January 27, 2009

Shut up, listen, and receive ... with grace

I've been thinking a lot lately - all these questions and conflicting answers bubbling up. But the real question should be why am i surprised that answers to the thorniest questions pop up just in time

Today's inspirational reading answered a mess of questions that boil down to two: Should I go to my daughter's chemo treatment and do I accept an unexpected check given for "appreciation."

We don't know where I got the dreaded MRSA infection or the orbital cellulitis. Did it evolve from a sinus infection? Bronchitis? Did I pick up the germs from the hospital where my daughter is being treated for cancer?

The latest medicines seem to make a difference. But then a three-hour yarn and wig shopping trip exhausts me and I don't leave my bed for nearly 30 hours.

Dueling doctors are little help; one reminds me to always avoid hospitals as with multiple sclerosis my immune system is already weak. The other says we will never know where I picked it up from so go and use sanitizer frequently (We buy by the gallon and refill the various packages)

He reminds me to be the mom of a newborn - sleep when they do, eat when they do and accept help from all who offer.

He also also reminds me of my skills of asking questions and how important that is to a 24-year-old fighting cancer
The daughter? She tells me she "has people." (some of those people are lined up for later in the week when I slip away to the 31st Ann Arbor Folk Festival.

A midnight comment shows she's hoping I will be there for the planned celebration of part 1 chemo being done. Look out IHOP.

I waver. I justify going. I justify staying home. But then this quote greets me in my morning reading.
[God] comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
II Corinthians 1:4
Even before I read the short story, I know I am going - armed with my sanitizer.

Then, the author ends with this prayer:
Lord, I also know how difficult it is to accept help. Give me the grace to set aside my pride and receive the assistance offered by the people you send as channels of comfort
- Alma Barkman
And that short prayer is a reminder to me that the only response to an unexpected check given in appreciation is thank you ... to accept it in the spirit it was given, to accept with grace.

Now, I'm off to write the thank you and pack the "mom bag" of goodies that help distract us from the blood red chemo.


  1. What a wonderful collection of messages to receive. Here's a big - yay!! - for chemo part 1 to be done. Enjoy IHOP.

  2. Here's some more prayers for you, from our family and church.


  3. Lisa
    IHOP was wonderful - potatoes pancakes without grating!

    Plus, for the first time, my bag of goodies was barely eaten so we had a headstart on dinner and one of the late night snacks. The lack of eating at chemo was either due to excitement or a very full belly from eating a big breakfast.

    I am going to try to be mindful of messages and take time to celebrate. (plus take time to read interesting blogs - like yours and those in the carnival)

    Mary Ann

  4. Jim of L Town
    I so believe in prayer so thank you and your church.

    Your willingness to be so open about your beliefs has been inspiring for many years.

    Mary Ann