“There’s too much hate and bad shit in this world. Ya’ll be good to somebody when you can.”
~ Catfish Cooley
One of the best things about Marcie’s hen henna party last week was her willingness to be a blank canvas for anyone willing to try their hand at henna. Deb Chenault was, of course, the perfect person to give it a go. She is maybe best known for her jewelry, but she’s an incredibly gifted visual artist as well (she’s also a gifted writer). Also, it spoke volumes about Tammy Cornett’s character that she would be okay with someone else working alongside her. Not only was she okay with it, she encouraged it. Yes, the hen henna party was pretty clucking cool, and I was fortunate to be amongst such generous, open, kind – and arty – hens.
“Change is tough… it also makes you better.” ~ LaTrisha Milton Blunt
When I first met Marcie she told me about her dog, Annie. She talked about her with a familiar love. She talked about her as I talked about my Sadie (1992-2009). I understand that special bond between a woman and her dog because I was lucky enough to have it with Sadie. There’s not a single day I don’t miss her, and not a single day I don’t feel special that she picked me.
They were living in rural Anderson County when Marcie told me about Annie. If memory serves, a torrential downpour had spooked the dog and she was missing. She was gone so long she was feared dead. And then, as country dogs do sometimes even after long periods of time, she miraculously reappeared.
When Marcie sold her house to move to Lexington there was some concern about Annie’s transition, being a country dog and all. Between Ann and Marcie, they helped Annie get her footing. Annie is a precious being. Not particularly fond of the camera, but willing because she came to greet me as soon as I walked in. She said okay to my lens, and that’s a gift from human and animal alike. She is as perfect as Marcie said, and just as kind as Marcie.
“The beauty of life lies not in eliminating what we consider troublesome,
but in learning how to grow using turmoil as a tool.” ~ Terry A. Gordon
My friend Marcella Christensen has been undergoing chemo and radiation for Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for several months. She got the diagnosis just a week or so after we attended the Death Cafe back in September. Looking at the link you’ll notice she was walking with a cane that day. She thought she had a knee going bad. It turned out to be far worse. This was a profound diagnosis given that Marcie lost her husband to cancer; a battle with which she is intimately familiar, and certainly not one she expected to deal with again. Yet, as Marcie is wont to do, she pulled-up her big girl britches and headed straight for treatment with the kind of life affirming attitude that is nothing less than inspirational.
Marcie’s friend Tammy Cornett does henna. Marcie wanted her bald head adorned with henna designs. She’d planned a henna “hen” party last month, but Tammy got sick, and, well, you can’t be hanging out with sick people when you’re having chemo. But today, the stars aligned, and most all the hens could be present for the Decorating of The Noggin. We met at Ann Daugherty’s delightful house. She’s Marcie’s BFF. The photos don’t do it justice. Inside or out, you don’t really feel like you’re in the city. It was perfect for a hen party. As you can see, we were enthralled with the process. Deb Chenault and Ann each contributed a small design to The Noggin. That’s Marcie’s sister, Linda, taking a picture. Marcie introduced her as “My Linda,” which I thought was sweet as can be. That little person seated to the right of Deb? That’s Kathy Robinson whom I met at the Death Cafe and immediately fell in love with. This was the first time I’d seen her since September. It turns out that she was in the hospital at the same time as Marcie (but not with cancer)! I hugged her extra hard when I found out how lucky we were to still have her, too.
I didn’t get to stay long enough to see the finished product, but I’ll see it soon. For however short my time, I was extremely grateful to be in everyone’s company, and witness this moving event. There was nothing but love and gratitude swirling around in that room. I met new people, and hugged old friends. Their gentle spirits and kind energy lifted me so much, as I’m sure was true for each of them as well. The best news of all is that Marcie’s cancer is gone save for a few small spots that will be eradicated with a final round of chemo and radiation. What glorious, hopeful news. This day definitely goes in the win category,