Monday, December 03, 2007

OK, God... You Can Let Up Now!

Mother Theresa was quoted as saying, "God never gives me more than I can handle. I just wish he didn't trust me so much."

I have to say, right now I'm going through the Ironman of challenges and I wonder if maybe God left her desk and is missing my messages that the challenges can stop for a while.

Let's start with my husband.

He's a diabetic, always has been since I've known him. Convinced that the western medical establishment was out to get him, he conveniently evaded doctors for many years. He'd go to a doctor when things got bad, but would shortly slip and neglect any advice he'd been given.

The recurring buzz was always "You need to eat less carbs, more protein and green veggies."

He's a vegetarian who didn't like vegetables. Most of his day was spent eating really healthy things- just in questionable quantities. Brown rice is good, right? Well, how about 8 servings in one sitting?

Whole wheat pasta anyone? Sure, if you have enough sauce to go over the entire package.

We had major blow-outs over his food choices and eating. Diabetics with high blood sugar are just as crabby as people on low sugar crashes. Impatient, ill-humored, you name it.

So a few years ago, I made a move for my own serenity and decided to detach from his diseases and inability to manage them. I knew that if I tried to manage his health, it would be more resentments piling up against me. So I let go.

I did what I could to stock the house with healthy choices, but ultimately he was the one lifting the fork to his own mouth.

A few months ago he developed a sore on his toe that wouldn't heal. It looked pretty bad and several people saw it and warned him that it could lead to some major concerns. I'm not here to bash him, but let's just say it wasn't cared for with the utmost concern.

Aside: I'm a super achiever, he's.... well, not as much. He's a super achiever when it comes to collecting reggae music and buying books on spirituality and philosophy, but other things aren't as well tended to. If I were in his position, I'd have done a zillion things to save my health. He took the ostrich approach, sadly. Who knows why. I think after so many years of frustration of high sugar, he gave up the battle and said "f--- it".

Back to the sore toe.
It festered. Then he started getting fever and chills and then it was time to get intervention. While I was at the park having Citlalli's 5th birthday party, he drove himself to the ER.

The doctors took one look at it and realized it needed to be amputated.

Hi mom and sister came to the hospital the night before his surgery. We joked that if they wanted to operate on his foot, they'd need to go through his mouth (last place he left it... ha ha!!). My mother in law prayed extensively for him as did many others.

The day of the surgery I sat in the hospital lobby with my mother in law, my two stepdaughters, and their kids. He did really well in the surgery and was up eating and talking an hour later.

My mother in law motioned for the surgeon to come to her. She grabbed his hands and said a prayer over him. He looked a little embarassed, but getting a prayer said over you by the 13th Apostle (Paco's nickname for his mom) is a huge honor.

While Paco was recovering that week, he had some realizations, both spiritual and physical.

He realized he took his body for granted and needed to change his eating habits.
He realized that he loved his mother so much and that her prayers and spirituality were just what he needed.
He realized that he wanted to be less of an outcast and more of a member of society.

The next day, his sister came over and cut off his waist long dreadlocks. He asked me to bring him a Bible. He said he was interested in volunteering in the community after he got better.

Huge change from the Paco everyone had gotten to know, he of the recluse variety.

When you're in the hospital facing your own mortality, things happen. He had a spiritual awakening and saw the he was being given a second chance.

On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, with him still in the hospital, I received a phonecall at midnight. His mother had suffered a massive aneurism and was being rushed to the hospital.

I had just spent the morning with her at the hospital, we just went to lunch while we waited for him to wake up. She just sat with him on Friday, watching in amazement as his hair was cut.

Now it's Saturday and she's in a coma.

I went to his bedside Sunday morning to tell him in person. I spared no details, he needed to know that her chances of survival were 2%.

I saw him take the news with spiritual calm. Having experienced an awakening and with her to witness it, he felt like God was taking care of everything.

A few days later, she passed.

With him in this condition it's one thing. That's a lot of stress.
Then with his mother passing, it adds this layer of sorrow.

The beauty lying beneath reveals itself in each day. Family relationships that before were distant or strained, show signs of healing. People are saying "I love you" easily and without fear.

The gift left by my mother in law, Jessie, is the gift of unwavering faith. A few weeks ago I'd called her to tell her my mom was going to the oncologist for the word on her colon cancer.

"Tell your mother the Lord spoke to me and said she is healed."

Sure enough, my mom went to the doctor and was declared cancer free.

Was it from chemo or prayers? Well, let's say it was a divine combination of forces.

This is a heavy time for us here in my family. Yes, awakenings and reuniting are happening, but still we have sorrow and recovering.

I haven't posted anything on my blog for while and now you can see why. Just way too much going on.

But I have to hearken back to Mother Theresa's words and remember, I'm not in this alone and with my Creator's help, nothing is too great or too tragic.

All my relations.

Rest in peace Jessie.


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