Posted in Cancer

A Time to Mourn

The life of being married to a cancer patient has taken me down a path that has humbled me, exemplified my faith, strengthened me in more ways than I knew existed, and introduced me to people I would never have known otherwise.

Being a regular at the cancer center has acquainted me with the same familiar faces week after week, month after month. I have had some people touch my life who are gone now, but not forgotten. I have made friends I stay in touch with and wondered about others I never see. This illness has impacted my life in more ways than I can explain, but also, it has taught me there is more to life than what’s on the surface.

Much more.

I wouldn’t wish this journey on anyone, but knowing the people who are facing the same difficult obstacles brings a sort of comfort to the situation. It makes me realize none of us are fighting alone. We are all cheering each other on, and we are in this together.

When another cancer patient has a setback, we all experience the punch. We can relate. We feel it in the gut. It hurts.

We are rooting for the same results. Clear margins, remission, NED, a miracle. We are supporting each other, begging for success, hoping for clear scans, praying for a cure.

And sometimes, we don’t get it. Sometimes we lose, and all that’s left is grief.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”

Ecclesiastes 3:4

Grief is a funny thing. In all the sadness we look for sunshine. We search for the good and the happy and all the ways possible to figure out how to make our hearts not ache.

There are moments we feel we cannot breathe, or muster up enough strength to push forward. The minutes become hours and the hours run together with the days into a blur, living in the midst of a broken heart. There’s no glue that can fix that, or so we think.

Sometimes it is hard to see what is right in front of us. The people surrounding us that love us, grieve with us. Our precious children, our friends, our family. They all weep with us and for us when we lose someone we love.

It is hard to recognize in that instant we have moments and memories to fill the void. Sometimes we just need a minute to process it all, to mourn, to find peace, to be sad. Just for awhile we need to grieve for what we have lost.

I believe in all my heart grief has a silver lining. In my mind, in the very center of it there is a bright light. I imagine it to be the brightest light ever, one that isn’t blinding, that brings a sense of comfort and peace. One that warms my heart, brings a smile to my face, one that offers contentment and eases my mind, calms my heart and soul.

I imagine serenity will come in time. The sorrow will subside. The heart will slowly mend.

I pray for us all that the silver lining will always reveal itself and that in the midst of our grief the Lord will soothe our souls and give us the strength we need to go on. Today, I pray for all those who mourn. xo

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Matthew 5:4

Heaven gained a beautiful soul, an Angel today. It hits too close to home, but I was lucky to know her, to call her a fellow baseball mom, a friend, a great supporter. She undoubtedly gave me a comfort I never revealed to her, a courage, a sense of strength, and a feeling that I was never alone. I hated what she must be going through as a mother, a wife, a cancer patient, but from my perspective she was the epitome of strength, grace, and beauty. She comforted my soul, made my loneliness subside, and soothed my broken heart in some unexplainable way. Her and her family are like a mirror of mine, facing many of the same hurdles and pain on our individual paths. Many days I thought of her, prayed for her, and imagined we must each be able to relate to the other’s spouse during our separate journeys. Today, I pray for her family, her friends and all those who knew her. May she rest in peace. #sarahstrong #ocockstrong

Posted in Devotional, Family

Thankful

Are you thankful for the time you have with your family or do you take it for granted?

Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s right in front of us. We get so busy focusing on what makes us unhappy we abandon all the good staring us in the face.

It has been a demanding 96 hours. Each day I have hoped for sunshine, but there is forever a storm lurking. That black cloud constantly seems to be chasing me, and I always seem to be running.

It’s an arduous journey with me continuously looking over my shoulder, waiting for the other shoe to drop. But sadly, that is the way of my life.

Today, I had a long chat with a dear friend, who I can always trust to be honest with me, spare me the sugar-coating and admit the hard truth to me. I appreciate her, the knowledge she has of my situation, the compassion she expresses and even the words she needs to say despite they are hard for me to hear at times.

I value our friendship because I realize, no matter what, I can depend on her to be real with me. The medical advice and knowledge she shares, the personal trauma she has experienced and how she can relate to what my children are going through. Everything I get from her comes in the form of a blessing.

She is sort of a soul sister to me, one I feel a connection with that I cannot explain. She gets me, and sometimes shares her thoughts and feelings that are already entertaining my mind.

And, on the days I feel like constantly crying, her honesty, her genuine heart is just what I need to make me feel better and acknowledge I have so much to be thankful for.

Today, it was no different.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55:8-9

She gave up some of her precious family time this afternoon to console me. That’s a true friend. And, she made me realize, portions of my storm are blessings I will one day look back on and appreciate.

We are in the midst of the country being shut down, social distancing with limited interaction between people and staying home to avoid exposure.

On top of all that is the chemo treatments, the complications, the fevers, the fear of going to the hospital, the traveling, the worrying, the stress, the sick puppy, having to put my child on a plane…this week has been emotional and stressful and too much at times.

It’s a challenge, and I’m feeling weak even though I force a cheery smile. But, I’ve been thinking about it, and in the back of my mind and with a sweet reminder, I know this is a blessing in disguise.

Having my children home, eating dinner as a family every night, no rushing out the door to get somewhere, no worrying about leaving a child or a dog home alone while we are at the cancer center. Quality time with my children before they go off to college in the fall, sharing memories of the past and making new ones for the future.

All blessings.

in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

1 Thessalonians 5:18

It’s true how sad of a time it is for my senior and all the other seniors who don’t get the traditional graduation, but in hindsight we will appreciate all the memories we were able to make with just our family. All the quality time we shared and the togetherness we had.

Those are the times we will remember.

And, what if we never have another opportunity like this again? What if there’s not another season we are all together?

What if these memories are all we have?

Sometimes it’s hard to see the picture when you are in it. But, like my friend reminded me…what a blessing this quarantine is for us.

Another silver lining in the most unexpected place. No matter how hard life is count your blessings. In spite of everything, they are all around us.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Romans 8:28