When I wrote to my West Point women classmates about my sense of disbelief after receiving what seemed like a surreal diagnosis, I described it as feeling like I had been “abducted by aliens.” I looked the same on the outside, but covert cells with evil intentions had invaded. West Point cadets would occasionally plan and carry out spirit missions. These opportunities for sometimes “mandatory fun” were generally organized by first-year cadets and would occur before a major sporting event, like the Army-Navy football game. My classmate, Donna, who hails from the Land of Enchantment and UFOs, took the extraterrestrial attack message to heart. She designed signs, got them printed, and recruited two local co-conspirators. Under the cover of darkness, Kathy and Dan planted signs in our yard. The stealth spirit mission succeeded. “Pride and Excellence!”
The signs joined prayer flags already strung across the yard. Members of my spirituality group had decorated pieces of fabric. Kris did her best imitation of Spider Man, single-handedly and perilously scaling trees and window sills to mount the flags. When we returned home from my first appointment at Walter Reed oncology, the colorful flags reminded me of the prayers of my soul sisters.
Because I had no sisters, friendships with women have always had special importance. My Namaste spirituality group was formed intentionally, whereas my West Point women classmates became friends circumstantially. They understand — and can share stories of Beast, Buckner, and broken zippers.
The prayer flags and alien signs are a tribute to initiative, creativity, and good wishes. These spirit mission reminders have lifted my spirits as I face my “big game” ahead. I am glad to have my allies on the journey.
© Joan S Grey, 26 Nov 2021 ∞
IndexCardCure™: Thankful for the bounty…
*The Namaste prayer is based on the work of Neil Douglas-Klotz. It is an alternate, not a literal translation of the “Our Father;” based on the Aramaic origins of source words. Credit: Neil Douglas-Klotz www.abwoon.com