Sunday, October 24, 2010

Better Now

Whew, am I glad for a week of nothing new. When I look back at the previous month or so, there were new bugs hitting my windshield from moment to moment. I didn't realize until this past week how much my spirit needed to find solice in a BASIC week with no new stimulus or information. No fires to put out. No news to keep up on. Everyone in my life was stable, including (towards the end of the week) ME!

Monday, October 18, 2010


I am doing fine. I think I am.

Saying so feels a bit "The Little Engine That Could"-ish. I know there's no other choice than walking through the journey that lies ahead (no matter how uphill it might be). But I sometimes can't get a grip on exactly how "stressed" I am.

In one moment, I feel in total crisis mode, like I need to button down the hatches and seclude myself from all the "regular" commitments and life dimensions other than necessary ones: parent my kids, be a wife, go to work, and love on my dad. I feel like I cannot give to anyone else or anything else. I feel like I need to be careful with myself.

And in the next, I find myself wondering, "What, really, has changed...?" I mean, life as I know it is no different on a day to day basis while my dad is battling pancreatic cancer. I should still be able to fulfill all my normal social and other commitments. I should still be able to volunteer for things and provide support to other people around me.

But then my head gets all full pretty fast and I find myself drowning again.

And then I crack open Catching Fire, the second book in the Hunger Games trilogy and melt away into a really great story. Stressed people shouldn't be reading for pleasure, should they? Isn't there something else I should be doing to make me less stressed? Like productive things?

I call on Dad usually twice a day. That's about right, right? I ask how I can support Nancye. Should I be more proactive there? I just finished a one-week trip to Hilton Head with Dad and family and plan on seeing him next for Thanksgiving. That's a five-week period in between. Is that too much?

It's just an emotionally timultuous time. And I need to give myself grace and leeway for wavering between feeling balanced and unbalanced. And that's the thing: there will be a lot more of that back-and-forth swinging before it's all said and done.

My prayer is that A) my husband can put up with me while he supports me through another battle with cancer on my side of the family and period of emotional fragility and B) I will have no regrets with how much and how quality the remaining time I have with my dad.

Who am I kidding? I can't boil down my prayers to A) and B)... there's also so many other heavy things on my heart. My brother, my good friend in Rochester facing an ugly divorce, my in-laws and their health concerns, my incredibly phenomenal Columbus peeps and all the junk being tossed their way... Wheweee does life feel difficult for a lot of the people dear to my heart...

We will all be OK, though. That's how God designed it. With faith, we will all be OK. One way or another.

Monday, October 4, 2010

"Don't let the bugs eat you."

This past weekend I was in Louisville with both kids. Cousin Jessica was assisting Jackson get to bed one night (we stayed overnight at the McClain home). She laid down with him till he passed out. Later, she reported that she had casually said, "Jackson don't let the bed bugs bite." To which he responded: "Don't let the bugs eat you." That's another way of saying it.

I haven't used the blog avenue to report in about my Dad's health situation, but I am going to paste an update below from a recent email sent out. Background for those who may not know: Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer the Friday of Labor Day weekend. The tumor is inoperable, due to its complexity and proximity to a major artery. Therefore, we are remaining hopeful that Dad's life can be extended and fully lived for as long as possible. With that, the following is the most recent: