Thursday, November 13, 2008

Grappling

A year ago my parents caught terrible colds from children who were quite sick and allowed too near. Months of floundering health ensued.

Mom's illness seemed to subside for awhile but, unknown to all, it burrowed deep into her body. In May she nearly died from it. I faced the prospect of living without my mother more starkly than ever before.

I hated the feeling.

Cold and flu season again greet us, with holidays to boot.

Optimism has the upper hand so far but under the surface there is fear in my mind and heart. Fear of careless people getting too close. Fear of my parents becoming ill.

Those who desire to comfort and counsel remind that God is in control. I know this. But I also know he doesn't promise roses and sunshine all the time. Things get rough and therein lies the teaching ground. But I don't like it. And I'm afraid of it.

I'd be a fool not to be.

If you don't feel pain and fear but dull them with platitudes how do you fully experience life? How do you come to know deep passion, wrenching mother's love, or the full measure of frustration which leads to an altered lifestyle or worldview? I mean, even Jesus wept many a time. He didn't just smile a smarmy smile and say, "God is in control." He felt the raw heart feelings that humans feel. He acknowledged them with deep emotion.

I'm going to continue to feel, thank you very much. I think the more pitiful reaction would be to never embrace the heartaches of life which reveal the absolute joys.

But if you are sick or have sick children I'm begging you, please stay away from elderly people, the frail, the young, and most especially, my parents. Visit when you can leave love and memories rather than a miserable, lingering illness.

Consideration is a gift. Give it often.

7 comments:

deanna said...

I appreciate something from Sandy's comment for your last post: "we live as though we're indestructible." It's true we don't imagine many times what bad things could befall (and we may become lazy or careless because of this), but to some degree is it possible we're made that way? I hear you and agree it's not right to cover our true fearful or negative emotions with platitudes. Sometimes, though, a person is truly in a place of recognizing God's control and resting in the sense that things will ultimately be okay.

They probably won't be there regarding their parents if they've come through a year like you had, Cherie. You're gun-shy for excellent reasons. I hope and pray your parents will be given great resistance to those nasty germs this year.

cecily said...

One of my friends recently told me she has come to the point that she doesn't think God is in control. Sovereign yes, but in control? No. She set me to thinking, and I tend to agree. God lets things run their course... snotty children hang around older people, nature's way is followed, the germ is passed on, older people get sick. He could stop that, but he doesn't. Doesn't sound like control to me. (Same with car accidents, and crazy barking dogs and all those things... he lets things run their natural course. Wouldn't be much of a fun world if he controlled absolutely everything I guess) Interesting to ponder through, but not so nice when it means things are also beyond our control and scary. Cherie I hope you find a place of peace on this one... not easy. (On a more practical note, have your parents had flu vaccinations? Might offer them protection against the flu, but not common colds) Blessings on you Cherie.

Cherie said...

Deanna, thanks for your understanding. I think it can be both ways - wired to shun the realities of harm all around us and at the same time feeling emotions about certain things. Maybe? I think, too, that while I and others can exist in that peaceful place - deep in our souls - where we recognize God's control and know that ultimately everything is going to be okay, like Jesus at Lazarus' tomb, still we weep and deeply feel the tragedy that is a broken world. I'm all for feeling the emotions of life - even while I know God writes the story in which we all exist. What are emotions for, if not to reveal to us a deeper meaning?

Cecily, I'm going to remind my parents to get their flu shots! Thanks for the heads-up. I think they do every year, but a good reminder is in order. Thank you for your kind words and your thoughtful understanding. I am in a place of peace deep down, but on the surface, where my fragile humanity lives, there are emotions. Such is life, right?

Gardenia said...

I just got my flu shot. But I have been taking some marvelous supplements which have had me pretty much floating over the germs my elementary school grandson brings home.

I'm usually a "germaphobe" and won't even eat out during flu season even with the shot! I just read a study that people who get the flu shot on an annual basis also have more chance of surviving cardio problems and pulmonary embolisms!

You are being realistic. God expects us to use our good sense - knowingly going to an aged person's home carrying the flu or cold is kin to driving a car off a bridge and thinking God will just float ya up to the top and keep ya bouyed up until the boat comes by!

Cherie said...

Gardenia: Thanks for the information and the affirmation. I really really really like your analogy!

Sandy's Notes said...

Gosh, I know exactly how you feel. In the winter, frail people would come to the food bank. When someone came that was sick, I would ask them not to again, I had to explain how frail some of our clients were and they could end up killing them with their germs, even the little germs were killers to some people. They always understood and I would work something out to get them their food; they really appreciated not having to go out when were sick.

Praying your mom and dad have a healthy winter.

Cherie said...

Thank you, Sandy, for your understanding of this situation. It is so hard to tell someone that because they are ill they need to stay home where they can recover without infecting someone else; harder still to have them infect people with no one having the courage to mention the situation. I'm happy to learn that the people you spoke with were understanding of the situation. I wish the people I'm writing about had the same sort of sense.