Yeah, so eff cancer. That’s my attitude tonight.
Random Thought 1: Since Facebook became a Thing, I’ve had loads of friends post about all manner of health (and other) struggles. I need to confess that I’ve not always given my complete attention to those posts. So many of them have big words and long explanations, and besides, I’m rather easily overwhelmed by others’ suffering. And now, hello, I’m posting the same sorts of updates. I’m humbled and deeply grateful for your willingness to keep up with me. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to dump all this into the universe and receive waves of well-wishes in return. Thank you.
Okay, so far? The stem cell transplant process involves a lot of sitting around, frequently interrupted by sundry wonderful people: nurses, nutritionists, housekeeping staff, physical therapists, doctors, and doctors-in-training. More than once today, I’ve said, “That person was, like, 12.” (I am, like, solidly 40-something, and I’m astounded by how young medical professionals are these days.)
Today, my dad began his stem cell transplant process.
Okay, I know a bunch of you are all, like, “Wait. What?”
It was January 25, 1992. I was barely 21 years old, seven months away from receiving my bachelor’s degree, and, on that night, I was wearing an impossibly puffy, disastrously sparkly, stupidly expensive gown. I begged my bridesmaids to tell me jokes as they fussed with my gigantic hair and smoothed my over-indulgent train. “I’m going to throw up. I really, really am.”
Although this story begins with a margarita and includes a scene in which I’m shaking uncontrollably on the floor of my parents’ powder room, it’s not actually about drinking too much. It’s important you know that right up front.
I had a rather large glass of wine last night while I was watching the election results roll in, and I fell asleep before the finale. I was awakened at 2:16 am by a text from my eldest daughter: “I don’t know if you’re up and saw the results of the election. Be careful going on social media tomorrow.” My youngest also texted me: “Why is he allowed to be the president, mom? I’m so scared.”
“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Sometimes, quiet is violent.” – twenty one pilots
So, here’s the thing: A few weeks ago, a Black friend of mine called me an ally. I’ve come to understand that’s an earned title, and I intend to keep it—which means I need to say some things. As shaky as my hands are… as nervous as my belly is… as swirly as my head is… I need to say some things.
A few Sundays ago, my parents’ pastor offered me her pulpit. I hadn’t preached for more than a year, and because she said I could teach about “anything,” I leapt at the opportunity.