Friday, August 11, 2006

lunchtime discussion

A friend took me out to lunch today to celebrate the fact that I do not have breast cancer. It was our first chance to really talk since I told her that I’d found a lump. In the interim time, my sweet mother-in-law passed away, my friend went on a vacation to Denmark and England, and I had surgery and got my pathology results.

It was a busy July!

In our conversation, we got to talking about how surprisingly hard it is when someone you love dies… even when you know it is coming. Interesting that she brought it up when I’d been contemplating this issue over the last few weeks.

When my beloved Daddy died, we knew it was coming. The doctors told us all that there was nothing else to be done… to prepare him and us for the inevitable… and that it could be at any time. For 9 months, every single time Mama called, I knew it was going to be “The Call to let me know he was gone. We prayed for his suffering and pain to end. My expectation was that when it really was The Call, I’d feel relief that his suffering and pain were finally over. How wrong I was!

When The Call came, it was my sister on the phone… and my heart broke with the shocking amount of pain and sadness and loss. It took a long time to grieve and come to terms with the loss of Daddy. (see my thoughts on Daddy here: In Loving Memory )

In January of this year, they started preparing us for my sweet mother-in-law’s passing. In March, she stopped eating. They told us it would be a matter of days. Once again, I thought we would feel the relief of her suffering being at an end. I was even angry at times that she lingered… why prolong this agony for her? Please, I prayed, just take her home.

When The Call came in July, I was once again shocked at how heartbreaking the pain and sadness and loss were. We are still in the grief process and the pain is still quite fresh.

My friend said similar things about how she expected to feel relief at the end of the suffering when her Daddy passed. How she was surprised at the pain and sadness.

We talked about that for a while and then I told her what I’d been thinking about all this.

I think it’s painful because we are designed to be a hopeful people. We hope for the best outcome in every single thing in life.

We hope for a cure for cancer.
We hope for our children to grow into responsible citizens.
We hope that we go to heaven.
We hope that …
We hope that …
We hope that … you fill in the blanks… you know them as well as I do.

In these situations, we hope against all that we know… that there will be a medical miracle and that beloved person lives.

It is my belief that God designed us to be hopeful. As a Christian, I believe in the hope of eternity in heaven because Christ gave that to me. (I know others believe differently, but this is my blog, so I’m writing about what I believe and think here.)

Being designed as a hopeful people is a great thing. It allows us to persevere and grow and continue to push ourselves to learn and become more than we thought we could be.

It allows me to trust God for the hope that I need for each day and for my eternity.

My friend and I talked about some weighty issues today.

Fear.

Trust.

Grief.

Loss.

Hope.

God.

Heaven.



It was a great lunchtime.

…may there be mercy as I hope… always.

3 comments:

The Surly Bookseller said...

I wish I'd been part of that conversation, Cheri!

Love you to pieces....

Jennifer Olwin said...

I love your talk of hope. There is so much set against hope in this life, but how impossible to actually live without it.

And I hope & pray you're getting more sleep! and that you and your family find comfort in your grief.

with love,

Jenna

Carrie said...

Hope..

pretty much all we have isn't it...? Thankfully! It sustains us in our darkest moments, brings us joy and eases our sorrow..

My hope is for happier days ahead, for all of us..

Love Carrie