Its 2am & I can’t sleep. Just like I haven’t been able to sleep sound for the last several days. I’m a worrier; anxiety & anxiousness are terms I’m very familiar with. I don’t “relax” very well, never have, & when left to my own thoughts (like at 2am) my mind doesn’t shut off.
You see 3 days ago we learned that my dad has cancer. Cancer…a term that our family is way to familiar with. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any person on the planet that hasn’t had some kind of personal connection to this awful disease & now its hit my family hard (again). Several months ago we lost my Grandma to cancer & I’d be lying if I said my first thought wasn’t, “I can’t go through this again…not my Dad…this is my DAD.” Our family has been through this several times; my Papa is a cancer survivor, my Grandma battled it for 10yrs before her body was ready for rest, & my step-Grandpa put up a good fight before he, too, just got tired. Along with several, several, several extended relatives…you would’ve thought I’d be stronger when hearing the news. But its my Dad.
I went into typical “Carey” fashion like I do whenever I get hit with a bad blow. I hibernated, shut down & went into hermit mode. I could tell when people started finding out because, although appreciated, my phone, texts, emails & Facebook accounts were blowing up with well-wishes & “thinking of you’s”. …I just couldn’t return calls or even acknowledge them (and I’m so thankful that family & friends know how I am & didn’t take offense). This lasted for about 24hrs. before I actually told my first person that, “my dad has cancer”. Even saying the words out loud released a floodgate & I now know this can be handled.
I think anytime you hear a diagnosis like cancer you automatically go to the worst-case scenario & with the pain of my step-Grandpa’s death (less than 2yrs) & my Grandma’s (less than a year) still so raw, you can’t shut your mind off from going “there”. I’m the only girl, & any man who is any kind of father, will tell you that the dad/daughter relationship is just different, than that of a son’s. A daughter compares every man she dates to her dad & a dad never thinks any man is good enough for his daughter. A dad will give his daughter $20 to get gas, but tell his son’s they, “better get a job”.
This is the man that never spanked or hardly raised his voice to us kids, but you knew you were in deep trouble if he said, “we need to talk.” (which in my case, ultimately resulted in me bawling & confessing before he could really get into his “talk” mode). One of my earliest memories is with my dad, I was about 4 or 5, we were on the golf course picking up golf balls & came across a turtle crossing the sidewalk. He picked it up & moved it into the woods and said, “whenever you see a turtle trying to cross the street, move it to the other side.” (and to this day I always do!). As a teenager he told me, “don’t ever stay with a man that hits you or keep a dog that bites.” And even recently he put a note in my work-lunch that I found the next day, after I took home leftovers from a dinner ate at my parents house. That’s the man that got cancer…the man I’m terrified of having to say “good bye” too.
But I’m also, very, very thankful. I’m thankful because I’ve got a mom that will be on my dad’s ass like crazy making sure he follows doctor’s orders. I’m thankful because I’ve got so many friends & family that are lifting up my Dad’s name in prayer…even friends that don’t personally know my dad, but know me & care about me & know that I’m going through a struggle. And above it all, I’ve got my faith. I’ve got my faith in God’s goodness, my belief, that this is just one of those bump’s in the road & regardless of the outcome…its going to be okay. I know that God is always good & even when I can’t see it, He always has a purpose.
Even tonight, my devotional happened to be Luke 12: 22-34, which is about not worrying & trusting that God is your provider & knows what you need. “And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest.” (Luke 12:25-26).
So 2013 has certainly started off different than what I was expecting, but its still going to be a great year! It’ll be full of challenges & probably some tears, but also joy & thankfulness.
Any one can be thankful for the good times, but you also need to be thankful for the bad because joy is always worth the wait.