Monday, April 12, 2010

Husband. Wife. Daughter. Dog. Dusk.

Today I’m doing something new, different, out-of-the-ordinary, novel, unusual and just downright extraordinary.

I’m driving to Greenville! Again. (Sigh.)

The plastic surgeon and the surgical center both need me to come in and look over some stuff and sign some papers (promising them our first born son, no doubt) and so off I shall go, over the river and through the woods, for another 4 1/2 hour round trip journey. When this trip is done, I will have traveled 1750 miles in the past three weeks, just getting to and from doctor’s appointments.

However, it could be much worse; I could be going to Norfolk for all these visits, instead of Greenville. (The two cities are both two hours away—just in opposite directions.) Now I have nothing whatsoever against Norfolk, mind you, but in order to get to the highway going to Norfolk, one has to drive down The Beach (as the locals call it) which is a 30-mile strip of the Outer Banks dotted with stores, shops, traffic, restaurants, congestion, and stop light upon stop light. (By the way, where I grew up in Wisconsin, they call stop lights “stop and go” lights. I just love that.)

However, when you turn your car east instead of west? This is one of the few stop lights you will see!

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And the view’s really not all that bad.

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If you like that sort of thing . . .

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Since I’ll be making that trip many times in the coming year for ongoing reconstruction procedures and surgeries, I’m extra thankful for an extra lovely drive.

Yesterday’s church service was not too terribly difficult to get through, although I still felt myself tearing up at the oddest moments, like during the offering when a quartet was singing the offertory. I just sat there and quietly cried and cried—for really no reason whatsoever. Next thing I knew, Sarah had reached over, grabbed my hand and held on tight.
So nice to have a built-in comforter in the pew next to me.

Steve made the announcement about my upcoming surgery in a low key way, and then moved right on with the service. We hate to draw a lot of attention to ourselves and our situation, and yet we know that our church family wants to stay in touch with what’s going on. I was surrounded by hugs and tears and words of encouragement after the service; we feel blessed to be in a community of believers that is stitched together by prayer and compassion and kindness.

And speaking of kindness, Steve and I have been given the opportunity to get away for a couple days before the surgery date. We have the (free) use of a million dollar, 5-bedroom home on the ocean for two nights! There will be many stresses and adjustments ahead for him, for me, and for our marriage as we navigate these waters; this time away for just the two of us will provide a healing oasis and give us the chance to gather up our strength for the battle.

As for the house situation? We did counter offer, with a price $1,000 less than the asking price. She can take it or leave it. There’s just not a whole lot more we can do at this point.

Steve is going to be in touch with the person who wants to buy this house (if we aren’t able to buy it), in order to see what he might be thinking about charging for rent. That will go a long way toward deciding if we can even afford to stay here on a rental basis.

Steve and I were even thinking about seeing if we could delay my surgery a little, because we’re so stressed about the possibility of a move right after the surgery; however, we’re hesitant to do that because you never want to give cancer any more ground than it already has.

And so life continues to be interesting. And stressful. And blessed. And challenging. And scary. And full of surprises and joy and tears.

But thankfully, sometimes life mercifully takes a break from throwing complexities our direction and offers instead the chance to go outside on a perfect Sunday evening and take a stroll through the evening’s golden hour.

Husband, wife, daughter, dog, dusk. Peace.

Troubles seem just a tad smaller when gazed at under the expanse of a sapphire sky; they seem a little less complex when compared with the intricacies of the dogwood blossom displayed along the journey.

Right now, our time spent together as a family--this Before Surgery time—is extra precious and extra special. Yes, a health crisis is looming. Yes, a house crisis is looming. But towering over the crises lined up at our doorstep is the knowledge that we can lean hard on the love of family, and the support of friends, and the faithfulness of God. We can be assured that somehow, someway, we will get through this choppy chapter of life.

So enjoy a few pictures that show the peace of our evening walk. And know that your prayers and kind words have helped contribute to that peace we are experiencing, even in the middle of this the storm.

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And after we come through the storm, we know our home will always provide for our family a safe harbor--wherever that home may be.

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18 Had Something To Say (Just click here!):

Love Being a Nonny said...

What a precious, heartfelt post. I am with you in prayer every step of the way. Rest in Him. I know YOU know His promises are true. God bless you today.

Anonymous said...

Keep crying those healing, stress relieving tears, Becky...doesn't matter if you know why your crying or not because the Healer does. You are so precious to the Lord so lay your head upon His chest, hear His heartbeat as He collects each of your tears and rest.

Love, Guerrina

Lisa said...

I love Guerrina's comment and agree with everything she said. Still praying, trusting, believing, hoping, knowing that it's ALL under control. Love you guys.

Karen C said...

Becky ... please know that you are in my constant thoughts and prayers. I am sorry you are having to go through this journey, but love the fact that you are not alone with all of your family, church family, close friends, and blog friends. I thought of you yesterday when the winner of the Masters Golf Tournament hugged his wife for a very long time -- she has been battling breast cancer the last year and is doing very well. It was one of those very sweet and sentimental moments, and I know your family and Lord will surround you with hugs and care also.

Anonymous said...

This was a beautiful post, Becky.

And if you will allow me a moment of pettiness, I am so jealous of the green grass and the trees with actual leaves. Around here, it won't look like that until June. You are lucky!

Pam D said...

Surrounded by peaceful beauty.. I just know that God put you there for a reason, Becky. I'm praying for His will to be revealed soon, or at least for the scales to drop from our eyes if it's there and we just can't see it. I used to drive daily from Goldsboro to Greenville to attend summer school at ECU; I was one of the few there who actually had my mind on studies (French) instead of heading to the beach. It's a lovely drive, and I hope that it provides solace to you when you need it most.
I wanted you to know that I sent a Like a Blanket CD with a friend to the Lighthouse spring break retreat last week. She was to give it to a family that we had been on retreat with 2 years ago; their son is terminal now. Muriel gave the CD to the mom Gina, and later, Gina told her something wonderful. She put the CD in during afternoon rest time and ended up falling into a deep sleep for 2 hours... something she just isn't able to ever do now. And the sea breeze was gently swaying the house.. she said she felt like she was being cradled in God's arms. Even while you're on your own hard road, your beautiful voice gave a priceless gift to another hurting momma.
love you....

Kaye Joyce said...

I just love you...I am feeling so much of your burdens right now, just by the feelings I get thru your writing. I pray that God will use his amazing touch to calm the storms for you all during the weeks ahead. Know you are going to be thought about and loved.
Kaye Joyce
Mt. Airy, NC

brooke said...

i figure crying is okay at anytime. crying because of surgery - cancer or not - is way okay. cry as much as you need, because it's scary. and house crisis are scary. one foot in front of the other.. sometimes those feet just take you from your bed to the bathroom, and maybe downstairs to the kitchen, and sometimes those feet can take you further in a day. but you know all this.

Anonymous said...

I put a song on my Facebook page for you today. DO NOT postpone your surgery, get the big C out of there ASAP! Love ya,
Your cousin Sandy

MaryH said...

Still praying and still having my heart touched by your writings. Also, $130,000 is the most ridiculous offer I have ever heard for a house as wonderful as yours in Smithfield. That is just plain wrong. Praying for resolutions on the housing situation quickly and I completely agree that postponing your surgery would have not been wise and just think of the mental torture knowing IT was there in you and not doing something about it - that could have been a worse situation than dealing with both recovery and the possibility of moving at the same time. There are many who can help you with those two events - but it would have been a hard, lonely struggle in your own heart and mind to know you had put off the surgery. So, I will continue to pray and am confident there are solutions and they will be revealed quickly, please, God!

P.S. Guerrina's post is beautiful - print that one and post it where you can read it and pray it often.

MN Mom said...

Becky, it is hard to believe it has been a year since you started this blog. Truly, you are one of the best blog writers, and share yourself with us so very well. My prayers are with you for strength and well-being during this stressful time. I know it is a buyers market right now, and if we were to try to sell our house after building it seven years ago, we would be lucky to get 75% of what it cost to build it. All that doesn't make it any easier to accept what seems like a terribly low offer. Moving again just isn't something you should have to do. I am praying for this to work out!

Catherine said...

You are in my prayers , all of you Smithies, Becky. Been following you for years and have watched you walking in grace and faith through so many of life's obstacles. You are truly blessed.

As for your rental, is there not a way that you can buy the house with the seller assuming the mortgage? Since it is not like you are going to be getting a big chunk of money upon the sale of your house, you are not awaiting any down payment money. If there is anyway you can borrow enough of a down payment to assure the owner of your rental that he will be fine if things don't work out with the sale since he would then pocket that money and have the house to boot, you may be able to work out a deal. Maybe go for a 5 year interest only with a lump payment thereafter when mortgages might be freed up more and you will certainly be free of your Smithville house.

Also, perhaps you can then rent out your Smithville house with an option to buy or take on the mortgage yourselves in a deal similar to what I described you do. By doing this, you will be sure of your tax credit, and open things up for more buyers. Around here the mortgage purses are locked tight and the only things moving are those willing to get creative. I wish there were someone there who is experienced with these deals that can help you.

Anonymous said...

how lovely that you will have a beautiful 2 day get-away that prayerfully will be totally stress-free.

btw, in the sixth picture down, did I perchance see Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, taking a casual swim?

i was telling mrs g today that your smithfield house would be listed for 4 to 6 times as much here according to what I see in our newspapers.

we prayed for you today and last week in Preschool, Becky....

Ann Martin said...

So glad you and Steve will have a chance to get away for a couple of days. I want to see pictures of that $$$$$ house! I'm sure you'll take some. God is still working and am praying for the Smithfield house to sell to just the right person and at a price you can afford. Hope it will be soon so you can keep the house you are in. Praying for the surgery and medical team as they prepare. Sure did enjoy the pictures especially Sarah and Snowy and of course Steve, too. Love the beach and beach pictures. Take care and keep writing and looking up. We're here for you. Love to all!!!

Sue G said...

I hate driving over water. I hate driving over water. I hate driving over water.

Why do they (whoever they are) make people drive over water??? I understand the appeal of living on a peninsula or an island...but that appeal ends for me when I have to drive over water. The only thing that terrifies me more is driving under water, which I had to do when I went someplace...New Orleans?...Gulf shores?...someplace that everyone made sure not to tell me we would be in a tunnel with water over us.

Yes, there are many changes in your life right now. And change is always scary, especially if they include the word cancer in them. But there will be blessings, too. Many of them. And when you focus on the blessings, the peace always surrounds you. You don't seem to pay much attention to the fear that craves to swell inside you.

I wish I could catapult you forward to the time when this would all be over and you would be speaking about it in the past tense: "Remember when I went through that cancer journey? Seems so far away, doesn't it?"

But, like I always tell people, the only way to get to the other side of it is to go through it. And you will. And we will all be amazed at your honesty, your humor, your writing skill, and your ability to live life as a light in the darkness.

After all, you've been doing that for years. It's who you are.

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