Touched by loss. Empowered through community.

Prayer for Falling Forward

Thursday, May 25, 2017
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Prayer for Falling Forward

I work in a rehabilitation hospital, so I see all kinds of people every day, people of all ages and walks of life, who have been brought into the valleys of cialis generique declining health, whether temporarily or in a more degenerative way.  They each have their own stories and histories, each their own makeup of family and friends, of supports and absences.  Some are older, but not really old, having been surprised to find themselves brought so unexpectedly low by circumstances out of their control.  As one patient confided to me just recently, “I always thought I was bullet proof.”  He is 65, living happily with his wife whom he married in his middle years.  His children from his first marriage are scattered in other states, with affection in their hearts for their father, but geographic challenges in showing him so.

I sit at the precipice of middle age myself, still feeling young in so many ways, yet looking askance at the possible roads ahead.  Such a range of possibilities could be my lot - so much mystery, so much that I cannot know.  If I sit too long beside my fears, they become a noose tightening around my neck.  I lose my breath; my vision blurs.

This fear comes from an understandable place.  Life has dealt me the deepest of blows already - a quiet, stealthy attack of disease unmanageable: a cancer that erased the breath and physical form of my husband, my first true earthly love, at the age of 42.  Even now, I fight back tears - it’s so easy to mourn the countless hopes we had.  Some were not even hopes, but more a pleasant sense of being.  The love that formed our partnership, our children, the gathering of friends around us, these became the makeup of a life worth living.  We counted our blessings, and we counted them often.

But what of the future now?  As much as I’d like to have thought that we would grow into a deeper and more complete version of our younger selves together, it was never promised.  We expect certain things as our routines become days of the mundane and days of wonder.  Life happens gradually and sometimes jaggedly, but together the challenges seem somehow more manageable.  Confidence builds in relationships where there is understanding, a knowing and a vulnerability that lends itself to trust and quiet peace.  I miss this sense of belonging, of knowing and being known.  I miss what we had built, what God had built in us.  Where will I ever find such a peace again?

I am forty-five.  Is there half a lifetime still ahead for me?  Will those years be filled with health and love and quiet joy, or tainted by further loss?  As my teenaged children leave our home, and begin their journies into adulthood, what will become of me?  Will I be left standing uncertainly, peering through the pane of glass that separates a too quiet house from an outside world of questions unanswered?

I think I fear this isolated life more than anything else I can imagine.  The patients I see who have no one to come alongside them in their later years, or in times of struggle and sickness, these are the ones who haunt me.  Their eyes betray the hopelessness they feel about the future.  

For better or worse, God has formed me into a woman who loves relationship, who loves being part of a complementary whole that conquers the big and little things as one.  He has shown me how to love in sickness and in health, in times of want and in times of plenty.  Will He give me the blessing of discovering these gifts again?

With all my being, and with every prayer I can and cannot utter, I truly hope so.

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