Conversations with my brother (On the eve of chemotherapy).

And so the

time

has

come.

Tomorrow we

straighten

our

spines

and

cast our eyes

up

because

we know

from where

our help

comes.

And

when

the first

fiery

drops

slip into your vein,

silent

and

ruthless,

we speak

life

over every part

of

you

and

death

to that

which

came

in the night

to

steal

and

destroy.

And

I may be

far,

but I will be

near.

And

know this

you are

not alone.

You are

loved.

You are

carried.

And

tomorrow

we stand

and

we fight.

—Conversations with my brother. (On the eve of chemotherapy.)

©Liezel Graham. 2018.

{Tomorrow, my younger brother starts an intense chemotherapy regime for pancreatic cancer. I have written two other posts called ‘Conversations with my brother’ and should you wish to read the others, just search for ‘Conversations with my brother’ and they will come up.}

Song of the grateful.

This

extravagant

gift

of

life.

Wildly

beating

just

a

little

bit

longer.

— Song of the grateful.

Twenty years ago I started a journey of grace and healing after a diagnosis of Severe Aplastic Anaemia (Bone Marrow Failure).

Today, someone I love very much starts a similar journey.

I am reminded, once again, of the beauty of life.

The gift that it is.

Those of us who have known life-limiting diagnoses, and have graciously been granted life, know that every breath is an extravagant gift.

Today, I am deeply grateful for this.

Conversations with my brother. (On the eve of).

And so,

the storm

came

for

you.

Bent,

from the spirit

down

all the way to your

fears.

You

stood,

as wave after wave

sucked the air

from your

lungs.

A new

birth;

in

reverse.

But,

I have come to

plant

seeds

in that

diagnosis.

Hope.

Tender, fragile, indissoluble

hope.

Is a

giver

of

life,

if you will tend it well.

And,

there is something

that they have not

told you,

but I want to mark

your soul with these

words.

There are many ways to

live,

and there are many ways to

die.

And we have

seen

that it is

(im)possible

to spend years

with a beating heart

in a dead body.

And,

bitterness

will curdle

your spirit,

if you tend it well

You,

can

choose

life.

Live,

every,

single,

moment

unwrapping the

gift

of time.

And,

in this

beautiful rebellion

you will

become.

Alive.

— On the eve of.

©Liezel Graham. 2018.

Conversations with my brother. (Love has you).

It’s a funny thing, life.

How we spend years under the same roof, intimately familiar with each other’s morning hair and how we prefer our coffee, but we don’t talk.

About the important things. The things that reveal the state of our breath — whether our hearts are bleeding, still.

We dance around the inane and get distracted by that which tells nothing.

And this goes on for years. A revolving door of pleasantries; tip-toeing around the marrow of our hurts.

Until.

We’ve had a few of those, haven’t we?

Those moments where the earth stops spinning on its axis and the breath is sucked from our lungs with a fierce ferocity.

And instead of drawing closer, we draw apart.

To heal, we say, but, what we really mean is to hide.

And here we are, with years on our faces and life has caused a geographical divide to bloom between us. But, our hearts — connected by unseen strands of the familiar, still recognise each other.

Each still knows the other’s laughter.

And I now, recognise the pain that you carry within your bones.

It is mine, too.

An unwanted gift with nowhere to call home, except the inside of our DNA.

This is the thing that connects us — this knowledge of things experienced that were never meant to be.

But they were.

And with it, our hearts were eviscerated.

We know this now.

At last.

It is still raw. This pain. Although, now, mercifully wrapped in the tissue that our bodies produce when the thing that will not leave us, is too great to constantly be paraded in our memories.

And now, even though our branches have grown apart, our roots remain entwined.

Love has held us.

Yes.

It has.

And I am watching you tentatively take the first steps on the same journey that I once had to take.

Negotiating the fear; facing the unknown with only the certainty of today, cupped within your desperate hands.

My heart holds you up.

I see you.

Together we are standing before the One who showed me grace when I least deserved it. Favour; for reasons still unknown to me.

And you are not alone.

I am here. Oceans apart but holding your hand.

Trusting the great unknown to the only Known that has never let me down.

It is all that I have, and it is everything that I possess.

And it will be enough.

This Love will cover you, and it will keep you.

And until we get to stand within each other’s embrace once again.

Just hold on.

It will be ok.

— Conversations with my brother (Love has you).

©Liezel Graham. 2018.