Wednesday, November 27

I don't know what to say

There where so many times before I wouldn't know what to say. Someone was going through the journey of seeing a loved one die and I got uncomfortable because by the grace of God I hadn't faced that yet. I didn't know what words would hurt more or if anything I said would help. All I knew to do was offer a hug or multiple and a destraction if needed. I'd act like a fool if that'd get a smile or laugh, if that's what they needed.

Within the last two years, this is the second time it's hit. My grandpa passed while I was pregnant with James. It was expected to some degree. He was 80 and had been battling Ahleizmers for years. In some respects it was a relief because my grandma cared for him and it was getting rough on her. While it hurt and was hard being the first person in my family that I had relationship with to have ever lost, peace came quickly. I know he's with Jesus and all is well. The hope of being a Christian says its not goodbye forever, just for now. Oh and my little boy got his blue eyes. I prayed for that when he left us, that God would give me a little reminder of grandpa in my son. My prayer was answered.

This is so much harder. In many respects that's to be expected. It's my mom, she's only 52 and it came on so suddenly. She was diagnosed with terminal cancer the first week of October and it's gotten bad quickly. My little brother and I are it for getting stuff done and taking care of her. Its a blessing in some respects and it also makes it harder. Never having done this before brings challenges beyond the emotional pain. The paperwork, the medical, the bills. While it's confusing to waid through it's easy compared to the emotional side of things. If I can lock my emotions in a box and bury myself in the paperwork it almost makes it easier. Some are like me before, they don't get how you move forward, how you do it every day. Let me tell you there are days I'd rather crawl back under the covers and not come out. That feeling is so contrary to who I am. It's almost a little scary how easily that thought creeps into my mind almost every morning. How many tears I try and shed quietly on the bus in the corner looking out the window because my mind goes there. You get up and move forward in many respects because you have to. People depend on you so you put one foot in front of the other and move. Your movements may not be as coordinated, you may not be as well spoken but you find a level of functioning that you can muster and do it. Then you do it because you know the person facing mortality wouldn't want you to be sad all the time, wouldn't want you to stop living, wouldn't want you to stop laughing and smiling. By the grace of God I'm striving to find joy in the little things and rest in Him so the peace will wash over me. I know the only way I'll remain strong and come out the other side of all this when everything is over stronger than I started is if my faithfulness continues in Him. This doesn't mean the pain won't ebb and flow and the tears won't come but when they do the relief you get will be complete and full because you're getting it from God. Going through all of this I now relize there isn't anything good to say. It SUCKS, the end. There are things better than others but nothings perfect and no words anyone can offer will help to relieve anything. The only thing that truely helps is Him.

What I've learned by going through this:
1. Hugs help, but don't go in assuming someone wants one. Sometimes hugs can bring on more tears and the person wants to avoid that. So offer but wait until they accept.

2. Sometimes saying this sucks and leaving it at that is better than saying I'm sorry. I'm trying to retrain my mind, I'm sorry is for when you've done something you shouldn't have. No one gave my mom cancer (well technically some company who didn't care about the side effects of what they where doing but that's another story). Not to mention sorry just gets really old to hear. (my husband is shaking his head yes at this point because I say it alot).

3. The biggest help for me so far has been distractions. My mind naturally goes there ALOT. I know people mean well but sometimes the best thing is to be goofy, crack jokes and live life with smiles whenever possible. Asking how things are going doesn't always help, sometimes you don't want to talk about it. If I answer fine, it's probably not because I'm really fine but because I have no desire to rehash what's going on for the bazillionth time. I don't mean to be mean, or sound harsh. I know you care and are asking because you want to help. I love you for that!

4. If you offer help chances are the person won't think of it or won't ask. I know I haven't. In the moment I can't think of who has offered what. I'm overwhelmed and trying to find a balance or work, time with my little boy and husband continuing life and moving forward at the same time of taking care of my mom and spending what could very well be the last time...I just don't know. So if you'd like to do something just do it and surprise me or whomever in your life is facing this. Or offer it to their spouse or someone that is close to them that will actually remember.

5. Oh and I'll apologize now if I've told you the same thing 6 times, I am not remembering who I've told what to. Too much is going on for my mind to remember that to. I love you and am sorry you get to hear the same thing over and over. Don't be afraid to politely tell me I've already told you.

6. Most importanly pray! Being covered in prayer is one of the biggest blessings you can offer someone. I've learned alot about myself so far going through this, some of which I don't like. I swear a little more which I really need to stop. I don't pray myself often enough and I haven't been to church in weeks. Not because I don't want to but because that's when it's been best to go visit my mom. Being covered in prayer by those that love me is a comfort and I know and believe those prayers are working!

Maybe these things are just me, maybe they are the majority of people that go through this but these are the things that I've taken out of it so far that I plan to do in the future when someone tells me they are going through a tramatic, horrible experience like this.

Wednesday, November 6

So I put my faith in God and pray for a miracle.

I’ve wanted to write for some time now. I haven’t partly because of time and partly because I don’t know how to get everything out properly. There has been a lot going on in my life lately. Some great, some not so great, and some downright heart wrenching oh did I mention all in the month of Oct/Nov. I’m leaning on God like never before, depending on his strength more than I knew possible.

First the great! My little boy knows how to say Dad and is getting there on the mom part. Dad is a stay at home dad so it’s only fair he learns Dad first. He’s ten months and thriving! My hubby and I celebrated five years in late October. They haven’t all been easy but they’ve all been ours. I love him more each day, and each day he shows me a love so unconditional its mind blowing. Since we’ve had our little boy I’ve seen more of the love of God through his relationship and love for our little boy than ever before. I got a new job of sorts. I was re-classed, which means I get a new title, higher pay but the same body of work. It also means I get to work with some awesome folks day in and day out. So grateful!

The not so great….our car was broken in to, the windshield cracked, oven broke, ate out way too much. You get the idea. Those days when things break down and you wish you had the budget to fix it all without cringing. Those moments when you’re constantly reminding yourself you depend on God for provision not your own doing. You stand on His promises to provide for you, trust in him, and have to repeat that over and over to yourself in order to be okay.

Heart Wrenching…in one month’s time we found out my mom has cancer. It’s a nasty form of cancer that the medical professionals have deemed incurable and put expiration dates to. I’m 27, my mom is 52. Never did I think I’d be facing this at this age. We all know life ends, we all know caring for parents as they age is in our future but never did I imagine my little brother and I would be faced with it at this age. The last weeks have been filled with dr. appointments, phone calls, prayers, tears, sleepless nights, stomach aches, etc. According to doctors it’s not if, it’s when this crap will take her life. I know God’s word says something different. I know He has the power to heal. I know His plans for our life are to give us a hope and future. Cancer, sickness, disease, bad isn’t from Him. The Bible tells me that. The Bible is the final authority in my life. He’s the beginning, the end, my all in all. Faith rises and sinks. Hope ebbs and flows. I know now is the time I cannot be shaken by what the world and doctors say, after all I believe in The Great Physician. It isn’t easy. There are days I stare at my screen at work trying to focus, with a knot in my throat and tears pooling. There are days I can smile and breath, it’s easier. There are days I completely ignore everything and get lost in to do lists. I know that if the worst happens I won’t blame God. It’s not His Fault. If the end comes without healing I have hope and peace that I’ll see her again even if I mourn not having her with me. I know those thoughts may be contrary to believing in healing. I know those thoughts may be something I shouldn’t let my brain go to but in an attempt to be perfectly honest my head does go there at times. It’s hard to avoid, those thoughts are hard to stop. I know regardless of what doctors say I have to continue to hope, to have faith and to believe in God’s healing power above all else. In the darkest hour it’s always Him that carries me through. It’s always Him that gives hope, joy and great peace. So I rely on Him, I let Him carry me through this. There is no road map for the road I’m on, no, “if this happens, then do this”. The world cannot give us that, and when it tried it causes more hurt, pain and destruction because it’s fallen and broken. God on the other hand can give a peace that transcends all. He can give a hope that goes beyond anything you can imagine. I refuse to let the world guide me. I stand on His promises. I rely on Him. In the moments when it seems all hope is lost or the dark is closing in much like today I pray. I continue to pray even when I don’t know what else to say because I know and the Bible promises me that as I draw near to Him, He’ll draw near to me and right now in those dark moments is when I need Him closer than ever. Today is one of the not so easy days. So I force myself to write because it helps. It forces me to declare what I believe; it forces me to remind myself what I need to hold on to. I read a blog today that hit too close to home. What she said is what I’ve been trying to say.

“i knew enough that God could heal him, but i knew enough that his cancer was very real and very horrific and that, short of a miracle, i was going to lose him.”

So I put my faith in God and pray for a miracle.