“"Don't listen to them, you're not going to die. We're going to beat this," she remembers.
I’m just going to let it rip from my gut today—and please know, I am not downplaying any who have trusted us with their heartfelt stories. For you truly matter to me, and I pray, all of us.
So as I introduce you to today’s stranger-now-friend, Morgan, I need you to know that (and Morgan, I think you feel the same), in telling her story, she is openly celebrating you.
In this thought, I feel it appropriate that, even though Morgan does not know you, her heart is filled with love toward you. And in honor of all you have loved, and whatever you have endured, know that Morgan is by your side—at least that is the opinion of this author.
So as we take in her introduction, may I ask, that we look toward both those closest, and those farthest away from us. Listen for the quiet voice whispering from within. To take a breath, and then exhale. And in the gesture, to pause in seeing beyond what we feel?
A quick heads up, and reason for being rather brief in this story, Morgan will be the next Sidewalk Ghosts podcast episode. But even with that, there is so much to share of what she taught me today—a lesson I have learned over and over again, and one that I pray can touch each of us in whatever way we need.
Morgan has been through a lot. Rape and its resulting trauma, stage-4 sinus cancer that doctors diagnosed with a 6 percent chance of surviving, 33 rounds of radiation, and the whole set of body-crushing meds grounding the treatments. All news she found out, with her fiance by her side, only weeks before her wedding.
She told me of the tears and the trembling when she was informed of her low mortality statistics. A shock of all shocks, that in her words, “that’s not the stuff you hear about yourself,” rocked her to her knees. And, as she heard the prognosis in a most clinically dry and matter-of-fact way, he wrapped his arms around her.
“Don’t listen to them, you’re not going to die. We’re going to beat this,” she remembers. My eyes wet as she painted me a picture of the day she learned of a deathly fate as seen by others. “I’m trembling again just thinking back to that moment,” she shivers.
You probably guessed it, and as I spoke with her, in the background of their home he stood, the man who held her all so tight. Her once fiance, now husband: Lucas—another story for another time.
she tells of her story, of those who unlifted her at her darkest moments, and of the possibility of a gruesome and painful death, is one she credits the influence of others. Even the divine power she now harnesses in living forward
Her smile and spirit were alive and infectious as we talked of the darker episodes of her past, the present she is living, and the people who had inflicted her pain, as well as those who had, in their way, stood forward as saviors. Her trust overwhelming as, without hesitation, she permissions me to share her light with you. A task I hope I can accomplish in the limited pages of a blog and the upcoming words of a podcast.
I see Morgan as a healer more than one who has been healed. An expression that, perhaps at this moment, is one I’m telling in a very theatrical way. And please know, I’m not meaning to grandstand her, or attempting to put her pain above any that you or I may have gone through, or are now enduring. To do so, would be disrespectful, and an action that could destroy the unified power that together, we are sharing with the world. But to downplay her contribution to the community we are forming would be equally wrong.
I often speak of how far the impact of any one individual can reach. So today, and in my promise of vulnerability to you, I have to confess the truth that Morgan has unknowingly carried me past some pain I’ve been bearing. For in her all so featherlike countenance she grants me, and all of us, hope. A hope, that as she tells of her story, of those who unlifted her at her darkest moments, and of the possibility of a gruesome and painful death, is one she credits the influence of others. Even the divine power she now harnesses in living forward. A present in which she identifies the comforting power as love, the greatest healer as something from above, and the willingness to let go, the strength to conquer mountains.
Morgan, thank you for opening your heart to us. And in this sentiment might we all look at each other! Embrace our loved ones! Even those who have hurt us! To do as Morgan has so wonderfully and eloquently exampled: Let go of our controls. Talk to our spiritual sources as we ask for guidance from beyond ourselves. And as we do, to step forward in one of the hardest challenges of life, that being: To forgive our pained circumstances, and harder yet, our transgressors.
So it is in this blog typing moment. In tribute to my new friends Morgan and Lucas, and in recognition of all of us—shall we join with one another in a short moment of meditation, and if you will, prayers to your higher power. And as we collectively listen for an answer, might we all live it forward.
Talk tomorrow my good friends,
Oops, Morgan’s Why. Simply this: “To love.”