Lately I’ve been on a journey – or I guess, more accurately an emotional roller coaster. Job 1:21 has been constantly running through my mind: The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; Blessed be the name of the LORD. It’s a verse that I have really taken to heart lately, repeating it to myself over and over and over.
Being pregnant is one of the greatest things ever; an emotional high. But at the same time, the Lord is preparing to call Susan home. Hands down, one of the hardest things I have ever had to deal with. I often find myself literally connecting those two things to the Job verse. He’s giving and He’s taking away. He’s giving me a baby and He’s taking away my best friend.
I first made the connection three years ago… November 2005. I was pregnant with Dillon when Susan was first diagnosed with cancer. They didn’t think she would live long or recover at all. The cancer was stage four when they found it. I wrestled with the fact that she would never get to meet my little guy. I was devastated and clung to the hope that she would be here for that. Slowly, she got stronger and with the chemo treatments and I’m sure – God’s grace - she was thriving and doing way better than her oncologist ever expected. Besides Jason, she was the only person I saw while I was in recovery after my c-section. She was there – she had made it!
Fast forward to a few weeks after I found out I was pregnant with baby number two… I was so happy. Actually, happy doesn’t even begin to cover it. It was more like floating around on a cloud. And then all of a sudden Susan started getting weaker and not feeling good. She went to see her doctor and he gave her the worst news ever: her cancer was taking over. He was going to give her one more round of chemo and if that didn’t work… well, I didn’t even want to think about that option. But that is now our reality as she wasn’t even able to have that round of chemo. She has been in and out of the hospital twice in the last five or so weeks and has progressively been getting worse. I know that it’s just a matter of time until she is home with Jesus.
Most days I am handling that fact surprisingly well. Better than I ever imagined I would be able to handle it. But, some days it’s more than I can take and it’s the little things totally set me off. Tonight I found out that some friends are expecting their second baby and I was so excited for them. My first thought was that I couldn’t wait to tell Susan… and then I metaphorically hit the wall. Telling her wasn’t an option. All the things I have been wondering and thinking about came splashing down my cheeks… I cried because it hit me again that I will no longer have my best friend, the person I tell everything to... I cried as wondered for the millionth time, who I was going to have to trade recipes with, who I would be able to complain about Jason to. I wondered who was going to give me advice about whatever I needed advice about.
I cry when I think about the fact that I have no clue how to explain to my two and a half year old why he won’t be able to see his aunt any more – a person who he is around so often and whom he asks to see every. single. day. How on earth do you possibly explain this? How will he ever be able to understand. And then I cry for this little bundle of joy that I am carrying around in my belly - This little one who will never get to meet their aunt - one of the most important people in our lives.
And then I cry for my nieces and my nephew who are going to have to go though the rest of their lives without their mom. I can’t even imagine what that will be like for them. I am sick that she won’t be there for the little things in their daily lives. I am heartbroken when I think that she won’t be there for birthdays, graduations, their weddings, to see their babies.
Someone recently told me that when a loved one dies we cry for them for the first hour and then after that we cry for ourselves. I found that statement to be so profound, so true. I found myself wondering, how can we cry for someone who gets to go to paradise? Someone who gets to be whole again and free from pain and the sickness she has been battling. I’m sure when the day comes I won’t even cry for her for an hour… she’ll be in such a better place. I know that those tears that I shed will be for those of us who are left here without her.