Monday, May 14, 2012

What Happens When...

The year 2000 brought a profound change in our lives. My first wife, Jane, was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer Stage 4. From that moment until her death, we lived some very dark times.

She suffered pain defined by as: 1. physical suffering or distress, as due to injury, illness, etc., 2. mental or emotional suffering or torment. I experienced despair defined by as: 1. loss of hope; hopelessness, 2. someone or something that causes hopelessness. The defined meanings do no justice expressing the actual physical and emotional experience.

As we sat alone that first night and quietly talked, Jane would ask me if she was going to die. How does one answer such a question? How does one respond to a death sentence?

Am I going to die?
Are we getting a divorce?
Will you forgive me for being unfaithful?
Is my child going to live?

A friend lost his teen age daughter to a car accident and could not speak of this for almost a year. One day he confided he did not know a person could experience so much pain and live. Sometimes our innocence and peace are RIPPED out of us. We are angry, shocked, in disbelief, disoriented, hurt and alone. Who can we talk with that will understand?

A couple considered my experience with cancer and being friends asked my advice concerning her diagnosis. I explained whatever choice they made together for her treatment this would be the greatest strain of their marriage. They were very brave and she endured as much treatment as she could while he stood by her side. They had many dark days. She finally elected to stop treatment, go back home with her husband and die with love and dignity. He eventually remarried.

Susan, my daughter, asked several times for me to journal so it could help others. After nine years, I cannot talk about details of that time.  Love is like a light in our lives providing illumination, security and hope. For myself, when this trauma came and endured, I became blinded to the light and love all around me. I felt like God left our universe.

I had dinner with a friend and gradually could see the glow of a familiar light and warmth returning. With approval from family, friends and our Pastor, we married. Over time, certain close family mentioned how peaceful I was. Susan and I grew closer and she often mentioned the change she saw in me.

Connye, my wife, brought love, balance and hope back into my life. Her first marriage had not gone well ending in divorce. She had to overcome her emotions to trust I would love her, remain faithful until death, and always treat her with respect and honor.

Some might ask what my point is and I answer: to persevere. Don't give up on God. Love is always, always with us. Light and love is always with us. Certain animals can see in the dark as well as humans can in the light. When we use special equipment, we can also SEE what is hidden. Certain scars will remain from those losses, hurts and broken vows but please don't deny yourself love and joy because of them.

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