Sunday, August 14, 2011
Up Or Down?
"A friend referred us to a Doctor who for his whole career has been researching and experimenting in hopes of finding a cure for cancer, and so, since our only other option is to wait for Jo to die, we went to see him hoping he might be able to help her."
I've heard hundred of such stories over the years of my life, few ending well, but seeing the look in Chad's eyes, and knowing that precious little time remained for JoLyn, I immediately jumped onto his hopeful wagon and tried not to think of the "what ifs". The difficulty, however, has come in the days that followed, as I've had time to lay in my bed at night and think, or as I've allowed myself to fully embrace the thought of a possible recovery, only to have fear cut through me, gutting my budding hope, and in the end leaving me empty and conflicted. How it is possible to feel anything other than pure elation over a possible positive outcome, I haven't a clue, but the revolving confliction of emotions is enough to make me want to scream.
Today, more than a week later, JoLyn is still with us, complete with her awareness which at the beginning of her last ditch decision to battle longer, had already begun to leave due her liver failure. She is in every possible way, battling from one second to the next to remain with her family, and it is her courage and unwavering resolve that gives me the strength to hope with her for a miracle. The other day while visiting, I found myself alone with her for about an hour, a rare opportunity these days, and one that had not presented itself to me since she fell ill. I loved the time, brief though it was, to sit with her and share in some one on one sibling love. We talked about things, some heavy, but also others not so much, and in our time gained a level of closure ensuring us that, come what may, we will be well enough off together or apart.
What an incredible blessing, and one that I am so thankful to have received. So often we find ourselves feeling alone and forgotten in our tumultuous lives, and we forget that God is over all, seeing, knowing, and feeling even our most subtle concerns. "Fear not, and know that I am God," He said, and after my repeated confliction, not knowing if I was up, or down, and fluctuating between sensations multiple times over in a day, I am truly happy to feel him near, to know that regardless of the outcome, he will still be near me to bear me up.
Happiness is life's greatest oxymoron. If we hope to experience its euphoric peaks of joy, we must first be willing to travel its deep vallies of sorrow. I love my life, my beautiful Marianne, each of our children. This week we have been graced by the company of our first grand baby Jordyn, a priceless treat for sure, and as I find myself languishing at times in unmeasurable sorrow, though seemingly impossible, I am also floating with the clouds.