Thursday, September 22, 2011

Waiting to exhale...

 “Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” – The Wonder Years

“Some of us think holding on makes us strong, but sometimes it is letting go.” — Herman Hesse

I've been in a bubble, a mourning and grief filled space... just waiting to exhale.  But my sweet Sara lingers, for whatever purpose there is left to fulfill.  It isn't for me to question... only accept and work my way through it.  

So I watch my phone for updates, or fb, or my growing list of Gitz friends, that have come together because of her.  I sit in complete awe as her legacy plays out over the internet.  Her blog following has nearly doubled in the past week.  And the internet is alight with a Gitz glow, only a luminescent spirit such as hers could give off.  I feel the joy come through in those moments of clarity.  

I've been pouring through my emails with her.  Gmail tells me we have 100's of them.  I've discovered so many things.  Its like I've been reading a novel, a novel come to life, thats played out over the course of three years. From early on, I knew the "novel" would have a conclusion.  I knew it would end with a broken heart.  Mine.  I signed on anyway, loving her the way she allowed so many of us to do. Its been an epic read- I always knew it would be. 

But the biggest discovery I've made after going through hundreds of emails,  is that she has left me with everything I needed.  No words left unsaid, no questions unanswered.  She gave me all that I would need to move forward.  And so, slowly, I am trying to release her.  To let my breath out, exhale...  so I can  fill again... 

 In Sara's own words after my breast cancer diagnosis...

Oh, Vicky... 

if there is one thing I could encourage you to do is to allow yourself to really feel this. 

And then pick yourself back up, just like you're doing. 

I find I work through the moments so much better when I let myself feel the hurt or frustration or whatever as it comes and give myself a length of time to just be overwhelmed by it. 

It's a release of all that negative energy that you don't want to store up inside of you... think of it as letting it out to make room for all the strength Jesus is waiting to fill you with. 

I live by those kinds of imageries and letting it out so He can fill you is a good part of the process.


Dr. Bouton says I need one more surgery.  So on Wednesday next week he will close my wound and put a new drain in it to speed along the healing.  It should only take an hour and if it goes well I'll be back at home the same day.  But first, I need to have chemo on Tuesday.  

I long to go to Iowa for Sara's service, whatever the day will be...  Nobody wants to miss the epilogue to their favorite book, and god willing, neither do I...  


  1. Sara's friendship was certainly an amazing and timely gift to you - as was yours to her. You, too, have such a unique, wise, balanced perspective that must have been very grounding and comforting to her. Sounds like you were real kindred spirits. How lucky she was to have had this relationship with you in her last 3 years. And through the gift of your e-mail files you have the record of all of the wisdom she shared with you! Kismet!

    Take care of yourself Vicky. Hope the reparative surgery goes well and that it solves the problem.

    You are always in my heart and not far from my mind.

  2. Oh Vicky,

    what a sad and also wonderfull post. Sara will ever be a special person in your life and she will always look of you.


  3. Bonnie said it perfectly. :)
    What a blessing you have both been to each other! You are both so unique and so filled with grace as you have each handled your lot. I have been praying for you and thinking of you friend. Thank you for being such a light to me even in the middle of all you are going through. You are something else, girl! Thanks for letting Him shine through you so much. Hope things go smoothly and you begin healing soon. :)

  4. Thank you, Vicky! I getting older, and maybe a tiny bit more wiser than I used to be . . . but I still don't know which is the harder of the two -- to hold on or to let go. It's ironic, those two. When we need to hold on, we want to let go. And when we need to let go, we hold on so very tightly. For me, it all boiled down to trust and hope. And where we place our trust and hope is what gives us the strength to let go when we are called to do so. It's all centered in Him who loves us beyond what we can ever measure or understand!

    I'll be praying for you, Vicky. I always do!

  5. Beautifully said, Vicky, and thank you for sharing Sara's advice. It's SOOOOO good. People (and that includes we ourselves) want to fix us and move past the gaping chasm that is serious illness and/or pain. It is an uneasy place to be - a sometimes frightening place. But we can never run from the monster and must stand and face it. When we do, then we can know and leave the space open that was filled by that fear or sadness, as Sara so adroitly pointed out.

    I wish I could go with you to Iowa. My parents were married in Cedar Falls and both my sibs were born in Iowa. I feel a certain connection with her city, not to mention a heart connection with Sara. Thank you for another post-from-your-heart. I'm so sorry you're facing yet another surgery and chemo just the day before. Surely you are gold, girl. You are certainly being refined by the fire.

    I hope to call you later today. Love you.

  6. Vicky...I thank you for the quotations at the beginning of your blog. It is hard to let go...and reminding me that letting go is sometimes the strongest thing I can do is invaluable to me.
    I hold your hand as you go to chemo on Tuesday...and will do the same as you have your surgery on Wednesday. I hope that always feel loving prayers that surround you. You are a dear dear friend....
    just as Sara is to are to me...and to countless others.
    (Notice...I use "is" and not "was"... No past tense here....Sara is and always will be...and you are always will be.)
    God continues to shine through you.

  7. I am continuing to pray for you and for your friend. What beautiful words she sent you. And I think she might be right, and it's not something that I have done myself but maybe need to.

    So sorry about that surgery - I know it won't be fun, but I pray that it goes smoothly.

  8. Letting go is hard to do especially in this case. I truly believe Sarah is closer that we all could ever imagine and I know for certain that she is part of your heart, part of all our hearts.

    I will be praying for you to have strength for this new set of operation and radiation.

    Thinking of you more than you will ever know.

  9. What precious words from Sara...praying for you Vicky.

  10. Beautiful post Vicky. I understand Sara was a good friend and my heart aches for you. God always has a purpose for our "friend" connections. I'll be thinking of you next week....and praying.

  11. The words in my heart aren't known to my fingers on the keyboard. Please know you are in my prayers.

  12. Sara is a beautiful spirit and I wonder if she knows how many lives she has touched. I am sorry for your surgery. I'll be praying for you.

  13. What an amazing gift you are to all of us and to Sara. Your words bring such emotion, caring, and knowledge that I read your posts many times over and over.
    I truely understand your feelings of wanting to hold on but needing to let go; these feeling are still very much at the surface of my heart.
    I will be thinking of you on Tuesday during chemo and Wednesday during surgery. You are always very near and dear to me and I am always thinking of you.

    Love you much dear friend!

  14. It's funny? She doesn't ask to be a mentor. She doesn't and never? will know me, but she has made an incredible impact on me. You are so lucky to have known her, really known her...God bless you, her and all of us you have graciously shared 'her' and your relationship, with. Xxxx oo

  15. WOW, those few Sara sentences you shared were so beautiful. Sara isn't writing anymore, yet you pull out old e-mails and the writings continue. It's just what I needed to hear. I am so for feeling it all, the good and the bad and this is a huge reminder. Hmmmm, maybe you gotta do something more with those e-mails. Vicky, take care in your loss!! I pray God's arms wrapped around you, while you feel all you need to feel. Hugs!!

  16. You let her in your heart, knowing it would break, and God gave you both such an exquisite gift. What beauty.

    Praying for you, Vicky. As you exhale, may Jesus fill you with His strength even as she imagined it. Strength and abundant joy.


  17. Sounds like God put you together or pointed you to each other. I am sorry about your friend. wishing you strength for the upcoming week and that all goes well. Hugs to you, you are always in my thoughts and prayers.

  18. You are so lucky to have had Sara in your life, even from afar. I have followed her blog for a long time and continue to be amazed at the ANGEL that she is. I am ALOT older that either of you but she has been a HUGE inspiration to me (you too as you ahve gone on YOUR journey with this illness)! I know that God has a plan and will come to get her in His time. I pray for her, her family and friends. XO, Pinky

  19. I clicked over from Sara's blog, and was touched by your post.

    God has created us to feel/know such intense joy, but He hasn't spared us the ability to know deep sorrow either. The beauty is that He is in there with us, whether joyful or sorrowful. He meets us in whichever place we are in, and His Spirit joins with ours as He, too, knows each place -- and all those in between, as we go through this life.

    I bookmarked your blog, and will be back. I'm putting you in my prayer journal, and will be praying with others through the coming days.

  20. What a beautiful miracle that you found each other, and that we are witness to the beautiful lessons you shared. To live life fully, to feel each emotion, to be present. Leave nothing in the unsaid.

    I wish you peace on your journey of grief,; healing in your body.

    Thoughts and prayers to you, Vicky.

  21. oh, Vicky, I am praying for you. Thank you so much for posting this, it really has resonated in my mind over the last few days and I kept wanting to come and post a comment, but was unsure what to say exactly. I just read the news on Sara's blog. What a beautiful legacy to leave nothing unsaid and I am rejoicing with you that she is no longer in pain, but whole and well at the feet of her Savior.

    I am praying that the details will work out that will enable you to go to her service and that appointments and such can be rearranged as needed to allow for that.

  22. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend Sara. She sounded like a beautiful person.
    It makes such a difference to have people who support, think of and pray for you during good times and bad.
    I am happy we have connected and I will be praying for you as well as Sara'a family and friends.


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