We vacationed in Idaho with my parents for a week this summer, and all was as it should have been. We swam in the lake, we barbecued every day, we watched movies, we zoomed to and fro in Oompa’s boat, and we lounged around a fire pit with marshmallows on long sticks. I even caught a couple fish.
The day after we returned, I got a text message from my mom asking that I call her. When I did, she announced that she had a tumor in her breast and that she was having it biopsied that week. The results came back that she had a 6-centimeter cancerous tumor, and her choice was to start chemo right away to shrink it before surgery. In a matter of just two weeks, she had been diagnosed, tested from here to kingdom come, given percentages of likelihood that the cancer would come back in ten years, and begun chemotherapy, with my dad as nurse.
God, I give you my mom.
We are in the midst of a massive kitchen remodel in which Jake has orchestrated and performed nearly every bit of the work himself. The results are stunning – this will truly be a cook’s kitchen, and perhaps the largest room in our house! – but the process is slow, tedious, and uncomfortable. It is also all-consuming for Jake. Me and the kids have had to stay out of his way while he does what needs doing, and even when he has been physically present, his mind has been elsewhere…or just dog-tired. We are using the mini kitchen in our travel trailer, which thank God we have, and is parked in the driveway.
God, I give you my home. I give you my marriage.
And because it’s parked in the driveway, our minivan and truck have been parked on the street….where they keep getting hit by negligent drivers. We’re talking six collisions in just two years, with compensation for damages on only two of them. Jake also hit a deer recently. He couldn’t tell if the truck was damaged due to the existing damage.
God, I give you our cars.
While we were in Idaho I received a call from my doctor saying she wanted me to arrange an appointment to discuss some recent blood work. When I met with her, she shared that my thyroid numbers are in the toilet and that my kidneys appear to be suffering. Thyroid problems can be triggered by childbirth, she said, and since I have a history of thyroid dysfunction in my family, it stands to reason that I will need to be on medication the rest of my life. Thyroid problems can also contribute to depression.
God, I give you my health.
Seabass is three years old. Who knew this age would be so trying? I remember holding him as a screaming, back-arching baby and thinking I can’t wait until he’s THREE. But now THREE is here and I almost can’t handle it. He’s willful, disobedient, and pretty outrageously annoying at times. He baby talks. He yells. He kicks. He has to know everything about everything and nothing gets past him. And then there’s Sweet Chuck, whose teeth are coming in all at once, and who’s sick and fussy and who needs MAMA AND ONLY MAMA ALL OF THE TIME.
God, I give you my children.
And then there are all the ideas, all the projects I want to complete in this life that feel like they’ll never get done – not even started. Sometimes these projects are as ambitious as writing a book. Other times, these projects are as simple as washing the dishes. I had promise, at one time. Does promise have an expiration date?
God, I give you my career and my ambitions.
I put on such a good show sometimes, acting like I’m fine! Everything’s good! Look at me go! But this life is unmanageable for me. The truth is cancer happens. Remodels and discomfort happen. Husbands are preoccupied. Cars get hit. Thyroids stop working. Kids irritate. And dreams get shelved.
But when I can’t accept the truth, I need to be able to put it somewhere. So God, take it all. Amen.