The hospital bed arrived today. We knew it was coming, but we have not been looking forward to the change. Well, I haven’t. I think Jason may sleep better without me up and down throughout the evening.
No more rubbing feet in the night, no more stealing pillows from my guy. I won’t be rolling into his warm spot as he gets out of bed to make the morning coffee.
The nurse delivered us hard news today. News I frankly don’t believe. She said how many days she feels I’ll remain, and I’m struggling to believe her. I do see where cancer is having it’s way with my body. Where I’m growing weaker or pain is growing stronger. It’s been made clear to me I’m fading. I’m just in denial.
Tonight my guy and I will sleep beside one another but separate. We will speak sweetly to each other. We may share tears about what is happening. Our goodbye. Our long goodbye is getting not so long. How do we do this? There will be grace. We need to seek it, pray for it, and rest in it. Some days it’s hard to see, hard to know- to navigate.
My dear Autumn articulates her heart well here:
I am a friend with a pressing question, “How do I do this?”
This question comes to me often. I wake up with it on my heart and lay in bed thinking it over. I told my husband last night how I am thinking this and feeling selfish about it. I am not Kara’s husband or child, parent or sibling. I am a friend. But, with that said, I have never lost a friend before. I have lost family members, grandparents, and a parent, but not a friend. This unchartered territory leaves me nervous, pensive, helpless, and sad. The fact is I am young and friends my age are supposed to continue to grow old with me, right? So, How do I do this?
Kara is a friend that takes up a large space in your heart. She hasn’t lived on the fringes. She lives in the middle. She knows me, my husband, my kids, & my family. We have been in and out of one another’s lives and sat on one other’s couches. We have spent hours on the phone and when texting came around we began doing that as well. Now we live many states away. We still text and sometimes I can “know” how she is doing by how often I hear from her. She is still here, fighting, but her body is giving out on her. I already miss her. So, How do I do this?
I struggle to see this as a good story. Kara has told myself and all of you that her story is good. I struggle. Mind you, I do see the grace. I have felt the peace in her home. I see the love being there. I see the kids being cared for and Jason being lifted and Kara being loved. I see it. I know God has been good and I know God is showing up and giving gifts of grace in the midst of this Cancer….But to say it’s good or the best…I struggle.
How do I do this? I don’t know. I rely on God to help me navigate. I ask God to show me how I can love my friend. I ask God to heal her and provide for her. I ask God to show up each day with peace and strength for her family. I ask God to give her more time, and to take away the pain. I ask God to continue to encourage the Church and Community that cares for them. Maybe just maybe that’s the answer, we allow God to fill the spaces of hurt and sadness and struggle and God helps when we don’t know how.
Autumn has it right, there is so much about this we cannot understand. I can’t understand that I’m not sleeping in my wedding bed with my guy tonight. I hurt that I understand what this greater pain I’m experiencing means. I feel too young to be in this battle, but maybe I’m not in a battle at all. Maybe I’m on a journey, and the journey is more beautiful than any of us can comprehend. And if we did understand, we would hold very loosely to one another because I’m going to be with Jesus. There is grace that will seep into all the cracks and pained places when we don’t understand. In the places we don’t understand we get to seek. And how lovely is one seeking truth. Stunning.