Tuesday, February 9, 2016

What do you say?

How do we ever know what to say to someone who has just had the rug ripped out from beneath them?  Especially when their "hard thing," may be so vastly different from your own experience?  If we can't fix it, and can't take it away, what do we say to them? 

"Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried."  Megan Devine 

“It’s too much to bear – may I sit with you and bear it with you?”Marilyn Gardner


I've given my highlighter a work out.  I've been reading, and storing up these bits and phrases that speak to me. They're real, and speak authentically to me.


My gratitude swells every time someone steps forward to "bear it," with me.  My friends organized a meal train- and within a short time- its full!  With my own limited ability to eat much on some days, I love knowing my boys get a full belly of a really good meal, several times a week. 


Truth be told, indefinite weekly chemo is not something I think I'll grow accustomed to.  A few days after infusion, as I start to regain some energy again as the drugs leave my system, my counts fall.  Then back down I go.  I've yielded to our bed more than I'd like to say.


But in between?  Friends just stop by, bringing cookies they've just baked, or banana bread. One sweet friend, brings me a scarf with hearts, to brighten my day, and make up (that I happen to love!) and a new shampoo system that helps you grow hair!  And she sits, and listens, and nods, and gets it perfectly right.  And that warmth that she instills, carries with me, as I crawl back into bed later. 







And this one?  He yields with me.  His knowing eyes, that SEE me, as he endures the side effects of his own medications trying to squelch the epileptic seizures that wreak havoc on all of us.  They're traumatizing for us to watch him go through, but we've made it through every one of them. We gather around him, cajoling him, whispering his name, and thanking God when he suddenly comes back to us, panting, but weakly wagging his tail, telling us he's back.  We bear it with him, as much as he does with us.






Because through the thick of it all, the bright moments are still shining through.  Like when Colton comes home and quietly lays this certificate on the kitchen table.  The table is a mess, filled with blank thank you notes I plan to write, and lists of people to write to, and items we need to replace- the mess of our life on clear display. 

But through it all- the light shines bright and seems to always highlight the things that matter most. The ones that see you through.  Because it tells me he, my baby,  is doing okay- despite how not ok it all feels at times.

(He won't pose for a picture with it, but he beamed when I noticed it, and that I'll carry with me always.)


And yet, we're stepping forward, no matter how much the chaos swirls round.  With the help of members from our hockey community and Rick's Dad, Jim, we've found help to lay our floor.  We're using the maple flooring, pulled from Rick's Grandpa's and Grandma's farmhouse.  The 120-some-year-old house is gone now, but the beautiful reclaimed wood bears the prairie dirt, the dust of harvested crops, the footprints of all the ancestors to have gone before us.  It's breathing new life, while building a storied and sturdy foundation to carry us all forward.


This boy, our Nolan, won't pose for pics either.  But he gives me this most treasured moment.  Its a long story, years in the making.  About a boy, and a Spud puck given to him by the head coach at that time, and how he at 3 years old, tucked it in bed with him, and dreamed big dreams of where that puck love could take him.

And this mom?  Held fast to those dreams of his too.  Yet, I don't long for the grandiose, the big, the bucket list worthy type of things.  I long for the small, the little, the milestones my boys will encounter and the ability to bear witness to as many of those as I can.  

Like this... his first...




Varsity goal.  


And as if everything conspired to align that night... the tv sports cameraman, caught it all on tape... and it aired on the news that night.  Number 27, (our Nolan) with help from a seasoned number 22 who so beautifully executed the pass, shot and scored his first "Spud goal," a few weeks ago.

And I cried, tears of joy, and celebration, of yet another milestone I got to bear witness to.  


untitled from Vicky Westra on Vimeo.

And that moment when it all comes full circle.

When that "little" boy, becomes a young man, and pays it forward.

Yesterday, that same boy, (Far right in the back) went with the team, and surrounded these "mini-spuds," in hopes that they too will dream those big Spud dreams.





Rick left for Idaho for a week, I have infusion today.  

Ob la di, Ob la da, life goes on...


29 comments:

  1. I always like to read of your sons accomplishments! And wish daily thepat I could just be there for you! Hugs to you as you do infusupion and deal with the after effects it has on your body. Love you dear!

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    1. So wonderful to see you here, Verna! Every time you show up to just play a game with me- I feel connected to you, Verna- you do more for me than I could ever express to you. Love you so!

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  2. so proud of the boys! Life...up-down and in-between...so beautiful xo sending love ~

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    1. Thankful for your most gracious words and all the love I always feel from you- sending love right back to you sweetest of friends~

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  3. Oh my dear sweet friend,
    What a life lesson- "It's too much to bear. May I sit and bear it with you?" I am so grateful for the meal train that keeps teenage boys feeling full, for those that sit with you in person and bring over banana bread for you to feast on, for
    how you help come along side me and help me bear the hurts in my own life. All of this support and love and care is like a breath of God's spirit blowing into our hearts.

    Know that as I pray for you each morning, and you come to mind during the day,I am wanting to bear this with you, my friend. And such light, a puck and a goal caught on TV and a Student of the Month certificate!! God's goodness abounds...even in the hard times. Especially in the hard times.

    Love you to the moon and back...Vicky Held Westra!!
    Hugs and loves and prayers! Linda

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    1. So much love to you, Linda! Your words are so poetic and bless me so. I love to come back, again and again, and use your words to lift my spirits. I'm grinning ear to ear by the time I read through them yet one more time!

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  4. Beautifully said, beautiful heart. Thank you for sharing the real and the hopeful and the daily. We all want to fix it. None of us can. But we can hope and pray for the cure, and, in the meantime try to be worthy of sitting in your space with you as we can and as you need us to. Congratulations to your young men who reflect the hearts raising them. Love you.

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    1. Such beautifully articulated thoughts and words- I start to read them aloud as they are poetic and lyrical when I do. Such a gift you have and I feel so honored that you take the time to come here and read and support so beautifully, always! Thankful for you!

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    2. You always give back, Vicky, and thank you for AS ALWAYS encouraging ME. Love so much that you purpose to respond back to all of us and I know that is a gift and a sacrifice. Had to come over just in case there was a reply and of course saw Crosby's dear face that does not tug at my heartstrings but positively wraps me in them and binds me. What a gift these pups of ours are and that you travel together down his road and your own is beyond tender. Gotta stop or I'll just be a blubbering mess.

      And then to think of ALL the memories on that wood and that you will continue to trod the boards that have so many reverberations of times past, loving and life, and it goes on and on in your home. This was a multi-layered post that deserved more pondering. Thank you. Feeling pretty emotional here right now. Just prayed for you and you know you cross my mind and heart often.

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  5. Oh, my stars. I had to really really look for your "boy" in that picture! He looks like a grown man, and I know you're so proud.

    I think there will never be a time that you grow accustomed to weekly chemo - because it just should never be something someone has to grin and bear. As always, I love how you choose to highlight the positive moments.

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    1. Melissa- I know- he truly is more man than boy in most cases! And yes- I am purposefully culling the positive moments out of the hard and trying to cling to those and hope that some of those become the things we carry forward with us.

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  6. Your boy looks like a grown man, and what a very decent fellow, too. You done good, mom. Life goes on...and despite the hard parts, I'm glad you're living it full.

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    1. He is very grown, and I have to stop and remember he is still 15, so that my expectations of him are in line with him at times. Thanks for your most gracious words!

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  7. Big congratulations to your sons - I am thrilled for then, and YOU.

    I am sad about your doggy, but glad he is with you still, and has your loving care during the seizures.

    Vicky, you communicate so well to us what you are experiencing, which in turn helps us to lift you up in prayer, the best way possible. Thanks for keeping us up to date on YOU. Because ... we love you.

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    1. I'm so grateful, Susan, you use my experiences to pray for me- that truly touches me that you are so intentional and thoughtful. Loving you right back- so blessed by you!

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    2. Thinking of you this a.m.and checking back ... hugs to you and have a wonderful weekend and Valentine's day <3

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  8. I so love all the pictures - your sweet dog, the congratulatory notes, the spud pucks, the adorable hockey guys - light shining through in every one! Love and hugs to you.

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    1. Thank you for loving us as you do- and so grateful you see light shining- I'm sifting through everything to see it and savor it myself. Love and hugs right back to you!

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  9. Every time I read your blog, I'm right there with you. You have a beautiful way of including us in your world. Loved seeing the tidbits of your home and heart. And like I mentioned, you keep floating through my thoughts.

    I'm praying.

    So much love~

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    1. I loved getting that message about me floating through your thoughts- I have had that happen and always use it as a sign to pray. So much love to you- am looking forward to coming to read soon!

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  10. The love in your family touches the depths of my heart.
    I love being here with you.
    I feel close to all of you even though we've never met.
    You have the greatest guys....absolutely.
    And they have a great Mom and wife.
    Love you so much,
    Jackie

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    1. Jackie, I can so easily say "ditto" to you about your family! I treasure our bloggy friendship and think if we were to ever meet, it'd be like seeing an old friend! Love you so much!

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  11. You are such a good writer, you really keep it real. I will pray for you.

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    1. Thank you, Jane, so kind of you and I truly appreciate it!

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  12. you have so many reasons to be the proudest mom!!! i love reading about all of the accomplishments any of you have!!!

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  13. Your son has a beautiful smile and looks almost like a grown man. It's wonderful that you are celebrating the milestones and giving them the very important things that they will carry always. You should be proud. And the floors? Wow, how special.
    I'm sorry you're having to deal with the ongoing chemo, but glad to still hear your joy through your words. Sending a hug.

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  14. Hi my friend,
    You have been on my mind and heart, dear Vicky. You're in my prayers today,
    and I'm asking God to hold you up, give you strength and a sense of His presence.
    Love you to the moon and back!
    Linda

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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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