Warning: LONG POST

Various and Sundry

Some of you are aware that this is the season of testing for our Sweet Mama and the ongoing followup visits with various and sundry doctors. 

Yesterday was the day for the one that she was the most anxious about.  It was an EGD, checking her esophagus, and looking at the scar tissue left from her surgery four years ago.  When the doctor came into the waiting room, and motioned me into the hall to give his report, my heart sang a little song of joy.  Everything looks great!!!  He said that he was very pleased with the insignificance of the “stricture” at the place of the scar tissue, and that he won’t need to see her for another year.  They did their usual precautionary biopsy, and we will check back on that, just to be sure, but all in all, it looked great.

The reason my heart sang a little song of joy at being called into the hall is that he talked to me there in the hall.  There’s a private room that the same doctor had taken a family into just before he did Mama’s EGD and was there for a long time.  When the family came back to the waiting room, there were tears, uncertainty and general despair.  While I was waiting for Mama to come out of recovery, I had a chance to talk (semi-privately) to an elderly family member (a sister of the patient) and she was composed and friendly.  We chatted about numerous things, and then I said, “I’m sorry, but you got bad news today, didn’t you?” 

Her face fell, then she said, “Yes, we did.  I guess it doesn’t have to be fatal, but it doesn’t look too good.” 

I said, “You know, four years ago, my mama went back there and came out with terrible news.  She had esophageal cancer.  And I guess, at the time, they didn’t really think she had much hope, either.  But she has done so well!  We were through radiation, chemo and surgery, but she came through it all really well.” 

Her face lit up.  “I saw her go through here,” she said happily.  “She does look real good.”

I said, “Can you believe she’s eighty?”

“You’re kidding!” she scoffed and at that very moment, the doors opened, and they pushed SweetMama out on a wheel chair.  She was smiling, chatting with the nurse that was pushing her chair, her hair was neat, and she was dressed, ready to go home.  “That is hard to believe!” she chuckled.  “She looks real good!”  And I thought so myself.

I’ve been thinking so much about life today.  How the happenings of life keep on happening.  It’s a hard time for alot of the people I love right now.  And so often, there are not happy endings to the stories — at least as we see it.

There are many Bible words that help me at a time like this.  But knowing that all through the many things of the Bible that I cannot understand, God had a plan and even when it didn’t look like it, and even when no one believed that He did, He STILL DID, comforts me more than I can say.  And we can pray.  That’s me and you and everyone.  For each other.  For ourselves.  And I believe that a great many of us do.

We’ve had a tradition on the Yoder side of my family that a cousin’s choir sings two songs at the funerals of the aunts and uncles.  Usually a song that was specially picked by the family of the particular individual, and then the song that was my Grandpa Yoder’s favorite, #207 in the old LIFE SONGS, “If on a Quiet Sea.”  I was thinking tonight about the simple message of that song:

If on a quiet Sea, towards Heaven we calmly sail
With grateful hearts, oh God, to thee, we’ll own the favoring gale.
With grateful hearts, oh God, to thee, we’ll own the favoring gale.

But should the surges rise and rest delay to come,
Blest be the tempest, kind the storm which drives us nearer home.
Blest be the tempest, kind the storm which drives us nearer home.

Soon shall our doubts and fears, all yield to thy control
Thy tender mercies shall illume the midnight of the soul.
Thy tender mercies shall illume the midnight of the soul.

Teach us in every state to make thy will our own.
And when the joys of sense depart, to live by faith alone.
And when the joys of sense depart, to live by faith alone.

This is not the time of the “Quiet Sea” for me and my family, it’s true. 

So many of you have asked about my knee, and it seems rather inconsequential in face of what so many people are facing, but I thought that I would still update you.Today at my follow-up, I finally saw the pictures of my bones, and was able to listen to the doctor without too much fog on my brain.  First of all, I am grateful for all the concern over whether I have been doing too much.  I haven’t.  In fact, in light of everything, I guess things are healing fine.  But the truth is, there is big trouble in there, and I was told that this might be as “good as it gets” until the knee is replaced.  


You can believe that I am praying that it isn’t so.  And there is a good chance that things will suddenly turn around and for no real reason, I will do okay.  This is what I AM PRAYING FOR!!!  I don’t think it will always hurt like this, as the doctor did tell me that the procedure they did has a 3-4 MONTH recuperation time.  Which means I have no business being discouraged about the pain at 19 days.  Given the fact that there is still some swelling, bone pain from the procedure, and the fact that the area that is most messed up is the weight bearing surface on the inside of my knee. 

HOWEVER!!!  Now listen closely, all you bossy people out there.  I am allowed to put all the weight on it that I possess.  I am to use the crutches or a walker when the pain makes it hard to walk.  I am to use them whenever I feel a need for stability, and so you will sometimes see me with them (and I probably need them at that particular time) and you will sometimes see me without them (and I am not disobeying any orders or doing something that is hazardous — it’s probably just a good day.)  But I am to practice walking, and there are a few other things that they hope to try if things are still in disarray in another month.

Please pray that I don’t waste the lessons that I am supposed to learn in these days that cause me to become restless and impatient.  Pray that I will be a ready pupil of the Grace that I can certainly talk well enough about, but find hard to put into shoe leather —  er, um, recliner leather.  Pray that I will Listen to the loving counsel of my husband and family, but that I will not be lazy about doing what I can and should do, even when it isn’t comfortable.

And may I say one more time:

If God’s grace isn’t enough for days like this,
it really isn’t enough.
And I have found that it is enough!!


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8 responses to “Warning: LONG POST

  1. Good news about your Mother.  You take care and continue to recover, bless your heart, it is not easy to ‘wait and see’ is it?  “Recliner leather” is an apt phrase isn’t it?
    May The Lord Bless you with a complete and rapid recovery.

  2. There is a plan!! I try to keep that in mind as I go through my day!! It isn’t always as clear as I like but there is always a plan and a reason!!

  3. “If On A Quiet Sea”– When I read your post, I could hear Papa’s tenor voice sing a verse by himself while the rest of the family hummed the verse (on one of our LP albums). It was one of the favorites of Papa’s too. It brought back memories!Miriam

  4. Thanks so much for this post. You put me to shame. I need to learn those lessons God may be trying to teach me. I “know” God’s grace is sufficient for me too. But sometimes it “feels” like He is so busy with important things He has completely forgotten about me. I know that is not true, it is just how it feels. I am glad you are doing so well. I only wish it were a permanent cure. I guess we won’t get that until we get our new bodies. Albert

  5. I am so happy for your Sweet Mama on her good news!  You (and your mother)were a blessing to that family in the waiting room. They needed to see and hear that there is always hope.  As far as your knee is concerned, I am glad you are minding your doc’s orders and that you can walk all that the pain allows.  Do you take Ibupropen  (sp?) for the bone pain?  For all the horrible pain Don had for most of his illness, it was not until the last week was he advised that that simple drug rather than the strong narcotics (that did nothing) would ease his bone pain.  I just wish he could have been told that sooner. 

  6. How special that you could offer some hope to that family.  I’m so glad to hear you mom is doing well.  She’s such a special lady.  I’ve always liked that song more for the tune than anything.  But taking the time to read the words again I found it is indeed a wonderful song.

  7. As I read about the way your mother’s experience was encouraging to another family, I thought of something I keep posted near my school computer, written by Dorcas Smucker. It was posted recently on my niece-in-law’s blog.“This is what I hope to remember in the new year: It isn’t about perfection and getting it all together, but rather about moving with the currents of grace that flow all around me. My loss may wash up on another shore as a blessing, my greatest failure rearrange another’s landscape with a wave of joy.” – Dorcas SmuckerThe hard time you experienced during your mother’s illness has now “washed up on another’s landscape with a wave of joy.” I just love that. And may the same be true of the experience you’re now having with your knee. And hopefully others’ hard times can be used now to bring blessing and joy you. “Currents of grace that flow all around me…” Isn’t that such a beautiful picture?

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