Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm working on hanging in. Just feel slammed by learning just a week ago that our church Administrative Assistant has a fast growing and always fatal liver cancer. No warning, symptoms only started a week before the diagnosis. Aggressive treatment may buy her some time. Right now, it seems to be harder on me than on her. She's just been doing this work for the church for a short period of time, but we had already formed a good friendship and it quickly deepened in the hours we spent working together.

Last night I spent a couple of hours at the hospital with a large and loving family who are watching their mother die of lung cancer. They needed me to break open the conversation with her so they could all start talking more freely and honestly and lovingly. It was a powerful time of prayer and healing and love and support, and, naturally, left me even tireder. I so understand why Jesus kept needing to withdraw to the mountains for prayer and why the people followed him when he did. Words of honest love are so hard to find--we're busy putting Christmas wrapping on gifts of decay and deceit instead.

Did have a lovely day yesterday with my 17 month old granddaughter. She's the first child of my overwhelmingly brilliant middle son and I know that people have been holding their breath to see how much of that will be manifested in this child. She's adorable and was loving with me even though she has not seen me for nearly a year. She did say what I think was her first complete sentence yesterday. As I was changing her poopy diaper, I distinctly heard her say, "I made poop." That's got to be a classic statement of the human condition. Great place to start.

My Beloved husband is being incredibly supportive as he sees this melancholy crushing me to the ground right now. We've both learned to treasure it and hold it carefully when it hits. I had thought it might not be so bad this year since I live in a house with so much more light, and I'm very much affected by the shortened days. I was exceedingly wrong.

Yet, tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent. It's the season of watchfulness, of waiting, of wondering if God really is on the move. Good timing for me.

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