Sunday, September 28, 2014
You may think that this post is about Andrew's recent birthday (ELEVEN!!), but it's not.
I chose to only write about that day in his journal- not here.
This post is about something that happened just last week- and when I heard the words "Unusual Peace" at church today, I couldn't help but be taken back to that moment. I realized it was time. To take a moment, pause and exhale (through my words).
You see, I am not someone without worry. In fact- I DO worry! I worry about things like money (although I don't really need to), my children's happiness, political changes that affect my job~
But when it comes to those serious things you think I SHOULD worry about~ I don't.
I have had an "Unusual Peace."
And I've had it twice now.
The first (obviously), I've mentioned many times before on here. The night I became a mother. The room was quiet. I knew he was gone and yet I had the strangest feeling of peace. That everything was going to be OK. I don't understand it now, I didn't really think about it then. But that's what it was.
An Unusual Peace.
So on to that second time~
Ironically, it started back on September 15th~ the eleventh birthday of my boys. As I do every year, I went to my OB and then I went for my first mammogram~ a baseline. It was no big deal and after I spent the afternoon in the garden, talking to Andrew, lighting his candles and watching his balloons soar as tears streamed down my face. But there was a peace. An understanding. When I look back at the entry in my journal, I wrote about the word "stay." I had heard it so many times on the radio that morning and it stuck with me. I had so wished him to stay but that afternoon I felt he had, he never really left me~ not really. An Unusual Peace.
But those moments surrounding Andrew have happened before. None like that first September 15th, but they have happened.
I got a call later in the week that I needed to come back for a second mammogram. While they told me the first time that they had gotten 'good' pictures and that I'd probably see them next year, they asked me to come back. I figured once they REALLY looked at the pictures perhaps they realized that something was blurry (or something). I have no history of breast cancer and I was checked a few years ago for something that turned out to be an inflamed milk duct.
When I went back, it was clear to me that their call was not about blurry pictures...
This time there were more pictures than my first time and when I was done (and the 'good' pictures were taken), instead of having me get dressed again, I was asked to sit back in the back waiting room in my gown. I watched as three other women who came after me, got dressed and left. I thumbed through magazines trying not to think about it~ but I was.
Another lady then came to get me and said they needed to do some ultrasounds.
I was right. This was certainly more than a 'blurry' picture.
I walked calmly to the dimmed room and watched the screen of blacks and grays emerge as she did my ultrasound. This was so different from ultrasounds I have had before- no blinking heartbeat or outline of a baby~ just an ocean of grey blotches-
At one point, she zoomed in and clicked a button on her machine that brought up a rectangle around a certain area. The screen lit up in color around where she had zoomed in and I piped up, "Is that showing blood flow? I seem to remember that from the ultrasounds I had when I was pregnant." She let me know it was and that that was good. What she was looking at was a lymph node because the blood was present. I exhaled a bit and thought about that enlarged milk duct. How my breasts were amazing! They had fed four of my kids after all- kept them alive.
She did a similar thing to my left breast. I heard the click of the button but unlike the first time, the color was not present. I didn't really know what this meant. I had this feeling that this ultrasound was bad news, but I couldn't be sure. There was no denying the bad news when I saw Andrew or E- their chests silent~ but this... I didn't know what it was but I assumed it was bad.
She gave me some towels to wipe the gel and told me to lay back and take a little nap. She'd be back as soon as she spoke with the doctor. When I asked her if she would tell me if it was bad news, she said they absolutely would.
I watched her leave the room as I laid my head back on the table and let my eyes close. I tried to process everything that had just happened and what I felt was probably happening. They had found something.
Where I normally should have been crying or worried or scared~ I wasn't.
It had found me.
That Unusual Peace.
I remember lying in that same hospital. Staring at a ceiling and feeling it.
Laura, you're going to be OK. I got this.
I thought about Jeff, and the kids and that began to worry me, but then I heard it again. I felt it again.
That Unusual Peace.
I was quite calm as I thought about how I would tell my husband, my parents, my children.
I thought about who I would try to get to sub for me if I was too sick to teach.
I thought about what a strong lesson it would be for others.
Me~ I've already learned this lesson.
I talked to God.
I would think about my husband~ the kids~ and I still went back to that feeling. This was going to be OK. Bad things can have the happiest of endings. Andrew taught me that. These horrific things can grow you and change you and open your eyes to the most incredible of blessings.
I got this.
I sat and listened to the ticking of the clock and with each beat I felt it. Peace. I willed it to grow.
And it did.
The door opened and the ultrasound tech who had examined me said I was all set and could go.
She said she'd see me next year.
That was it?
That was it.
And then I worried. Something had to be wrong. They didn't call me back for more pictures and THEN ultrasound me if they didn't see something! But, I thanked her, wrapped my arms around me and headed back to get dressed.
So much like that night- the peace- and then the worry that following. The wonderings.
I plan to call my doctor and ask more about the results. What prompted more testing? Why had they ultimately decided to just let me go? SHOULD I be worried?
I try to go back there~ to find it~ that Unusual Peace, but it's gone again.
I know it will find me. It always does in those moments and places where and when I need it most.
And should you need it,
I pray it finds you too.
That it will let you know~
You got this.
Don't be afraid.
That Unusual Peace is there for the taking and I can tell you without a doubt.
There is nothing better.
I went back to Andrew's journal. The one word I kept hearing.
He never left.