Tag Archives: God

The Weariness of Cancer

October 6, 2004

Hi, Kat:

You must still have been in your “stampede mode” when you wrote me this morning. Hence the “howdy” salutation!

Let me begin by saying that I am having a bad day…emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically. I am grateful I am able to tell you so freely. Thank you for that, but take that into consideration when you read the rest of my e-mail.

Wow, you really can get through a book quickly! “Lovely Bones” was a difficult read, but I found it interesting with the author’s perspective of death, living, the beyond, and those left behind. I have a different book for you when you return – “The Red Tent.” I think I told you about that one as well. It is totally different then the two you have recently read.

I don’t want you to feel pressured to tell me anything about the sexual incident, but I felt you opened the door by asking me to define the difference between harassment and molestation. I know you don’t ask any question for no reason. I knew there was something behind it, but I respect your comfortableness in sharing and will wait for you take the next step. But, don’t be surprised if I ask if you are ready because I know sometimes you need some “nudging.” ha ha.

As far as the weekend goes, you only need to bring yourself, a change of clothes, and an open mind. Boy, I bet I got you wondering even more now! Good…sometimes I like to leave you guessing.

I know that you wish I wouldn’t have seen the list, but I also feel so honored and privileged that you chose me to share it with. It helps me understand you a little more and it shows me why God brought us together. I will leave it up to you on what you want to do with the list from this point on. Just don’t lose faith in the process of healing that you are going through. Trust in God and our friendship. Those three things are strengths you can use as you move forward in your journey of healing.

I wish I could help you “unload” every night from stuff hat happens and you can start the next day fresh and new. I would like to do that with you when you get back from vacation, but again I leave it up to you. I do think that a lot of your current reactions to your parents and Alex is based not only on the current encounters, but a lot of stuff you have carried for a long time. That is why I think it is important for you to talk about it and process it. See the whole picture and not just the dark, ugly, bad part of it. If I can do that for you, great. I know how helpful it was for me to do that for myself.

You know me…I’m not always serious although this past week may not seem that way. Part of it, I believe, is my medication and the other part is just trying to get through the day. No, it wouldn’t be interesting to watch me get emotional. I usually do that in the privacy of my home, but it is getting harder to keep it in until I get home. The reason I tell you all this is because you interact with me so much on many levels that I felt you needed to know what may happen. You didn’t have the opportunity two years ago when I went through cancer (be grateful), but you will see me now.

Sometimes, it’s not a pretty sight and I try hard to protect you from that, but I also know I can’t. I don’t want you to get hurt because of some random comment or behavior I make. So promise me that if you see something out of character for me, call me on it. I care about you too much to not want to know if I have done something wrong or to hurt you. Please promise me that.

Well, enough of all that. So until I talk to you again via e-mail, IM, or the phone…have a good night or day (depending on when you read this). Know these things: God loves you, you are in my thoughts and prayers daily, and you matter.

Until later,

Greta


I Only Want What’s Best For You

 

 

October 5, 2004

Hi MB,

Let me answer some of your questions from your morning e-mail.

I didn’t like the ending of “Good in Bed” because it ended so quickly. I guess I wanted more for her than how it ended.

“Lovely Bones” was hard for me because it dealt with rape and a child was murdered. I am a big advocate for protecting children. I did like the dialogue of how she saw her family and how she wanted to help them heal from her death.

Based on what you shared in your e-mail, I’m not sure severe sexual harassment is the correct term. Either way it doesn’t matter because it was still a horrible experience. I would like to have you tell me the whole story if you can. I would feel privileged to have you share it with me.

I hope that our friendship can help you see what it is God sees in you. I hope I can be used by God to help heal some of your pain. I want you to experience the joy and love that God has to offer and no the dark and depressed stuff the world has given you.

Don’t worry about me. I’m a big girl. I just have bad days now and then and sometimes I can’t hide them from you.

Do you think Alex might let you get away for a weekend? I have though about something for the two of us. I think it would be good for both of us. I’ll tell you more when you get back to Pennsylvania.

Before I go, I just read and printed your list. It brought tears to my eyes. It also reminded me of some of the things I told myself, so let’s talk more about it. My feelings and thoughts for you haven’t changed because of the list. If anything they have gotten deeper.

Greta

*****************

Later that same day

Hi,

I just realized that I may have been a little more serious in my last e-mail. My intentions are not to get you to do all this thinking while you are away. I also know it isn’t easy when you can’t talk through some of the things you might be thinking about.

So if you want to go to lighter subjects until you get home, that is fine with me. But I know how much you like to write how you are feeling and thinking. If you want to e-mail me your thoughts and feelings and not have me reply, then just let me know. I hope this is making sense. If not, I am sorry. I don’t want to cause any more emotional upheaval, especially when we can’t through it because you are not here.

Kat, I only want what is best for you. Can you tell the hormones from the cancer treatment have kicked in big time? I get very emotional when that happens, so please bear with me. At least it is better than me getting cranky.

Well, I better wrap things up and get home to dig up my garden. We are expecting frost tonight and my tomatoes are rotting on the vines because of all the rain.

Until I hear from you…good night, Moonbeam.

Greta

 

 


One Day I’ll Be Free

October 5, 2004

Good morning Sunny!

Moonbeam is different, but I like it. So are you saying that I am the opposite of sunshine? (just kidding) My favorite song from Jeremy Camp just played on the radio. “I will walk by faith, even when I cannot see….”

You got serious on me this morning in your e-mail! You must be in a thoughtful, contemplative mood today. Of course, I’m usually silly when I should be serious. A way of distraction, I suppose.

Why didn’t you like the ending of “Good in Bed?” What bothered you about it? I think the ending was anticlimactic. I was bothered by her blaming and pushing aside God at the end. She took matters into her own hands. I started reading “Lovely Bones” last night. Interesting way that it is written. Takes a little getting used to. Well, I can tell you this much, that I was never raped. I’m sure I could have been with some of the stupid situations I’ve put myself in before, but I was never raped, if that’s what you’re thinking. Things were done to me sexually and I was forced to do sexual things to others, but it was never that severe. Just enough to make me feel ashamed and embarrassed. Maybe call it severe sexual harassment. That’s why I asked you that question the other day. I was trying to clarify some things in my head and I’m still not totally clear, but it’s irrelevant. Anyways, I don’t like talking about this. I’ve never talked about it before to anyone and I don’t know that I want to start.

So, moving on…It’s great when I have moments to myself while I’m here at Myrtle Beach. Right now, I’m by myself in the condo living room writing this e-mail and listening to Christian radio. Alex is on the balcony talking to his parents on the phone. My parents are at the pool and hot tub. Gives me time to just think and relax. I wish we were closer to the ocean, though. Last year, when Alex and I were here with his parents, our condo was right on the beach. You could sit on our balcony and overlook the ocean. It was wonderful! I love the ocean, too, but I hate swimming in it. I’d rather just be near it to hear and see it. We might go down to the beach today. They talked about it. We’ll see. I’ll make sure to take some pictures for you. I have some from last year that came out really beautiful with the sun glinting off the gentle waves. I’ll have to bring them to work so you can see them. One of my goals this week was to sit and absorb, to just “be” in the presence of God and allow Him to speak to me, to try and hear things He’s telling me. But I have to balance that with spending time with Alex and the family. They get weird if I spend too much time on my own if I get too quiet.

I’m trying my hardest to see what you, God, and Alex see in me. I really am. But sometimes, okay, a lot of times, it gets very clouded by the anger and pain. I do believe (or at least I’m trying to) that God is going to free me and one day I’ll see myself in different eyes. That is my hope and prayer. I have a self-defeatist attitude sometimes where I feel that I’ve been like this for too long, that I’m not ever going to change so why bother trying, but I’m trying to fight that belief. I know that’s not what God wants for me. I want to experience the things in life that God has for me. I’m tired of always looking through a glass wall and can’t seem to feel the joy and love He has for me.

I hope you got to sleep last night. I was really worried about you when I got off the phone with you. I meant what I said…I don’t take vacations from my friends. Not to get all mushy or anything, but I thank God every day that He brought us together. I’ve prayed many long times for a friend like you. It was funny. I was looking through some old journals of mine and came across a list that I made of things that I was looking for in a friend that God needed to bring to me. It made me smile and think of you.

Well, I need to get going. Everyone’s back and getting itchy to do something. I have no idea what, but we’ll see! Tonight we go to the Dixie Stampede. I’ll let you know what it’s like. Talk to you later and take care of yourself, sunshine.

Kat

 


Do You See What I See?

 

 

October 5, 2004

Good morning MB:

I picked Moonbeam because it was the opposite of Sunshine (which you called me). I just abbreviated today. I’m still trying to see if it fits you or not. I’ll try and answer some of your questions from your e-mail.

It has been at least six months since I read “Good in Bed.” I enjoyed it although I can’t say I liked the ending. I could relate to Cannie quite a bit. I thought it was interesting on how she decided to take things into her own hands and not let everyone “dictate” her life. I agree about how society looks at larger women and how they are treated. Remind me to tell you a story of an incident in Giant (grocery store) one day a few years ago. It left a bad taste in my mouth, but it also got me thinking about a lot of things.

I think the week away may be good for you to work through your thoughts and feelings and come back to Pennsylvania ready to work through more of your past and pain. I know it isn’t easy, but you are not alone and I know it can free you from so much.

I never took it personally what you said about not wanting to talk to me sometimes. I know that my friendship can challenge you to talk and feel things you might not like, but I also know that God allowed our lives to cross for a reason. So don’t worry about me taking that personally. I didn’t.

Guess what? I read “The Search for Significance” many years ago. I can’t say I remember everything, but I can recall some of the things in the book. I probably need to go back and look at it again to trigger my thoughts on it. I hope it can be helpful for you. Maybe we can talk about how it affected you when you get back.

I’m glad you are able to enjoy some of your time with Alex and your parents. I know that it can be difficult for you, but just let things roll off your back and try and enjoy the scenery and God’s incredible gift of nature. As for the swimming, I know why you didn’t go, but you know it’s one of the best exercises you can do for yourself. So don’t let your image of yourself keep you from doing something you love.

You look in a mirror and see something you don’t like. I look in a mirror and see beyond your physical appearance and see your heart. God gave me that gift. I hope that one day you can see beyond the physical and see what God and I see. You are an incredibly gifted woman that has a lot of pain and anger in her heart, but I also know that you have love and joy as well. It just gets covered up sometimes. Don’t let love get lost in there. It can be a lonely place without love. Love from others, love from God, and love from yourself.

Well, I’m sure this letter is getting long now. Enjoy the beach. I’m jealous! It’s my favorite place to be, but not during the summer, more fall and winter. Take time to stop and hear what God is trying to show you and tell you this week. You don’t have the distractions of everyday.

Take care of yourself, my friend.

Greta

 


Good in Bed

October 4, 2004

Greta,

Moonbeam? That’s an interesting nickname. What made you choose that? Never been called that before.

I got your voicemail. Sorry I missed your call. I was writing you an e-mail and my phone was in the other room. Plus, reception in the condo isn’t always the greatest depending on what room I’m in. You miss me? I’m touched. Believe it or not, I miss you, too (if you haven’t gathered by the lengthy and numerous e-mails and text messages).

I’m happy you had a good weekend with your mom. Don’t put off telling her about your cancer too long, Greta. Sometimes that causes more harm than good. Glad you could celebrate her birthday with her. I’m sure that made her day. Did you bake No-Bake’s? If so, eat one for me. Although, I’ve gotten pumpkin pie while I’ve been here. I convinced my mom to buy one to have at the condo since they harassed me about getting a slice for breakfast on Saturday morning. I was craving pumpkin pie…one of my favorites!

I didn’t get too many comments about the book, “Good In Bed,” from the peanut gallery, just Alex being his usual silly self. My mom did ask what it was about so I gave her a brief rundown based on what I read off the back of the book. My thoughts on the book…it was like looking into a window into myself. Not all of it, but the way that Cannie feels about herself. I could definitely relate. The whole “larger woman” thing is something that rankles me. I think it speaks to the pain and aloneness of not fitting in that a lot of larger woman can feel. I know some that have incredible confidence and amazing positive attitudes. I admire that. I admired it in Cannie, her strength, independence, and willingness to speak out for herself and others despite how she felt sometimes. Her humor had me in stitches! I love sarcastic humor. What were your thoughts about the book?

My e-mails this week will probably be long since I don’t see you in person to chat and there isn’t anyone here I can talk with the way I talk with you. I can with Alex, but only so much. There are some topics where his eyes glaze over and I can tell he’s not interested…guys, ha.

Sounds like you’ll have a pretty quiet week. I won’t be there to bug you. That reminds me, the comment that I made on the phone the one night about not wanting to talk to you sometimes, I hope you didn’t take that seriously. I don’t feel that way ever. Do I wish sometimes that I could bury my head in the sand instead of facing questions you ask? Of course, but it’s never that I don’t want to be with you or talk with you. I wanted to make that clear. I was worried about that since that conversation.

I’m reading another book as a devotional. I’m trying to do devotions every day. I don’t always make it, but I’m trying. I need to hear God’s voice and see what He has for me in this life and I know I can’t do that without spending time with Him. The book I’m reading is called “Search for Significance” by Robert McGee. Very difficult to read, not because of the reading level, but because of the subject matter.

So why was I on your mind a lot yesterday at church? Anything cause it? Thanks for praying for me. I’m sure it did help since I remained civilized all day (despite some snippiness) and had to let certain things just roll of my back. I’m discovering more and more that’s getting harder to do. Interesting that you were praying for me as I was praying for you!

You should have seen Alex and I last night. We were both loopy. I was so tired that I was giggly and babbling stupidly. He was just being goofy. I get like that when I’m tired.

Anyways, I’ll talk to you later. Have a super duper night.

Love,

Kat

 


I’m Here For You

 

 

September 17, 2004

Hey Greta,

I wanted to let you know that I’m here for you and my heart hurts for you. I know I can’t be the friend you used to have or replace anyone. I know that completely and I don’t expect to do that, I can just be me. And while I may not know a lot about what you’re going through, I know what I’m good at and that’s being there for someone whatever they may need. I may not understand everything, but I’ll try my hardest. I’ll try my best to help you and let you know that you’re not alone in this. I know nights are the worst for you and I know that I may not have much to offer, but I’m here for you. If you hit a low and need a voice (or someone physically there), I’m here. I don’t care when it is or what time it is. I’m very serious about this. 3am? Call me. 1am? Call me. 2pm? Call me. I don’t care. I’ll keep my cellphone by my side. If all you need is just to hear someone else (regardless of topic or none), just to feel comfort, I’m here.

Want someone to talk a nonsense topic to distract you? Fine. I can do that. Need someone to just sit there and neither one say anything? I can do that, too. Need someone to listen while you vent, cry, etc.? I can do that, also. If you need me to talk to you on the phone every night, I will. If you need me physically in the house for whatever reason, I’ll do it.

Greta, I want you to know that’s what friends are for. I know what it’s like to do everything on your own and not depend on other people. Believe me, I know. I know what it’s like to hold it all in and try to keep going. You and I share a lot of characteristics in that respect. So don’t underestimate me or think I’m not strong enough. Believe me when I say I know how to be there for someone. That hasn’t changed in me. But also know that I won’t push you or whatever into anything you don’t want. I’m not like that and I think  you know that.

Anyways, I wanted you to know this and I know I wrote it in an email and didn’t “speak” it to you, mostly because I didn’t want people to overhear and I organize my thoughts better when writing. And just because I don’t speak it, doesn’t mean that I don’t mean it. I mean this very much. I know what it’s like to feel alone, Greta…very much so…and using your advice, don’t let that and other feelings prevent you from reaching out. I’m offering myself for you for whatever you need in any way, even if it means sleeping at your house sometimes.

I’m determined to help you through this, and I truly believe God put us together for a reason. There’s no doubt in my mind that our friendship is a God thing. Just takes me some getting used to it. I feel honored that you’re willing to share any part of your life with me, including tougher things you’re dealing with or have dealt with. Anyways, before I babble too long…

I’ll see you before you or I leave work…

Kat

 

Kat,

I really appreciate your offer. I just need to take some time to grieve the loss of a friend again and figure out how to move forward in light of all that has happened.

I will not hesitate to call or ask you for anything. I just am feeling kind of alone today and it has nothing to do with you. Lately, I have been reminded of all that I have lost and it is a drag.

My nights are the most difficult, but they are also the times I wrestle with God the most and sometimes I need to do that.

So thank you for your offer. I might just take you up on it sometime. But just as you have asked me to be patient, I am asking the same of you.

I am looking forward to spending some time tomorrow with you watching the Pitt and Penn (pencilhead) games. Ha ha.

So thank you again for being you.

Greta

 


A New Type of Relationship

 

 

September 15, 2004

Greta,

I know…it’s in my head, but it’ll take time. I’m used to always being the one giving, not getting anything in return, and the fact that you do so much for me is difficult for me to understand or make sense of (I know you’ll say you don’t do much, but you do. Just the fact you listen to me is more than enough).  Most of the time, I don’t feel like I deserve it or that I’m worth it, that there are people who need things much more than I do. Which is why I have so many problems now. Ironic, huh? I’m so busy suppressing my feelings and thoughts to help others that I screwed myself up. Ugh.

Anyways, sorry…I told you I wouldn’t write much anymore, that I would try to speak it (of course, you’re with a client…how convenient for me!). I’m not very good at this, Greta. I’m trying. I get so frustrated and mad at myself. I won’t ramble on…Lord knows, I could write forever. I’m glad that comics made you laugh. That made my day.

Talk to you later,

Kat

 
Kat,

I know it will take time for you to get used to this new type of relationship. I understand that. I just think if I keep reminding you of the fact that you matter you will eventually believe it. My intentions are not to pressure you, but to help replace that negative thinking with the truth, and the truth is that you matter to me, to God, and to the world.

My prayer is one day you will not only realize that, but believe it. So until that day I will constantly remind you of that fact.

Greta

 


Forgiveness

 

 

E-mail from Kat to Greta:

Resentment – “To feel again,” clings to the past, relives it over and over, picks each fresh scab so that the wound never heals.

Forgiveness – to release, to hurl away, to free yourself.

I think I’m stuck in the past of ungrace…unforgiveness. I hold grudges and anger against the things that have been done to me. I haven’t forgiven them, or myself. Which totally applies to something you [Greta] said…processing and going through it to find healing and grace (paraphrased). I can’t let go until I’m willing to forgive. But how do I find the strength to forgive? To offer grace? It seems I could spend a year crying out my forgiveness, and it will still linger.

“The first and often the only person to be healed by forgiveness is the person who does the forgiveness…When we genuinely forgive, we set a prisoner free and then discover that the prisoner we set free was us.”

Just a thought to ponder.

Kat

Response E-mail from Greta to Kat:

Kat,

You’re right that forgiveness plays a part in the process of healing, but I don’t think it is the first thing you need to do. You can’t force  yourself to forgive others who hurt you.

Maybe the first step is to acknowledge the hurt and talk about it and how it affected you and still affects you.

Forgiveness will come, but in its time…and maybe that isn’t now for you.

And if I haven’t told you lately, I enjoy our time together whether we discuss something serious, silly, or work related.

Greta

 

 


E-Mail From Greta in Response to Kat

Email from Greta in response to Kat, September 9, 2004.

Kat:

I want to take a chance to answer some of your questions you emailed me from last weekend.

  1. How did you see what I was feeling? It was just a feeling inside me that something inside you was hurting and what I saw on the outside wasn’t really how you felt. I think God had a lot to do with it.
  2. What gave it away? I could see it in your eyes. Your eyes tell me what you are really feeling.
  3. Did Al and Ashley talk to you about me? No.
  4. Did they recommend you talk to me? No.
  5. What made you offer now? (since we don’t know each other extremely well, yet…although maybe it’s because we’re similar in a lot of ways…scary thought, huh?) It was the situation with the miscarriage that really prompted me to talk to you now.
  6. What did you see? I saw the hurt and loneliness behind your humor and mask.
  7. What do you see? I see someone who is scared and hurting.
  8. Just some FYI’s…I don’t want this to be a friendship based on helping me (selfish thought, huh?) or always about me…I want it to be a real friendship. All I’m looking for is a friend…someone who cares, can confront, can challenge, can love and go beyond the fluff surface stage of friendship. And not be intimidated by my “tough” talk or “independentness” (is that a word?). Don’t be serious with me all the time…have fun, be dumb, be silly, whatever. I love humor and laughter. Don’t treat me like a client…treat me like you would a friend. I hate to be so serious about this and it probably shows how too emotional and intense I am, but I hate playing games (yes I know…hypocritical of me…since I did that in answering your questions at dinner…I’ll try not to). I’m more of a person where either you are or you aren’t. Believe it or not…this is how I reacted to Alex’s question of if I wanted to date…he was a bit scared of me…but he persevered (no…this friendship won’t lead to marriage). Do you understand my thoughts on this? Yes, I understand what you are saying. I don’t want you as a client of spouse (LOL). I want to be a friend, co-worker, older sister.
  9. It’s hard for me to accept that you want to be a real friend to me and that you care that much. Maybe that’s one of the reasons that I’ve acted the way I have so far…I’m a skeptic, what can I say? I hope over time you will let your guard down and learn to trust again.
  10. Why do I hold on to hurts so much? It is just the way you learned to cope. Why can’t I get over them and move on? When we don’t think we are able to express our feelings we bury them and hold on to them. You cannot get over them, but you can process them, heal them, and move on. Why do I carry it and not let go? (you may not be able to answer this). Because it is all you know.
  11. Do you believe in soulmates? I do believe in soulmates. I have had two in my life. Do you believe God has only one person for you or more than one? I believe that God uses different people to come into our lives for different reasons. I don’t know if there is   person for you, but I hope and pray there isn’t for me. It would be a very long life alone because I know that I have had soulmates in my life. I look forward to when the next one comes into my life.

I’ll look at the other e-mails later today. I really want to be able to answer your questions before we go away this weekend.

Until I return…Greta

 


Why Do I Desire to be a Mom?

 

Where did this come from? This desire and expectation that I had to marry and have children and the white picket fence? I had this expectation of myself that I would be married by 23-24 years old, have a home, a good job, and my first child no later than age 26. My life was laid out before me and I saw it clearly. I reached my first goal, if you want to call it that, by marrying at age 21. Now, Alex and I were working on my second goal, to have a child by age 26.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of becoming a mother. No matter what happened in life, I knew that a child would be a part of it. Early in our relationship, Alex asked, why did I want to be a mother? I stumbled over it at the time because how can you define something that you feel is your basic right? I don’t really know if I have a better answer than it is a desire burned into the very molecules of my being.

I have always wanted to have a family of my own. There are a million reasons why and there are none. One of the reasons that I stumbled to answer the question was that some part of me believed that it was for selfish reasons. So I would have the love of a child for the rest of my life, I would be surrounded by family, I would leave a legacy in the world. None of those reasons really meant that much to me though.
For me, the truer reason why I wanted to be a mom is the yearning I felt when I talked to that little girl at the church.

“Is that your baby?” I asked her, referring to the doll she just tucked under her arm.

She ducked behind her mom, shy.

“What’s your baby’s name?”

“Pretty Baby” is what she told me as a small smile crept onto her face.

Soon she’s prattling on with me and then she’s gone. My stomach gets a knot and feels like it does when I need a snack: hungry. I want more.

I want to be a mom when I’m outside doing something I love, like gardening. I wonder what it might be like to show our child the first signs of spring, to discover the world together. Or when we finger paint together and she takes her first steps into imagination and creativity.  I long to share those parts of myself that make me—me—with a child, and to see the world anew through the eyes of my child.

Who is this child? How will the mystery unfold as she grows? This is another fascination I have with motherhood. Nature, nurture and life circumstance: how these forces come together and turn my baby into a child and then into a woman. I look forward to watching her bloom.

I imagine the difficult days too. Long nerve-wracking nights when my baby can’t sleep yet I am able to soothe her and meet her needs, or being there to help my child find her way through some of the sticky moments in life: indecision, love lost, and struggles with identity. Even though there will be times when being a mom is going to challenge me in ways I can’t even begin to imagine, knowing that I might be able to make a difference and give love and security to a child is another reason I want to be a mom.

And perhaps the most potent answer to why I want to be a mom is this: for a short time, I was lucky enough to spend time with a child who might be ours.  During those days, when I hold her close, mothering will just feel so right.

Little did I know how difficult it would be to conceive that child.