Tag Archives: hope

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,



Hope and Betrayal: We Left The Church

So Alex and I packed up and pulled out abruptly. I had a secluded meeting with my associate leader of the children’s scouting program to break the news that we were leaving the church. I could no longer run the program, couldn’t finish the year with them, and she needed to step up and take over. Talk about blindsiding her. I ran out of that meeting with the ghost of guilt and shame chasing me. We left the praise band, stopped working with the teenagers, dumped children’s church on someone else, and we were gone. My father, who was also the pastor of the church, was furious and hurt. And who could blame him? We had bailed on every aspect of our involvement in the church without notice, without saying goodbye, without anything. We just up and left leaving a trail of hurt, broken promises, and programs in shambles.

The guilt and shame at what we had done sat like acid in my stomach, slowly eroding my self-worth. Alex acted like it was the best thing we had ever done. He thought we were taken advantage of, used, because we were related to the pastor, claimed he was burned out, and he had enough. He couldn’t stand the politics of an aging, set-in-their-ways generation. Alex was tired of trying to make things work at my parents church. He wanted independence, change, a new church, and a new life. I saw it as running away, giving up, losing hope.

We met with my mother and father. My father wanted to discuss what we had done. I couldn’t look them in the eye. He pointed out how devastated the teenagers were at our abrupt departure. How could we do that to them? How could we do that to the church? Those kids looked up to us, trusted us. What would they do now? What about the programs we had started or were working with? Did we know how hurt my parents were? How hurt the church was? What would people think of us? I was mute with pain. This wasn’t my choice. It was Alex’s choice. I was the wife who had to go along with what he wanted. Couldn’t they see that? Alex got defensive, fighting for his decision, believing we were right in leaving. Words became heated between Alex and my father, neither willing to concede their side. It was the first time there was true tension and anger between the two of them. We left, my head hung in shame, Alex’s chest puffed with pride.

Alex found another church that was young, still using a commercial industrial building as a church until they found a permanent home. The church was called Hope, but to me, it felt more like Betrayal. Alex didn’t understand why I was so upset about how we left our earlier church. He admitted that maybe we should have done it a bit differently. You think? But it was done now. It was time to move on. Tell that to those we left picking up the pieces of our destruction.

The new church had a young adult group, people around our age. Alex was pretty excited. I was apprehensive and quiet. Right away, he joined the Men’s Bible Study group. We were invited to an informal dinner with the young adult group. The pastor asked Alex to sing special music and play the drums for the praise band. Alex was thrilled and dove right in. He couldn’t see that it was just like our old church with the responsibilities and involvement repeating itself. Weren’t we just setting ourselves up for burn-out and failure again? Although the difference now was Alex was King and I was in his shadow.