Friday, September 19, 2008

No Fear

In addition to the lesson about playing the hand that is dealt, the other significant experience that has changed me is related to fear. Fear is paralyzing. I remember the days, one in particular, when I could not eat. It was not the disease that prevented me from eating; it was the panic that would not be quelled. It was a force so powerful that I could have died from it. Fear takes up a lot of space. It is all-consuming, leaving room for nothing else. But when fear is absent, the being is allowed to be. The being can then gather information, weigh options, make decisions. The being can give and receive love; take a walk; enjoy a milkshake.

I cannot recall the exact moment that I learned that I could manage my fear. I will not claim that I am never afraid. Fear will creep back in during the middle of the night, or strike like lightening with the delivery of unpleasant news. I have, however, contemplated how I have been able to develop the skills to cope with fear. I was not able to do it alone. I doubt that most of us could. The key to my success is the bond that I have with you. Yes, you. This is my journey, and my journey, alone. But you are there to push me off a rock when my raft gets stuck, patch the holes in the raft, and bail like heck when I take on water. You are not just an observer watching as I float by.

As I prepare myself mentally and physically for next week's possibilities, it is not fear of death that haunts me. I am not afraid. I will follow in the footsteps of my father. He faced his challenges, and ultimately his mortality with grace and humility. I will honor his memory by continuing to do my best to emulate him. What motivates this being is the desire to live. I have a son to raise, and work to do within my profession and in my community. And I truly enjoy the gift of living each day. And dachshunds. I love dachshunds.

I still haven’t entirely resolved the faith issue. It’s there; it’s just not clearly defined. Nevertheless, on the eve of a venture full of unknowns, regardless of where your religion, spirituality and/or faith lie, I ask for your prayers.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I understand what you are 'saying' and I want you to know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. I don't understand religion much but do understand that positive energy is a good thing and we are sending you that. Be well and live strong!
Barbara, Hal and Julie

sandplay said...

You have our prayers, our buckets for bailing, our patch kits, our backs to push with and our love.
D&D

Ann said...

Elyse,
YOU love life more than any one person I know, and that in itself is a true gift. You find simple joys out of simple things, and always look for an opportunity. For us, your support network, we are here, praying for you, doing what we can, and you are doing the hard part, fighting, keeping up your attitude, and doing what it takes to beat this thing. Your cheerleaders(and their are hundreds-literally) are besides you all the way, and I know you know that, so when the raft gets a leak, or you stumble, it is only for a second. So, as you go into this week, do so calmly, peacefully, and knowing you are doing what you want to do with all of the love, hugs and prayers all around you.
Love,
Ann

Anonymous said...

Good thoughts and prayers are with you on this next segment of your journey. Love you - Mary Waggoner

Rachel said...

Elyse - In the midst of the most difficult physical and emotional challenge of your life, we learn so much from your insights and your clarity of thought.
It's normal - indeed healthy - to be afraid, but you also know how to get beyond the fear, and that is what really matters.
You are and always will be the healthiest person I know.
Sending lots of love and good energy your way,
-Rachel

Anonymous said...

It's unbelievable the support from so many that you have on this blog and I'm sure outside the blog so many more. I think sometimes, if I G-d forbid were in your position, I don't think I could muster up a fraction of the support. We are all here worried, concerned, supportive, praying, holding your hand, with you every step of the way and waiting to hear only good news. Good luck and much love, Michelle S.

Anonymous said...

I too don't completely understand religion. I hear so many different point of views, but I do know that it is important to have a spiritual path. At some point, I hope my family finds each of their's and finds peace in it,especially when encountering adversity. You exude spirituality, Elyse, and know who you are...I think that says a lot about the kind of person you are. I hope one day to be the kind of person that you are...you are a giver, not a taker...The Kalins/Haskins are praying for you on the 24th and can't wait to come over and pet the doggies and hang out...

Love, Jill

barbara lincoln said...

Gary wanted me to tell you we got a minature black with the brown paws dachshund, all because he met one called Dash

Steve Beagle said...

Ali - who speaks as beautifully as she treats everyone around her. I have been fortunate enough to spend some quality time with y'all this evening and I sensed from you nothing but a calming underlying strength. You know you are in the late rounds and you have come to conquer what we all know as the doubter demons. I lived for most of my life unfotunately without the ability to move away from my own fears. This omnipresent fear infiltrated my very being from a major inferiority complex obtained early in my life. When scary life circumstances forced me to confront my fear and also conquer it I reached a place of inner peace that I never knew existed. It was a cathartic and cataclysmic awakening. So in my own way I completely understand your pathway and the outcome to overcoming your fear of the unknown.

As someone said above today in your blog, you are a pure giver never a taker and that is what I love about you. I had a sixth sense about that from the first time we met. You get life and have given entirely to it. Now it is time for life to give back to you. You have done all the mental and physical preparation. You have intelligently immersed yourself with your beautiful family and friends... now it's time to get the judges to award you the TKO. I already have. Comedy forthcoming.. Love and incredible admiration -- Steve

Anonymous said...

You have my prayers and anything else that you need to get you through whatever comes your way. You have my love and my support. I pedaled up every last hill for you this weekend and will continue to do so. I will do whatever I can...
Wishing you days without fear.
Injoy and Peace,
Marsha

Susan said...

One day when we are old and gray, when the boys have made us grandmothers, and when finding the early bird special is the biggest challenge of the day, we will look back with you on this period as a distant memory, as a time when we "grew up" and when we gained an understanding of what really matters in life. For now, let our love, support and prayers carry you through these days. We are with you every step of the way. Hugs, Susan

Bruce M said...

I will bail you raft for as long as you need and even when you don't. You are an inspiration for all of us.

Eric said...

Elyse,
At the wondeful simcha of Natalie Bauer , you looked beautiful, actaully stunning. You clearly have the confidence and drive to get through Wednesday and whatever comes next. We are with you in spirit every step of the way and your atitude and outlook is an inspiration to all of us.

Love,

Eric

Anonymous said...

Dear Elyse,
I marvel at your braveness. You are an inspiration to all. You WILL be well and you will realize what you have given to all of us. We believe in you and will be with you on Wednesday if not in body,then in spirit.
Roberto

Anonymous said...

No need to resolve matters of faith, spirituality, or even "the hand one's been dealt" now.

Simply, Mi Shibeirach, and


"G-d, I pray, heal her."
Numbers 12:13

Anonymous said...

Sending you prayers, love, and very warm thoughts. Need some more lessons on that fear thing, so will be looking for a tutorial soon. Meanwhile, thanks for allowing us all to come on your journey and for helping us all navigate our own course by following your lead. -Michelle N.

Anonymous said...

I also have a motor I'm happy to throw in, as well as lots of love and admiration. I just wanted you to know how often I think of you. I was disappointed that I didn't hear from you Saturday, as I was hoping to be able to come by and visit. I want you to know, and hope you know, that I've always liked you as a friend and admired and respected you as a lawyer, as shown by all the advice I have sought from you and the cases I've referred to you. But, through this blog, you have taught me a lot and given me a lot to think about, and I want you to know how much I respect and appreciate that. You have all the positive energy I have for this surgery (and I have a lot.) I have no doubt that it will go well and you'll be up here this Spring to water ski. Please tell John to let me know if there is anything I can do and tell Brent that "Nicki Vaughan," who used to read him bedtime stories says hello. I love you, Nicki

Steve Beagle said...

Some favorite quotes from Historical figures who were invited to the party:

Morse's reply was, " I'll be there on the dot. Can't stop now must dash."

Darwin said he would have to see what evolved.

Dr. Jekyll was in two minds.

Edison said it would be an illuminating experience.

Archimedes was buoyant.

Boyle said he was under too much pressure.

Ohm resisted the idea at first.

Pierre and Marie Currie radiated enthusiasm.

Einstein said it would be relatively easy to attend.

Wilbur Wright accepted provided he and Orville could get a flight.

Schubert said he would come, but there was something he had to finish.

Chairman Mao said he would write the date in his little black book.

Watt reckoned it would be a great way to let off steam.

Say goodnight Steve - Goodnight Steve

eeplan said...

Thinking of you, especially today and sending our love and prayers. Can't wait to look back on this experience when we are 90 years old (well, you will be 90 - I will only be 85!)

much love,
(the other) Elise

Forrest said...

Elyse,

Good luck tomorrow. Thoughts and prayers will be with you.

Terri said...

Elyse,

We are thinking of you and praying for you. We know you will be in good hands and St Joe's is a great place. Love, Terri & Barry

Anonymous said...

Elyse,
count me in as one of your Prayer Warriors. I am here to push you off a rock when your raft gets stuck, patch the holes in your raft, and bail like heck when you take on water. Be strong sweet lady, make your Daddy proud.
Peace and love, Cindy Ruppenicker