When Life Stinks

I sat in the car last night with nose wrinkled. I smelled something foul. Something akin to a dead animal but was more likely a misplaced sippy cup containing curdled milk. I had no time to deal with the issue at present as I was on my way to the women's meeting at church.

Finally arriving home at 12:30 a.m.  I found myself pulling out empty cups and carting them into the house but the smell remained. No matter what new evidence of old food or discarded beverage I found the smell continued.

What started a day or two ago as a slight unpleasant odor has turned into a full-fledged offensive smell.

And just as I've been unable to determine the source of this disgusting malodor I've been unable to pin-point the spiraling road of depression I've been sliding down.

And then it occurred to me how close I was to the time when Samuel was  diagnosed with cancer... and today, two years ago actually marks the day our lives turned upside down and the news that no parent wants to hear was spoken. Our child had cancer.

And although Samuel's scans have shown no growth of cancer at this time, I still feel raw and wounded and hurting. Like i can't breathe. Like my heart has been wrung out to dry.

Samuel's smile is beautiful. His hair is grown back thick and brown as before. He has a horrible hacking cough but other than that seems fine.

But I find myself wrestling. Will this "curse" come back? What about next month when we have the next scan? What about the 3 months after that? Or the six months?

How do you live between the world of what's been and what will be? How do you love and cherish your children as if it's their last but not give into any and every whim they possess? How do you speak lovingly when you're tired, exhausted, depressed and emotional?

These things have been tugging at my heart. Yesterday afternoon I was writing my brief testimony to share at ladies meeting and then baking cookies with the kids. I want to savor every bit of life. Every bit of joy. But to do so at all times leaves one utterly depleted. I can't look at life like "this could be his last...._________" (first day of school, Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc.) It doesn't help.

One of my favorite quotes was "Live every day as if it were your last because one day it will be." And although I still believe this is true it doesn't offer the comfort that it used to. Or the courage to live that way. It sounds absolutely exhausting.

My ducts have an open valve today. The tears I shed seem to trickle down my face. Remembering the intensity and trauma of August 20, 2010 and all the days that would follow are like a sucker punch to my gut. I ask God to go with me in these dark, painful places. I ask him to heal me and to show me how he sustained me in the midst. How he cared for us and protected us and provided for us.

The kids have been enjoying playing with each other today. The rain is falling against the widow pane. Pancakes have been consumed and hands still remain sticky even after scrubbing them in the sink. The bark of Samuel's cough can be heard over the movie that is playing.

Today is just another day. Another day to enjoy the life of my children. Another day to breathe deep the grace of God. Another day to trust God that come what may He won't leave or forsake me. And even if God forbid there is another day where this dreaded horror comes back I won't be abandoned. God will still be there. He loves Samuel more than I do. And somehow all of that has happened and all that will be is a part of his plan.

So time to set aside the sorrow and push through. To make hot chocolate with large marshmallows. To watch movies and snuggle with blankets and stuffed animals. To take long naps and to breathe. to settle the disputes of the day. The arguments between siblings. To kiss the bumped bruises and owies from running and falling. To drink in the smell of freshly bathed kids and to accept sloppy wet kisses from a toddler who doesn't know he's supposed to close his mouth when he gives kisses.

We have come so far. We have a long way to go. But we're not on this road alone. Thanks for coming along with us on this ride. Through ups and downs. Through the mountain peaks and valleys of the shadow of death.

Surrendering myself to God again. Surrendering my precious Samuel to God. Acknowledging God's authority over my life and the life of my family. And asking Him for peace that surpasses my understanding.


Rebekah Judd said…
You are amazing. Love how you feel it all and then give it right back to God. Love you!
Mixue said…
Good perspective. I agree - sometimes you have to not think too much about if you're "living life to the fullest" and "making the most of every possible moment" - you'll drive yourself crazy! I know, because I've been there! That delicate balance of treasuring every day, yet allowing ourselves to relax and just BE in the process is a lifelong journey!

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