In those days, countless prayers on Bob’s behalf, and his family, were lifted to the Lord, 16 months streaming heavenward.
In early 2020, when the earth dropped right out from below, aggressive treatment immediately began, with meaningful progress. By July, many hard-earned victories were followed by gradual, consistent collapse. Treatment took a wrong turn before the promise. From that second, much more fragile low, Bob and crew climbed for the second time, eventually achieving an even higher peak. We celebrated and praised God even more.
Unfortunately, this new pinnacle in outlook, form, and function somehow imploded, completely laid waist over a frustrating, painful, 4 month battle. This despite incalculable, faithful prayers and wisdom, knowledge and and plenty of effort through misery.
Engulfing physical and mental exhaustion accumulated daily. Secondary stacked upon third-order treatment complications, among other things, resulted in a frustratingly willow wafty posture and clompy leaning gait. Well…this lean was indeed accompanied by another, an even greater lean on God. The professionals proposed a fifth-line treatment that rung of -meh-. But hope and a faithful, willing spirit remained present and unbound.
From the lowest low came four additional weeks into -meh- treatment, along with a host of continued struggle, decline, and plain ugly grief on behalf of many. And Yet.
What was that? Progress? Significant progress, the first glimmer since late February, occurred in many but not all relevant laboratory markers. At this point, who is foolish enough to put hope in one lab series, to dig out from this heap? And again, two weeks later, more of the same, along with some shock, and some noticeable lifting of function and gloom.
There was great thankfulness with far more reserved celebration. There was renewed hope, but not without complication. Now, will there be less leaning? A realization struck Bob, not yet either comforting or disturbing. What is this attachment? This is all we know.
“Thank you, Lord. But please grant additional time.”
If watching kids wrestle and splash in the creek and catch fireflys under the dusk of summer solstice, then why not the grill and sulfur smell of the 4th of July?
If the 4th of July, then why not a quick trip to the shore, present with the family to adventure and play through relaxed dog days?
If summer, Lord, then why not the twirling crisp fall and smell of decaying autumn leaves and camp fires, the old time atmosphere of Farmers Fair, the hope and excitement of fall sports, and the community of fun and myth in Halloween?
If Halloween, Lord, then why not howling bare branches with a newfound appreciation of the idea of shelter and family, and the words and smells of a season and culture especially absorbed with the idea of thankfulness?
If a season of heavenly smells and gratitude, Lord, then why not a quiet Advent followed by great celebration, the true joy of such Good News? Why not the lighting search of two small green spheres beneath countable antlers, and fairy tale glistening crystals under the moonlight bringing all the earth to a silent stand-still?
And if, then, a celebration of the Good News and frozen perfections, then why not full bloom daffodils and tulips shoving through the canopy of dirty white, breathtaking of itself, also representing that greatest hope of renewed life and eternal, unconditional love?
If another spring, Lord, then why not…
The understanding was that it would never be enough. He and they would likely keep pleading. Time is one thing we have been given, though he has been taught to see it drastically differently.
Excuse me, God. Help me toward more peace, more patience, more endurance, and more contentment. Your will be done.