Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sappy Times

Team Miner:

I just finished reading "Help, Thanks, Wow" by Anne Lamott the other day.  It is a pithy and good book.  I'm not quite at the "wow" stage of prayer at the moment.  Life is sucking a little bit too much for me to feel all overwhelmed by the awesomeness of dandelions, ripe strawberries, and sunshine very often, but I'm working on that.  The first two chapters on "Help" and "Thanks" were right on point though for me.

One thing I've been thinking about a lot lately is how this experience with Jeff having lymphoma has made me realize just how ordinary, but also special, we are.  Crappy diagnoses, and just flat out crappy things, happen to people all the time.  Out the blue.  Just on any otherwise ordinary day, to ordinary people.  It's an unfortunate fact of life and there's nothing anyone can do about it.  Initially, this observation feels very unsettling, and it is, but there's also something a wee bit comforting about not being in control.  Once you can accept that, of course.

The "special" realization stems not from thinking that there is something so unique about our family, but from realizing, through this experience, how many people seem to care about us, and love us.  We have been flooded with kind emails (to which we rarely find time to respond), cards, gifts, and acts of kindness.  People are rooting for us.  We matter to our friends and family, and that's what I am realizing makes us special.

Thinking about that has made me a little more compassionate to the DBs in line for coffee who aggravate me, the drivers who have annoying habits of not using their turn signals, and even (to a far lesser extent) the jerkwad politicians who want to take food from the mouths of hungry kids.  I would hope that even those sorry souls are special to someone.

And on a deeper level, with this insight, I have been saddened to a new degree when I see forlorn mentally ill or homeless people in our neighborhood.  I hope that someone finds them special, that someone loved them like crazy when they were kids - as much as I find myself loving Lydia and Stella.  And when I think about this, I can only be thankful for the support and love that I have been showered with and ask for help for others who have much less than I do, and are facing life's trials alone.

The following is one of many little quotes from the book that I thought was appropriate for this entry. I'll spare you the rest and cut the sappiness now.  We have to leave for the heme/onc clinic in a couple of minutes anyway.
"They say - or maybe I said - that a good marriage is one in which each spouse secretly thinks he or she got the better deal, and this is true also of our bosom friendships.  You could almost flush with appreciation.  What a great scam, to have gotten people of such extreme quality and loyalty to think you are stuck with them.  Oh my God.  Thank you." - Anne Lamott


Katherine said...

Yes, yes and yes to all of this. I feel lucky every day that my family keeps me around! XO to you and yours from the Kates family. :)

Sandra Sands said...

Katina, thank you so much for allowing us to walk your journey with you from far away. I start my nightly conversation with the Father with a request for complete and total healing for Jeff and strength for you. I do not have any great words of wisdom for you Katina, other than be gentle with yourself and it is ok to vent, complain, be angry or what ever you are filling at the moment as there are many friends and family who are standing in the gap and carrying you and your family.



The loom of life weaves patterns bold
As our life’s threads spin and unfold
Who knows what obstacles we’ll face
We’ll overcome them all with grace
The trail ahead may be most dire
But faith and courage will conspire
To thrust us forth and on our way
To a new healthy brighter day
The future will not be undone
It will be great, it will be fun