Now, fast forward to August 28th, 2014… I learned my breast cancer had returned. I started radiation and chemotherapy immediately and that’s when y’all began to see a bald woman in church. I did the wigs and everything the first time around, but not this time. I decided to stare back into the face of this stubborn visitor in my body.
By January, 2015, though, it had metastasized to my bones and fear of the unknown returned. Of course, I cried… Earle cried… Anna cried… As did many of my closest friends. And then I made a choice to let go of fear….
One of my heroines, Eleanor Roosevelt, once said, “One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words, it is expressed in the choices one makes…. And the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.” I decided to choose happiness, every day, every moment. When bad things happen, and they always will in this world …including unexpectedly breaking your foot … I say a simple prayer. “I choose happiness, Holy Spirit. Please help me find it.”
In The Untethered Spirit, Michael Singer wrote, “Don’t waste a moment of life trying to make other things happen; appreciate the moments you are given.” I don’t know what the future holds. My stubborn visitor is still with me and showing no signs of leaving… yet. It doesn’t matter; I am at peace with physical death, whenever it comes. I am blessed beyond measure to live each day with my beloved Earle who is the mate of my eternal soul. And with my beloved Anna, who is the daughter of my heart and also an amazing girlfriend J and the St. Stephen’s family, especially the ECW, who have wrapped their arms around me in such a loving and strength-giving way that makes my heart sing… Lisa, Janet, Fiona, Dorothy, Pat, Martha Jo and so many others… All of you help me to live the promise of eternity every single day and I will love you forever.
(Martha died December 21, 2016.)
-Martha Bidez, Part 3 (from a sermon preached at St. Stephen’s Birmingham, AL 9/18/16)