Friday, November 23, 2012

On Being Thankful

This is something that I normally live and breathe and, yet, here I am on the day set aside for giving thanks unable to.  All I feel is sadness just like those first few days after we received the diagnosis. I feel so unlike myself.  I was able to hang onto a few moments of joy in the past month.  I can say that I am thankful for those moments.  I am.  But.  All that seems to be gone now.

Now I feel as though I'm lost in a world that's not my own.  Because my parents were left homeless from hurricane Sandy we are now all at my Aunt Pat's house. And yes, I can say that I am thankful for the roof over our head and a bed to sleep in. I am.  But.  We are all so on top of each other, my aunt and uncle and cousins and my mom and dad.  I feel so unlike myself because the soft protective space I keep around myself is gone.

I'm hanging onto the hope that we'll adjust, Jason and Tashi and me.  We're resilient.  That's another thing that I am thankful for. I am. But. I have cried myself to sleep every night I've been here, I've cried silently each morning I've woken up here and throughout the day big hot tears come without warning.

Today, as I try to get through this day, I have to find something that I'm thankful for that doesn't have a but.  Maybe it will be a collection of small things.  Maybe it will something bigger.

Today I need to hang onto a shred of myself, that part of me that knows how incredibly blessed I am.

Update: Black Friday

No, no I did not go shopping last night and I plan to stay in my jammies as long as I can today.  And, yes, I am thankful for that.  I am.

The black cloud has lifted.  And that I am also thankful for.

Yesterday was a really nice day.  The weather was beautiful.  I haven't seen blue skies like that since this summer.  Tashi (and Jason) had a great time running around with all the kids in the back yard.  I enjoyed seeing my nieces and nephews.  They are all getting so big and have such distinct personalities.   I am looking forward to spending more time with all of them.  I am thankful that I am here and can do that.  They are treasures.

The thing is, as my wonderful husband pointed out, I am still incredibly blessed and have so much to be thankful for and although those things feel so far away they are not because I carry them with me in my heart.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I feel like I'm standing on the edge of a cliff cold wind blowing in my face Jason's hand in mine with the warmth of the sun on our backs.

I'm so scared of what we are facing.  I want to stay right here.  I want these babies to stay right where they are, safe and healthy.  I want to stay in this place where we're joyful.
Tim Steadman Photography

Tim Steadman Photography

Tim Steadman Photography 
Tonight we leave the comfort of our home and our community and head off into the unknown.  

For the past month we have been living somewhere in between.  We have been focusing all of our energy into where we are now, surrounded by people we love, doing what we love, being pregnant.  We have so much to be thankful for, so much to celebrate.  

Tonight we say good-bye to our Delhi family.  
Many of our nearest and dearest.

Our beloved Yangzom
We have been so overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone here in Delhi.  We love you all so whole heartedly.  

Thank you. 

Thank you for your kind words.  Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your warm embraces.  Thank you for letting us be safe and comfortable in this space.  

Because of you we leave here with our hearts full, full of love and peace.  Because of you we leave here lifted up. Because of you we leave here strong.

Tonight, with love and light we say farewell.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Life In the Now

For the last few weeks Jason and I have both been in a weird place.  Some days are OK and others are not.  Every day we do our best, whatever that may be.  On Friday, I had been invited to join a few dear friends and colleagues for a final happy hour before my departure.  It was just what I needed.  I belly laughed for the first time in a long long time.  In fact, I laughed so hard that I actually peed myself a little.  

As I was sitting there thinking about how my next blog post would be about holding onto these moments of joy, about being so grateful to be surrounded by such incredible people Jason was experiencing something that was equally profound, yet in another way entirely.  He shared his experience with me  later that night.  And now I share it with you.  

**This is my first guest post, enjoy.  jason**

Living in New Delhi, and teaching where we do, we are often given the
opportunities to do and participate in amazing things.  One of those
opportunities presented itself on Friday when we were visited by His
Holiness the Gyalwa Karmapa.  He is the head of the Karma Kagyu, one
the major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. This is the third time His
Holiness has visited our school and I've been fortunate to see him
speak twice.

Friday was a rough day for me.  Our impending departure is creeping up
on us, my pile of work seems to be increasing instead of getting done,
I was tired and I was having a "sad day." In fact, it was the kind of
day that people don't expect me to have. I surprised three colleagues
when they asked, "How are you?," and I gave them an answer they didn't
expect. "I'm sad today."  Their reactions varied from respectful
silence, to sympathetic smiles and hugs. I suppose that's why I went
to see the Karmapa that day.  The primary message of Buddhism is peace
and in particular, finding peace in yourself. If nothing else that
day, I was hoping to absorb some positive vibes.  And then I started

I had asked a question about the increase of self-immolations among
Tibetan protesters and the response was that these protests while
courageous may be misguided because all life is precious, especially
those of the  precious few Tibetans. Needless to say, this gave me
pause relative to the choices we are facing.

While my mind was racing, the Karmapa had been asked another question
and was talking about how his most important job is to eliminate
suffering in the world.  Up until that point I was trying to frame a
question about preparing peace in yourself in the face of one of
life's most traumatic circumstances, but then suddenly, I didn't have
to. My mind calmed, my sadness left me and I had found what I didn't
know I was looking for.  These two comments by a Buddhist monk had
neatly summarized the decisions Kate and I have been struggling with.
We have decided to celebrate the lives of our babies, and minimize
their suffering. Then, another question spurred the third framing
thought for the day. The Karmapa was talking about the importance of
living in the moment and appreciating the "now."

I finished listening to the talk and I was invited to dinner with the
Karmapa. At dinner, we had informal discussions where His Holiness
alternated between offering advice, describing his life and keeping us
all laughing by cracking jokes. Grateful for that moment in the "now,"
I looked around the room and saw my school director, who has
graciously arranged for us to return home, my principal and my
assistant principal who have been amazingly supportive and
understanding and a room full of friends who have pledged to do
anything to help us. Anything - including giving us space, sympathy,
hugs and the peace that will enable us to know that we're doing the
right thing for our family.