Tuesday, November 21, 2006

11/21 - Nearly a PM Update

It's another day on the tube. Emily is doing exceptionally better, however, and we are thinking that they stopped her sedation meds too fast. She was stressed yesterday and developed a high fever, so we are working things out today in hopes of extubating tomorrow. Her white blood cell count is high which indicates the body IS fighting, or is preparing to fight an infection. It's like a bunch of soldiers all suited up for battle and their marching off to war. Sometimes, though, there is no battle once they get there. Other than that she is still retaining too much water and that complicates some things. We'll see how things go as the day wears on.

So, since masterpieces can never be duplicated I'll see what I can do about replicating yesterdays post, but it may take some time -- I am still crawling out of my hole of despair.

To suffer is to live. That's my new quote (maybe someone else thought if it too, perhaps, but I just thought of it so I'm saying it is mine. :)). If we are not able to suffer then we are not able to really live. If we try to avoid suffering, then we are avoiding life itself b/c it is full of suffering. Some of us may not suffer as much personally, though, and that is what I want to write about. I don't want to ask "Why is there suffering?" but "Who is suffering for?" I think that, generally, "we" are always trying to avoid suffering. We shield our kids from it, we whisper about it, we turn the lights down and play soft music --- many (if not all) addictions are rooted in an attempt to escape suffering... and all of this only leads to MORE suffering. Ha! The very thing we are trying to avoid we end up complicating even more in the end. Craziness. Suffering is something we must learn to accept and live through successfully. I believe that our lives can be enriched and deepened through the experience of suffering and I believe that our willingness to enter into someone else's suffering may even be more important.

Community: Many have asked us how they can help -- Companionship -- Community is who suffering is for. There is a passage in the Bible that we have held tightly to (2 Corinthians 1:3-7) that, in essence, says that if you are willing to share in our sufferings you will will also share in the comfort God is giving us. Often this comfort comes through you all, but it also comes from Him. An analogy -- I'm on a soccer field kicking the ball in the goal. I will only experience a limited amount of satisfaction as long as I am alone. It is when I am with people and I can share the moment of joy when that ball goes in the goal that I experience life the most. We are built for community. We are designed to want to share our experiences with others. If we are not sharing in suffering then we will not share in the blessings that come from it. We love it when people are with us, with Emily, and/or with Annabelle. Even if you are far away a short note, text, or call that you are thinking or praying about us brings together a community that we can share our experience with. If we don't know you care, we cannot share. (hehe, that rhymed) It allows us to share in our experience and allows for you to enter into it as well. I think that we will often leave people alone when they are suffering b/c we don't want to "bug" them, but I think we are sorely missing the point of the experience. It is not something to just "get through," but to build community. So, if you know someone that is suffering, let them know you are thinking and/or praying about them - even if you think you'd be bothering them. Also, suffering people may not know what it is they need until they have "it" or "it" is offered, so feel free to offer whatever you feel you can give. It is good for you and good for them.

OK - That was a far cry from yesterdays concoction, but it is along the same lines. I hope it makes some sense. Thank you for checking our updates and let us know who you are if you haven't yet. We'd love to share what we have learned, comfort we have, and even the pain -- for our benefit as well as yours. :)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just received "access" to your blog from Shayne Fite, partly due to the fact that we are working our way thru a chapter on suffering in our women's SS class. The refining of suffering, the community it brings (or should bring) is so vital to us as members in the Body. You will be in my thots and prayers. Ewe'r Sister Sheep in Colorado Springs.

Anonymous said...

Your update today reminds me of a line in the movie "Shadowlands" (about C.S Lewis). His wife (who had terminal cancer) tells Mr.Lewis that the "happiness now is because of the pain later". In other words, we suffer much because we love much. Some would think that is a good reason not to love. But those of us who have special little loved ones know it is better to have loved. More intense, but better!

Please know, Nate, Diana, and Annabel, we are praying for you all. Your grief is shared ... and so will your Joy be.

Connie Almony
(from the new-member class)

Anonymous said...

I love how God works in life. In reality I barely know your family through MOPS. Diana is a wonderful Discussion group leader. I've been so blessed to have the group of "Seahorses" we have this year. She's such an inspiration to soooo many. Your family is so beautiful. And even though we don't know each other well, you all are in my thoughts many many times each day. My favorite Bible passage also deals with suffering Romans 5:3-5 "3Not only so, but we[c] also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." I think of that passage every time someone I know is suffering. The perseverence, character & hope God has prepared for us through suffering on earth is important & I like the idea of knowing real joy too. Love to you all- Jen A.

Anonymous said...

My journey can't compare to yours, yet I know what it's like to hope for the next procedure to be over, for this "thing" or "that" to come out, to yearn for the long-awaited words,"you can go home now" to come. To want no more pain or suffering. And to hold on to the precious moments. Pleading and praising. Clinging to God. The heart's desire for more days, months, years. To be utterly exhausted and completely spent. To want so desperately to spend time with your other child and not leave your sick child alone. To feel the disappointment of not being allowed to have the sibling even come and visit and be a part of hospital life, the longing to be a whole family unit again. To pray as Jesus did,"My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me, yet not as I will, but as You will." And to receive His sustaining grace. My heart goes out to you and I feel some of your pain. The rest, I can only imagine. I am praying for you. I'm so glad you had a special outting with Annabel. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

A sister in Christ at CPC who cared for my child during three childhood cancers, by the grace of God.