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This or that…either way.

I remember the quote.  It was a week or two after Trey was diagnosed and the quote was, “Well, we’re just waiting for Rachel to break.”  It was one of the most condescending things anyone has said to me since we entered this new phase of our life.  The person (and whoever his “we” were) just assumed that since Rachel was not a blubbering mess blaming God and all creation for Trey having cancer that she/we were in denial.  This was not the case, not then, not now.  Actually, vehemently refusing denial plays a vital role in the mental health that she and I share.  THAT is the point of today’s post.

I will go over the proper process of “processing hurts” in a post or two later on but simply put we have grieved and comforted each other throughout this process.  We have felt the pain that we have experienced, comforted one another, sought out and received the comfort of others, and continued on.  We have not grieved that which we have not experienced yet nor celebrated those things we have not received.  We have dealt with things to the best of our abilities as they have come upon us.  It is part of my “job” to prepare the whole family, however, for what “may” come.  I consistently build “nets” for Joe and Bella to fall on if/when “it” happens.  Rachel and I do this for each other during our 15 minutes from time to time.  Here is what we have come up with.

We are ready.  Well, we think we are ready.  We are as ready as one could be expected to be given the circumstances.  That being said, we know that you can’t be ready.  We are not so foolish as to think that you can fully (or “properly”) prepare for what can be/most likely is ahead of us.  I said to her the other night, “I think we are ready as much as we can be.  Then again, I know we cannot possibly be ready.  However, the fact that I know that we can’t be ready is a good indicator that we are as ready as we can be.”

You see, denial lays in the weeds of both extremes that we so deftly are avoiding.  To say that we are “ready” would be denying the severity of what lies ahead.  It is arrogant and only sets us up for a far greater fall.  What’s the difference between having an elephant sit on your chest or a whale?  I don’t know…slime?  Regardless, I only want to have to experience the pain that comes with life and what lies ahead, not our false sense of security being crushed as well.

If we were to say that we could not possibly be ready, on the other hand, would be a different kind of denial.  We would be denying what God has done to and through us so far.  He has begun a process (long before Trey’s diagnosis) that has us to where we are at this exact moment.  We have come so far and grown so much that I simply won’t discredit Him in that way.

So, we know that we aren’t ready but we are the least aren’t ready as you can be…we think.  What we do know is that we are simply not in charge.  Even as I type this Rachel and I are in our office.  In the living room is Trey loudly chewing on celery that he helped himself to out of the fridge.  It was not cleaned or cut…(I don’t think so).  The sound of his loud crunching and chewing is something that brings us both to a point of great joy.  Mind you, this is true for no one else in the world.  Please, close your mouth when you chew.  He has shown us both in his battle with cancer and defiance to authority (even and/or especially our own) that we cannot control him.  He is a walking talking metaphor for life.  We are simply not in charge.  Mind you, we are not to throw our hands up and simply say that “whatever will be will be” or “eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die.”  No, we have our responsibilities and are more than accountable for them.  We gladly accept that challenge.  Yet, to act let alone believe that we are in charge is straight foolishness.  Something far greater with much more knowledge than we have has this all mapped out or at least is aware of what lies ahead.

So, when will Rachel break?  When will I?  I guess I would answer, “Often, , rarely, whenever we need to or it just happens…but we’ll be ready.  I think.”

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