Friday, April 17, 2015

Nurse Log

April 15, 2015

My friend, Becky Foster, wrote me  that my cancer is like a rotting log in the forest of my body, but wonderful things happen in the ecosystem of a rotting log: mosses, mushrooms, lichen, flowers and even fungi that harden into little canvasses, the ones we use to document Adirondack hikes. These logs are known as "nurse logs" because they nurture  along so many growing things.

Becky wrote, "If  anyone could turn this rotting log into a miraculous corner of the forest, you can! I think of you now as a force for generating the most lovely and most green things in the forest.  You've actually been doing that all along, now that I think of it, but now your power is increasing."

Well, I don't know about that power. Maybe. I hope so.  Now I am recycling so much love coming in to me. And I must admit that this cancerous rotting log in me - while it saps my energy and strength - has certainly engendered loads of loving kindnesses that have bouyed me along this journey.  There are many beautiful growths sprouting from this nurse log. You can hardly see the log.

I always encouraged Finn to "focus and finish" his homework.  As I focus and finish my time here, my nurse log brings me the comfort and joy of all of you,  green and growing.  I am part of the circle of life and I am with you.


  1. *HUGS* Always and Forever and Anywhere.

  2. I completed my last piece for E last night. It was very much about flight and I titled it "air traffic control". I just wanted her to be free to fly....she has given that gift to me <3

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Our beautiful daughter has finished her glorious life's work here but she has left a legacy of love, affection deep caring which we will have forever. we are missing her beyond words today but Betsy is
    now free. Deborah Randolph

    1. Hello, I am an acquaintance from Stony Run and colleague from M&T of the woman I knew as Elizabeth and you call Betsy. I knew her to be smart and kind but not much else. I knew about her health problems and have, since she took medical leave from work, looked for her at Meeting and at the office, but never wanted to disturb her while she was (I hoped) healing. So I never reached out to her. The last time I saw her at Stony Run, it was obvious that she was not doing well. I only learned that she was in hospice yesterday, and then saw on a mutual friend’s Facebook page that she had passed away. I am so sad, and so sorry.

      While looking online for an obituary I discovered this blog. OMG! I wish I had had the opportunity to know Elizabeth better. I wish I had reached out to her & her family instead of hanging off to the side to “respect her privacy.” Had I seen the blog earlier I would have known that it would have been ok to get in touch with her and offer whatever would have been of help.

      Well, I have now read the whole thing from beginning to end. Or, rather, from end to beginning. Through the blog, I know her a bit better now. What a strong woman! What a brilliant observer! What a beautiful writer! What a loss, not just for her family and friends, but for the entire community!

      Light and love,
      Debbie Feldman Jones

  5. What a bright shining light Betsy was during her time on this earth. Her creative work will live on. My deepest sympathy for your loss.
    Sarah Kelley PEA '85

  6. Elizabeth is very much alive in our hearts and minds.