Crumbling in Vulnerability, Comfort in the Sun


I quit taking my sleeping pills because my heart doesn't like them much. I wake every night around 2 or 3, and go out to the porch to drink in the beauty so that I can fall back asleep with a full soul. This morning, the moon is just rising in the east, half-hidden behind the trees, like the last curl of an orange peel cupped in the hands of the night sky. As I watch, it catches the rays of the rising sun behind it, and glows lemon suddenly, brilliant. I am not alone in the night. The stars are out there singing. The sun preparing to rise.
The sun rises in the morning and sets at evening in our hemisphere, according to the appearance of things; and then it makes haste to go round the other hemisphere in the night: it "pants", as the word signifies;like a man out of breath with running; so this glorious body, which rejoiceth as a strong man to run his race, and whose circuit is from one end of the heavens to the other; is in haste to get to the place where he rose in the morning, and there he makes no stop, but pursues his course in the same track again. By this instance is exemplified the succession of the generations of men one after another, as the rising and setting of the sun continually follows each other; and also sets forth the restless state of things in the world, which, like the sun, are never at a stand, but always moving, and swiftly taking their course; and likewise the changeable state of man, who, like the rising sun, and when at noon day, is in flourishing circumstances, and in the height of prosperity, but as this declines and sets, so he has his declining times and days of adversity. Moreover, like the rising sun, he comes into this world and appears for a while, and then, like the setting sun, he dies; only with this difference, in which the sun has the preference to him, as the earth before had; the sun hastens and comes to its place from whence it arose, but man lies down and rises not again till the heavens be no more, and never returns to his place in this world, that knows him no more. (Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible)

Tuesday brings my son's 4th birthday, the marking of the years that I've lived with cancer. This year, my first of his birthdays in remission. The joy I feel significantly mitigated by the possibility of a tumor in my brain causing the sudden hearing loss I've battled for the past three weeks. Last night, I crumble into tears as we talk over schedules with my parents, and I think, next week I might be in surgery on Wednesday. I cannot stay in that place, that thinking-through-the-possibilities place, and I run, tears streaming, away from the thought. It is too raw there. I can't go back so soon. I will act like a normal patient, not a nurse, not a 4 year cancer patient; I will just go blind into that appointment and allow myself to be blindsided if it is bad news and there is a tumor that needs to come out.

I rest, albeit uneasily, in the fact that I had a premonition of cancer from the first time someone touched the tumor in my neck. Everyone reassured me it was probably nothing, but I had a foreboding sense of cancer the entire time between discovery in March and surgery in June. This time, I don't have that sense. I don't feel cancer lurking. It may be that I am pushing intuition off the field and onto the sidelines because I cannot tenet the fact that cancer has reappeared in less than a month from my remission celebration. For now, I will glory in the small moments of everyday and refuse to have any joy stolen from these intervening days simply because it is possible. I will cross that bridge when we come to it.

Like the sun, I will march on toward evening doing the tasks at hand. In the morning, I will think of this again, I am sure. Today, I am going to think of nothing else but dissertation, homeschool, cleaning my home, bringing the children swimming.