MY WALK OF FAITH, HOPE, AND LOVE
This “story of the heart” takes place during a four-year period (1975 through April 1979). It is about my challenging bout with breast cancer and how music – especially the music of superstar John Denver – helped me overcome depression and aid my healing. John and I became friends, talking on the phone and then meeting in person after one of his Buffalo concerts.
I would sign on to become a volunteer for the New York State Division of the American Cancer Society (ACS), eventually being asked to direct a Volunteer Music Therapy Program for Kids with Cancer at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, New York. For my work for the ACS, I was selected as One of Ten Outstanding Young Women of America in 1977.
My can-do story will hopefully help people see the connection between emotions and music. Understanding and learning how to utilize, effectively, this powerful tool – music -- could make the world a kinder, more compassionate place to live. As you read this passage from my book you will begin to see what I mean.
My father had already put on some music. The song playing over the intercom was Denver’s “Rhymes and Reasons.” Though I had heard this song many times during the past few days, on this particular day it was like God was talking to me – connecting to me – through John’s music.
As I listened, I felt God saying to me, “My dear, Kay there is so much sadness and fear within you right now – just like John talks about in his song. I want you to see and feel these emotions. Know they are there. They are inside of you. But I am here too, and my power is greater than the emotions. You can be healed of this negative emotional takeover. Just trust me.”
Suddenly my room filled with a vibrant light. It was shining down on me -- entering my body. I was receiving a powerful Light transfusion and being changed by it. I could feel it.
Suddenly, I absolutely knew the KEY to my recovery was acceptance of my situation – not fighting against it. I must accept I had cancer, had lost my breast forever, and was currently on a chemo regime. Acceptance of my situation would start a whole chain of events that would eventually end with me hopefully recovering from breast cancer.
I was at a major life crossroad. I needed to determine how I was going to live the rest of my life – right now! Would I remain fearful, angry, and scared? Or would I step forward courageously into a future that was unknown? One thing I knew for sure. I would never be alone in my new life. God was with me in my Walk of Faith, Hope, and Love.
At that moment, I made the decision that would determine my future. I chose life. Whether it was life for six weeks or fifty years – I was not sure, but I absolutely knew I wanted to LIVE!
It was time to come out of the darkness – to come out of my cellar of despair – to begin ascending! For the second time in my life, I felt like Caesar crossing the Rubicon River. Iacta Alea Est! The die is cast!
Music continued to be my constant companion. It spoke to me facilitating the healing of my mind, body, and spirit.
I concentrated on listening to specific kinds of music, uplifting and inspiring music that helped me transcend the fear and doubt still lurking in shadowy parts of my subconscious. I loved hearing music that reinforced my growing faith in a God of Love who wanted nothing better than to have his children – his Sons and Daughters -- help Him create a beautiful world of freedom and justice.
Church hymns were especially helpful. “Be Still My Soul,” “In the Garden,” and “How Great Thou Art” bolstered me up. They made me believe in myself as well as my God.
Classical pieces like Beethoven’s 5th and 6th symphonies were magnificent, as were the 40th and 41st symphonies of Mozart. I remember dancing around the house while listening to Mozart’s, “Jupiter.” I simply adored it.
If I were feeling a lack of confidence, I would put on “Pomp and Circumstance” by Sir Edward Elgar. When listening to this elegant and confidence building piece of music, I marched around like I was marching at a graduation or college convocation. It was like I had something to celebrate. As I did this little exercise, I found myself feeling regal and assured. Music can do that to us. It can help us feel the very energies and vibrations it is sending forth.
Finally, John Denver’s “Sweet Surrender” was extremely helpful and uplifting. Surrender does not mean being passive and doing nothing. It does not allow one to simply put up with whatever situation you find yourself in. It is not about being lazy or indifferent. It is about yielding to, rather than opposing, the flow of life. It is about stopping one’s resistance to what is true and making life work for the best in spite of the challenges encountered.