30 01 2008

     I have been thinking about cages a lot lately.  In this last month, in the days since Christmas, I have been wondering if I would be changing my current cage for the cage of sickness, surgery, radiation therapy and cancer.  I watched Leslie go through it with such courage and positivism.  I am not naturally a very positive person, and I have a feeling I would be very frightened.  As the days and then the weeks went by and the pain in my breast got worse I had to examine my fear.
      I am afraid of radiation.  I am very very afraid of radiation.  My experiences with morning sickness have been bad enough that I have often thought to myself that I would rather die than go through the treatment.  But is that true?  At times I have lain in bed beside Patrick, holding his small fuzzy head against me, and thought about how much he still needed me.  I have four children to raise!  I don’t have time for breast cancer!
      But then, who does?  
      It took me a long time to bring myself to the point of mentioning it to my husband.  It was bad enough for me to be carrying this burden through the mess of moving without troubling him.  But as the pain continued I realized that I really had to get to a doctor quickly.  I know time makes a difference.  Still I kept finding reasons to put it off.  This can’t be happening to me.  I nursed three babies!  I thought nursing was supposed to reduce your chances.  I kept searching for a lump.  I couldn’t find one.  I spent hours dreaming up other explanations for the pain- hoping it would go away. 
      Finally one Sunday I realized I was rubbing my breast in church with the pastor watching me.  Obviously, this situation could not last.  I spoke to Neal, to my mother…    Then everyone got sick, Neal had to go to immediate care today, threw up all over the living room, the baby threw up all over his bed…
       Anyhow, I’ve been thinking about cages.  I think we all live in them.  Who on this earth is really, completely happy?  We live in the cage of a bad job situation, hoping it will end.   The cage of fear for a relative- their health or their salvation.  We have financial burdens that press on us, health issues, time problems.  I am priveledged to know a few people well enough to know the things that worry them.  The stresses they’re under.  The things that they wish they could be relieved of- but if those things were gone, wouldn’t there be something else?
      A series of cages until finally we come to the end and God hits the door latch, one way or another. 
     I am relieved, I am relieved today even in the midst of sickness and exhaustion because the pain is gone, the pain is gone, GLORY TO GOD, the pain and swelling have gone!  (I suppose it was a lousy trick to make you think that this was still going on, but I guess I wanted to share, for five minutes, how I’ve been feeling for about five weeks.)  I’m glad to be relieved of that fear (for the most part- going to keep a sharp eye on it!) but still there are cages.  Probably not breast cancer, but a worry about my husband: we’ve had a flu, but in Neal it’s been much worse.  This is the second time in two years that a mild flu has gone to complications with him.  I’ve worked through the disease, cleaning up throw-up, cooking, watching babies, changing diapers, calling doctors, packing the diaper bag…   I’m exhausted, but Neal is in bed so sick he can barely move. 
        He’s nearly 50, diabetic, and apparently vulnerable to chest complaints.  How much longer, Lord?  I’ve been so angry and cranky with him today.  The truth is, I’m afraid.  I’m afraid of losing him.  Other men with diabetes live into their seventies, eighties… but will Neal?  He’s taken it so hard from the very beginning.  I’ve prayed so long and so hard for his healing with so little apparent effect.
         And I suppose even if Neal were spectacularly, miraculously healed, there would still be other things to worry about.  Life still wouldn’t be perfect.  I guess what I’m really saying here is that I’m angry.  I’m angry that life has to be such a crummy place with old age and sickness and layoffs and houses that won’t sell and car repairs and… and… cleaning!  I’m angry that it manages to make me afraid.  Even though I love God deeply and tenderly, it still manages to make me afraid.
         I don’t know how to let go of the things I love.  I don’t know how to let go of relatives or dreams, of friends, or even of my childhood.  I cling to things so hard!  I still want to go back and fix some of the things I did when I was SIX, for Pete’s sake.  I can’t let go.  I don’t want things to change so fast…  In seven years my oldest son will be leaving home.  My last baby is already not really a baby any more, and when I look at my husband right now in his sick misery, do I see the old man he will become?
        If I keep publishing merry, upbeat stuff like this, ya’ll are all going to stop reading my blog.  So, Blessings List:

1- the heat is back on
2- I almost certainly don’t have breast cancer as I have feared all month (hallelujah)
3- Patrick gave me sloppy baby kisses all through the grocery store
4- All of my relatives are alive and well.  Matt didn’t die white-water rafting, Nick didn’t die in the car accident, Elizabeth didn’t die of ovarian cancer.
5- Lisa called me today.  Friends are such a blessing- a blessing that I longed for for years.
6- The first two books I ordered for my Prayer Ministry class arrived today- what a blessing to get to do a class outside the home!
7-The moving company is fixing my piano
8- We are not (quite) totally broke.
9-Neal loves his job.
10-I found the immediate care place without getting lost.

Things to Pray about:
1-Neal’s healing from bronchitis and that it not progress to pneumonia this time
2- House to Sell.  We need it to sell DESPERATELY
3- I need to replace my van pretty badly, so finances & a good second-hand eight-passenger van to show up
4- Friends for the children.  Donal especially has trouble getting boys past his “wierdness” and making friends.         
5- And just that, generally, things ease up on us for a while.  I think we’ve taken about all we can take for a while, and could use a little sunshine for a bit.

 Love & miss you guys,





2 responses

30 01 2008

Definitely praying for you and your family. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. With this much luck running for ya, if you hear a train whistle anywhere near you, jump left or jump right. Hang on tight sister. Sometimes this ride gets really rocky. Like I need to tell you. lol

1 02 2008
Grandma Wilhite

From some old lady! Fear is, itself an instrument of the Devil! Sometimes sharing our fears helps us to deal with them. Yes, indeed! We do pray for you– that you will all bounce back from this bug! I thought I would escape my usual malady, but I didn’t. I got the “croup” and had to visit the doctor. She fixed me right up. I am now down to an occasional cough. Richard caught it, too, but he’s pretty much over it. It seems we always have to keep a sniffle during the Winter. No wonder I love Spring so much! At least my post-nasal drip in springtime is sinus, sensitive to some pollen or other.
I worry about Neal, too. But I hope that just being out of the pressure-cooker of the former job will have a healing effect for him! I pray this is so! And we have Holland Drive on our prayer list, too. Reckon God can take care of all of these things at once, or should we prioritize them?
Ayep — as someone said, “The reason I look so bad is I’ve traveled many-a long road and most of them were rough!” But, guess what — I’m here!

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