Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Know You Can't. I Barely Can Myself.

It's been an interesting thing diseminating the news about Paul's health situation. To some friends and family I have felt the need to email medical details so as to clarify the doctor's concerns and the treatment schedule. Some friends and family have emailed or called. Others . . . nothing.

I know those emails have brought people to weeping at their computers. I know. They have been so very hard to write. And I know many are speechless. There are no words. I know.

If you are one who is troubled and teary with the news, I know. If you're having a tough time talking about it, thinking about it or imagining it . . . I know. If you can't bring yourself to accept it, Paul and I both know. We can't either. And if you can't get things done during the day without falling into a heap of sobs, I know. If you're not able to handle the news - it's ok. I barely can myself.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Paul's "F _ ck-It" List

The doctors have told us that it is not a matter of "if" but a matter of "when" in regard to Paul's cancer situation. So, as time is becoming a priceless commodity, Paul sat down to write a "Bucket List".

Over a period of days the reality of the circumstances has influenced Paul's list. Things that never had been options or desires in the past are now becoming signficant and do-able. In fact, the very name of Paul's list has changed. He now lovingly refers to it as my "F _ ck-It" List. (pardon the bluntness!) Anyone who knows my husband will understand.

See a real ice-berg. Drive the Cobra across the country. Eat more bacon. He has even talked about getting a tattoo. Why? Well, time is short. "F _ ck-It" Paul says. Why the hell not get a tattoo? : )

From this perspective so many things look different. The "why" and "why nots" of life just do not have the same arguments anymore. Some things are just stupid given a short timeline. Some things are no longer important.

And then there is God. Then there is our family.

Yesterday Paul sat and played poker with the kids - betting chips with no regard to consequence - and all of them laughing and squealing with abandon. The dishes sat in the sink. The dust accumulated on the furniture. The IRS called and the phone just kept ringing.

I'm grateful that Paul has his priorities straight. He reminds me when to say to hell with things - and when to say to heaven WITH them.

Friday, February 20, 2009

What If The Answer Was "No"?

My son came home from school excitedly chatting about a get together later that day with friends. Unaware of that plan, I told my son there were other priorities today. "But Mom! This is so important! We want to finish this cool thing we've been working on and I want to go so badly! You just HAVE to take me! I just HAVE to go today!"

Seeing our priorities collide through the lack of planning (and oversight of a teenage boy) I told him I needed to think about it and see if it could work. "Mom, I just haaaaaaaave to go today. Pleeeeeeeeeeeeez?" I sat on the couch with my daytimer moving things around like a rubics cube. If I move this here then we could do that errand on the way to . . . "Ok son. I can make it work." His face lit up and I honestly think his huge body skipped a few steps before he turned and said, "Thank you Mom! I love you."

"Would you love me if I said no?" I called out as he rounded the corner.

From a couple steps down the stairway I could hear his feet land solidly and stop at my question. After a short silence he called back humbly, "Mom - I would love you even if you said no. But maybe I just wouldn't say it outloud."

Hmmm. With news this week that my husband's cancer has advanced farther than what medical tools can stop, and the encouragement of the doctors to now put things in order with the time we have left, I feel like God has told us "no" to some pretty big requests. We, alongside our church family, our friends, siblings, and parents, have begged and pleaded . . . and the answer is "no".

There are times when my answer to my children is "no". My children do not always understand why I give that answer. They do not see all of the variables I see. And I understand that every "no" brings frustration and sadness into their lives.

I'm sure on an elevated level God is the same way. To our begging sometimes He must say no. God, I know you are listening for my response . . . and I am saying this outloud today - "I love you even with the 'no'."