Do men think about their DNA in a last name more than women? They automatically carry the name through sons. Do women who marry and take their husband’s last name think less of the mysteries deep in the DNA of their maiden name? Since I haven’t had family for a long while, I acknowledge my last name to give myself a stake in the world; making sure I exist. There’s no one to carry the name any longer so I think about it.
All of us have fighting spirits and a resilient built-in strength, and some of us find ourselves in fight or flight more than others. If I’m not a fighter, then who would I be? How would I have not held that machete and fought my way many times through the jungle of challenge to an opening where the path cleared, if not for being a Burns Laoch? I’ve burned with anger as I’ve made my way over the hurdles time and time again searching for a breathing spot on top of a moor with my hand shading blue eyes looking out to sea.
Maybe this is what we’re programmed to do. Have hope. Keep going. Continue marching on auto-pilot during heart wrenching times when it provides a way to put one foot in front of the other. It's the wisdom of ebb and flow; yin and yang of life that you can't escape hearing or reading about. The river keeps flowing and ocean waves pound the shore when a storm strikes without notice. Showing compassion for all those in their own personal struggles provides a sunlit sparkle to the river of life.
I recall my flaming red breast burning with the first infection that struck with no mercy, and it was swollen to the size of a water balloon that no amount of antibiotics or harrowing radiology fluid drainings involving needles, tubes and glass jars could squash. So, me and my angry red breast were rolled into an emergency surgery. I survived. But it came back even more infected and inflamed a year later. In my high fever state, I didn’t think I’d make it through surgery. I was put out so fast that I didn't have time to call on my fighter spirit or contemplate death, and if I could come up with last words. I had felt a searing anger as it overtook me and my hopes of recovering sooner. Once again, Cottage hospital that became a second home, took me in for emergency surgery. I was dressed and prepped for battle with the name of Burns on my hospital wrist band. I woke hours later not on the other side seeing the light, but in a hospital room for a sixth ride with nurturing nurses. I was a weakened warrior feeling no end in sight. Compassion I received from nurses, friends, and strangers cushioned my ride in raging waters encouraging my mermaid spirit to keep from drowning.