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Amazed by Grace

I am amazed by so many things these days.  Mostly, I am amazed at Shelbie.

I am amazed at how she is handling this trial.  I am amazed at her strength, her courage, her ability to keep on going in face of ever increasing odds of this not ending well.

I am amazed that I am having a harder time than she seems to be.

I am amazed that once again, we are the ones having to wait this out for what really feels like unreal, unfair, unprecedented amount of time.

I am amazed at just how much the human spirit can handle.  I'm amazed at how much we can handle. I feel like I barely survived the life threatening infection of Spencer and Shelbie's stroke.  It seems entirely unbelievable that this is really happening.

I feel like I should be trying to capture some of our moments on video because they are so amazing; staggering to me.  I am finding it extremely hard to stay present.  Most of the time, I feel like I am viewing life from the corner of the room and just watching things unfold. In some ways, I don't even feel like I have control of my words, my thoughts, my anything.  I am doing everything in my power to just keep it together and so everything is a jumbled mess and I laugh at inappropriate times and cry for no reason and get angry over things less important than even spilled milk.

One of our moments happened late last night.  When the day finally unwound itself at about 11:30 pm, the kids were tired and hungry.  One of our traditions is to make runs to McDonalds at midnight, especially when the day has been hard.  It's not about the food as much as it is about laying around the living room, eating crappy food but devouring our love for each other and sorting life out.  It's the time when my kids are chatty and relaxed.  We have solved many a crisis over cheeseburgers at midnight.

Last night, after the hurricanes from the day blew over, I ran to McDonalds for snacks.  As we sat in our living room eating, I started choking on my tears.  Shelbie came and hugged me and Sam made fun of me!  Bless my boys for their unwavering humor!  I pulled it together and then Shelbie wanted to talk about what happens when people die.  For an hour we discussed death, the people we will be reunited with, the people we are racing to the finish line with...It was actually an uplifting and liberating conversation to actually talk about our biggest fear in life.  It's harder to pretend that everything is fine instead of just facing the fears head on.

We were all doing fine, even laughing at one point and out of the blue, Shelbie panicked!  With her eyes as big as could be, she said, "I can't breathe! I can't breathe!  What is happening to me?"   I fell to the floor and held her until the moment passed.

I was up another 2 hours and thought about how much I hate this.  I hate that this is what has become of us.  I went to bed just after 2am, angry as a hornet.  I woke up 3 hours later in tears.  Crying in my sleep, that's so awesome!  It hit me that maybe all of this waiting, all the chaos that gets stirred up in a day is a blessing.  I do think we are better off for talking about the very thing we want to run from.  I think it is good to have our fall aparts because it's easier to move forward.  So, maybe, as much as I want this time to be a little less messy, maybe it's just perfect and just right. By the time we do get an answer, we will have already experienced the worst in our minds so it can't possibly be worse than that.

We did receive the printed report yesterday on the CT scan and without a doubt, this is serious.  The lymph nodes are lining part of her renal system which explains her bad back pain and urine retention. Shelbie looked up the actual name of the lymph nodes the radiologist mentioned and it is, without a doubt, one of the first signs of metastasized cancer.  I can't read one more thing about this.  I'm still holding on to hope that this is something of a different nature; that it can be fixed.

I hope I can always find a way to be amazed by the grace of God we are seeing and not get so lost in the sorrow of it all.



  1. I am amazed. Thank you for sharing this journal and your incredible journey.


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