It’s been a month now since my last seizure, which is a record since this ordeal all began on August 30, 2012. They tell me that’s good news. Just as brains that get in the habit of seizing keep on seizing the opposite is also true: brains that get out of the habit of seizing stop seizing. At the same time as I find myself coming back to life our Amaryllis is coming into full bloom, not with one flower stem but with two. By the time we get through, we may well see ten beautiful flowers. Accident or providence? Read on before you decide.
The symbolism behind the current blooming of our Amaryllis plant, just as I have had a month without seizures, seems to be no accident. The Amaryllis, if you don’t know, is a bulbous plant with several strap-shaped leaves with one or two flower stems, each 3-4 feet in length when fully grown. The flowers really are a sight to behold when fully bloomed and I encourage you to click on the Amaryllis link if you have never seen one for yourself.
They take very little care and feeding other than weekly watering and occasional fertilizing. Each year, when the flowers come out in the middle of winter, they remind me of new life and the springtime that is yet to come. Suffice it to say the current blooming carries a lot of symbolism for me this year, as someone who is experiencing his own resurrection and new birth • over and over again • after the close call I had with death that was brought on by the seizure activity that started at the end of August.
Given the problems I have with memory, it is remarkable that I remembered • since I don’t remember remembering • our routine to make the Amaryllis bloom in the winter of each year: at the end of the growing season we trim the leaves and flower stems and move the pot with the large bulb into our crawl space where it stays cool through the fall and early winter months. Then, as the days begin to lengthen, we bring it out again, put it in the living room, fertilize it a bit, and make sure it gets watered about once a week.
Once the weather warms up, we put it out on our deck where it enjoys the gifts of nature and continued weekly watering from you know who when the weather doesn’t cooperate. I love that plant, which must be at least 25 years old. But when I went down for the count, there was every chance in the world that it would die on the deck through the cold of winter and the chaos that ensued. But that’s not what happened and I love how my wife and partner in life tells the story:
It all happened by chance. I had called our friend Anita to tell her not to come over as planned that morning in early September since the decision had been made that because Bob did not seem to be responding to the first line of treatment that he would be MedFlighted by helicopter to the UVA medical center in Charlottesville, Virginia to receive additional treatment.
But Anita missed the call, so she stopped in and I took a break from my harried preparations to pack and close up the house for an unknown period of time. Over a cup of tea, we caught up on what was going on with Bob and she promised that she would come by every week to water the plants until we returned.
Anita shares Bob•s love of growing things, and was always game for a garden tour, so Bob took her on one almost every time she came to our house. That September morning, she asked me whether I had brought in •Bob•s Baby• from the deck. Thinking she meant our Hibiscus tree, I nodded toward the living room to show her that I had.
That’s when she exclaimed, •No, the other one!• and jumped up to look out the window. There, in a forgotten corner of the deck, sat Bob•s beloved Amaryllis bulb, soaking up the energy of the summer sun for its winter glories. •Bob would be so sad to come home and find his baby gone,• she noted, both of us holding fast to the belief that Bob would, in fact, be coming home again one day .
I brought in the bulb, a 25-year-old Amaryllis bulb the size of a football that we had inherited in a free plant exchange as part of an Earth Day celebration at our church several years ago. I hurriedly placed it in the crawl space under the house where it stays cool and dark every winter, bade Anita good bye and got back to my packing.
Two months later we did celebrate that blessed homecoming, but I was preoccupied with other matters and didn•t give the Amaryllis bulb a second thought. It wasn•t until we got started on the mold remediation project that I opened up the crawl space and stumbled upon the forgotten bulb. I pulled it out and put it in a sunny corner of the living room and gave it some water.
Nothing happened for a while, but eventually a tiny green shoot emerged and I showed it to Bob. He began watching it as it stretched higher and higher. Just this week, it has blessed us with a spectacular five-flower blossom and a second shoot promising even more beauty to come. Bob has experienced this unfolding as a lovely •welcome back to life!•
Welcome back to life, indeed! It has taken a village to keep me in the game and this is just one more story of how that village has rallied to the cause. I thank my wife, Anita, the medical team, including my daughter, and the whole host of witnesses who have written cards and emails to support me on the journey.
Resurrection flowers are but a symbol of what is to come for me as I hope and pray to recover fully from this most mysterious of afflictions. Thanks for your caring and concern along the way.
Coaching Inquiries: Who supports and prays for you on the journey? When was the last time you said thank you? How could you express your gratitude more often and fully? What role does gratitude play in your life and work? How could you cultivate a more gracious spirit that might spill over in abundance to your family, friends, co-workers, and acquaintances? Why not thank one person today?
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Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Form or Email Bob.
Keep moving forward. I loved the poem that you had today. We think of you and pray for you each day as your progress continues. Keep up the good work and the writing!!! What wonderful therapy!!!
Happy Sunday and thank you for your continued heart touching and inspiring writing. I am sure I am not the only one who has missed LifeTrek Provisions on an early morning. It gives me great joy to read about your progress in healing, a blessing indeed. “Being awake” for me means being in the moment and as a mother of a 17-year-old daughter who has had seizures since the age of 4, two brain tumors/surgeries and limbic encephalitis last summer due to complications during a cerebral angiogram, I can say that all this has taught me to cherish the moment, to live in the now with all the gusto life has to offer.
This isn’t always as rosy as it might sound because of set-backs. My daughter continues to recover and we keep holding you and your family in our healing intentions. “Love is love” is what sustains families that learn to live with seizures and reading about your progress and set-backs, I couldn’t help to see it as a dance. Perhaps this is why your work on Evocative Coaching immediately resonated with me. It acknowledges the principle of following a natural rhythm, being awake and fully engaged, active listening, reflecting and coming from an open heart. So, “love is love” and “being awake” unite into ‘daily gratitude” checks. My gratitude goes to you: thank you for being the wonderful you, sharing your cheers and tears with your audience and for reminding us that living with love and in the moment is energizing our body, mind and spirit.
Thank you for sharing about love & giving in your last Provision. I also loved the poem that you shared and the conversion to song, by Erika and her husband, was very peaceful and relaxing to listen to. I think something big should definitely come out of those beautifully inspired words:) God bless you!
I wanted to thank you for talking with me for a while this week. Even with your traumatized brain, you really made me think! I am waiting for the first Provision that will be sent my way. I talked with your, heart to heart. I wish I could do that with more people! Your words are powerful and I hope they touch many people.
The song was a GREAT rendition of your poem • VERY neat • please tell Erika I’m impressed. I that her voice and her hubby’s music?? Very neat! Keep on keeping on • it’s so synergistic • we’re all blessing you even as you and Megan continue to bless us! Smiles.
Thank you for your kind and supportive email. My sincere apologies because I didn’t want to deflect from what you have been through at all. Your experience must have been life transforming beyond words for all of you. I just wanted both of you to know that I am with you in heart and spirit because I know the feelings during this journey, at least from the family member perspective.
Sometimes your writings and the blog posts during your stay at the UVA hospital were so moving and so close to home. The love and support of your family radiated through all the comments. We continue to hold all of you in our prayers and I trust that you will continue to rediscover everything that might still be vague or asleep. It is not gone. Many blessings to you and keep on writing your beautiful Provisions, whenever you feel like writing. In the meantime, I revisit the archives for your pearls of wisdom. They are timeless! 🙂
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
Past President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time, Online Retailers
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Skype: LifeTrek • Twitter: @LifeTrekBob
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