I’m told to let go of ‘it’. To drop ‘it’ completely. To release what is holding me back so I can heal and move forward with my life. Is what I hold on to, my belief, creating my reality? And most importantly, if I discover the ‘it’, the belief that is creating what I don’t want in my life, will I be able to yank that insidious root from my psyche myself?
This is the story of human courage, family lineage and hope while facing death. A journey for my older brother & for myself as we both discover the ‘it’ in our lives.
I arrived today into Richmond Virginia. I’m scheduled for a full physical, including a psychological exam with the Massey Cancer Center which is a part of the Virginia Commonwealth University. On my flight here from Santa Fe, New Mexico, I busied myself with a book by Osho entitled ‘Compassion: The Ultimate Flowering of Love’. A perfect companion for this journey. I am the perfect match for a bone marrow transplant for my elder brother. His body is battling Acute Myeloid Leukemia or AML…..the toughest of the 4 leukemias. Of the four siblings, I was the 10 point match. Somehow I knew it would be me. We are the most similar of the 5 Winters kids.
Here are the 4 of us…. all born in a 5 year span during the post WWII era. I can’t imagine my mother’s daily exhaustion. I’m in the middle and my oldest brother is on the right. My younger brother who is not pictured appeared about 5 years later.
My elder brother called me one day about 10 months ago to share news of his health crisis. He was on his way to the hospital after being told he had little time to survive his current status. When he hung up…. I wept like the 3 year old girl seen above sitting on her childhood staircase. I then immediately called my younger sister and we jumped into action.
Like Lucy and Ethel, we bumped into each other cruising the internet seeking more information and solutions to his problem…..funny how sisters take charge. We ordered pumped up supplements and immune boosting concoctions and sent via Fedex to ensure a speedy delivery. After all, we were on a mission.
But now, months later, I’m standing in front of the Massey Cancer Center in Richmond Virginia hesitating to enter and instead found a bench at the entrance to sit and collect my thoughts. My stomach was queazy, and I could feel my heart speed up. My ‘it’, that part of me I was searching for, had surfaced. I knew I had to let go of it before I started the procedure. Here in this moment, was my opportunity to release my doubts about the treatment and let go of my expectations about this marrow transplant.
Could this journey with my brother be about healing the both of us? He has had to release all of his white blood cells from his body. I have had to release all negative emotions.
What remains when we complete the transplant.