Awoke this morning to a dark, damp world outside my bedroom window.  I was warm and cozy snuggled next to my honey…and Penny, squeezed into the only space left between my body and Don’s.  I felt so safe and content at that moment, listening to the sounds of their breathing.  I closed my eyes and thought back to the sounds of my kids’ breathing when they were babies.  I rewound my mind’s maternal footage of my kids’ infancy to see close ups of each of my babies’ faces against my breast after they’d finished nursing.  The little milk drool that connected their rose petal lips to my nipple, now redder and larger than before they’d started their frenzied feeding.  My breasts were comfort and sustenance for these vulnerable beings.  Lying in my bed this morning I relived the peacefulness I’d gotten from watching their mouth quiver in a reflexive sucking motion while they rested, full bellied, against the pillow of my chest. I recalled watching how quickly their small chests rose and fell with each breath; the feel of their downy hair under my thumb as I stroked their head.  I continued to lie in bed remembering how sweet they smelled then, how compact and warm their weight was in my arms, my left elbow anchored in my right hand under the bundle of their body.  

I roll over onto my left side now to get a better look out my window.  I love the stark contrast of how I feel at this moment against nature’s angriness that lies just beyond my bed.  That anger hits its mark as I turn and I feel pain shoot from my swollen, knobby left breast up into my armpit.  I know that if I sit up the pain is going to get worse as my breast will fall with its own weight.  Funny, I think, the fullness I feel is not unlike what I remembered when my body was nursing my babies.  Both breasts ached then, but not like this wounded, angry feeling.  I chose to stay in bed a little while longer.  My pillow packed carefully under my arm now, lifting my breast, relieving the pain.  I close my eyes and will myself to relax.  “Breathe.  Deep breath,” I silently remind myself.  I rest a moment.  I have a plan to make a special breakfast and will need my energy for this. It’s Thanksgiving Day.  Here in my room, in my house, next to my steadfast husband, under the sheets and blankets in my bed I am thankful for every single thing in my life.  Every moment.  Every tragedy.  Every joy.  Even the cancer and the treatments I’m enduring.  I lie in the dark and know God has a plan for me, for this experience.  

Penny sighs.  It’s fitting.  And now it’s time to embrace my day.  I sit up and reach for my robe.  I stand and wrap the softness of it around me like an embrace; the belt I snug tightly up under my breasts.  It’s how I guard against the ache from the swelling.I have a plan to make a special breakfast and will need my energy for this. 

May God’s richest blessings touch your life today and every day.  May family troubles be few, joys be many, food be abundant, and love fill every space in your life today.

With love, Angie.