one. But sometimes, questions can't be answered. And sometimes, knowing that an answer cannot be answered keeps it festering in the dark.
On Thursday Jeff got horribly ill with a nasty stomach bug just days after the grandmas arrived. We had planned a weekend away with us all. Jeff gets one relatively good week each round where he is not taking any chemo pills, and the affect of the iv chemo has almost dissipated. So for him to get sick on his one good week was heart breaking.
You get to a point where even if the one you love is suffering patiently, you begin to cry "enough". It also awakens the whys, what ifs, and not fairs from lips that were just giving thanks the week before. And while having two other sets of hands and hearts have allowed things to run smoother this week, it has also given me extra time to breathe and think. Laundry is caught up, Zoe is having way less accidents, and Ian loves picking who will read to him each night. The house is full of what only two grandmas can bring. And my head had filled with the questions I knew had no answers.
I have scrolled through face book wondering why we can't have normal any more. I have seen families playing at the park and felt the unfairness of it all. And my eyes follow older couples walking hand in hand and I have blinked away tears of what ifs.
I know it is perfectly normal to wrestle through the whys, what ifs, and not fairs. Anyone who has walked a path similar would tell me this is par for the course. But it is the first time I have landed here and I was afraid I would get stuck in the sad muck of questions without answers.
I told Jeff I didn't want to be a withered old heart and soul after all of this. His hand squeezed tighter and I spilled out all the broken whys that had built up. I am certain that in the face of suffering we will eventually reach a point where the faith and hope we had will run out. We will get to a point where we can curl into the broken questions and sink into despair, or we can confess our lack of faith and hope and take another step forward into the only place where real security ever really was. Into a bigger reality. His love and commitment towards us. Or as Paul tells Timothy "If we are faithless, he remains faithful..." Tim 2:13
So I took a step forward. I woke up and asked for help. When friends asked how I was I admitted that I couldn't see the good. When I read scripture and promises I prayed for my heart to not be angry but to believe. And I read and wrestled and asked all the questions that crowded my thoughts.
After these last few days I am pretty sure the not knowing isn't as hard when you voiced the whys. The not fairs don't sting once you have been able to pour them out and see how very little they look compared to the mountain of gifts we have been given. And the what ifs become statements of faith and promise.
During all of this I received a beautiful bracelet in the mail that has Proverbs 25:31 stamped inside it.
"She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future." Ian loved it and wanted me to let him have it. He asked why I got it. He asked what dignity is. For days he asked me if I would let him have it. Finally, last night he declared he didn't want it any more. I asked him why and he chuckled and said, "because I like the strength and dignity part, but the no fear of the future part...why would anyone be afraid of the future! I mean it is the future, it is not something to be afraid of." I laughed and he added under his breath, "I mean, there aren't even any bears here!"
Oh to have a child's heart.
Jeff is about to have round number five in this six round cycle. We will have another scan after round six and again be at a place of making decisions on treatment and direction. He is still steadfast. He is still showing up at the schools and lining up all the big and small details for the day camp in Tayport. We have a very full summer ahead, with three camps (Day camp, Young Life camp, and Wyld Life camp.) The boys are signed up for a sports camp and art classes. And in a six week summer that leaves very little room for anything else. In September we will steal away for a much needed family vacation on a warm, rainless beach.
Thank you for the continued emails, cards, and blankets. This month when we have felt so weak, knowing that so many were standing with us in faith, hope, and love has sustained us. Much love, Becca and the rest of Team Stables