Life is short, pray hard


I have been hesitant to write. Sometimes when I post something emotional or whatever you call it, I seem to get stuck. If I write something else it may detract from this other thing. In any case, the comments have been very helpful to me. I am feeling a real heaviness of death around me. Several people have died in the last few months. I think I am just feeling like death is a little too close to home. I pray hard for my friends with cancer. I pray for many of you. I try to pray for myself and my family. I want a brownie so I pray instead. I can’t sleep so I pray. I am putting Clay to bed so I pray. I am in the shower so I pray.What else can I do?I hope that God is listening.

Jenni said, “God has different plans sometimes, than the things you beg him for in the darkness.” This comment struck a chord in me. It is something I am profoundly aware of when I beg God for a cure for my cancer. Or for more time here with my children. My midnight tears. I never cry or beg during the day. Its only when the house is quiet with sleeping loved ones that I beg for more time. Part of me wants to believe that this is possible. And part of me knows that God sometimes has other plans. I work very hard to accept that His plans are not mine. Here I am praying that this time your plan is the same as mine…but somehow I doubt it. Not exactly but I mean when was the last time you and God had the same idea about anything.

This may be the hardest part of life. The truth that we are mere humans. Mere mortals. We do not know what our future holds. We do not know how long we will be here and how our lives will go. We do not know when people we love will be gone. I can not wish my friends back to life. Or beg or pray or plead. I know that death is a part of life. We should expect it. Sometimes that is a real challenge. I think it is hard to understand too that everyone I know who died in the last six months was under 45 years old. 2 suicides, one cancer, and one aneurysm. I am at a loss. What possible thing can I say here. Death is on a roll.

I grasp for something enlightening and positive to come out of this parade of tragedy. I am not “depressed” about it..but it is really sad. And I do want to think there is some lesson here. If nothing else it makes me pray harder( for wisdom, for acceptance, for a cure for cancer, for the right words to say to my friend suffering from depression). It makes me hug my children tighter. And it makes me want to be nicer. I do not think I am about to die myself. But there does seem to be a lot of it going around.

I do not want to leave this on a sad note. In many ways I believe that everyone of these people is happier now. Outside the earthly body that had cancer. Free of the depression that plagued them. Hopefully, enjoying the beauty of God’s Kingdom. But this is not really about them. As so often the case death is always more difficult for the living. I am struggling. But Rachel and Merle are not.

7 Responses to “Life is short, pray hard”

  1. alaina says:

    Dear Andrea,

    I know exactly how you feel. Last year I lost 4 of my friends, whom I met through cancer. Two of them were diagnosed within 4 weeks of my own diagnosis and both of them attended my church. They were all young mothers.

    When I was diagnosed, I met Chris who was in her very early 40’s, she had two boys and had lung cancer. She was beautiful, intelligent and very out going. I also met Jill, who had 6 kids and was in her early 40’s as well and she had stage III breast cancer. All she ever wanted was to be a Mom. We were all sitting at a prayer/healing service together. I looked at them and wondered who was going to die first. I actually sat there and compaired each of us and our stats. Chris’ meds were working great and she was in remission, Jill was stage III and her doctors told her she may be cured, I was dealing with more progresssion that week. I just knew I was going to die first. It was such an odd thought. I remember thinking to myself how each of our families felt and what they would think as each one of us passed on and what they would feel as the others were alive. UGH.

    At Easter last year, Chris passed on. Her meds had stopped working in Jan. and the cancer spread like wild fire. It was horrible. To see her mother, husband and her two boys at church and how sad they always are. My children go to school with her boys and know them well. I had to explain it to my children and it was so difficult. I went to the funeral with my Mom and Jill. We ( Jill and I ) both were so very sad and I know both of us looked at each other and wondered how much time left each of us had. Then, on Thanksgiving, Jill passed on. I knew she was going to die but she passed sooner than I thought. At her funeral, it was me and my Mom and Chris’ Mom. UGH, it was terrible. And then there was one.

    My other two friends actually died before Jill and Chris. Rebecca had stage IV colon cancer and fought it for almost 4 years. She had called in hospice and I talked to her and she sounded so good. I made plans to see her in 2 days and when we said good bye on the phone it sounded so final to me, it was very odd. She passed away that next night. I never got to see her. And Mary passed away before both of them. She also had fought stage IV IBC for 4 years.

    I cannot explain any of this. I can only remember the words of Rebecca when I was diagnosed. She told me that I was not going to die now that I had cancer one day sooner than when I was supposed to from the creation of time. It really gave me peace. To know it is all part of Gods plan. Not so much that we suffer and die but that my creation and my eternal life was part of His perfect plan.

    The truth is, no one knows. We can play the stats game or the game of averages but there are always ones that doctors etc. cannot explain.

    May God bless you always and may you feel His peace during this difficult time. You are always, always, in my thoughts and prayers Andrea! I love you, alaina

  2. joshua says:

    i’m grateful that all along, here, i’ve been learning from you and Kelly that we are right now…we don’t know how long right now will last, our job isn’t to know our job is to be.

  3. debi says:

    Sometimes I am too overwhelmed to leave any kind of comment. But know I check on you everyday and pray for you everyday, and for some reason it’s always while I am in the shower. That must be my time to reflect. My dear and old friend was found to have a cancerous tumor in his heart last week. He almost didn’t make it through the surgery but due to his amazing health ,he did. They know the cancer came from someplace else and most likely his kidneys. He just called me sounding happy and strong. He knows he has a fight but he is so happy that for today he is alive. I feel like I have learned so much from you that I can be of more help to him. Chuck is already home, at least for right now. Would you keep him in your prayers too Andrea? As always, bless you.

  4. Donna Arnold says:

    Hi Andrea:
    You are an amazing creature of God…..a cocoon, who developed and emerged as this beautiful, rare, exquisite butterfly species!!!!
    How much you have healed, grown, and endured… still have a battle, I don’t by any means want to demean that…its just you have evolved, everchanging, and becoming like a whole new wonderful you!!!
    I, too, have you in my Favorites, and I steal away in the blog to read all about your day…whatever may be going on…in the silence, I feel your experience, I feel the tears, the joy, the “babysteps” you take…only you reallly take giant leaps….and I see the smile, the amazing wonder you are still with us…and know you will do well with this fight you are enduring!!!
    Know so many people step into your life regularly, and while many of us aren’t in your “small army” physically, we are spiritually!!!! You leave us all with so much…you open your heart and soul to us, we each take a part of you with us when we leave your blogs…and you are making a mark on the world….in many, many ways….you are helping us in our battle with Cathy’s Breast Cancer Stage IV with Metastases to liver/bones…which by the way, we found out yesterday the new liver lesions are responding to her new regimen of TYKERB/XELODA combo. The TYKERB is an experimental drug, and she is the first here in SC to get it….so she is helping others who will be diagnosed in the future with HER2NEU+ BC…so God is blessing us as well…we are sisters in this fight, and you both are victorious and each deserve the PURPLE HEART for your BRAVERY/COURAGE/DETERMINATION!!!!
    Rock on, babies………Donna

  5. debi says:

    Donna, That was truly beautiful. I agree with every word.

  6. Andrea says:

    Donna, thank you so much. I am very touched by your comments. I am sad to hear that Cathy has progression. Although I did want to mention that some progression is normal in the early doses of a new chemo. But I am not sure if that is applicable. I will and do pray for Cathy. I know she is strong and has your love and support. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. God bless you. Andrea

  7. Donna Arnold says:

    Andrea & Debi:
    Thank you for the posts. I am an avid reader (several times a day sometimes) of Andrea’s blogs!!!! It is comforting to see this ordeal thru her heart and soul…to see her will to forge ahead…to fight the fight!!! She “CAN”…..:)
    Cathy’s mets. was her initial diagnosis…..then a month ago, she developed several new liver lesions…so, for now, the other initial cancers are all still “calcified” foirm the original Herceptin/Taxotere regimen.
    These newest lesions seem to be responding to this new regime of TYKERB/XELODA….sorry for the confusion…my mind is racing so, sometimes I get ahead of myself…hugs…..we sned you our love and thanks for including us in your prayers as well. We were saddened to hear of your friend Merle’s death, as well as your other “CAN” buddies….Donna