Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Something to Grab Onto

Ana swings across the monkey bars like my little chimp, bounding across the rungs – proudly reaching the other end. Noah displays an intrinsic technique on a climbing wall, pulling himself up from one hand and foot hold to the next – surprised to find himself tens of feet up in the air.
We are born into a continuous climb called life. So much so that to cease the ascent invites demoralization, if not depression.
All of this becomes intensified – as does every other instant in life – when our existence is threatened. Carefree suddenly turns into precarious. I am seeing this play out yet again, more painfully than ever, in my Papa’s relentless disease progression.
Since the day that he was diagnosed a mere 7 weeks ago, it has been nothing but bad news. That first biopsy result was like a knockout punch that sent him down to the mat. Every time that he has tried to get up, there has been another blow. Sometimes he has barely been up on his knees again before he is pummeled back down.
Yet, it is when we are down – more than ever – that we need something to grab onto, a handhold to clutch. It is the hope that carries us through every day of our lives. It’s why we get up in the morning, why we save, why we have children, why we dream and make plans, why we pray to God, why we love, why we….
Why we live our lives.
Papa has had precious little to grab onto. There hasn’t been much for him to pin his hopes on.
My cancer experience was very different. Most of my news after the shock of the initial pancreatic cancer diagnosis was very good. A successful surgery with clean margins, good responses to chemo and radiation, clean Cat scans, a still efficient digestive system – each a major blessing. Compared to many, it was very easy for me to maintain a positive and hopeful attitude.
My Papa barely ever had a chance. He is now home for hospice care. He is thankfully without major pain but wasting away before our eyes. As he keeps saying – it is unbelievable. Too many of you know this.
We appreciate all of your love, prayers and good thoughts. Grant him peace.

I have been thinking even more about James Taylor’s words (below). Please do.

“Shower the people you love with love
Show them the way that you feel
Things are gonna be much better
If we only will”

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