I am flying off to Ireland today and have much to do to get ready for the flight, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you all for your continuing prayers and support.
The past three weeks have been a huge challenge and struggle for me. First, trying to find out the source of my severe back pain; then learning about the compression fracture; then learning about the additional cancer activity in lymph nodes pressing on the L4 vertebrae which will require radiation and potentially new/different chemo (for that and the small nodules I’ve had in the lungs); plus trying to manage the back pain with ice, heat and medications (one of which I found I was allergic to in the process); and having recurring sciatica pain as recently as Monday and Tuesday leaving me to question if I’d physically be able to make the trip.
Despite all that, I made a decision while laying down letting the ice pack numb my pain Monday morning to press through the pain. To keep going and doing. To keep planning my trip and recording my CD.
On Monday, we were working on my CD with a young musician friend of mine, Cory Winters, a very talented and educated fiddler, arranger and accompanist. He recorded two instruments – fiddle and bouzouki — on three songs. He brought and I encouraged and welcomed his creative ideas and we infused them with ideas the sound engineer had and what we collaboratively created yesterday afternoon was wonderful. I can’t wait for all of you to hear the CD. It is going to be AWESOME!
By the end of yesterday’s recording session I was feeling better and we were wrapping up when I got a call from a friend. Her name is Anne Downes and she and her husband, Michael are originally from Ireland. She was calling to say she heard I was going to Ireland this week and to say that she and Michael were also going to Ireland this week. In fact we all leave today about the same time but on different airlines!
I then come to find out they are going to be in Derry, too, this weekend for a wedding. That is the town I’m going to for the Fleadh, the All-Ireland Music Competitions, for which I’m competing in the Newly Composed Songs in English category. She then tells me they are planning to visit the Giant’s Causeway. I said I wanted to visit the Giant’s Causeway (known as the 8th wonder of the world!). She then invites me to join her and Michael when they make that excursion on Sunday. She then asks me what I’m doing after Derry and I say I need to get to Galway on Monday to meet up with some friends with whom I’m staying. She then immediately offers to take me to Galway! I said, are you serious? And she says yes, that after Derry and the wedding, she and Michael are free agents to go where they please and they had planned to go to Galway, too. She also says they wanted to visit the town of Knock, where Our Lady of Knock shrine is located (which was also on my want to do list for this trip!).
It was like an amazing gift from the heavens (which of course, it IS!) and a more divinely inspired plan from God for my trip than I ever could have planned for myself!!
I’m overcome with joy and gratitude for Anne and Michael!
They have literally MADE my trip complete!
Interestingly, five years ago in 2008 when I was competing at my first Fleadh in Tullemore, Anne and Anne’s brother Des drove up from a town two hours away to see me compete, support me and cheer me on and then celebrate my accomplishment afterwards of just being there to sing my song and share it with the world of the Irish. That was just two months after I was originally diagnosed with cancer. It seems so very appropriate that God found a way for us to connect in Derry for this Fleadh as well!
God truly works through mysterious ways to provide a plan and an outcome that is even better than anything we could imagine ourselves!
I woke very early this morning at 4:30 a.m. I had gotten up to eat some cereal and take my pain med when suddenly the words to a new poem just came to me. God inspired!
As you are my family and my friends, I wanted to share this with each of you.
I am very blessed you are in my life!! I feel very blessed to be alive!!
On the Threshold of My Dream
© 2013 Margaret (Peg) Roach Loyd
Written at 4:30 a.m., Wednesday, August 14, 2013
I’m embarking on a journey I do not know where it will lead
It may result in my triumph, or leave me behind in defeat
Either way I’m feeling grateful, just for being able to take flight
To spread my wings and take a chance, for what might be waiting on the other side
When I think back to what has stopped me, and kept me hesitating to leave the nest
It seems so minuscule and so silly, so very foolish to not take that first step
For I would’ve squandered all God gave me, the very gifts He wants me to share
The gift of music and of beauty, the gift of light my soul to bare
We live this life with just one journey. Sometimes we’re given an extra chance or two
Or three or four or maybe more, to see the way to what is the truth
That we are not what others have told us, we are good enough to be our best
We are worthy of God’s praises, we have the strength to pass this test
And with each attempt to keep us going, on the path God wants us to sow
He’s guiding us back and gently nudging, to show us which road is ours to own
I must be mindful of His guidance I must be quiet to hear His voice
I close my eyes to see His vision, and in the darkness, see my choice
It’s not an easily-made decision, all the more reason to seek His light
For He wants what’s best for all the people, and how it is I make that right
And if I’m mindful as I lay here, in the darkness of my dreams
He will present me with the answer, by sign or symbol or outward scream
And I will see and hear His answer I will abide His choice for me
I will awake this very morning, on the threshold of my dream.