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Category: Gordon Lee Pearson

Today: Chuck Norris, Walter White, and McDreamy’s Lover.

Today: Chuck Norris, Walter White, and McDreamy’s Lover.

Seven years ago today, this awesome guy (who now strikes me as a Chuck Norris look alike), died from lung cancer:

Gordy and Jen in woods copyGordy & Me. I was about Ruthie’s age.

A few weeks ago Bryan and I watched the episode of Breaking Bad where Walter hears his official cancer diagnosis. I don’t remember all the details, but there was mention of Small Cell or Non-Small Cell lung cancer.

Gordy had one of these, but I don’t remember which one. My lack of memory is maddening sometimes, but I remember he had the kind that is rare for non-smokers to get.

At any rate, I never thought anything about anything as we watched a show about a guy with lung cancer until I heard the words, Small Cell Lung Cancer.

I heard those words like the crack of a whip or the shattering of glass – high and sharp in my ears, while the rest of the show and general ambiance in the room faded into a muffle, like I was wearing headphones.

And then it passed.

The moment was so unnatural that I half expected to hear a sad song with Ellen Pompeo’s voice narrating my thoughts.

Anyway. This picture reminds me that my kids have never been to the cabin.

Blargh.

Fuck Cancer.

The Day My Source of Heat Died (repost)

The Day My Source of Heat Died (repost)

I woke up Sunday morning to a 59 degree house – the coldest it’s been since the seasons changed – so I finally decided to turn on the furnace. What used to be a simple flip of the switch is now a ceremony of sorts – I pause to remember, acknowledge, sometimes shed a tear. Turning on the heat is never the same anymore, because I remember so clearly the day it died. In honor of the man who was the source of so much warmth in my life – my stepfather – I now repost this essay from four years ago.

At precisely 5:30pm on Thursday afternoon, on the eve of a three-day holiday weekend in which all things were closed the next day, our furnace began making a screeching grinding sound that echoed in the vents throughout the house.

As Bryan and I stood in the kitchen assessing the nature of the sound, we both had That Look on our face. It is That Look that recognized the time of day on that particular holiday weekend, during that particular week where temperatures were at a record low for the Puget Sound Area. It was That Look that recognized how OBVIOUS it would be that a furnace would begin making such grinding noises at this particular moment in time.

A few minutes later the grinding stopped, and we went about our business of the evening.

Off and on all weekend we stopped and held our breath as the grinding came and went. We waited. We hoped. We crossed our fingers. We prayed the furnace would last through the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon – New Year’s Day – I got a call from my sister, Jody, who reported that Gordy seemed to be slipping away, letting go. She said I should think about coming home soon, and that his daughter, Pam, was already on an airplane.

Even though Gordy had been diagnosed eight months ago, this plunge still took me by surprise. Just a week earlier at Christmastime he was up and about, visiting family and eating lutefisk. It seemed we might get another month with him at least.

Upon hearing this news I did what I always to do cope… I started doing things. I cleaned, I packed, I researched airline ticket prices, I rearranged plans, I organized the kitchen cabinets. I kept moving.

Meanwhile, the grinding furnace got so bad that on Sunday afternoon we shut it down from the circuit breaker.

It was cold that weekend. Seattle was experiencing record-breaking low temperatures. We borrowed space heaters from friends and shuffled them around the house with us. We slept in ski hats and wools socks.

Monday morning, January 3rd, was a regular morning. I woke up, I took a shower, I fed Ruthie breakfast, I called someone to fix the furnace. Around 11am the phone rang.

I recently read an excerpt of Carole Radziwill’s memoir, “What Remains,” in which she describes what happens between the moment an event happens and when you find out about it, how she was sipping a glass of wine and reading Pride and Prejudice as her friend’s airplane spiraled downward into the ocean.

I was sleeping when Gordy died. While he drifted off into the peacefulness of the early dawn in his own bedroom, I was completely unaware that something significant was transpiring in my life, that I was losing the man who had anchored me throughout the confusing years of my childhood.

In the morning when I awoke, when I fed Ruthie breakfast and called the furnace repair guy, I had no idea that I had just experienced a loss.

At 11:00 a.m. when I picked up the phone, my mom was crying on the other end. Through her sobs I heard her say, “Gordy is walking the streets of gold.”

I was standing in the laundry room where I had been loading the washing machine. I was crying, and the doorbell rang.

Almost every significant event throughout Gordy’s illness is somehow tied to a major home maintenance project. When I first received the news that Gordy had cancer, Bryan and I were meeting with contractors who were bidding out the remodel of our basement. And now, as the news of his passing was still sinking in I walked a sales representative through my house pointing out air vents and faulty duct work.

People die. Life goes on.

Never before in my life – and probably never again – will that fact be made more clear to me.

Yesterday we finally turned on our new furnace for the winter season. It purred ever so quietly, and the air blew through the vents with a force of confidence.

I felt warm, and I remembered.

to have and to hold

to have and to hold

memorial bush

Friends gave me this bush three years ago in honor of Gordy after he died. It came in a five gallon bucket, and just look at it now. It grows like a weed, but I couldn’t be happier about it, because when pruned I bring the clippings inside and display them in a vase. The leaves smell like pine and sweet oregano when you rub them, and it freshens up any room.

The bush sits to the left as you walk up my front steps, and I really do think of Gordy every time I pass by it. I’m certain that if I ever moved out of this house, I would take the bush with me. I just don’t part that easily with Things That Mean Something.

What do you hold in your hand, or in your pocket, what treasure to you look at to remember someone or something by?

Last Breaths & Connecting Dots

Last Breaths & Connecting Dots

My Grandma – my mom’s mom – died on or around Valentine’s Day a few years ago. She was a sturdy, healthy woman, who simply grew too old for her body to carry her. She died peacefully in her own bed, with Gordy by her side.

My mom was getting her hair done at the time, which is so mom. When she’s old and not so independent, I’ll be taking her to the beauty shop every week to get her hair done. In heaven her hair will be thick and full of body – no beauty shops necessary there.

Gordy adored my Grandma, and she adored him, in her reserved, German kind of way. When my Grandpa died, her husband of more than 50 years, my Grandma collapsed from the exhaustion of caring for him, her body somehow understanding she was no longer on duty. She was in the hospital during his funeral, but Gordy sat with her, quietly holding her hand.

Then years later as she passed away, he was holding her hand again.

I didn’t consider at the time how prophetic this was, Gordy holding the hand of a dying woman, watching her take her last breath. It would be years later that he lay in a hospice bed in his own living room, in and out of awareness, his body giving way to cancer.

I wonder if he remembered that moment, the moment he was holding the hand of a woman when the life went out of her. I wonder if he remembered her last breath, the peaceful silence, the whisper of a soul floating away. I wonder if this memory brought him comfort. I wonder if this prepared him for his own passing.

Jesus knew what he was doing when he called my Grandma home just then, as Gordy held her hand.

When life feels out of control I try to remember that God sees the bigger picture. He doesn’t just see the moment, but he sees the moment in connection with an infinity of moments. In my panic I often run into the street, naked and screaming maniacally about the end of the world as we know it, when all I really need to do is sit and quietly allow the Holy Spirit to connect the dots from one moment to the next.

When life feels out of control I need to ask myself, Do I trust him to carry me from moment to moment, even into infinite?

Remembering Gordy

Remembering Gordy

ruthie and gordy, May 2004

Today is the second anniversary of Gordy’s death from cancer. I have to be honest – and I feel a certain sense of betrayal to say this – but the grieving does get easier over time. I think I worried that if it ever quit being REALLY hard to think about Gordy, that I was forgetting him, or dishonoring his memory, or that maybe I didn’t love him as much as I thought I did.

But none of this is true. Over time the grief changes, and warm memories come out of nowhere – like when you walk into someone’s home and smell the burning wood and hear the crackle of the fire in their fire place, and you think of every fire you’ve ever sat next to in Gordy’s presence. Only, experiencing these memories no longer overwhelms you with grief, but brings a slight upward bend to the corners of your mouth as you think fondly of the Good Ole Days.

Easter 2006

Easter 2006

IMG_2249

“What you did in Jesus’ resurrection proves that you can do absolutely anything.”
– Pastor Leith Anderson in prayer, Wooddale Church, Easter morning 2006.

I hadn’t spent much time preparing for Easter this year in a spiritual sense. I was traveling, visiting family, the weather was warm and sunny, and there were many fun activities distracting us.

It seems we weren’t really prepared for the other aspects of Easter, either. On Saturday night while the kids were sleeping, the three of us – my mom, my sister, and I – we lounged in the living room reading and watching the Twins beat the Yankees. The kitchen was still a mess from the day, the dining table was piled high with purses and books, and the contents of the kids’ Easter baskets were still in a Target bag under mom’s bed.

There we were, three ladies and no men. The house seemed large and empty without the presence of Gordy. On Friday night mom decided to grill hamburgers, and I said, “Really?” Gordy had done all the grilling. Mom and Jody fumbled with the controls on the gas grill until they finally got it working (I don’t do gas grills or car batteries), and we had some juicy burgers.

And now, on the Saturday before Easter, there was no bustle of activity in preparation of a big ham dinner. Without the bellies of men to fill, mom decided to prepare a light brunch. So there we sat, watching baseball.

Then, like three peas in a pod, we all got our second wind about 11:30. Mom found the plastic grass, we broke open the bag of jelly beans, and we shuffled around all the clutter to make way for a nice meal the next day.

Easter morning we attended my mom’s church. It was the church I grew up in, though it wasn’t this large when I lived at home. I guess you might call it a mega-church, but a church of this size is not uncommon in the Midwest. Many churches in the Bible belt of the Midwest have over a thousand attenders each week.

Now, when I attend church with my mom, I miss Gordy. As an employee of the church and a member of the building committee, he is everywhere in that building. I look up at the ceiling to the light bulbs at nose-bleed height and I remember how he’d notice one burned out during the service. I watch the choir sing and I remember him walking me through the choir loft as it was being built, helping me imagine beyond the gravel and concrete. He was so very proud of that building. He took such great care of the house of God.

On Easter morning as the choir sang a medley of hymns, I felt emotion welling up in me. Longing for Gordy, remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice – it all came back into focus as the intensity of the orchestra and choir swelled. We were celebrating, and I was remembering why.

Christ has risen. Christ is alive. And because of this, Gordy is alive as well.

Remembering Gordy

Remembering Gordy

I called my mom today to see how she was doing on this, the first anniversary of Gordy’s death. Turns out she’s throwing a party! Yes, ‘the gang’ is coming over for a baked potato bar, and this will mark the first time my mother has truly entertained since the summer before Gordy died. I’m sure there will be lots of tears and for sure some laughter, as no one in that group is NOT funny. I miss him, and have these photos to share with you as I remember him, too.

Gordy and Jen in woods copy

gordu & jen

Gordy & jen wedding

Gordy

The Day My Source of Heat Died

The Day My Source of Heat Died

At precisely 5:30pm on Thursday afternoon, on the eve of a three-day holiday weekend in which all things were closed the next day, our furnace began making a screeching grinding sound that echoed in the vents throughout the house.

As Bryan and I stood in the kitchen assessing the nature of the sound, we both had That Look on our face. It is That Look that recognized the time of day on that particular holiday weekend, during that particular week where temperatures were at a record low for the Puget Sound Area. It was That Look that recognized how OBVIOUS it would be that a furnace would begin making such grinding noises at this particular moment in time.

A few minutes later the grinding stopped, and we went about our business of the evening.

Off and on all weekend we stopped and held our breath as the grinding came and went. We waited. We hoped. We crossed our fingers. We prayed the furnace would last through the weekend.

On Saturday afternoon – New Year’s Day – I got a call from my sister, Jody, who reported that Gordy seemed to be slipping away, letting go. She said I should think about coming home soon, and that his daughter, Pam, was already on an airplane.

Even though Gordy had been diagnosed eight months ago, this plunge still took me by surprise. Just a week earlier at Christmastime he was up and about, visiting family and eating lutefisk. It seemed we might get another month with him at least.

Upon hearing this news I did what I always to do cope… I started doing things. I cleaned, I packed, I researched airline ticket prices, I rearranged plans, I organized the kitchen cabinets. I kept moving.

Meanwhile, the grinding furnace got so bad that on Sunday afternoon we shut it down from the circuit breaker.

It was cold that weekend. Seattle was experiencing record-breaking low temperatures.
We borrowed space heaters from friends and shuffled them around the house with us. We slept in ski hats and wools socks.

Monday morning, January 3rd, was a regular morning. I woke up, I took a shower, I fed Ruthie breakfast, I called someone to fix the furnace. Around 11am the phone rang.

I recently read an excerpt of Carole Radziwill’s memoir, “What Remains,” in which she describes what happens between the moment an event happens and when you find out about it, how she was sipping a glass of wine and reading Pride and Prejudice as her friend’s airplane spiraled downward into the ocean.

I was sleeping when Gordy died. While he drifted off into the peacefulness of the early dawn in his own bedroom, I was completely unaware that something significant was transpiring in my life, that I was losing the man who had anchored me throughout the confusing years of my childhood.

In the morning when I awoke, when I fed Ruthie breakfast and called the furnace repair guy, I had no idea that I had just experienced a loss.

At 11:00 a.m. when I picked up the phone, my mom was crying on the other end. Through her sobs I heard her say, “Gordy is walking the streets of gold.”

I was standing in the laundry room where I had been loading the washing machine. I was crying, and the doorbell rang.

Almost every significant event throughout Gordy’s illness is somehow tied to a major home maintenance project. When I first received the news that Gordy had cancer, Bryan and I were meeting with contractors who were bidding out the remodel of our basement. And now, as the news of his passing was still sinking in I walked a sales representative through my house pointing out air vents and faulty duct work.

People die. Life goes on.

Never before in my life – and probably never again – will that fact be made more clear to me.

Yesterday we finally turned on our new furnace for the winter season. It purred ever so quietly, and the air blew through the vents with a force of confidence.

I felt warm, and I remembered.

The Fall of Remembering

The Fall of Remembering

It’s been cool and dark in the mornings this week, making it more difficult to crawl out of my cozy bed as early as I usually do. This morning it is raining, and we have been without rain for so long I actually did a happy little rain dance in front of my tomato plants as they drank it in.

[I was wearing my bubble gum pink bathrobe with embroidered cocktails as I did this, and all I can say is, Praise Jesus for tall fences!]

The house is quiet, except for Thomas’ cooing, and I have the urge to play Christmas music.

I love the fall, wearing jeans again, lighting candles and creating atmosphere in my home, making dinners that slowly roast in the oven, meals with soups and sauces.

This fall I enter into a season of remembrance. It was this time last year we learned that Gordy would not be getting better, which set a chain reaction of denial, acceptance, and last goodbyes.

I was talking to my mom the other day about her upcoming trip to the Minnesota State Fair. It’s one of the largest and best fairs in the country, and I’ve actually planned trips home to coincide with the fair because I miss it so much.

Gordy loved the fair, so I asked my mom what his favorite attractions were. She mentioned machinery hill where the farm equipment was on display, the dairy barn where he always had a malt, the pronto pups, watching the live TV broadcasts from the network booths, and then there were the years Gordy entered his photography into the art competitions.

We both began to cry as we remembered.

But as my mom sobbed, she said that she worried about forgetting things – his smell, the sound of his voice, significant events, everyday things.

I know this feeling of wanting to hang onto everything, I think that’s why I take so many pictures and display them in photo albums and scrapbooks. Years ago I filled up an entire photo album with pictures from just one quarter of college because I wanted to document EVERYTHING.

Last week when I got together with some girlfriends, and don’t even remember what we were talking about, but Alecia quoted a line from the movie Clue about the “flames burning on the side of my face!”

As she said this, she glanced sideways at me with a knowing smirk on her face, and my eyes went wide as I shot straight up in my seat.

“OH MY LORD!” I exclaimed in my usual drama “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU REMEMBERED THAT!”

We both laughed at this inside joke as the other gals looked on without a clue.

One line quoted from one movie we saw fifteen years ago brought back to me more than just the movie. It flooded all my senses with smells of popcorn, the sight of the bunch of us cozied on the sectional in the dorm lounge like newborn puppies, the nausea of staying up until 5:30am watching the same funny movie over and over again, only it’s not so much that the movie is funny, but that the people you are watching it with are ridiculously silly.

I took a picture of that night, never wanting to forget it.

But still, I forgot.

Until Alecia reached down into the recesses of my mind and pulled out one phrase from that evening, and all was remembered.

I told my mom this story, hoping to comfort her. I reassured her that even if some things slipped from the front of her mind, her memories would always be stored deep inside. One day someone will say a word, or she’ll see something, or smell something, and it will remind her of something she hadn’t thought of for a long time.

And she will simultaneously laugh and cry as she remembers, aching in her loss, but joyous in the memories.

Peaches on Top

Peaches on Top

The other night as I sat eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream with fresh peaches on top from the local farmer’s market, I was reminiscing of Gordy. He loved summer fruit, and he loved peaches with ice cream. I think blueberries were his favorite cereal topping, but for some reason as I sat there eating peaches with my ice cream, it had GORDY written all over it.

God, I miss him.

He had a way of getting excited over simple pleasures, like summer fruit and corn on the cob. I have memories of him marching into the kitchen with frisky determination, rubbing his hands together as he planned his attack on the fruit of the day.

Some days it was strawberry-rhubarb. He would cook batches of it on the stove: fresh rhubarb from the garden, strawberries, a little sugar to mellow it out. I couldn’t WAIT for strawberry-rhubarb season. I would spread it on my Wheaties, we’d have it on pancakes, and it was just the right amount of tart to put on vanilla ice cream.

Gordy knew how to savor.

Writer’s Block

Writer’s Block

I’ll be honest: resolution gives me writer’s block.

As an introvert, I write to process through the fog in my mind. Once the wave has swelled and spilled over onto the beach I can think of nothing else to say. To recap how high the wave became, what kind of splash it produced, and how far it creeped onto the beach is to report – and I am not a reporter.

Gordy has died.

Despite his having cancer, his death still came as a surprise to me. Not in the sense that I was denying the seriousness of his illness, but in the sense that just one week prior to his death he had been visiting relatives and eating lutefisk.

There was a funeral; there was family drama; and there were unspoken territories marked. But to recap that today seems like reporting.

And I am not a reporter.

Perhaps someday I will process through what all this has meant. Maybe I will even explore why it seems my grieving has died with Gordy.

But for now it is all behind me, and as much as I try to poetically script my thoughts into poignant essays, it all comes out as mere recorded events.

And I am not a reporter.

So I will quit trying, and let the grief catch up to me again.

All My Tears

All My Tears

Just today I received word that the cancer in Gordy’s lung has continued to grow. It has taken over half the lung, his lymph nodes, and possibly spread into his liver. He is very weak, and according to my mom, Gordy says he feels like he’s dying.

The doctors have narrowed his time with us down to weeks… maybe a couple months.

Ironically… or perhaps not… I was listening to Emmylou Harris this morning in the quiet before my daughter awoke, and the lyrics to one of her songs caught my ear. I’ve listened to her music over and over, and this song is not new to me. However, it usually remains in the meditative backround as I write or work.

This morning, before I knew of the saddening news of my beloved, God called my attention to the loving grace of knowing him and trusting him to receive our loved ones in death.

All My Tears
by Julie Miller

When I go don’t cry for me
In my father’s arms I’ll be
The wounds this world left on my soul
Will all be healed and I’ll be whole

Sun and moon will be replaced
With the light of Jesus’ face
And I will not be ashamed
For my savior knows my name

It don’t matter where you bury me
I’ll be home and I’ll be free
It don’t matter where I lay
All my tears be washed away

Gold and silver blind the eye
Temporary riches lie
Come and eat from heaven’s store
Come and drink and thirst no more

So weep not for me my friend
When my time below does end
For my life belongs to him
Who will raise the dead again

It don’t matter where you bury me
I’ll be home and I’ll be free
It don’t matter where I lay
All my tears be washed away

Peace

Peace

Have you ever felt like a sermon preached by a pastor was aimed right at you?

That he spent all week thinking about you, your life, your issues, then said to himself, “I’m going to preach a sermon for her?”

This morning’s sermon – preached by Pastor Mike — seemed particularly powerful to me. Again, there’s a lot of hormones running through my pregnant body these days which tends to cause crying over just about anything, but he really seemed to hit on some things I’ve been pondering.

From the time Gordy’s cancer went really downhill – when the tumors were found in his brain and the reality check in my head said this was the beginning of the end – I began to feel numb.

At least what I thought I felt was numbness, but the more I began to think about the Christian’s role in death the more I realized that what I felt was peace.

In Philippians 1:20-21 Paul says, “I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

Pastor Mike punctuated that passage by saying that in life we live FOR Christ, and in death we live WITH Christ.

Do we as believers value that Biblical Truth? Do I value that Truth?

Of course I don’t want Gordy to die. I want him to live so my children can grow up and know what a kind, gentle, and giving man he is. I want my children to know the man God used to restore me from a bitter and confused childhood. I want more time with him, to be teased by him, to be irritated by him at times for still seeing me as the teenager I was when I left home, to show him what kind of mom I’ve become because he loved me so unconditionally.

I grieve everything I will lose in his death.

But in death, he will gain so much.

And that is what I believe has given me peace.

When Simeon saw the baby Jesus at the temple on the day of his dedication, just eight days old, he said, “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all people, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel” (Luke 2:29-32).

Simeon was an old man who had waited his entire life for God’s promise of a savior to come, and when he saw the Christ child he knew the fulfillment of this Promise had been delivered, and he could die in peace.

How much more should we be at peace with death, since we know the end of the story? We know that Christ conquered death so we would not be mastered by it.

God is not like the plumber who was scheduled to work on my house, who postponed twice, then on the third appointment he never came and never called. He overbooked, or lost his calendar, or forgot to pencil me in, or misplaced my phone number, or whatever his excuse. I don’t know, because he never said. To this day he remains unseen and unheard. Needless to say, he will never work on my plumbing because I will now find a new plumber.

God shows up. God is with us. God is comforting me in my grief, and he is comforting Gordy as he travels on.

Waiting

Waiting

Before we decided to not hire a contractor to remodel our basement, we actually did hire the tall and loud contractor team that was in our home the night I found out Gordy had cancer. He was supposed to draw up the plans, submit them to the city for permitting, and get started on the project within a few weeks.

What I learned, and what I’m sure everyone who has undertaken a remodeling project has learned, is that these things never go as planned.

I bought a plane ticket on a Friday to leave for Minnesota that Sunday afternoon in May – Mother’s Day 2004. I took Ruthie with me but didn’t get her a seat, hoping she would sleep in my arms, which she did – for about half an hour.

I think that was the longest flight in my life for more than one reason.

Gordy was in round two of his six rounds of chemotherapy. My visit coincided with the “good” week of the three-week cycle. Since his cancer treatment began, the concept of a “good” week or a “good” day has taken on a new meaning for me.

Gordy’s hair began to fall out while I was there. Not that any of us are insensitive enough to care that he is bald, but the hair loss is a visual reminder of the illness. Once you see his bare head you know, you are reminded — even if he is having a “good” strong day where he seems to be his old self – the illness can’t be ignored.

I was very grateful for that visit, for that window into the early days of his fight against the imperfection and unfairness of our corrupt life on Earth. It made me think a lot about Adam and Eve and the blissful life they led, naked in the garden. How nice that would be today.

Back then, in May 2004, my mom was very optimistic about the future. I wanted to be optimistic, but something inside me left me heavy and foreboding. I hated the waiting, the wondering, the questions left unanswered. It drove me crazy that The Doctors didn’t give percentages or prognoses, that they didn’t say, “If you do X, the outcome will be Y.

I felt like that’s all we did that summer – waited. Six times, over the course of four and a half months, for three days in a row each time, nurses would inject powerful chemicals into Gordy’s veins.

And we would wait.

And we waited all summer, wondering what would happen.

I called home several times during that visit. The contractors were supposed to start their work while I was away, but we had heard nothing from them in over a week. I began to worry that he was flaking on us, and was grateful we hadn’t given him any money yet. Bryan sent a terse email requesting that he update us on the project, and he finally responded. He was waiting on word from the city regarding the permits, and would get started as soon as those came in.

So we waited for that as well.

The words of Psalm 40 came to mind: “I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry.” I wondered what it looked like to wait patiently, and what it looked like for God to hear my cry. Would the bad things go away? Or would I just feel comforted in the midst of the bad things? And was I wrong to feel that being comforted was worse than being delivered?

I was not afraid to ask these questions of God. But like The Doctors, God does not always give percentages or if/then statements.

I felt comforted then, and continue to feel comforted. And now it seems that deliverance by my definition is not to come. But I do not feel wronged by God, only that I am to continue to wait, and that he continues to hear my cry.

Although I’m still not sure what that looks like.

Flashback to April

Flashback to April

I had a team of contractors in my house when I found out the spot on Gordy’s lung was cancer. They were tall and loud and made my house seem small, but they liked my dog and thought my daughter was cute so we started off splendidly.

I don’t think I ever suspected the spot would be cancer. Perhaps it was denial, or maybe I didn’t let myself worry until there was something to worry about, or maybe it was denial. It seems that no matter how well you know the Capital T Truth of who God is and how he operates, one still has a tendency to believe good people will go through life relatively unscathed. Maybe that’s why Christ commands in Matt 5 for us to love our enemies, because the rain falls on both the righteous and the wicked.

You’d think after 33 years on this earth I would clue in to the weather patterns of God. It’s not like the Zoloft commercials on TV where the rain cloud follows the individual blob around while the rest of the blobs are having a great time sipping cocktails. No, in God’s weather patterns wicked people can be successful and righteous people can struggle.

This concept never really bothered me much until a family member was caught up in a hurricane. Then it kind of pissed me off. Then it kind of worried me that it pissed me off so much. Then I became less pissed and more trusting of Things I Don’t Understand. Then I began to feel a Star Wars-like force field around my thoughts because that pissed-off thing never happened again.

I remember that the most frequently asked questions I had during those first weeks were “Why?” and “What does that mean?” The first question I continually asked of God. The second was usually in response to my mom’s report on the latest CAT scan or visit to Dr. Duane. The second question usually implied — at least in my mind — secondary questions such as “What will make this go away?”

If only it were that easy.

The tall and loud contractors left my house, finally, but we never hired them even though they liked my dog and thought my daughter was cute. In fact, we decided to not hire a contractor at all, but have the work completed as smaller, more manageable task projects. It will be a labor of love requiring patience, and a lot of tolerance for Things Left Undone.

How appropriate.