July 12, 2017
Water seems to be the ‘Word of the Day.’ One cup of water, two scoops of coffee grounds. Rain. Refill water bottle. Rain. Wash hands. Rain. #EndDetroitWaterShutOffs
Each time the word popped up, so did my anxiety. Will this coffee wake me up enough to function at work? People can’t drive in the rain- better leave early. Am I drinking enough water? Did I wash my hands good enough? I forgot my umbrella…I’m going to get soaked. Is there someone down the street from me who has to hunt down water just to bathe their children? But the last time water came up in my day, it erased all worries instead of multiplying them. I decided to take a bath.
When I was younger, the bathtub was a portal to a land of imagination where a new adventure always awaited. My toys would line the edge and often had to cross perilous seas to rescue a friend or secure treasure. As I grew, the bath evolved with me. It became a place of relaxing refuge and deep contemplation. Unfortunately, it’s been a long time since my last bath. With deadlines and tight schedules always looming in my adult life, there never seems time to just relax or think about something that won’t trigger an avalanche of anxious thoughts. Thanks to a friend, I finally had an excuse to dip back in.
I first met Lorie Marie at the library when I served my time at the Circulation desk. At first, I simply saw her as the cool wife of my co-worker Chris…but after getting to know her better, I began to see her as a friend. One of the things I appreciate most about Lorie is her strong Catholic faith. It’s been a constant encouragement to me, especially when political Evangelical Christians make me question the church. Even when the world is filled with so much darkness and hate, she continues to put out positive energy that I need in my life.
Recently, Lorie was diagnosed with Uterine Cancer. Despite the terrifying diagnoses, she continues to be a beacon of light.
“I have something for you, too,” she said to me after I gave her a birthday/thinking-of-you present of peach ribbon earrings. I couldn’t believe her generosity, even in the midst of her emotional and physical suffering.
When I arrived at her house later that week she gave me a big bag bursting with scents.
“I got these from work,” she said, then went on to explain the specialty bath bombs and soap inside. I could barely pull my nose away from the bag.
Tonight, after my wet, crummy day, I took a big whiff of that bag sitting next to my tub and knew it was time. I removed the softball-sized orb and examined it. It was half pink, half purple with a little rose sticking out of the top. The flower was so cute I was tempted to cut the massive ball in half and only use the bottom. I decided against it…and I’m glad I did.
After I dropped the bomb into the hot water, a thousand bubbles raced out of the center of the rose, which floated on the surface, twirling around in a pool of pink.
As it dissolved, so did my stress and sadness.
I lowered myself into the bath and was transported to a liquid garden, full of color and flowery scents.
As the last bubble popped, the rose descended and filled the tub with translucent petals that looked like pink jellyfish.
As I laid there, I thought about Lorie and how kind she is, even while fighting cancer. Then I thought back to my bad day. Did I show kindness to anyone? No, I just complained. I want to be that person that goes out of my way to cheer someone up, even when I’m dealing with my own issues. I want to be like Lorie. I want her strength and selflessness.
When we spread generosity, we can transform a bad ‘Word of the Day’ into a good one. In the end, water turned from a curse to a blessing thanks to Lorie. It truly was a bath bomb from heaven.
Please keep Lorie in your thoughts and prayers. She has major surgery coming up soon.