It was 1:30 am following my surgery. After settling down from the anesthesia, my sister and I talked, laughed, and shared private feelings that had remained just that for years...private. For many of us, those feelings are tucked so deep in our hearts that they are protected from the words that might somehow give them a voice. Through that voice we and others can no longer deny them and our experience becomes our vulnerabilities..raw and exposed. That was how I felt as the events of the day finally silenced our conversation with the promise of rest. I knew that in the morning bandages would be removed and the reality of the last two weeks would no longer be able to elude me. I slipped into the restroom and while my sweet sister waited outside to help me back to bed I made the very personal decision to prepare myself by having my own private viewing. The tender mercies that had guided my path (which I will share at a later date) gave me the faith to know that I could do so without fear. As I peeked beyond the bandages, I was met with a dull sense of confusion that caused my lids to close quickly enough to spare my eyes from taking it in. I was grateful. I did not want to tell my sister but could feel the sadness and lonliness reaching out for expression. Silently I stood in the bathroom and prayed that the Lord would bless me with whatever I needed to move me through those emotions. I did not want to cry and I did not want my sister to cry so as she helped me into bed, we made small talk and committed to fall alseep. As I lay there trying to keep the sound of tears out of my voice so that she would allow herself to fall asleep, the face of a long lost friend appeared in the doorway of my hospital room. The three of us shared surprised greetings, my sister fell into a deep sleep evidenced by her breathing and I was left to visit with my friend.
It was 2:00 am but my friend explained that sleep had been elusive so he had made the decision to come see how I was. At first glance, I saw the kindness and compassion that had earmarked our friendship many, many years ago. We talked of my cancer, explored past experiences and shared heartfelt concern for difficult decisions we were each facing in our personal lives. Absent was the awkward humor used in attempts to avoid uncomfortable emotions or trite, polite conversations that our friendship often relied upon over the years. My awareness of the spirit in the room did not detract me from the whisperings of the Spirit telling me that my friend was the answer to the childlike pleadings of a grown women standing alone facing her greatest fear. And that after all these years of distance and despair, he was there for me.
Rather than share the details of our conversation, I would rather let the faith it strengthened in me weave itself through the pages of my story as it unfolds. Instead, I want my friend to know how grateful I was for his visit, his support, and for the manner in which he allowed me to experience the goodness of his heart as I knew it many years ago and for the peace it left me with. And I want him to know that I see him as a good man, a caring friend, and a loving father whose courage is strengthening his children when they need him to be there for them. And that by doing so...they are able to be there for me.
To the other ministering angels who were with me there before, during, and after my surgery..I express eternal gratitude and a heartfelt love that I have yet to find words with which to express. I am an hour past the time I promised my girls and sisters I would be asleep so I will end for now but I will post more tomorrow. Sweetest of dreams...Cyndi