Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Blink and you'll miss it

The leaves on the trees behind our house are changing colour.  Fall is in the air.

It seems like just yesterday we heard the word "cancer" and the world catapulted into a fast-forward blur of doctors and hospitals and procedures and hours spent sitting on an uncomfortable chair, somewhere, watching my husband suffer.

But here's the thing.

It's not all gloom and doom and heaviness here.  Brad has the best smile, even when he's tired.  He's got a great laugh - my favourite is the laugh that gets surprised out of him.  It's not quite a giggle, but it's really close.

Right now, his pain is manageable, he's got a job that he can do from home (thank you thank you thank you Jesus) and we still love each other, truly madly deeply.  There's lots of lightheartedness here.

I just thought you should all know that, too.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

How we are held

Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?
We're asking why this happens?
It's unfair.

This is what it means to be held.
How it feels when the sacred is torn from your life
And you survive.
This is what it is to be loved.
And to know that the promise was
When everything fell we'd be held.

From the song "Held", recorded by Natalie Grant

Bill comes to the hospital the day of Brad's surgery, stays with us all day, helps me talk to the surgeon, buys me breakfast and then lunch.  When Brad is finally in his room at the end of that interminable day, a friend I haven't seen in much too long calls with an offer of supper, which she brings up to the room so we don't have to leave him.

Our pastor comes to the hospital, comes again.

Church friends come and pray.

Bill is there, and there again, and there again.

Brad's sister drives a thousand miles to be with us, helps us all feel somewhat normal.  Sits with Brad and looks at pictures and talks about exposure and light and f-stops when I cook, offers to make dinner the day it's all too much for me.

Food shows up, at our doorstep, in our freezer.

Friends come from Edmonton and spend the weekend working in our house, our yard, cleaning the garage, weeding the garden, listening and loving.

Email comes pouring in - people who are sorry, who are as stunned as we are, who want to help, who just want us to know they care.

And it all makes such a difference, in the middle of the night when I wake up to watch him sleep because he is here, he is still here.  In the middle of the night when the world is quiet and still, I feel them, like wings, like the breath I struggle to draw in against the fear, the prayers and good wishes and good deeds and tears you are all sending up for us, and to us, and breathing over us.

Thank you.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

So here's the thing

My husband is amazing.  He is even-keeled and pragmatic and faces what life hands him with seemingly little angst.  One of the cards someone has sent us in the past few weeks reads "Life's unexpected turns can be so hard to understand. " (or something similar) and Brad turned to me with genuine puzzlement on his face and asked me "I am supposed to be trying to understand why I have cancer?"

I laughed and said "No, darling, just be yourself."

We took a year off to travel, from May of 1990, to May of 1991.  We took two cameras, because we see life in different ways.

He's blogging over here:


I'm blogging here, still, but I won't be feeling like I have to smack a smile on my face and tell you how manageable life is, every single day, lest I be doing him some kind of disservice by coping differently from how he is.

And here's what I have to say, today.

We are held, and I find it both amazing and unsurprising that I love him more today than I ever have in our lives.