One of my clients is a young 6th grader who has experienced more loss and more trauma than any child should ever have to experience. One of my goals is to create the sense of trust that has been lacking in his life. My client is an intelligent young person who often retreats to the fantasies created by authors who spin stories of courageous warriors and the lives they touch. Following my diagnosis and treatment plan, I thought of the potential impact for each of my clients. This young person topped my list as I thought of all the losses he had experienced and the relationship I had established. As a result, I chose to talk about my illness and convey some sense of reassurance. After questions about the illness, losing my hair, and my health for a while were satisfied, this sweet young person turned to me and said..."I know a lot about loss. I know it is scary and I know that it is so hard to understand..." And then he said the words that continue to resonate in my heart. With the eagerness of age, my client turned to me and with wisdom that surpasses most adults said "...so I can help you Cyndi." And my hope is that with that statement my client will begin to process and understand the grief that is causing such disruption in a young life. And by doing so, I believe that truly, I will be helped as well.
I am less than a week away from starting chemotherapy. The feelings I have remind me of the days leading up to Mitch leaving on his mission. I knew he was going to leave; I wanted him to leave, and I believed in the good that would result from him leaving. But every ounce of a mothers heart was screaming to have him stay. During the last few days, the emotional conflict I experienced felt overwhelming. I wanted it but I didn't want it. I wanted him to go but I didn't want him to leave. And yet, in spite of the many emotions running rampant in my heart, I knew that the day was going to come and he was going to leave. Even as I sat next to him at the MTC, everything in me was saying "I can't do this, I can't let you go" even though there was really no choice. He was going. (I remember driving home thinking "the church can't be true...this is just too hard! :-)") That is how I am feeling about starting chemotherapy. I want to but I don't want. I want to make time stand still but it won't. I want to turn and run but there is no where to go. And inspite of all the emotions running rampant through my heart...next Wed. I will start chemotherapy. I will be sick, I will cry, I will fight depression...I will want to give up. And many of the dreams I have fought to become reality may be put on hold. That feels like a lot of loss to me...
With that said, I have to remind myself and each of you for the hard days ahead of what I know. I know that there is not a single loss that can occur in this life that the Lord cannot restore. Maybe not in the way we might expect but certainly, that He keeps his promise. I know that trials are for the purpose of guiding us to the strength, courage, and faith that we forget we possess. I know that while He cannot often lift our burdens, He can strengthen our backs so that we can bear them. I know that when we have faith and trust...the Lord is always on time. I know that it is the humanness in each of us that wants to rush the process leaving us feeling that the Lord has forsaken us. I know that this is not true..that He is always on time..His time.
I want each of you to know that it is because of the love of family, friends (those I have met and those I have not) and my Father in Heaven that I am able to have this knowledge. I am humbled in ways I have never before experienced by the goodness that is in my life right now. For strangers who freely give, for sisters who love me and make me laugh, for daughters who remind me of who I am, for sons who honor me, for friends who feed me..physically, emotionally, and spiritually, for colleagues who build me up, for parents who give me hope, for sons-in-law who love and accept me and love my daughters, for grand-children who keep me young, for clients whose courage inspires me, and most important for the loving arms of a Heavenly Father that, when the darkness of the night scares me, wrap me in the security that all will be well.
So my check in is this...physically, I feel strong in spite of the illness attacking my body, emotionally, I am humbled and serene, spiritually, I am loved. My commitment is that I will "remember", and my affirmation is...
"I will accept this opportunity to handle and face this situation that I long to run from."
Love and gratitude always...Cyndi