Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 34

pray for a miraculous recovery. For millennia, people had A lifelong devotee of divine intervention myself—whether it left offerings of coins and bits of red fabric in honor of the was through chanting to Vedic gods and goddesses or re- goddess Mab at these archaic sites. There was sometimes citing a modified version of the Hail Mary that turned “sin- a copper cup placed in the crook of a rock to take a sip of ners” into “seekers”—I didn’t hesitate to take it upon myself the healing waters. to make healing happen at this holy well. Time slowed, as Ferrying across the stormy Bay of Galway to the island of Inisheer, we rented bikes and rode up a curvy dirt road. The sacred well was encircled by rough-hewn stones characteristic of the Aran Islands. Brien had read that if you circumambulated this well seven times—while praying the rosary—healing would be assured. I had always known him to be an atheist who eschewed anything mystical, so I was shocked when Brien had confessed that a Druid spirit I went around clockwise, then questioned if I should have gone counterclockwise in keeping with the pagan tradition. I tried to hold fast to the prayer that he would be cured, as a searing panic rose from my belly to my chest and into my throat. After the third time around the rocky well, I felt my feet turn leaden as my mind began to race. Of course he’s going to die...and sooner than later...but he can’t he can’t he can’t. accompanied him throughout the thirty-five radiation I tumbled into the dark well of my mind, and all faith was sessions of his primary treatment. On the last day of that gone. first round with cancer, Brien heard the Celt say, You have passed the test!  Brien, ever the skeptic, had become a believer. He went on with life for the next year, trusting that his head and neck cancer was cured. A probability that his oncology team confirmed—given his youth, good health and positive response to treatment.  As the mystic in the partnership, I have to admit I felt more than a little let down when the cancer exploded “ Probably the best preparation for letting go into the unknown was marriage, itself. At our wedding in the Peace Garden I wore a black dress, which seems strangely, and horribly, prescient now. “ throughout his body. And Brien, of course, was crushed. But he carried on: taking fistfuls of supplements, doubling down on acupuncture treatments, juicing twice daily, and committing to a spiritual practice that involved chi gong, A new headline appeared: MY HUSBAND IS DYING. meditation and Celtic tarot cards. All in addition to ongo- We didn’t know when or how, but he would certainly perish ing rounds of chemotherapy.  from this force of nature that had been unleashed in his __________________________________________________________________ Despite his earlier enthusiasm, Brien made what seemed to me like perfunctory ablutions at the well on the island’s summit, and then left to visit the ruins of a castle nearby. Going toward the worldly—rather than the mystical—was more in keeping w ]HYX]XX[YY[H^HYH܈[[YHXY\ˈ[ H[H]HۋB\Y H[&][X[]\H[و\\Y[YY[XZو\YH[H\[KXXYHHH]و^HXX KܚYYXZ[[^Hۙ\HYۈ^HZB\ۚ[ H\\\]Hܘ\^H\\\[Y[%][YHY][KH\\Y&]ܚ\ۂHHܘ][ Y [Z[ۛH]\YYHœY[HXYݙ\H[X\ˈ[\[ۈ^B[HۈHYZH[\H[[H]ݙ\H\BۙH[[Yۈ^H]]XܘHH\[X^YHY&]]H]]Y] \Y\Hٙ\[XX\YHHY\ۈ^H[H[[[ۙH[Hܛ [[H\Y^\[ٙ[]H[\Y\ ܚY[]XYYH]H™^H]YK[^H[˰