Little Big Blessing

Posted: June 15th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: breast cancer, cancer girl, MonChérie | Comments Off

 ::: The “MonChérie” gently bobs up & down while still anchored at “Temporary Reprieve Cove.”
Cancer Girl eats some popcorn with Parmesan Cheese ‘n Frank’s Hot Sauce.
The movie gets to one of her favorite parts …

   In 1970, Dustin Hoffman starred in a movie titled, “Little Big Man.” He played a character named, Jack Crabb. As an old man he narrates the story of his life of being raised by Indians and fighting with General Custer. The gist of several quotes from the movie have quietly, yet profoundly, resonated throughout my life.

   Jack Crabb was of small stature, but an elder of his tribe named Old Lodge Skins gave Jack an Indian name. “This boy is no longer a boy. He’s a brave. He is little in body, but his heart is big. His name shall be “Little Big Man.””
   I have always loved the contradiction in the meaning of that name. One doesn’t have to be larger than life, in stature or actions, to make a mark on it. It can boil down to just being truthful to one’s self. This movie character’s name has taught me to look for big things in little things.
   After a couple of weeks of lots of rain and little sunshine, my laundry had really piled up. Yeah, I could have used the dryers instead of waiting for a sunny day to hang the clothes out on the clotheslines — but where’s the small summertime ritualistic pleasure in doing that?
   Finally, a beautiful day of sunshine today! We have two washers and dryers per laundry room where I live. The courteous thing to do is to wash one load at a time — leaving another machine free for somebody else to use while you do yours. But, my fibro muscles and chronic fatigue energy levels just didn’t want to cooperate with my being a courteous launderer today.
   A neighbor with laundry was waiting for me to pull out my first two loads. She saw I had brought more laundry with me to wash. I asked her if she minded if I did two more loads in one shot again. She looked mildly miffed. I then explained to her my health issues. How doing two loads at once saves me two round trips of walking and hauling, and, what impact that has on me.

   She was my first “Little Big Blessing” for today. She said she totally understood and expressed gratitude for being in such good health at 83 years old. I thanked her and told her I felt badly about being a laundry machine hog on her. Apparently her granddaughter has fibro too so she totally understood.
   After hauling the first load of wet laundry across the street to the clothesline I realized I needed to swallow my pride and ask for help hanging it up.
   I fiercely clutch my self-sufficiency as much as possible. Doing so has become my measurement of success in my daily battles with the fibro and chronic fatigue. The longer I can go without asking for help, the longer I’m beating the disease(s). Today was not such a day.
   I’ve got bigger fish to fry than to cling to my pride. I have ahead of me a war of all wars to save my stamina for, breast cancer. That may sound mellow dramatic, but it’s true.
   Actively changing one’s mindset for a long-term war is far different than for a battle. My usual daily struggles could well diminish my overall success of surviving intact.
   It took courage, but I set my pride free, I called Sharleen and asked her if she’d help me hang my laundry. She’s and angel. She didn’t hesitate to help. “Sure, no problem. In fact, you don’t even need to help, I’ll hang it all up. We need you in good enough shape to play Rummycube tonight!”
   Sharleen’s sister is coming down from Maine for a couple days. A few weeks ago her sister had already mandated in a crusty Mainard fashion, “Make sure Chérie stays in good health so we can play!”
   As I sit here writing, my burning arm and back muscles are ignoring the fact that I’ve taken pain meds. Yet, I am feeling so wonderful, so blessed. Because of compassionate neighbors I will be able to enjoy an evening of fun and still get my laundry done … My “Little Big Blessing” of the day.
   If you are able, perform a “Little Big Blessing” for someone you cross paths with. Something so simple may seem insignificant to you but could mean so much to the recipient.
   If need be, ask someone for a “Little Big Blessing.” The worst that can happen is for you to hear “no.” But, you might also get to help empower someone with feeling like they got to make a difference in the world.
   And, if someone gifts you with a “Little Big Blessing?” Accept it with a grateful heart. It does a soul good to absorb a sincere thank you.

::: Cancer Girl turns up the volume as Old Lodge Skin speaks to his Ancestors … :::

“Come out and fight! It is a good day to die! Thank You for making me a Human Being! Thank You for helpin’ me to become a warrior! Thank You for my victories, and for my defeats! Thank You for my vision, and the blindness in which I saw further! You make all things and direct them in their ways, O Grandfather. And now You have decided the Human Beings will soon walk a road that leads nowhere. I am gonna die now, unless death wants to fight. And I ask You for the last time to grant me my old power to make things happen.”

[The 'old power' meaning having the power to make himself die upon command.]

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