Friday, December 13, 2013

When things fall apart...



From the book "Looking for Alaska,"
by John Green

"Everything that comes together falls apart."  Everything… The chair I am sitting on.  It was built, and so it will fall apart.  I'm going to fall apart.  And you're going to fall apart.  The cells and organs and systems that make you-they came together, grew together, and so must fall apart."

"The Buddha said that suffering was caused by desire, and that cessation of desire meant cessation of suffering. When you stop wishing things wouldn't fall apart, you'd stop suffering when they did." 

John Green reads like a modern day Judy Blume to me.  His novels are the movie equivalent of Sixteen Candles, or The Breakfast Club, back in my own formative years.  I'm finding his Young Adult novels to be highly engaging and can see why they are earning national Book Honors galore- they take me right back to those years. 


Even with Rick leaving for Idaho after being gone for 4 days, it seems earlier this week, that it will be an uneventful week.  

When the dull ache from the suspected bulging disc in my back begins to work overtime, it tells me we're in for more snow, and I'm not in for much Christmas decorating. 

So I started my week by just caving to it- spending time reading, addressing Christmas cards, and resting.  

Then plans to spend time with a friend fall through for Wednesday.  Rick gets half way to Idaho and the roads are impassable and he has to turn around half-way there, and drive all the way home.  

 I discover the new lump on my chest on Thursday.  Actually, it seems like the old one- newly asserting itself.  Here we go- again.

So I call Dr. Panwalkar.

And he's gone- doing outreach at another hospital hours away.

I feel myself falling.  Apart.  

So I fall.  Slowly- then all at once.  

I am quiet. Reflective. Sorrowful. Prayerful.  

Wanting to hear from Him.

Wanting to just- hear.

"When you stop wishing things wouldn't fall apart, you'd stop suffering when they did."

I fall asleep meditating on these words.




Friday, I hear from Dr. P's nurse.

I will see him Tuesday.  We'll go over everything then.

As I'm speaking with her, the doorbell rings.

Moments later I open a box addressed to me.  I'm flooded with emotion when I see the beautiful words. 

Suddenly- 

I'm seeing.  I'm hearing.

Thank you Eileen!  Your timing is impeccable and you've touched me so.



But that's not all.  Just look at this.  Another box addressed to me...



And as I loosen the tape on the heavy box, my eyes see all of this.  Holy abundance!  Nancy- you've touched me so! The boys were so excited when they arrived home from school and dove in instantly.  Thank you!  


I've barely closed the door when the doorbell rings again.  My sweet friend Nichole is standing there with this- homemade goodies from her church group.  Her beautiful daughter pictured in the card.  


"Go tell it on the mountain…" echoes through my head.  

I see.  I hear.  

Fall apart.

Surrender.

And Embrace. 





34 comments:

  1. So thankful for the love that encompasses you from so many different sources.

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    1. So thankful to have you amongst all of them Susan- grateful indeed :)

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  2. loving you from here dear one...xo

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  3. from all around, love and hope and strength surround you. that's why falling apart doesn't happen. thinking of you as always....xo

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    1. I feel it too Beth- I really do- it always amazes me and encourages me so :)

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  4. And God knew a fall apart day was coming and so prompted the hearts of some of those who love you to send sunshine in the midst of the deepest clouds. So glad for the warmth they brought. I just finished Looking for Alaska and it was a very moving book and I found a lot of depth in it though extreme sadness. Hannah loved Fault in Our Stars by him but I was so angry with the hopelessness in that book that I railed around and cried for an hour and lamented reading it. I have a little more perspective now and am trying to dig out the nuggets but it was too much for me. I would love to hear more about what YOU loved about the books. Maybe you could write a post about it. I think I need some insight. Wish you didn't have to wait until Tuesday and, because of work, I'm sorry Rick got turned around but it sounds like you need him and, God knew that, too. Big hugs, Vicky.

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    1. Robynn- sometimes I can separate the content from the writing itself. What sings to me is Green's use of words and how evocative and provocative they are. What resonated with me about Fault in Our Stars was how so many times, it felt like an authentic cancer experience. I was shaking my head yes, thinking, has Green had cancer? How does he know how to portray this so well? It can be that gut-wrenching at times- and I loved that Green didn't shy away from that. In a nutshell that was what propelled me all the way through without getting overly distraught- I couldn't shy away from the truth of just how fickle cancer can be and how none of us ever know when it will be our turn. I do feel like last week went exactly how God intended it to- and once again- me letting go of how I thought it was going to go- and letting Him be in the lead was the best way through it all. Much love to you Robynn! I know this only scratches the surface of what you yourself would uncover about these books :) That is why I love you so!!

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    2. Vicky, I agree with you take on his writing. It is profound. And he DOES seem as if he MUST have experienced cancer or been very close to someone who has. I think it ripped at me from a mother's perspective because they were all kids and parents watching kids and we were so worried about Hannah during that time. But it gave VOICE to so much that I finally settled there and can now think of it in that way. Hannah and I had very vigorous discussions about "Fault" and she helped me to see things from a different perspective. Thank you for taking the time to let me know your thoughts. I'm looking in and squinting. You're looking out - wide eyed. You definitely get the last word and I wish with all my heart you didn't have this insight from a first-person point of view. LOVE YOU!

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  5. Vicky, God knows just when you need to be uplifted. And, your doorbell rang just at that perfect moment. He knows! And He knew that you needed Rick to be at home too. When I saw that mug, I heard a voice tell me to send it to you. So, I did. I'm happy to know that it touched you as I hoped it would. My twin daughters names are Hope and Joye. And, whenever I get discouraged their names remind me that hope is a gift from God that can bring joy in the midst of very difficult circumstance. Thinking of you sweet friend and sending love and prayers your way.

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    1. So grateful for the blessing of your friendship Eileen! You truly did touch me, and on the day I needed it most :) I love that you were so intentional with the names of your beautiful twin girls! Its such a lovely reminder and I am certain it has been a blessing to you and so many others throughout the years! Love to you Eileen!

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  6. The days I do not hear from you - I miss you, When I "hear" from you I am the one that is encouraged by your faithfulness, courage, and thankfulness in "All things". May you not worry about decorations and obligations, but be filled with messages of encouragement, gifts of thoughtfulness, prayers and petitions for healing and strength, and time, more time to embrace and share your journey with me. God is so near, so present, so alive in you.

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    1. Kathy- so sweet of you to show up here and offer me such encouragement! What a beautifully expressed note to me and I am truly touched and honored. I always hope and pray that I am somehow living His purpose for my life, and if some small thing I say helps someone else, than I hope it helps shine a light back on Him. Thank you for your kindness!

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  7. You are the strongest woman I know Vicky. I'm always thinking of you.

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    1. Lisa- that is awfully high praise coming from super bike woman!! When I think of strength- your face certainly comes to mind :) Thank you for those thoughts- always!

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  8. You have the best friends and family, Vicky.
    I am thankful for them and for you.
    Love you,
    Jackie

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    1. I am a blessed woman- no doubt - Jackie and you are one of those blessings that makes me feel just that! Love you dear one!

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  9. I love reading about how friends are blessing you at just the right moments in wonderful ways. The family of God working together as He leads to make sure you are reminded of how special you are, and how loved you are.

    I just read something by Elisabeth Elliot - a quote: "You are loved with an everlasting love, and underneath are the everlasting arms".

    These strong arms will carry you through.

    I'm so thankful for your friends, for your doctor, and for this space. Be encouraged that so many are holding you up in prayer to the Father.

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    1. I am so encouraged by all of you Susan- I have no words. I struggle with feeling worthy of so much and finding a way sometimes to ensure I am paying it forward. I love the Elliot quote- oh my- everlasting is another word that speaks to me- thank you for sharing that with me! xxoo

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  10. P.S. This Alaskan born and bred girl might have to check out that book!

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    1. I've just been on Amazon for something else, and took a look for this book. I have to laugh - this is not a book about Alaska my home State at all! :-)

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    2. Susan, I bought this book for the same reason thinking I was going on an Alaskan adventure. Wrong. :)

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  11. Bless you wonderful lady. You are amazingly strong, with people all around you, sending you encouragement and strength on those rare occasions when yours falters. Thoughts and prayers.

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    1. Oh I do falter- and I feel so grateful to have so much understanding and support when I do :) Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

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  12. The Buddhist teacher Steven Levine says that pain (physical and psychological) are inevitable but it is our resistance to and internal struggle against what is that turns it into suffering. Easy for him to say! :) However, when you think of all the life energy that goes into that internal struggle against having anything fall apart, you realize that by just dealing with what happens (the pain) you can conserve a lot of life energy needed for both physical, psychological and spiritual healing.

    You are such a wonderful example of someone experiencing pain - witnessing it turn into suffering - and then remembering you have a choice and coming back out of suffering to deal with the flow of life as it presents itself, Vicky. Thank you.

    I'm reading a great book that expresses all that YOU embody and want to embody, called, The Untethered Soul by Springer. I think of your courageous example as I read. Springer offers so many practical tips on how to surrender into practice.

    Sending love and wishes for healing from across the continent. xoxo

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    1. Oh Bonnie- I love that so- it feels so spot on! True- its not easy- but sometimes just recognizing the ability to do so and then choosing to do so (surrendering to what is) can make all the difference. I have to go check out your book- I so love that word "untethered." Thanks for the suggestion and all the insight you so generously share- I miss those posts of yours as I learned so much! Love to you friend- thanks for your encouragement! xxoo

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  13. Well, it is not a coincidence at all that those things showed up right when you needed the encouragement. (and could that card with the little shepherd be any cuter??)

    Sending extra prayers this weekend. Not only that you would feel better physically but that you would have some peace of mind as you wait to see Dr. P and that you would be able to enjoy your family this weekend.

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    1. Nope- you are so right- not a coincidence at all :) I know- that little card is always near where I can see it! Thanks for the extra prayers- ready for tomorrow now- busy weekend and now I'm sitting in front of the sparkling tree and everything else is just on the side, you know?

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  14. Vicky, what a example you are to me... on the power of allowing ourselves to feel every emotions! To deal with every emotion we have ..is to be able to face what is happening in our lives. PTSD is the denial of emotions...To heal from horrific things one has been a part of or seen...we first must allow ourselves to truly face every feeling...so many people hide...me included...but to truly win the battle over self...I have come to realize it is to TRULY allow ourselves to FEEL all we feel and not hide from it...then and only then..can we face, have control, peace or as you embrace all that is around us...this I believe is the biggest gift you are teaching us all. So thankful for those precious packages that came to your door when you needed them most. and I loved what everyone else wrote!! many prayers surrounding you much love and big hugs sweet sweet Friend!

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    1. Thank you Peggy Sue- well I still have my less than desirable moments- but I have definitely learned the value of feeling and then it allows me to release and I quickly find I can move on. Otherwise the feelings will still come out- but more explosive and way less positive :) Hugs to you friend!

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  15. Vicky, I don't often comment, but I want to tell you that I send you the very best thoughts for a holiday season filled with good memories for you and your family. You are very blessed to have so many people who think of you and offer gifts of their love and other things as well.

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  16. Dear Vicky, I hate it when I fall away for a time and miss your beautiful posts, when I feel so connected to what I'm experiencing that I disconnect from others, necessarily, and yet wishing I could be all to all I love. I hope that you are feeling better and more equipped and hopeful. You are in my thoughts....XXOO

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  17. Well as usual you bring tears to my eyes.
    I do believe in all that you have said and sometimes the belief in this ideology enhances the power to beat what ails you.
    Our body is a miracle. We just don't know how to use all of its' power to heal us.
    I am glad you are taking time to do what makes you happy and have so many good friends nearby who care and love you. I love the back ground you put on your blog. Such streets seem friendly and warm. There will be plenty of time for Christmas decorating. The blessing is that Mom is there to share it with them. My prayers are with you Vicky as well as wishes for a full recovery. They have a new treatment for lymphoma where they fix your blood so it knows how to identify cancer cells and kill them.
    Ask Dr Panwalker about this.It was on the news. Stage 4 patients recover fully.
    xoxoxox

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  18. Vicky, tonight you are in my thoughts and prayers! Its been a very busy day around here again. And once more we got some snow. They said flurries, but Ideclare that was another half a inch on the ground
    I have been reminded very forcefully this evening that i need to say extra prayers for you tonight! God know why, tho we dont. May you find him near and dear to you this holiday season. Love you much!

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I welcome what you have to say. Thanks for taking the time to grace me with your thoughts and words!

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