On the surface these things may seem a random, unrelated group of things. But as it turns out they sum up a unexpected trip I found myself on last week to meet up with my two daughters, ages 18 and 20. I think many parents would agree that one of the toughest things about your kids growing up and setting off on their own is that you can't easily be there for them when they need you. This is particularly true when they're ill and while I always make sure they are well stocked with tinctures and herbal teas it's impossible to equip them with everything they may conceivable need for every situation.
Last Thursday Hannah and Nicole set off from Tennessee with their friend Allie and her mom, Stacy, after attending a four day music festival which ended with two additional days of volunteer clean up. The girls were pleased to have Stacy join them at the end of the event as she took them out for a hearty meal and they stayed in a nice hotel before setting off for NYC bright and early the next morning. Word has it that about 20 or 30 minutes into the trip my younger daughter Hannah started to feel nausea. Always a tropper, she mentioned her situation to her sister but felt sure she could power through until the first rest stop in a few hours. Unfortunately it soon became clear that she would need to stop much sooner then hoped. The next few hours saw several bathroom stops and Hannah was unable to make it more then 20 minutes at a time without having to exit and use the facilities. This did not bode well for the long journey ahead of them, and Nicole called me up sounding very worried and reported that Hannah had a very bad case of food poisoning and was really struggling. I was about to head over to my shop and open for the day and I asked if I could help in any way. The travelers came to the consensus that I should drive out to meet them on route so I could be with Hannah until she felt better.
At this point I got pretty scared - that 3 very competent women felt I needed to be there made me think Hannah must indeed be very sick. They decided did not to go to a hospital but to drive as much as they could. I hastily called my trusty co-worker Jo Anne to see if she could wo-man the shop at short notice and I grabbed my handbag and set off.
Now the only thing worse then having a sick kid and is having to drive 6 hours, by yourself, with only your thoughts to keep you company. The occassional text messages I was getting let me know that Hannah was not improving as they made their way to Virginia and they had decided, after all, to find a hospital and seek medical attention. Now I started imagining e-coli. botulism, or some funky virus that my little darling contracted while picking up everyone's trash after the festival. So, while I am not a religious person, I decide to pray. The tricky thing for someone who has left their childhood religion behind is that it's unclear who to pray to at times like these. Fortunately, I had recently read "The Medical Medium" and the author, Anthony Williams, offers a chapter on the Essential Angels. One such angel he mentions is the Angel of Healing and that seemed like an excellent choice for the situation at hand.
So there I was, heading down route 81 (during which time I passed through three intense, wheel gripping, blinding downpours), vocally praying to the Angel of Healing to lift my daughter's illness, repeating my request and gratitude aloud, over and over again. On one of my driving breaks I checked my messages to find that Hannah had gotten worse and they found a closer hospital and will be there soon. Well, now I'm wondering why my prayers aren't working and I begin to ask myself what it is I really believe when it comes to God and angels and prayer. For starters, I'm not a big fan of the word God, because it is so completely associated with male energy. God is not a man. Or a woman. Maybe both, maybe neither. Take your pick. I've taken to referring to this universal energy as God/Goddess and I decide on this frantic drive that I will now use the term G-Goddess to save time and this puts a little smile on my face. Then I begin to wonder about angels. Do they exist? I imagine they do, but it suddenly felt that angels, as powerful and wonderful as they may be, could only serve as middle (wo)men, just like the priests and nuns from my youth. The implication that I am not connected to G-Goddess directly, I am not part of G-Goddess but am separate means my prayers won't be heard unless I call upon outside help. Well,it took 50 years of life for me to realize I don't believe this. I believe I am part of G-Goddess, that we all are, including my lovely little Hannah. So I switched my prayers to visualizing a white light from my heart and Hannah's heart that expanded all around us and I asked through this universal healing energy, which is part of us, that Hannah be healed. Or something like that. Frankly, I can't really remember. But it felt right. Angels may be just the thing you need but that wasn't my lesson on this trip.
I also came to realize I had to address the fear I was feeling, that I needed to replace it with trust and love. I started scanning the radio for songs with the word love and I would stop on those stations and listen and sing along and then scan for another one. I seem to recall a rather rambunctious rendition of Crazy Little Thing Called Love. And each time I started to feel fear I would replace it in my mind and heart with thoughts of love - love for my family, for the amazing beauty that I was now surrounded by in West Virginia, for all the healing plants I was passing along the roadside - elder flowers, orange daylilies and swathes of bright yellow blooming mullein flowers like I've never seen before. And I felt so grateful for all of this support right outside my window. Then I passed into Virginia and a huge sign saying "Virginia is For Lovers" and the hugest smile broke out on my face! Love Not Fear! My daughter was in a hospital in a state for Lovers! Right on!
I can tell you honestly that within 15 minutes I got a text from Nicole saying Hannah was lying in bed in the hospital and while she did get sick once when they first arrived earlier, she was suddenly feeling worlds better. The doctor was baffled as to what to do with her at this point and he kind of insisted she take an anti-nausea pill even though after about 8 hours of hell she was no longer feeling nauseous. Was it the prayers? The love songs? The visualizations? Had the virus or whatever it was just run it's course? I have no idea. I just know that I learned a lot on that trip. And I got to drive back north with Hannah and chat and sing and laugh and argue and it was heaven. Heaven on Earth. She told me that Nicole, who comforted and supported her throughout the whole nightmare, was the absolute best sister on the planet. She made me listen to something called trap music - the reggae trap wasn't half bad. And as an final sign that all was right with the world we passed through yet another torrential thunderstorm which culminated in the biggest, longest lasting double rainbow I have ever witnessed. This video does not begin to do it justice. (note the trap music in the background).
And now I know you must be wondering, "What about the deodorant?" Fair question. Although this will seem like a shameless plug for our new, all natural deodorant stick made by Jo Anne of Peony Rose Botanicals, my trusty friend and co-worker mentioned above, I tell you this only because it is 100% true. As I was rushing to leave for Virginia I grabbed the deodorant and slapped some on before running out. I had only just brought it home from the shop the day before and hadn't yet tried it. To compound the situation, the air conditioning in my car was not working - in fact, I had dropped it off at the local garage to be repaird that morning and had to go back and get it before they could fix it. Well, after 6 hours of sweating my way south through the heat, an hour at the hospital and 2 hours heading back north before stopping in a hotel, I smelt fresh and flowery, if I do say so myself.
I'll be bringing some home for the family, including the more masculine "Forest" scent for the hubby. All's well that ends well! And even better if I smell good.