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sammy b. good ~ samantha brown goodrich

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Today I am 3 weeks post radical surgery to remove a malignant sinonasal tumor that had attached itself to a part of my brain as well as my orbit area. The day of surgery, my husband and I walked the short distance from our hotel to the hospital in the early morning hours. Although the hospital is located in the center of a city, it was the birds, not the traffic, that were making the most noise.  All along the sidewalk, without a clear view of sky above them, hundreds of birds were singing in trees. That walk, those birds, and the heaviness of impending surgical surrender will remain with me for years to come.

I used to think of a wound as something painful, sore, and sharp. Something needing immediate attention, but when we pick a scab, we are only slowing its recovery. It might just leave less of a mark if we let it heal as it needs. The temptation is to worry it. To hurry it.  Wounds can magnetize unconscious fears and draw them right to the surface. Whether physical, emotional, energetic, or otherwise, they might even leave a hole. Yet at the same time, a hole is an empty space in which something new can grow.

I recently finished a book in which a character was reflecting on the hole her father’s death had torn in her life. She recognized that while the hole had not closed and might never fully close, “it seemed that it might with time become overgrown.” I find this image hopeful. It’s something I hadn’t chewed on before. This hole, tended thoughtfully, may provide new growth.

There are folks close to me that might choose to cover their wound with rage, betrayal, or even denial. My wish for them is that they come to see that while they might initially begin their healing from a place of hurt, they might soon turn towards tenderness and care. I certainly have been angry along my own path from diagnosis to surgery to prognosis (still waiting on this piece!) but when I consider the possibility of new growth, I imagine flowered vines, home to nesting birds; their well-wishing songs bookending my days and my listening for years to come.




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