Thursday, August 9, 2012

Fly Free

I will never forget the day, approximately three years ago when I was sitting at a local watering hole (a pond, not a drinking place, people) and a beautiful dragonfly landed right on me.  The beach was filled with people, but yet, this beautiful, metallic blue creature landed on me and stayed with me for an uncommonly long time.  My friend commented on this unique moment, as did others – while I simply embraced the peace and beauty this magnificent creature brought.  Why did it choose me?

Shortly thereafter, dragonflies were very common around me – and in my presence.  Of course, I took particular note of them after the pond incident, but big, beautiful, bird sized dragonflies and small, fragile damselflies hovered around me with an odd frequency.  My family even noticed their presence around my being and I could only wonder what it meant.
Of course, google now being my best friend – I researched the various meanings of dragonflies and what their significance could mean in my life.  Here, I’ve summarized them for you:

·         Change – change in the perspective of self-realization and understanding into the deeper meaning of life (looking beyond the surface).

·         Power and Poise – ability to accomplish objectives with simplicity, effectiveness, elegance and grace.

·         Clear Vision – discovery of one’s own self; by removal of self-created illusions.  Iridescence being the property to show oneself in different colors or lights.

·         Living IN the moment and living life to the fullest – by living in the moment you are aware of who you are, where you are, what you are doing, what you want, what you don’t and living moment-to-moment.  Living without regrets.  Dragonflies are known to live a very short time; hence, the correlation to living in the moment and living life to the fullest. Do dragonflies make the most of their short time and simply fly free? It’s certainly a good reminder.

·         Uninhibited Vision – open mind and ability to see beyond the limitations of human self.

Another source indicated that dragonflies may often symbolize the appearance of a deceased one in your life.  Am I being visited?
Despite the flight of the dragonflies, I struggle and I have yet to learn how to cope with the shortness of life; particularly in people.  Some of us die way before our time – before our flight is over; this I understand. I also comprehend (albeit with much frustration), that we will never know the “why”.  However, I cannot seem to come to grips with those who die at a young age, because of cancer.

People have various explanations:  Scientifically, it’s survival of the fittest – we cannot all live to be 100.  Religiously, it is part of God’s Master Plan.  Medically, his/her body cannot outlast, outwit or outplay cancer and it’s deviance to all modern medicine.

With news of another local warrior entering hospice earlier this week, I have been consumed with heavy thoughts.  Every little moment of my day, I am in her shoes.  Every moment is a BIG moment. 
For example, my daily shower is shrouded by thoughts of how this woman will soon be unable to take a shower and bathe herself in the latest smell of Bath & Body Works shower gel.  My morning cup of coffee is savored knowing that the simple pleasure of enjoying a favored drink will soon be no longer an option for her.  The latest pop song on the radio may be one of the last enjoyed by her ears.  My tears flow heavily for her.
I hug my children so much tighter; knowing that soon, the warm embrace of this beautiful woman will only be a fond memory that her children will have to cling to.  I tell my friends I love them, because I know that in due course, the wonderful friends that have supported this kind soul will cherish all the times they were honored to have with her. 

I cry.  I cry.  I cry. 

I only went to high school with her and with her husband.  I have taken the small measures that I could during her battle, to try and offset the burden that comes along with a cancer diagnosis; as many in our tight community have done for her family.  I am not close enough to this amazing soul that I should be feeling the amount of pain that I do feel. 

I cry.  I cry.  I cry.
Perhaps, my heart is breaking because of my own experience with cancer and my own threat of the possibility of death.  I am in her shoes for the time being.  I cannot fathom the pain that she and her family are going through as she prepares to finalize her journey.  I only know that every time I see a dragonfly going forward, I will think of her.  I will know she touched the lives of so many people in her brief stay.  The strength she showed and I'm sure, continues to show during her darkest days; her relentless courage; the brilliant and iridescent smile she afforded everyone in her presence, even when she did not feel like smiling; the vision throughout -  that life should be lived in moments and memories made………she will fly free..... like the dragonflies.

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