Sunday, May 4, 2014

There is Love

This date ... May 4 ... the date the word  C A N C E R  was first uttered ... continues to hold power over me. It casts its shadow each year, taking me back to that fateful day. In all honesty, however, the word 'cancer' had first paid a visit to my brain the afternoon before - when Dr. J called us with the results of that morning's MRI saying "My God, you have a tumor on your spine. You're meeting with a surgeon at 7am tomorrow morning." 

I do think there's some changes occurring as the years pass, however, as I now can see how much love surrounded us that day. It was there holding back the fear as I struggled to get Vern into the car that morning. It filled that small room in the surgeon's office when he showed us the MRI and explained how bad things were. It enveloped us in the car as we sat absorbing all that had been shared with us before entering the hospital.

And while there were many awful, hurtful things that occurred during those first days and weeks,  L O V E  was there ... always.  I find myself on this date each year, reading back through our CaringBridge journal. Reminding me of  ... the daily struggle, the wonderful medical personnel we were blessed with, along with those who should have chosen a different profession, the miracles we were granted, the joys we encountered in the midst of the horrors. I'm grateful I have those entries. But I didn't share everything there. I wanted those posts to be positive; I worked so very hard to keep Vern positive. I didn't share the personal hurts of disappearing friends, didn't share the disappointing behavior of friends and family, co-workers and my boss. But reading those entries jogs this old brain of mine - and while the unwritten hurts flicker into my mind they are now quickly replaced with the reminder that LOVE triumphed over all of it. The deep love shared by Vern & I and the eternal love of our God who was there throughout each of those 1602 days that cancer shared our lives. 

I had forgotten this quote that I shared in my July 5, 2006 journal entry. It held me up then and it holds me up now. It was written by Jim Chaffee, caregiver and husband to his wife, Janice, who died in February 2007 after a 3-year battle with multiple myeloma.

"So when my spirit screams "...where the hell are you, God?" my questioning void is filled with the companionship of the One who cried, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?" There is no formula here, people, no four easy steps to lead us into understanding grief, no purpose driven "ah-ha" to explain why all this is happening. Christ simply and passionately hikes up His robe, sits down next to me, pulls my tear-stained face into His chest, and He weeps...He weeps with me, He weeps for my wife, He weeps long, deep, body rattling sobs, with snot and tears dripping from His chin. He weeps. From the bowels of one who has felt forsaken, who has felt loss, who aches when I cry "This just isn't fair!", who truly feels my pain, He weeps. And in His tears, in that sacred space called sorrow, I know God is there."   © Jim Chaffee


tim's wife said...

Great post! All of it so true for so many of us. We've suffered a lot of disappointments in people who backed out on us. I've had that "this isn't fair" feeling many times. If it wasn't for those miracles and angels that got placed in our paths, I don't know how I could go on. It's so hard, but you do find those examples of pure love and compassion in there sometimes.

Salt said...

Once again your honesty touches my soul. I've come to understand that not everyone "can hear my story". It is meant to be shared with only those who can. I've learned to release those who've run away fearful of my tears and discomforted by my questions. I've found much comfort in just two words, "Jesus wept". I am developing an even deeper gratitude for the amazing "God winks" that I've seen over the years even in the midst of intense heartache. And I treasure more one line in an old hymn, "he washed my eyes with tears that I might see". It is a precious and sacred journey to weep with those who weep. To me, Jim Chaffee's words are the purest of all prayers. Thanks so much for sharing.

Susie Hemingway said...

Oh how I can relate to this dear Dianne. How alone one feels when hearing those dreadful words.The buzzing in the ears as if the voice is miles away instead of just across the tiny room. The vanishing of long-time 'friends'. The aloneness that knowing you would fight this to the bitter end with everything and all the strength you have. But we did Dianne - we never at anytime let them down. I did write of the pain and anger I felt - but held back on the sadness of the loss of friends even knowing he would not be reading that. I encourage as you did, even when we knew there was no hope. I always saw those beautiful eyes never the withering face or body. We will never forget the pain suffered as others might but we will go on with pride that we did all that could be done and mostly alone just the way we loved with every part of our being and beat of our heart. Peace my dear friend.

Scriberita said...

Wow Dianne, this post is truly wholesome and beautiful... It plays so many beautiful chords to my soul. I absolutely love it. I am saving it as a bookmark and I shall print it out to stick on my wall. I really needed this today. Christ in us the hope of glory. We shall overcome through Him. Today we may feel broken and nothing makes sense, but as we cling to Him, it becomes better day by day. Truly edified and happy to have bumped into you. Thanks for visiting my blog. Love you!