Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Waltz

Hello, my name is Ilene. I am a Pattern Person. I am addicted to routine.

Now I have always known I was a Pattern person. I tell my children, on a regular basis....routinely..that the sooner they figure out the pattern of whatever they are dealing with..the better they can manage the situation.

I did not realize, however, that my routines had become so important to me. Back home, Brian and I had out routine. We got up between 5:30 and 6:00, went to our favorite chairs, read our Bibles, had our quiet time, and walked our dogs. As we walk, friends and neighbors drive by and wave.That was only one of many of our routines, I had become quiet set in them, too set apparently.

When I was growing up, my dad whom I adored, tried, mostly in vain, to teach his three daughters to waltz. He would often dance us across our kitchen floor. When we were really little we got to stand on his feet, as we got older we had to stand on our own. For the most part it was great fun.

On occasion, we would attend a business dinner or function with he and my mom and there would be dancing. Any time we felt brave enough, my dad would waltz us out on the floor. After the first few, very awkward steps, we would get into the routine and begin to feel comfortable.

Sometimes we would get too comfortable and begin to take lead instead of follow. When that occurred, my dad would simply smile and then spin us. As soon as we went into that spin, we no longer felt we had control, would become disoriented and had no choice but to follow my dad's lead once more. The funny thing is we never realized when we had attempted to take over the lead, nor did we ever expect the spin when it took place. My dad did.

When I was younger, my natural reaction was to fight the spin. I would stiffen up and try to resist the direction I was being headed, which would usually result in a disaster. I would often step on my dress as well as my dads toes and feel even more disoriented.

As I got older, I realized that I could trust my dad. That if I just allowed him to guide me through the spin, I still would feel totally out of control but that I would come out of the other side of the spin, usually headed in a new direction, but still standing, maybe even with a little dignity in tact. I began to understand more about the spin and not to fear it. If I trusted my father and followed his lead, while it still might feel awkward to me, to those watching, it actually might be quiet beautiful, and I would come out of it, trusting my father even more than when the spin began.

Dear Heavenly Father, to me, this is a spin that is only equaled by when I lost my Dad. I do trust You, I do. Please help me to lean into the spin and not resist. Please allow this to become a part of the waltz that we can look back on see beauty from the ashes. I do trust you Lord, I do.

Thanks Daddy for teaching me many things, even when I was stepping on your toes.

Friday, July 29, 2011


My Sweet Sister-in-law Laurie responded on Joshua's blog by asking me how my heart is. Many others have asked the same question. I have sat down many times to put my thoughts into words. I have been so impressed about how Brian, Josh and Sarah have been able to express themselves through their blogs.

Each time I sit down to write, a strange phenomenon occurs...all the air gets sucked out of the room and I am unable to think or breath. This phenomenon first occurred as we sat in the emergency room and heard the words "Joshua" and "cancer" in the same sentence.

We are in day 3 of chemotherapy for Joshua. This is day 11 since we first sat in Dr. Turners office for Josh's first appointment to see why he was, "Not feeling well and was pale". I feel like our world has turned upside down since that day. I am happy to say that much of the initial terror has begun to subside. Tears still come often and without warning. Some days I can not complete a sentence to save my life. Yet through it all, I am so, so aware of the presence of our Heavenly Father.

On the days when the air in my lungs seems in short supply, the days when seemingly impossible decisions need to be made, or I begin to look at what the future holds for our son, I can do nothing but cry out to Our Father. I believe that He refills my lungs with His breath, filled with peace and calmness and I can breath once more.

For me, the hardest time of the day would come around 4:30 AM. When I would jolt awake in the darkness and stillness of a night that has not quiet become morning. Terror would over come me like a dark wet, heavy blanket waiting to suffocate me. My thoughts would race to Joshua and all this would mean for him. I would fear many things, his chances for survival, the treatment options, the financial resources it would take to beat this new terror in his life, my mind would just race.

On the third or fourth morning of this journey, I was reading Psalm 91....again. I have read this chapter many times, through many situations, again, it took on a new meaning in my life. I have camped on verses 4-6.
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge;
His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness
nor the plague that destroys the midday.

I am pleased the mornings that I sleep through the "terror hour". Many of those mornings, I hear from sweet friends that have prayed through the night for me. They have given up their sleep to cover me that I might have some rest. I am also pleasantly surprised to see that things are a little less formidable when I have had some sleep.

Alrighty, this is just a bunch of rambling that probably makes no sense to anyone other than me and it doesn't even make that much sense to me. Someday, I hope to recover the brain cells that depleated as soon as the "cancer" word entered our lives. In the mean time, I am grateful to Brian, Josh and Sarah who seem to have the ability to still form logical sentences.