I had a benign tumor taken out of my wrist last Thursday. I actually went in believing I had a cyst, until sometime into my twilight sleep, I heard the doctor say, "We've got a mass." His voice went up, from surprise or concern, I don't know. At the time, I didn't much care. My arm was as numb as a tree branch. It didn't seem to belong to me. Later, the doctor said, "Do you want to see it?" "Sure," I said. I'm a writer. I should see as many things as I can, to add them to my arsenal. It looked like chewed-up gristle.

"These things tend to reoccur," he told me. "You have to have them removed, or they will grow and turn malignant." That seemed reasonable. At the time. Now, just five days into my five-week cast-wearing marathon, I realize how very little I know about my body...and how much I've demanded of it.

There's a song we used to sing at Mass that goes, "Into your hands, we commend our spirit, Oh Lord; into your hands, we commend our hearts." I find that, now that I am down one hand, I am doing more commending to God than ever. Into his hands, I commend my tiny, bird-like wrist; my health, my self-sufficiency. I know he will take better care of it than I did.

Holding Hands

Into Your hands, I place my own.
It belongs there, as natural as rain falling.
I trust You to keep a tight grip,
whatever the excursion brings.

-Lori Strawn



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