In a few short days, my stay in Assisi will be coming to a close. It's hard to believe.
I came to Assisi with an agenda.
I came to close a hole in my heart, or at least to mend the frayed edges left by the memory of my mother's illness and death.
I am still profoundly saddened by my loss but I have learned that my relationship with my mother was deeper than I had ever imagined. That she is still so very much alive in my heart and mind and that she was truly instrumental in my decision to come here and to get something special out of every moment here.
I know that my mother sent me to Assisi this time as a present in appreciation. I know she sent me because she still loves me and wants me to live a life of meaning and she wants me to be well.
Wellness is not simply the absence of disease. Wellness has parts to it, parts that when integrated become a whole that sustain us as human beings.
To be well means to have social contact, to be part of a community. I have been blessed over and over with companionship since I arrived. Friends, here, waiting for me. Friends, new and old, who have shared time with me and shown love and understanding. Friends who made me feel connected and part of their communities, their lives. Friends who, if they don't hear from me, take the time to call or email, just to "check in", no strings attached. Friends at home who show that they care and understand why I chose to come here. Friends who are waiting to hear my stories and rejoice along with me in the good that has come of this time.
To be well is to be physically active. I must have walked a hundred miles since I got here. I quickly adopted a little mantra....."what goes down, must also come up" as I approached stairs and roads. I never took the easy road or the easy way out. I am so proud of the fact that I met these challenges. I may not be a thin or trim person, but I am a fit person, healthy and capable of meeting physical challenges, at times simply offering up my discomfort as I took on a new set of stairs or a new hill. If people who are living with the everyday challenge of cancer can do it, I certainly can. Please Lord, accept this and ease suffering.
To be well is to be emotionally happy. With the exception of a few dreary days, I have been happy and have let my happiness spill over into everything I have done here. I have not allowed myself to have a bad night's sleep and have only done things that have made me happy. I have learned that it is not a bad thing to say "no" and that I only have myself to please. If I keep myself happy, so I will keep others happy.
Being well is an active process. It has so much to do with making choices and keeping sacred what is meaningful to one's life. I am so much "more" well now but I still have so much more room to grow, so much more to learn.
I'm readier than ever to be weller than I've ever been and this has been an incredible journey.