Subject: me and my current update

by Sally Blumenthal-McGannon

why is it that when i am quiet i am fine?
i am sitting on my back deck, listening to birds chirping, jays squawking
kitty chewing on a redwood leaf and pod

the sun is on the plants i have introduced, which flourish
as well as the bluebottles i have planted—spectacular
these were inspired by a trip in seattle with susan

i remind me of those boardwalk rides that cross each others’ path
and keep going, barely missing collision but feeling the danger all the same
afraid to feel safe and afraid to get into the fear
because it could be really big
the worst is over and i don’t feel swell yet

i had hoped with improved flow through my tubes
i would have more energy and strength
and enthusiasm. now i have fear that i have not embraced before

not like this. i am frequently on the verge of tears
i love the relief that comes with the flow, not a bad thing
but it sort of ruins my self image

i had a shower today and i am born again
look out christians, dunk me anytime anywhere
although i am not allowed to be submerged or soak, always a caveat

michael is developing some valuable nursing skills
they do not come naturally to a doctor

even my non-jewish friends can’t feed me enough
and for the first time i can remember, i have no appetite
great leftovers, anyone in the neighborhood

told my docs they are good, and they had a lot of help from the other side
good for them to hear this, nu?

my dreams take me places i have never been before

blessed to be sitting on my deck, birds and bugs
making the sounds of life, wanting to be acknowledged
they aid my healing, along with these mammoth trees and minute webs
all with purpose, not always obvious

walked up to the church camp yesterday to prove i could
and take in my neighbors, my dogs who would never miss out
flowers just waiting to be admired and sniffed, difficult to do
while breathing—must be a kindergarten skill i missed or forgot

my heart and brain have never really understood each other and i never cared
but now, wow

i am humbled and honored by all the love i am receiving
over 60 years to share my love and generosity
getting so much back in a few weeks is a lot to integrate
i know somewhere it is mine
it feels so much bigger than i can take in

for now, i just want to say thanks, what an inadequate word
for what i am feeling, to all of you in my life and on my healing journey
with more love than i ever knew i had
to life

Bio: Sally Blumenthal-McGannon
has been a pediatric ICU nurse; a hospice nurse; an AIDS coordinator; and a therapeutic touch practitioner/healer. She’s been a group leader at WomenCARE, for women dealing with cancer; and at Kids Konnected, for kids living with a parent with cancer, and for parents of transgendered children. Sally has also been adjunct faculty at Santa Clara University.

She has a private practice and believes in living life with joy. In her free time, she is on the board of directors of Healing Journeys, is a wife and a mother and she is grateful. She is recovering well from quadruple bypass surgery.