Faith + Support = Fight + Strength.
2a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religionb (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return (2) : complete trust
3: something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs the Protestant faith
: the quality or state of being strong : capacity for exertion or endurance: power to resist force : solidity, toughness: power of resisting attack : impregnability
I have just shown you the dictionary meaning of Faith and Strength. I've attempted to use an algebra variant in the title of this blog. F + S = FS and that's what the title to this particular blog is tellling us. It is algebra. I hated algebra in school. Why? It had zero context for me, on it's own merits. I needed a 'real world' adoption for these fearful letters to make sense to me.Those 'find x' questions still haunt me to this day. Oh how, way back then, I would grab my HB pencil and cheekily scribble 'found it' and wrap a circle around it. Of course, during my helicopter flight training and whilst studying the theory of flight for same, I had to revisit this merky world of algebra and to be fair to myself, I duly did. At the end of the day, my newly found interest in finding X stopped me running out of helicopter fuel and also helped explain the hover properties of rotary flight in one of my written theory (flight) exams. In essence, my mind needed and indeed required a strong correlation for my algebra to work and indeed make sense to me.
And that's my point here, I need all this to link or the Murf Mathematical Fuse would simply go pop again.
This is now my 14th consecutive day in hospital, all of course under the watchful eye of a very caring and expert oncology team here in the Bon Secours, Dublin. Between me and you, and the comfort and privacy of my own hospital room here as I type this, I should be going stir crazy. That's me saying this, not you. What, with lots of time on my hands, my mind should be regularly chasing and racing, totally. But it is not.
It's back to that correlation thing. I need a reference point and I have it... Faith.
It's OK, I'm not going to force some mystical notion upon us all here. You see, your reason for WHY your mind ticks the way it does, is just as important and valid as mine. As I have mentioned here in this forum before, I will hold my hand up and profess not to be part of a regular mass goer contingent, but don't take that the wrong way. On the flip side, I can equally hold my other hand up and profess to have, what I would consider to have a meaningful faith. St Pio as you are probably aware, is never far from my mind and to be fair, this has been the case with me over the past number of years. It's not just one of those situations 'In Emergency Break Class'. I don't do knee jerk philosophy and never did and I've no intention in starting now.
For my past 14 hospital bound night's, I do find a lot of solace in having St. Pio and of course my dear late Mam (Ann Murphy) in the very front of my mind. All I ask of my spiritual mentors is that I be 'kept an eye on' as I sleep (as I do peacefully) and give me and my intoxicated body the headspace (faith) and strength that I need in dealing with all that is going on. So what happens then?
Cognisant of this, I get to close my eyes, relax and enjoy a beautiful sleep. Can the demons come? Of course they can (and do) and they do of course very sneakily, carry their own access key to my inner sanctum. The trick here for me, is to mindfully try and remain one step ahead of this perceived darkness. Yes, it is perceived. At times like this, I do pull on my faith and of course it's a massive help. Last night, as I sank into my night sleep, I murmured the following words over and over and over again: "St. Pio, Mum, please mind me and watch over me tonight, St. Pio, Mum, please mind me and watch over me tonight, St. Pio, Mum, please mind me and watch over me tonight.." and with that, I nod off very peacefully into the still of the night, still repeating those words, as my mouth and mind interlock seamlesssy in gaining and of course giving me peace and a much wanted allowable rest.
But guess what ? Although I consider Faith to be a pivotal point with my current battle, it's vital for me to turn and salute it's sister word 'Support'. The unwavering strength of given support etched into the hearts and eyes of my family, namely my dear wife Alison, daughter Aoife (my 9yr old little legend) and my amazing inlaws. Support 'beacon' like properties can also be seen in the eyes of my closest friends and trusted lieutenants. I have an amazing tight network of geniune and unrelenting friends. A lot of what these amazing, extremely generous and geniune friends have done for me and indeed are very busy currently doing is happening strictly behind the scenes for my small family and will never be made public. This is not public news and that is correct. It is private and has to be respectfully respected if that indeed makes sense. In the name of Fantastic Friends !!
The balance (if I may call it that) is what rests on my own personal shoulders. Yes, it is indeed a weight for me, but I see it as a weight of a ring of steel. All all encompassing silent hand that is waiting in the wings with a wanting pride to lead me in the right direction. This strength (if I may call it that), I find it so right, so perfect and indeed so reliant. This strength is surely grown from my faith and of course the mammoth support I just spoke about.
If I were ever asked for an epitaph, it would have to be simply:
"I am grateful"
...because I am.(Click email address to say hello, securely).