Wednesday, September 9, 2015

So how are you doing?

Dear siblings and kids,

You may have noticed that in the previous emails I have not yet answered the question, "So, how are YOU doing?" That is a difficult question to answer and I will now try to give an answer.

In one sense it is an easy answer. I am doing OK. Most of the time life simply goes on and life here in our privileged country is pretty good. Of course there are changes. One such change is a reorientation to the things that drive my everyday activities. When I was working and involved in church related activities, those activities drove how I spent my time. When those activities go away you sort of loose your identity for awhile and you have to come to terms with who you are minus those activities. I have mostly processed that but still have some work to do. Now my time is organized around Carol's schedule and I am slowly learning to take some time for myself as well although I find it difficult to think in terms of "what would I like to do?" OK, OK, I will work on it.

Another change, and this may seem strange, is loneliness. I now have fewer interactions with people on a daily basis. The result is that I find myself in the evenings wanting to be with people and most often the ones I would choose to be with are family. It is not so much that I want "to do" something, I just want "to be with."  Being with family and friends has become much more meaningful and I am learning to accept their presence as a grace.

There are times when I am not OK. Fortunately they are few and far between. These are times when a curtain seems to be drawn back and one can see reality more clearly. Perhaps a moment when one becomes more sane. These are not times of dread but rather times when perception or intuition seems heightened. An example would be when I am watching and wanting to do something to help Carol deal with pain. One reaction is to want to help, to fix it. Suddenly you realize you are not in control and you don't have the ability to fix it. Another reaction is to suddenly realize, "Whoa, this is not something I know how to handle and there is no way out of this box…this is not going to end well."

Of course the Christian hope is that in the end things will end well and this brings me to the issue of faith in God's goodness. There is a real mix of emotions that I have not experienced before. There are times that I feel that God is not going to answer in the way I want. There are times I don't know how to pray about it. There are times, if I admit it, that I am angry that anyone, let alone Carol has to go through suffering. There are times when I feel at peace knowing that God has not abandoned us. There are times that I feel this is an adventure and I feel the anticipation in finding out how God is going to work it all out. Weird, huh…all over the map.

So to sum it up. How are YOU doing? Well, most of the time I am OK. Some of the time I spend processing what is happening to Carol and myself on this path. There are a few times when I am not so sure I like this. There are times when I wish I could just fix things. There are times when I sense God's peace. But most of the time I live life like you do…doing what you think you are supposed to do.

That is about it … love you all … George

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