Archive | 6:33 PM

Day 183: in the middle part 3 :: heart

2 Jul

Welcome to the middle… we are smack dab in the center of 2011 and The Promise 365.

This is a four-part series that will focus on you guessed it …the middle.  I will share what it’s like for me being in the middle of this year and would love to hear from you too.

Part 3:  Heart

This heart of mine might be the hardest category to cover.  Mostly because my heart has been broken so many times, super-glued back together and painted over to make it look shiny again.

The first time my heart broke it was sudden and vicious and it wasn’t even over a boy.

My heart was thrown to the ground and shattered by a doctor, not because he told me I had cancer but because he explained to me that I couldn’t play basketball: it was too risky.  Like all starry-eyed lovers, I was the last to know about our break-up.

My coach pulled me out of basketball practice one day holding a letter from my doctor.  The official piece of paper ordered the school to remove me from the basketball team.  My coach questioned me about the letter, wanting to know why I didn’t tell her about it.

I was dumbfounded.  It was news to me.
To make it worse, it was a public affair.

A few days later every single doctor who had ever looked at my oncology file, along with my high school’s Athletic Director, Principal, my Coach and my parents all sat around a large conference table listening rapt as my doctor droned on and on about the risks of physical activity given my “situation” — Have you ever heard of an arrhythmia? Do you know what happened to Len Bias? — No.  It didn’t matter.  It was decided, everyone around the table, everyone except Jamie Eslinger, agreed that the person named Jamie Eslinger was not to play basketball while going through cancer treatment.

I sat stunned.
To my seventeen-year old self it was as painful as open heart surgery, except I wasn’t offered anesthesia or a spinal tap.  I wasn’t even offered really bad hospital JELL-O or a sucker.

Basketball was indeed my first love but not my last break-up.
My heart ultimately broke over boys, men, men who acted like boys, and most deeply over the death of my mother.

What I didn’t know then, but do know now, looking back on all cracks, breaks and re-plastering of my heart, is that it is indeed a very strong muscle.

So this year, over this promise, I am paying more attention to loving my whole heart and everything it has withstood, instead of looking at the Spackle that holds the cracks together (or trying to cover it up with a really cute dress).

What I have learned, 183 days in, on the deepest level is this:  forgiveness is the salve that heals all.

And, if forgiveness is not in ready supply, the best rule of thumb is to apply love. Whether it is to my broken heart, my fat dimples, my stubby thumbs, my biggest mistakes or my shortest comings, or those of others too.

To all that is broken, apply love.
Hearts heal.
Love rebounds.

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