Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Such a night as this...

I woke up. Grabbed a hot diet Coke and some No Doze. If that's any indication as to what sort of morning it is.... Praises of God fail. Curses rises up. Despair stands, oppressive, and, the smell of death, his unmistakable odor, is palpable. Garbage, nonsense, just all in your head. Say whatever you want, but, when you are told, it is time, something shifts. In my case, it was like a tectonic plate of sorrow and shame. Why shame, you might ask? I will leave, in my wake, a family of four. An amazing woman, the likes of which I have only met once on earth. Loving, gentle, courageous, fair, beautiful, inside and out, truly just and one of those rare souls you hear about, thinking, people this good don't really exists. Had I never seen her with my own two eyes, loved her with my heart, and, spent the past decade with here, I would never have believed her to be real. Too good to be true. Smart, funny, cute, sweet, precious, incomparable. President of her sorority, a natural born leader, a woman who turned down a successful future as a doctor to be a mother. The woman who always has THE right thing to say at THE right time. The anti-me. My complement, but, in a positive way, in all things.

How can I, a dying, sick man, unprepared to send her and our three children into the future after I am gone, sleep at peace knowing I never took time to care for her as I should have. We have a minuscule life insurance policy, a large portion of which will be swallowed by taxes. A 401k that will be gutted like a fish as market as soon as we touch it. Over the past few months we have been looking for houses to move into while we still have my salary. Yes, we are a single-income family in the day of double-incomes. We chose as parents to raise our kids as our treasure, not our bank accounts. And, yet, life had taken THE turn for the worst and insulted our brave, valiant choice to be noble be insult and injury. Money will more than likely be a plague for my family as has been for me my whole life. Never having enough. Never knowing what can be done to fend off that immediate fear of, "We just won't quite have enough." There are no television shows swooping into magically help us. We have the mercy and great kindnesses of strangers. Some through churches, others, though compassion, but, nothing, no shallow thread of what tattered hope I once stood so strong in brings me peace. God and his peace are long, distant memories.

I know not who or what He is. Until yesterday, I sat, in a quiet moment of thanks, feeling I had a few months to reflect, to cobble together some semblance of a belief in God again. I was going, as Karen put it, to wipe the slate clean, rebuilt my touch with God and see, with own, bare, bloody, wearied eyes, who this God I said I believed in so much really was any more. And, then, this. The reality check. Danette, our nurse, quietly, but, in a matter-of-fact tone, took Kerri aside and said, "Look, his marrow is gone. He is living on transfusions. And, they will start to fail. When that happens, it is only a matter of time." To write that, to literally type that, and, know, I feel no pain, no sickness, nothing other than a mild tooth ache. Surreal lost its meaning years ago. How care how surreal it is. It is insulting. It is like the rape of the mind and soul and spirit. I hear you are alive, and, just like that, will no longer be. We cannot tell you when this thief will come. Nor, can we tell you what its assault will be like. Only that, when it is said and done, so too will you.

I stop, reflecting. In my office, my walls are lined with books of computers, ideas, literature, philosophy. All these grand things, ideas, pursuits, hopes dreams, things I wanted to become, to achieve and pursue. And, now, when I look at them, I see wasted money fruitless pursuits. Vanity and anger. Loss, depravity and a mockery I made of myself. Musical instruments hang on my wall. Literally, just yesterday, I contacted the worship team at church to see about joining up. Now, I have to backtrack and tell them, "Sorry, I was dying slowly before and thought I had time. The clock suddenly accelerated, like one of those horror scenes in sci-fi movie, where the nuclear bomb's timer goes from counting hours to seconds with one wrong snip of a wire." Once again, my hope and optimism have made me take actions to come across as the unwitting fool. Who was I to think I could go worship this God I, for who knows what reason, I proclaim to love. The one who finally brought me, after a lifetime of alienation, oddity, weirdness, despair and being lost to a place I finally felt at home. And, in a split second, to take it all away. Where, my friends, is that worship song! I haven't heard that one played anywhere, ever.

I try, try and try to lift myself up by my boostraps, but, every time I do, I break a finger, tear a ligament, bust my nose, rip my pants, make a laughing stock of myself, my family, this so-called God and all that I supposedly stand for along the way. So, I begin to wonder, "Why stand?" I am not going to stop living. I am not suicidal. I just wonder, "Why try?" God not only seems to NOT care, he seems to WANT to make sure my efforts at standing firm him are, one by one, hope by hope, dream by dream, destroyed. I have no desire to do or be anything for Him. Honestly, all I have ever wanted to with serve him. First we move to Dallas to help out with a ministry, only, due to new job, ANYTHING I DO EXCEPT but work with ministry. It has been, since we moved here in 2005 like a giant, glass dome has fallen over the CITY and all its spiritual ministries. I have, in the years I have been here to do something with God. At first it frustrated me. Then, it really frustrated.

Three years into this journey. I quit. The dreams, miracles, vision, prayers, the conferences, prophets, apostles. Spiritual people to the hilt. Those doing, as John Wimber called it, the work. I lost faith, not only that they were still alive and vital, but, that I was to have anything to do with them. I reached out, only to be rebuffed an ignored. That was almost 4 years ago. After getting diagnosed I returned more on fire. Desperate. My banner was that this disease was merely God's way to teaching, from A to Z, about healing. I prayed. I fasted. I scarified. We went into $20,000 worth of debut pursuing alternative medicine. I tried eastern medicine. Western medicine. Drugs. Radical surgeries. And, by radical, I mean, I am 17-hour, every organ in my abdominal cavity removed, scoured for tumors, 1/3rd of my tumor resected, no spleen or gall bladder, 90 minute heated chemotherapy wash across my entire interperotenal region radical. Two major complications, and a month and a half later, and, Kerri and I limped home in our little $1,000 Honda home. Shortly after that, three more rounds of chemo, a broken right leg, in the hospital puking first and morphine, getting railed by kidney doctors for not doing dialysis.

All this, and, I stand, working, somehow, not very effectively, less and less able to keep a clarity. my thought less coherent. I promised my friend, and, manager Jeff, when I felt I was a liability to the team I would step down. Running the risk of not only damaging my own career but that of my teammate is not only irresponsible but wrong. When that day came, I promised myself and him I would step down. Well, it has come. I wish I had more to give, but, this is it. I cherish their friendship too much, and, respect them as individuals much to much to let me desire to "hang on" cause them, to cause our product, to cause our company problems. I am the weak link, and, I stepping down. I so wish it was not the case. I have finally found something I really and truly love to do. Perhaps I can consult, do odd jobs, scripts, tasks, random things. But, right now, there is this one project, a conversion of over 3.5 million files. I've never done anything that large, much less by myself. As I start ailing physically and presumably mentally, I am in my position to be a risk to my company. I think God, my team mates, managers and all those involved who have allowed me to continue to help in spite of my health. I told them, when all this was said and done, I was hoping this whole thing would be one giant lesson in healing. Well, I guess it has turned out differently than I expected and I need to give those who have supported me the honor and respect they deserve for standing with me through all of this. So, for those have been with through all this, "Thank you." I have no ability to share how much and how deeply the support of those who have been with me through this has meant. It truly does transcend words.

More to come later. I am in like 100,000 mile an hour mode and have to get the kids ready for school. What a way to start the day. And, it's only, let's see...dawn.

1 comment:

  1. Will, I am here for the long run.. to stand by you and your precious family for as long as you/they need/want me. Your writing teaches so much about the living until death process. Thank you for your lessons... You wrestle like Job.. like Jacob.. like Jesus "let this cup pass me by" karen