• KathyFlora

The White Sands of the Key Siesta...Caregiver inspiration from another time

Jim and I moved to Sarasota in the midst of my treatment for breast cancer. We were drawn to the warm, tropical air, the intense and sparkling light, and the soft, powdery, healing sands of Siesta Key just a few steps from the doorstep of our first home on the Suncoast. We had found our paradise, or as close to it as you can get in this lifetime. We were home.

But, it was not all smooth sailing at first. I was still working on recovery, from neuropathy from my chemotherapy, and was trying to regain my equilibrium and trust in my body and my spirit after the shock of the illness and treatment. Jim, for his part, was my rock during the entire siege, holding vigil each sleepless night, and standing by me with grace and unwavering support. What I experienced from his caregiving was like nothing I could have ever imagined. I experienced unconditional love.

How blessed am I?

So, as I healed, Jim finally could relax enough to travel for his job. One night, on a flight from Ohio to Sarasota, he penned a gift for me that I cherish with all my heart and spirit. It spoke to me of his commitment, of his love, and of the lessons we learned in weathering the storm that was cancer.

It inspired me, and, I share it now with you so that it may inspire you on your own caregiving journey.

The White Sands of the Key Siesta

Written for My Lover, Kathy

When we first “moved on” to the warm white sands of the Key Siesta

I had no vision of their healing power.

At first all you could muster was a slow, painful quarter mile,

Limping in your valiant effort.

I didn’t tell you, but I was scared at what God might do to you.

Gradually, your strength returned, and your hair grew in concert.

You worked hard at healing, helped by the cushion of the soft, warm crystals

And the mellow rhythms of the pounding waves, echoing your steady heart beat.

And soon together we briskly walked two, then three miles each day.

Gradually my fears faded. My faith grew.

My dreams were coming true.

As we acclimated, I contemplated the beautiful sands

And came to appreciate the role they were playing in our lives.

Formed from stress, these sands have learned,

Not to resist the waves but to be honed by them.

Not to absorb the heat of the sun, but to reflect its energy and remain cool.

Not to steal from the beauty of the sunset, but to frame it.

Not to be broken by hurricanes, but to bend and be reshaped

And become renewed.

Our mid-life siesta is now complete.

We are refreshed and reinvigorated.

Able now to complete our life’s work.

In the ventures remaining in our hour glass,

We will be surrounded and cushioned by the Lessons Learned from

The White Sands of the Key Siesta

By Jim Flora, 2005

Life is not easy, trials and struggles come to all of us, as that is the human condition. But it is in those trials that the good stuff lives. That's where we do our most important internal work. It's in those valleys and transitions where who we have been and who we are come together to forge who we are truly intended to be.

So, don't run from the tough stuff, bend with those winds...

Reflect the beauty around you , be reshaped...and be transformed.

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