it’s not nothing

My grandma found a lump in her breast a few weeks ago which she had checked on Wednesday. The bad news is that it is not, in fact, benign.

The good news is that it is, in fact, self-contained.

It will first be removed. Following said removal she will undergo two weeks of chemotherapy.

My grandma, the woman whom nothing can phase is of course fine. It has put a wet blanket on my spirit since Wednesday. Though my grandma has been fortunate enough to enjoy eighty-eight years of very good health and I twenty-six years of her company this has made me admit that I won’t have her forever.

My two favorite coping mechanisms are mindless household chores and prayer. I’ve got very a very clean kitchen floor and I’ve spent a lot of time reading my favorite monk, Brother Lawrence.

Brother Lawrence was a bit of a rebel monk. He lived during the 1600s and refused to keep the divine office hours. He felt that he could pray any time, not just at the set times. I feel a kind of kindred spirit tie to him not only because of that wild hair but also because his place of service within his monastery was in the kitchen. He, too, found some kind of solace at the stove.

Though Brother Lawrence was a humble man, he was often sought out for advice on prayer. One young man recorded some detailed notes from conversations with him before his passing. From those notes, this passage in particular always jumps out at me every time. This week was no different. I hope one day to have a grand tea party with my grandparents and of course Brother Lawrence at that ice cream social in the Great Beyond.


“I consider myself as the most wretched of men, full of sores and corruption, and who has commited all sorts of crimes against his King; touched with a sensible regret I confess to Him all my wickedness. I ask His forgiveness, I abandon myself in His hands, that He may do what He pleases with me. This King, full of mercy and goodness, very far from chastising me, embraces me with love, makes me eat at His table, serves me with His own hands, gives me the key of His treasures; He converses and delights Himself with me incessantly, in a thousand and a thousand ways, and treats me in all respects as His favorite. It is thus I consider myself from time to time in His holy presence.”

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