A Sleepless Night

by


I struggled with this month’s blog.  I have 3 semi-finished compositions on my desktop and was unable to complete any of them.  One was about silence; another was about quieting the mind and looking within to find Truth and the third about self-expression.  Now I sit here in the middle of the night in the dark.  The house is quiet, aside from the rhythmic breathing of my dog and the steady tapping of my fingers on the keyboard.  

It is 2 AM. My chattering mind awakened me with thoughts of unfinished work and as I lay wishing on sleep, my thoughts turned to a man laying in a hospital bed in Boston and another walking the streets of Germany with a sore hip.

The man in the hospital is my brother. He has leukemia and it has been a long struggle. It has been a different kind of effort for his wife, young son, and all the people who love him.  

Last week he received a bone marrow transplant from a young man whom he has never met.   All he knows about his donor is that he is in his twenties and lives in Germany.  They cannot know each other’s names for one year but this stranger sent an unsigned letter; in it he said “I am sorry you are not well and I hope that this will helps you to live”.

No reason for this gift was given. No payment of eternal thanks was expected. 

He may have given the ultimate gift of life, but the truth is, he gave more than that.  He offers the gift of hope and a renewed belief in the human spirit. I believe now more than ever that at their core people are good and given the chance will do extraordinary things.

This man renews my sense that we truly are all one and the suffering or joy of a single person can have effect around the world.  We have an obligation to be kind to each other, in small ways, every day and the results of these actions extend further that we can ever understand. 

I have made an effort to learn my lessons well during my brother’s struggle.  I am learning that it is a powerful feeling to take control of the small things that I am able to and an even more mighty is knowing what I cannot have power over and releasing it. 

I am learning how buoyant hope feels without the weight of expectation. I am learning to stay in the present moment and to be grateful for the small joys found within it.  I am learning that people want to be of service and that helping others adds meaning to our lives. 

Assisting someone can be as simple as offering a yoga class or prayers out to a stranger or as big as giving them blood.

Countless people take time out of their day to babysit for my son or share bone marrow transplant success stories.  They hand over the keys to their lake house, send thoughtful cards and emails or just give an open healing hug.  My husband puts aside his work twice week to shoot hoops with my nephew and keep him busy and happy for a few hours. Three months ago, when my brother was in the ICU a cousin of mine showed up at the hospital, with a cooler filled with the fixing for hot fudge sundaes and dished them out to everyone sitting the dank, dreary waiting room. I saw this generous act light up their eyes and get them talking to each other. 

We are all seeking a way to connect.  We have an instinct that we are all together in this life but unsure of how to express the unity to one another.  Every action is powerful. 

The act of reaching out to another person allows our hearts to flourish; reminding us that we are truly all one and by helping another we help ourselves to heal and grow.  And the circle never ends.

These acts no matter how big or small are what lead us to our calling.  I have learned that we should not ask how life might serve us but how we might serve life.

I can sleep now.  I can see those three unfinished blogs were leading me to this one.  My home is quiet, my dog is asleep, I have looked inward, expressed this month’s truth and I have a grateful mind.