Saturday, January 29, 2011


(Prologue - I wrote this a few weeks ago, and was unsure about posting it here, but feel like I should. It's a weighty topic, so please read with caution and care...)

There was a suicide on Sunday - a teenaged boy - 17. No one was aware/had any idea he was on that road.

It makes my heart ache, for so many reasons. My grandfather killed himself when my dad was 7, and I've

often times wondered how that act NOT happening would've changed my family. I wonder about the man -

the man from whom my father got his ears, whom my grandmother has referred to as 'the best man', even

though his action left her a jobless widow at 25 with 3 children 7 and younger; the man through whom she

became a Christian.

So suicide on one side of the family, and depression on the other. I can honestly say that if I weren't a

Christian, I would've probably killed myself by now. Being outside the mainstream can be so lonely, aching,

and overwhelming. There have even been times since my conversion where I have felt no desire to go on.

And it's in those moments when I've cried out to God and He 'uses pain as His megaphone' (to use a C.S.

Lewis phrase) with me, but only after coming to me in my sackcloth and ashes, and sitting with me in the

silence--until I am ready to listen.

A few months ago, someone I care about was put on suicide watch for a stretch of time. I did not know all

 of the particulars, but I cried. I cried with relief because the act hadn't happened, and I cried that he felt that

it could be an option, and I cried because I knew from experience how the hopelessness can be a weighty,

choking presence. I wish I didn't. I wish things were different. But they aren't. Life moves forward, and new

obstacles that are built-up versions of the same old ones are placed in the way. We dodge and maneuver as

best we can, hopefully with a learning curve.

May we always have the ability to have our hearts broken, so that we may encounter God there, and

re-learn the important things of life.

rk 1/13/11

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I'm not quite sure what to say today. So far, I'm still awake, which is a good thing, as I've been monumentally thrown off my night-shift sleep schedule that I had cultivated. I've decided to blame the holidays and my whirlwind visit home, as that make me have to change up the fairly regular work schedule that I'd created. The past week I have reverted to sleeping as I did when I first started working nights, with only sleeping or staying awake a few hours at a stretch, and the awake hours being groggy and worthless for getting anything of value performed. (example--I worked Monday night into Tuesday morning. Because of the snow I didn't get home until 9, but wasn't able to go to sleep until after 11 am, and that was with medicinal assistance. I wanted to only sleep until 4 at the latest so I could 'flip' and sleep the entire night, but I ended up sleeping until after 6 pm, then was awake for about 90 minutes, then slept until 11 pm, was awake until 2 am Wednesday morning, when I took something else to help me sleep, and I nodded in and out until 1 pm. I called my grandmother, slept from 3-7, got a call from my mom, slept from 9-11pm, was awake from 12-2am Thursday, slept from 2-5 am, then got up to begin my day...)This week is my weekend to work, so I'm hoping that I will be able to return to my schedule soon.

I need to find some way to keep myself occupied for about the next hour and a half. I can't allow myself too much time to overthink certain things, which I've found is a good thing to know about yourself. I think I've been pretty productive so far today. I've figured out many tasks that are either in-process or crossed of the list (always a good thing) and I've got some more 'to-do', as I volunteered and had takers :).

I think I might get off here and try to read some more on 'Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell'. I've been working on that book what seems like forever. I enjoy it very much, but it's not one that can be easily picked up,read, & put down along the course of a day, but requires time to extract the world and the story within it.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Unpacking my bag of cats...

So I've got this thing that I've said is like 'carrying a bag of cats', which is becoming increasingly stressful to me, and a well-meaning person this week added another element into the mix. Today I sat down with it all, to try to figure things out, and as I unpacked my bag of cats, there were some old, deep-seated hurts that came up, and along the way, other emotions came, which irritated and frustrated me even more, because those were the same old thing; same old tune. My head was rationally trying to downplay it all as my heart cried out, until reset was done.

God, what a mess. I am completely incompetent,inadequate, and insecure. You know the situation. God, I give to You my bag of cats, and ask that You bless this mess.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I JUST woke up from a dream, rather reluctantly, but once awake, want to put down what it was...

I remember sitting in a room on the floor, in bad holey clothes. I am in the shadows, back of the room, eyes downcast, as the others in the room talk about me, and my 'situation', no one wanting to say the word 'cancer'. I feel low and at the end...

And the room stills, and I feel that the attention of the room has shifted to me, so I raise my eyes. The person across from me in the room is the leader in the semi-circle of chairs, and with an upraised arm,  motions to my left, and a best friend is sitting in a chair, halfway between that semi-circle and myself.

My eyes smile, and within I feel hope in my weakness, as the corners of my mouth turn up.

I whisper, ' Yes. He will speak for me', knowing trust in the words that would be said would be in my best interest.

He stands. 'I will open with prayer.'

'And why do I pray?' He is speaking to the room, but looks at me.

'So that I may know, without a doubt, God's will for my life.'

Time passes, and this meeting is over. The other people have left, and I am alone with my friend and champion. He finds me in my spot on the floor and sits next to me. We two sit in silence until a hand reaches under my chin and raises my eyes. He speaks after a moment of just looking deep.

'Out of all the moments, these are my favorites'.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Sweats - a redemptive love story

So work is totally kicking my butt this week, already. First day, I feel like I've been beaten, and it wasn't even on my patients! The new nurse next to me had a hot mess, so I helped over there.

Now, I've always seen the benefit of a sweatshirt or hoodie - the warmth and softness of the fabric against the skin; preferably larger so it can be burrowed into. I have one from each college I've attended, and the mustardy hoodie from the ex is probably (sadly) one of the remaining highlights from that relationship... but sweatpants and I parted ways long ago. While of the same fabric, at the time they had that horrible elastic around the waist and each ankle, creating on my lower half an 'Ali Baba'/MC Hammer pant look that needed to fly away. I also viewed leaving the house in sweats (for any reason as a woman besides being a size 0 and going to work out) as an awful thing.

And then I met my Hanes black sweatpants. They were on sale, and just had light elastic on the waist, and actually had flared legs. I just returned from running an errand in those pants, and my CMSU hoodie. I was comfortable the whole time. Perhaps sweats in public don't mean that you aren't trying and that you've given up, but that you are no longer thinking about how others view you...

Sunday, January 2, 2011


I had worked Christmas Eve night, one of my most favorite times of the year, and yet again was unable to attend a Christmas Eve service. Even so, I was starting to look forward to going home to MO after work, and having Christmas with my dad's side of the family later Christmas Day. I was so happy and encouraged.

And then my flight got into Chicago on time, but I was stuck on the plane, on the runway because another plane was at our gate, getting de-iced, and I missed my flight. When the flight attendant told me this news, I had been awake for 20 hours and my mixture of emotions (the expectant excitement of family and Christmas, intermingled with the sadness of a former patient my age that had died the night before) turned to despair, and I began to WEEP in my seat on the plane---big puddle tears rolling down as I blubbered away, making my already present sinus congestion exponentiate until I couldn't breathe, and had to stop crying, or die.

I WANTED to be a jerk and a bitch to those around me. I wanted to yell and cuss everyone out because I had spent the extra money so I could get home early, and was now spending that precious time in a sea of strangers in an airport.

But everyone was helpful/considerate/accomodating/polite, and while my emotions raged to take control, my head worked overtime to assess the overall situation---I teeter-tottered for awhile on choosing how to react, and there was a REAL fight to NOT let myself roll around in the bitterness and despair, although at the time, that's all I wanted.

 and then I remembered that I had been reading in John Eldredge's 'Walking with God' about having joy in life, and how many of us just get by and accept that, and how joy can be snatched away by Satan.

So I sat down and said,'God, what am I supposed to be learning from this? What's going on? And why?'

(Just FYI, if you ask a question, you better be ready for an answer)

That afternoon, in O'Hare, I learned about my expectations of things, and to be open, and emotions, and there in one of the busiest airports, I had some quiet time.