Tuesday Night’s Meeting
I sat alone at the Heartworks House long after I said goodbye to the last Heartworker on Tuesday night. The energy in the house was solid, connected and blessed and I wasn’t ready to leave just yet. To be honest, the hours leading up to the meeting made for a very long day. Last month we had 31 families on our “sacred table” and afterwards I said to the Board “It’s too much, we have to cut back.” But how do we cut back? How do we know what we know and then cut back? How do we see what we see and then cut back? How do we feel what we feel and then cut back? The answer is we don’t. We can’t. We won’t.
Sometimes I just want to be a girl that goes to the mall. Sometimes I just want to be a girl that wakes up and focus’ on her workout and blocks it all out. But I can’t. I have never ever, not even for a minute, in my entire life have been able to do this. There is a price I pay for being who I am. I know this price… I think about in all sorts of ways, everyday. When I was 8 I would walk into the room while my parents were watching the news, see that a man had been shot in The Bronx and start to cry and demand to know where The Bronx was and ask why we weren’t going there to help the man that was shot. I have never been able to have much distance between myself and other people’s suffering.
Heartworks is not always easy, but it gives me a way to do something about the human struggles we come across every day. This past Tuesday was one of those days that I was exhausted from the heaviness of the stories and not managing it well. Sometimes I am so tired that I say to my Advisory Board “What are we doing? Are we even making a dent? Is this all worth it?” And I have days like Tuesday that I feel so overwhelmed that I’m dropping “F” Bombs as I’m putting prayer books out on the table to be signed 🙁 … And then we have a night like Tuesday night. A night where Olga walks through the door for her first Heartworks meeting ever.
Olga lives in Bedminster but leaves for Florida next week. She’ll be moving in with her mom to be closer to her son who just started college there. She’ll be traveling next week with a U Haul van filled with her belongings, and the tumor that rests inside her brain. But after tonight, her possessions include a gift bag filled with magazines and snacks to enjoy in the private room during the 17 hour train ride we offered her when we found out she was DRIVING WHILE ON HER MEDS, WITH A BRAIN TUMOR TO FLORIDA.
How does a human being sleep when she knows another human being, with a brain tumor, is driving herself from New Jersey to Florida?? I complain most times I have to even drive to Target. Perhaps a human being who doesn’t know about someone like Olga sleeps. But once you know…you know…and then how can you not do something? And so we are doing something. Because of all of you showing up Tuesday, we are able to pay for her to load her U Haul van onto a train and then go rest in a private room with a bed eating Cheetos and reading about Brangelina for the rest of the trip.
Because of the donations that continue to come into Heartworks, we can do something like this. And sweet, powerful, faith filled Olga will be able to lie her head on a pillow with Amtrak etched across the pillow case and get some sleep. The rest of us now will be able to put our heads on our own pillows and sleep, knowing that the teeny tiny section of the world that God has asked us to watch over (a 21 hour stretch from New Jersey to Florida) is being taken care of.
I wish that this felt like we were doing enough, but it never does. I’m working on this …seeing my energy worker at 8:45 tomorrow morning for assistance with this :). As I return to the Heartworks House after my appointment it will be so full of love that all I will be able to say is thank you to everyone who came to Tuesday’s meeting, thank you to Olga for receiving, and thank you to God for the opportunity to be alive…and like Nicky, who we learned had passed away after a journey with Cystic Fibrosis taught us, be grateful for every breath we are given, because he was. Every Heartworks meeting seems to teach us ways to be more connected and awake to what is happening in the world around us and this continues to help me move through this unpredictable and fragile life of ours. Thank you for your part in my lessons, see you all next month.