina for restarting the Lotsa Helping Hands site and for feeding us this week. It’s a blessing not having to worry about feeding the family. They wouldn’t agree with me, but they’ve eaten much too much pizza and fast food lately.

Peace be with you, friends. Notice something lovely today. Share it with someone if you can. Love you.

Photo by Jessica Allmyer

Thank you Marie, for blessing my life with your beautiful words.

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