"On the plains of Oklahoma, with a windshield sunset in your eyes like a watercolor painted sky, you'd think heavens doors have opened."
Fly Over States

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quiet Evening and Questioning God

Pearl is still uncomfortable if she is moving around but seems to enjoy it when I put a warm compress on her belly. The suture site is oozing and a bit of a mess if she gets moving, too much, but she has been very cooperative about playing quietly in her crate while I putter around packing figurines. I told husband that within a matter of weeks, this place is going to be bare because I'll be packing things up and we'll be down to a futon and a toaster. Personally, that strikes me as no way to live for any length of time but upon reflection, it might make husband happy - clutter and knick knacks make him nervous.

My friend Kim's eleven year old son is on morphine and oxygen and they aren't sure whether he will rally, this time. His father had taken him to Memphis to be part of a clinical trial on the same day Kim had surgery for colon cancer, in Oklahoma City. While in Memphis, Caleb became so ill they weren't sure they'd be able to get him back to say his goodbyes (or heal) with his family. I think about the father/husband, who had to leave his wife in the hospital with cancer, who was now faced with dealing with his son's decline in a strange town away from his mother and brothers. I think about how he must have felt when faced with the chance that he might not be able to get his son back to OKC - perhaps to say his goodbyes - and I am just overwhelmed. How much can the human spirit endure? I simply can't fathom how Kim must have been suffering for fear that she might never see her son, again, and knowing that he was so sick and she couldn't go to him. Again, how much pain can a human stand?

Family members helped to get Caleb back to his mother's hospital, where he was admitted. Staff put her on the pediatric floor so that she could be near him. Thank God. She says he is resting peacefully.

And speaking of God - their faith is strong but mine is wavering in the face of this. It is beyond my ability to understand how/why these good people are going through this. I guess those types of questions come with living. And the manner in which this family has handled this tragedy certainly serves as an example of the power of faith. So there is that. I'd just as soon they not be used to try to teach me anything. I just want them to stop hurting. I don't blame god, but I am having a hard time understanding why he lets them suffer. I guess I need to go back and read the Screwtape Letters. As I recall, Sinclair Lewis wrote about the problem of pain and how to explain it in the context of Christianity.

My mother was diagnosed with cancer about ten days before my daughter's wedding (not the Squeamish Daughter). I was beside myself worrying how I was going to juggle her illness (in Texas) with Non-Squeamish Daughter's wedding (in Oklahoma), especially since I was on the east coast. When I think about Kim having surgery HERSELF for cancer and facing the prospect of losing time with her son who is dying, I just don't know how the family is managing. They are amazing people - all of them. Please keep them in your prayers.


Miriam said...

Many (((HUGS)) to Kim and Caleb. Sending healing prayers their way.

I hope Pearl is feeling better soon.

ranette said...

Ah Penny...I have no words of wisdom...I'll just pray for your friends.

Anonymous said...

So sad and unexplainable. Thoughts and prayers for Kim and Caleb and family and friends.