The image I’ve chosen for this post is one that I acquired at a retreat I went to a year ago.  I resonated with the image because most of it is blurry.  It felt like my life, most of it was out of focus, I couldn’t see the future, and all I could do was focus on the present moment – planning was out of the question. Uncertainty was pervasive.

There is so much talk about uncertainty these days.  Indeed there is so much uncertainty.  Given my past years’ experience with tremendous uncertainty I feel like I have a voice to speak into uncertainty; a space to share what I have learned on my journey.  Yet as I sit to write the words don’t seem to come.  Probably because I’m so tired from spending all day long with all of my children – and their voices ring out in the background!  So I’ll do my best (since that’s all any of us can do.)

I feel like I don’t know exactly what to say in light of all that’s going on in our world.  But what I can do is share a couple snipnets from my own journey with the uncertainty that a glioblastoma diagnosis laid at my feet.  At the end of February, before the reality of COVID really hit, I journalled about transitions.  Cancer has thrown my life into one huge ever-morphing transition.  Perhaps these words will resonate with the transitions you are encountering in your life these days.


The road of life is bumpy — particularly the transitions.  I guess I always thought that transitions ought to be smooth.  Even if a transition is good this does not necessarily mean it will be easy.  In fact, I am finding as I grow up (wink, wink) that the most difficult things in life are often the very best things in life: marriage, motherhood, coming out the other end of cancer chaos.  It is time to start enjoying the journey, not just looking for a picture-perfect ending.  There is beauty, right here in the muck of life!  My Christian faith tells me that the very kingdom of God is right here, right now!  This path is so good – bumps and all!!! 

Wisdom for my children: Stop expecting life to be smooth and start enjoying the thrills of it bumpy and often mucky road.

It’s ok to wrestle with the challenge of transitions. Lots of grace is necessary.  Remember to be kind to yourself.


Backtrack a couple years when I was in the thick of processing how  to live in the wilderness of remission and all it’s uncertainty given my dire prognosis, I wrote this poem.  It feels fitting to share it here during these days.  Because although uncertainty naturally elicits uncomfortable anxious emotions, uncertainty can also unveil new and beautiful pathways, step by step.  Here we go!


I had a friend named certainty

I had a friend named certainty
One day she up and left
Me in the room alone.
I tried my best to call her back;
I hollered, wept and begged
The empty space between us.
Yet never again did she return.

In her vacant spot
I began to see a bud poke
Vulnerably up through a crack
In the stone floor.
Uncertainty was her name .
I plucked her firmly
Tossed her in the trash
And wept in mourning.
I cemented the fissure
Wishing, hoping, dreaming
Of certainty’s return.

To heal from my loss
I resurrected a monument to certainty atop that crack in my foundation.
Slowly it became big and impressive-
Nearly touching the ceiling!
(No need to worry about the crack beneathe.)
I worked so hard gained letters behind my name
I perfected my physique
And found myself becoming a mother
A working mom
Mom of twins
So self-sufficient
I thought myself so capable
Doing ALL of this.
So proud of this impressive monument.

I pretended certainty had returned
And enjoyed myself in the charade
The new busy routine that soothed.

One wretched day
down crashed my monument

Slowly as I cleared the rubble
I saw uncertainty’s bud again.
I looked at her scornfully

Rashly I plucked her out a few more times
Before I finally conceded my defeat
“Fine! You win” I shouted with anger.
In exhaustion I let the bud grow
All the while
Scorning her existence

Slowly she became
A flower
She is like nothing I have seen before
Her unfamiliarity drives me to despise her more


My lover visits me and raves about her beauty.

Slowly she becomes familiar
Slowly I realize how beautiful she is
Slowly I stop pruning her.
And as I let her grow wild
The cracks in my foundation spread.
At first I am off balance
Yet, strangely I don’t mind

Amazement captivates me as the stone gives way to dirt.
And as I reach into this Messy soil
It feels rich and alive

I marvel as my garden grows
Her unpredictability has me
excitedly waiting to see what pops up next.

One day I bravely let my gaze creep upwards,
my eyes following the vine of uncertainty to the ceiling
I squint my eyes and question:
“Is that what my ceiling has always looked like?”
Vibrantly my lover replies,
“A ceiling? No, my love, that is the sky.”



To close I’ll end with gratitude.  I am grateful that years ago I learned the mantra: “It will be okay.” And more recently, “be kind to yourself.”  These have been invaluable.  I am grateful that I went to the counselor a month or so ago to discuss measures I could use to reduce the anxiety that mounts in motherhood when my kids are, well, kids behaving like kids.  These tools have been extremely helpful and I am so thankful for them with my kids around ALL the time.  I am grateful that I have already implemented gratitude, mindfulness, relaxation, and expanded my meditation practice so I can readily engage these during days of social distancing and LOTS of time at home.  I am grateful for my pharmacist colleagues and all the other medical professionals out there battling COVID-19.  I am grateful for my faith which anchors me and reminds me to be joyful in what today brings my way and to not worry about tomorrow.

Grace to you all, wherever your journey finds you.