Monday, October 5, 2009

Difficult Days

Remember the old saying, "Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his moccasins?"

When my Sweet Hubby was first diagnosed, I spent a LOT of time on the Internet as he slept...researching the disease and ferreting out potential treatment protocols. In the midst of my search, I came across an organization called CancerCare. By their own definition "CancerCare is a national nonprofit organization that provides free, professional support services for anyone affected by cancer." I highly recommend them.

Support. That sounded good to me...I checked it out. And found that they offered an online Pancreatic Cancer Caregivers support group. All CC groups are facilitated by Licenced Social Workers specializing in oncology. The groups are closed to the public and applicants are screened to ensure that they meet the criteria for "membership." I did...and spent the next 4 months with the most amazing group of people. Most of us were wives caring for our husbands, but there were also brothers caring for sisters, daughters caring for mothers and daughters caring for fathers - all of them suffering from the beast known as Pancreatic Cancer.

We shared things with each other that we couldn't share with our loved ones. Mainly our fears and sorrow. For our loved ones we were strong. But with our CC group we were able to fall apart and fall into the "arms" of others who understood and that was a great blessing. I truly came to love the people in this group. And then came November 9th. I was the first in our session to lose my spouse. Oh, the love that poured out...indescribable.

I have since transitioned to a CC partner's bereavement group. It's not the same. It doesn't need to be, couldn't be, I guess...

But I'm still in contact with my former group. Those bonds are strong and the roots are deep. My struggles are theirs and theirs are mine...then and now.

On October 1st, one of my closest friends from the group lost her beloved husband. He fought long and hard...but this disease always wins in the end.

And so, these are difficult days. Another woman joins a group she never wanted to belong to. Her pain is fresh. Mine is refreshed yet again.

My youngest son (how did he get so wise?) lovingly reminded me in an email of a recent sermon given by my pastor.

"Remember the sermon pastor Tommy gave a while back discussing why we suffer and one of the reasons was to guide others through their suffering? Well, I'm sure God knows that it's painful for the "helper" to go through that suffering with someone else, but knows we're strong enough for it."

Reading that, I'm reminded of how my son helped a friend through the loss of his father just months after my Sweet Hubby had passed away...and how difficult that must have been for him.

So, my friends - these are difficult days. Yet another group member has just brought in hospice for her precious husband. Deep breath...

I'm here for them, as they've been present for me. You see, we've been wearing these moccasins...

Let the Waters Rise ~ Mikeschair

"Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah." Psalm 68:19


Jody said...

I'm praying for you today Gigi that you will have a fresh awareness of God's gracious love for you and He will help you help others.

Jess said...

I just bawled at reading you have really touched me. I know that you have put your heart out here time and time again...and I have been touched but today...I dont was just different for me.

I'm so happy that you had this group of people in your time of need....and I can almost see why God chose you as the fisrt to go through this....youa re a very strong lady in the Lord...too many times people get mad at God or push Him just dove deeper into Him.

I know you have heard that before and your son is very right...I know beyond a shadow of a doubt if I were going through this....I could come to you. And you would help. I know that.

I also know that you can use yoru own refreshed pain to empathize with that poor woman and to say the right things and do the right things.

God is using you every day. Every day my friend. Whether its on this blog or in your life....He is using you, and for that draw close to Him...and He is going to hug you for me!

I love you

Dawn said...

I'll never forget when I discovered II Corinthians 1:3-4 - Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.

I've often told God that I have plenty of ways I can help people through "stuff" that we've experienced!

nancygrayce said...

A group of people who are going through what you are is so wonderful. I glad you found them!

Thanks for liking my header, I'm still shocked I did it! :)

Tamela's Place said...

I am so thankful that you had and still have these people in your life gigi and what an awesome son you have as well. May the Lord be ever so near and dear to each and every one of you!

Love you sister :)

Putz said...

the sentament of jess and rest leave me speechless

Lakeland Jo said...

Have been having a read through your blog. Got here via Jessica. Its been a really tough time for you. Hugs, prayers and all good wishes from the English Lakes X