GOING BACK IN TIME THIS WEEK...
I WROTE THIS POST BELOW ON THE AIRPLANE RETURNING FROM MEMPHIS WITH THE FAMILY IN LATE OCTOBER OF 2009, IT WAS FIVE MONTHS BEFORE KK's PASSING. I WAS BITTER AND ANGRY AND SCARED ABOUT KaSandra's CANCER RETURNING, AND I STRUGGLED WITH HOW TO BE MORE SUPPORTIVE, AND WHERE TO FIND STRENGTH IN MY OWN WEAKNESS.
MY FAITH WAS BEING TESTED AT THE TIME IN WAYS THAT I DID NOT KNOW OF THEN BUT THAT I KNOW NOW. IT WAS THEIR BEAUTIFUL SPIRIT THAT WAS GUDING ME, MY FAMILY, CHANGING ME, AND ALL THE WHILE I NEVER EVEN KNEW IT. OH, HOW I WISH I WERE A SMARTER MAN BACK THEN. I KNOW THAT I AM A BETTER MAN NOW BECAUSE OF THEM.
THE LORD REALLY DOESN'T WORK IN MYSTERIOUS WAYS AS THE SAYING GOES. HE WORKS IN THE OPEN, RIGHT IN FRONT OF OUR VERY EYES. HE DOESN'T PUSH US, RATHER HE HOLDS OUT BOTH OF HIS HANDS AND LEADS US. HE TEACHES HIS LESSONS WITH LOVE, THROUGH LOVE, WITH THOSE THAT WE LOVE MOST AND WHO LOVE US MOST.
THANK YOU Katrina...THANK YOU KaSandra...THANK YOU Luc...THANK YOU Tuyet...THANK YOU LORD...
I know, I know, Life is beautiful, Life is precious, Life is meaningful, Life is a freaking gift from God! Unfortunately, Life is also a struggle, a challenge, a chore, and a uniquely personal test for each of us. We exist in a world with a perpetual forecast of “sunny with a chance of showers and oh yeah, watch out for the occasional tornado, earthquake, or hurricane!" It’s enough to drive you NUTS! Maybe that’s the idea?
Maybe Life is one long series of tests? Maybe that's how God molds us into who He wants us to be, using events and struggles, even His children to test our faith, to teach us valuable lessons about ourselves. And if it weren't for the whole "free will" thing, perhaps we'd get there as He planned. Mortals rarely walk a straight line, we're curious and naughty by nature. Our best lessons are usually taught the hard way...thanks a lot Eve.
Let's face it, Life is out of our control, it happens no matter how much we prepare for it. That's true from the get go. Think about it, how many of us planned on being born, planned on meeting "the one" and then losing them, planned on being hit by the proverbial bus or being thrown under one by someone who loves you, or planned on getting gravely ill? The only part of Life that we are in control of is how we deal with it. Doesn’t matter how closely you pay attention to the signs, or how carefully you travel down the road, sooner or later you’re going to step on a land mine, "Life," is riddled with them. It is inevitable and it is so unpredictable. The minute you think you have it all figured out, BAM, the inevitable crazy “out of left field” occurrence takes place and totally challenges you! Those with strength of character absorb these obstacles and with faith stay the course, God is always on the side of the faithful.
Having accepted that axiom, I am learning to avoid the urge to ask “why.” I believe that to be the most frustrating word in any language. Why you ask? Because it only leads to more “whys” and eventual frustration as those at whom the word is directed inevitably run out of answers. My personal philosophy is to try and not question the will of God as there's no peace in that action. Only acceptance will offer you a chance for peace because it puts you in a mindset to deal with whatever it is that Life brings to your doorstep.
My little muse gets it! She accepts the fact that these are the cards that Life has dealt her, for reasons beyond hers or our understanding. And, she has resolved herself to play them her way. She is up to the challenge. She likes lemonade, she knows how to zig after a zag, and she refuses to take strike three looking, she's going to swing away! I am inspired by her strength of character and her will to live. If there is a snowballs chance, watch out, this little girl is going to start an avalanche! You go KK, I want to be like you when I grow up…;)
Okay, enough lamenting and on with chapter five of:
“KK Undercover…The Cookie Caper…”
Rady Children’s Hospital: Chemo Shmeemo!
Sometimes it makes me mad looking at all the cutesy pictures of smiling children hanging in the halls here. I know that they are meant to make kids comfortable and less afraid when they stay here, but still, sometimes I think they should have some fine print under the pictures of smiling faces that says “enter at your own risk!” Sometimes I ask myself “why do you keep coming here, you almost never have a good time!” But then I watch my Mom take charge of my care, questioning everyone and everything, and I know I’ll be alright. And I see my favorite nurses who take care of me, give me stickers, hugs, and smiles, and I know I’m in good hands. And then Dr. S, and Dr. L, and Dr. Z come by and their soft voices and kind eyes make me feel safe. That charges me up in spite of the hushed tones they use when they talk plainly to my Mom.
“So, how are we feeling today KaSandra?” asks Dr. L as she walks into my room.
“What do you mean we?” I answer with half a smile.
“Touché! I mean how are you feeling smarty-pants,” Dr. L teases.
“I’m okay, but my stomach hurts a little bit,” I reply.
“How do you mean, like a cramp or nausea?” she asks.
“Nausea,” I answer.
“Hmmmm, let me see,” she says, feeling my tummy under my shirt.
I turn my head and try and look out the window, but the blinds are closed and all I can see are shadows of people walking back and forth in the hall outside my room. There are two other kids in the out-patient chemo room with me today and they are both asleep. I sorta wished I were too.
“Tender there is it?” Dr. L asks, wrinkling her nose.
”Duh,” I reply, annoyed at the dumb question.
“KaSandra! Don’t be rude!” snaps my Mom from the chair beside my bed.
“Sorry Dr. L, she’s been irritable all week,” my Mom explains.
The two of them disappear into the hall like they always do when they don’t want me to hear everything they’re saying. I don’t care; I want to be left alone right now anyways. I need to finish my plan to capture the Lunchito Bandito at school. Daniel will be bringing the bait tomorrow if his sister comes through with the cookies. All I have to do is work out the trap with Winnie and Claire tonight when I get home. I’ll text them when Mom thinks I’m doing homework! The tricky part will be getting warm cookies past Ms. Ryan’s desk without her making us put them on her desk. We need to get them into the cloakroom and into my cubbie so that the lunch swiping fiend will feel safe about making a play for the treats while were all at recess. The trickier part will be getting back into the classroom before the bell rings to catch him in the act. That’s where being a handicapped kid comes in handy! Ha-ha, I made myself laugh! I’ll tell Ms. Ryan that I’m not feeling well and get Winnie and Claire to help me back to my seat early. Then, while she is calling the nurse’s office, BAMMO, we catch the Lunchito Bandito in the act!
“Nice plan, simple, and effective,” I mumble to myself.
“What did you say honey?” asks my Mom.
“Nothing Mommy, I just was wondering when we were going home,” I replied.
“As soon as you're done here, around 5:30 we’ll be able to leave,” she said.
“Oh, but first we have to go and pick up your sister and brother at Aunt Tanya's house,” she added.
“Oh man! Can we get boba on the way home?” I asked whining.
“We’ll see, it’ll depend on the traffic, Mommy still needs to cook dinner,” replied my Mom.
I didn’t bother whining anymore, my Mom is really good at blocking out those noises. It doesn’t work for my brother either and he is the KING of the whiners. But, he’s really cute too so sometimes it works for him…NO FAIR!
Dr. L pats me on the head and tells me that she’ll see me next week. She waves to my Mom as she leaves and I watch my Mom watch her leave. The expression on her face bothers me but that just means she is thinking hard about something, not necessarily me. My Mom is ALWAYS juggling ten balls in the air at one time; it could be any one of the other nine! Its 5:05 according to the clock on the wall and my Hannah Montana watch, we’ll be leaving soon. I close my eyes and try to take a ten minute catnap, running the plan over in my head one more time.
“Tomorrow’s your day Mr. Bandito,” I mumble to myself.
“What did you say honey?” asks my Mom.
Next post: chapter six “KK Undercover…The Cookie Caper”