UPDATE! Speaking of waiting, I’m in the hospital after a fall downstairs caused by sudden instability that came about because my ventricular shunt, which controls pressure in my brain, had failed. (This happens to these things. It’s nothing to do with my tumor, which remains stable.) If there is any place that involves waiting, it’s a hospital. We wrote about this in Miraculous Journey, and this visit proved no exception to the rule. But once the waiting is over, the doctors can work their wonders. I would not be here today without doctors. They are my shamen.

And now, back to the original diary about waiting…

Whitley and I both got new recliners from a special back store. I hurt my back in a fall, and Whitley has such a bad back that he’s had periods in his life when he’s slept on the floor, and been unable even to raise his feet while walking. When we went to bed, I’d lean over and say ‘goodnight’ and he would wave to me from the floor. We went on that way for many years.

Then we found a good chiropractor, which greatly improved things for him. The new chairs we good are a great improvement, but they have one little thing that drives me nuts. In order to get the chair to move into position, either to get up or lean back, you have to push buttons. This means that you have to wait for the chair to get into place before you can, say, pick up a book.

I have discovered something from this. Sometimes furniture—the furniture of your life—expresses what you need at the moment. For instance, when I was going through a very frustrating period in my life, I really enjoyed shredding paper. This new chair is teaching me another kind of lesson. It’s teaching me to wait.

I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to wait. Instead, I blunder about trying to do things before they need to be done. But the chair has changed all that, because I have to wait for it to get into position—even the position that enables me to get out of the chair. So there’s this pause in my life before I can do anything, and I find myself thinking about what it really was that I wanted to get up and do.

And sometimes I realize that these things don’t need to be done or can be done in another way.

For someone with a brain tumor like I have, treatments are all about waiting–postponing the inevitable, waiting to get a little more life. So the chair, as annoying as it is, turns out to offer me a useful lesson that’s summed up beautifully in the old English proverb: “all good things come to he who waits.”

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  1. ‘When we went to bed, I’d
    ‘When we went to bed, I’d lean over and say ‘goodnight’ and he would wave to me from the floor.’

    Someone could make an animated film about your life together and it would win an Academy Award!

  2. Having had a lot of eye
    Having had a lot of eye problems recently, I empathize. I had to SLOW down, typing, keyboarding, and reading. Once I have cataract surgery, back to hyperspeed! I found acupuncture REALLY helpful for back problems. Worked wonders!!!

  3. Anne, I totally agree with
    Anne, I totally agree with Sophett. I wish both You and Whitley to be free from all back pain BUT when I got to the part about ‘When we went to bed, I’d lean over and say ‘goodnight’ and he would wave to me from the floor,’ I really laughed. What a visual that is…..I do hope things are MUCH better upon acquiring those newfangled chairs.

  4. You and Whitley bless us and
    You and Whitley bless us and inspire us in so many ways.

  5. Let me second what Oakstar
    Let me second what Oakstar wrote! Anne, it is SO good to see your new post! We’ve all been pulling for you out here, and to have you back is a true reward. I always look forward to your editorials.
    I hope that sometime in the near future we may even get another experiencer interview from you. Those are always stimulating and very informative!
    BLESS you both!

  6. Pain’s a funny thing, as we
    Pain’s a funny thing, as we get older at least.

    So often, after pain, either physical or emotional, I look back at the time spent in pain, truly alone with myself, and find myself missing it.

    I recall a phrase Mr Strieber coined, a year or so ago, in a journal entry about back pain and the phrase has stayed with me:
    “Me, and my pain…”

    Now, recouperating from an injury, popping Naproxen, I find myself reading Mrs Strieber’s post. I know that of all the people capable helping me comprehend the mystery of my subtle love affair with life’s pain, Mr & Mrs Strieber are right up there at the summit of expression through experience.

    You’re all very dear to me, both the Dreamland team and fellow listeners. It’s your honesty in a world of moulded plasma tv’s and shiny smart phones that keeps me sane, hopefully at least in part.

    Pain, where are you? Why did you leave me just as I was about to learn more?

  7. Lovely to have you back I
    Lovely to have you back I think you have a lot more work to do for humanity we need every good person there is!!!!!!!!!

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