Heavy Heart

Mar 10 2011

Blogging is very self-serving.  It gives me an outlet to share those things going on with MY children, MY husband, in MY house, in MY thoughts, and in MY little corner of the world.

Me, me, me.

It may surprise you to learn that sometimes I get rather sick of myself.  I think I do a marvelous job of keeping that little secret under wraps.

But I’ll tell you, things happen that take me out of my ego-centric world.  Really, they do.

I don’t usually write about the non-me things because general bloggy wisdom says to focus on a topic and stick with it.  My topic is handling a crazy life with five crazy kids and their crazy parents.

So, how do I take a topic like, say, an earthquake in Haiti or violence in Libya, and write about it?  Is this the forum?  Is it fair to subject you, my faithful readers who come here looking for comic relief, to posts that are sad?

And yet, if I’m going to abide by my commitment to be honest, how can I not occasionally write about the things that break my heart?

I’ve resisted talking about tragedies that happen on a world scale, although I’ll tell you now that I care about those events to the depth of my soul.  Truth be told, I dedicate the few hours per week that I generously call “my career” to an organization that sends medical teams to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world.  I don’t mention my work or the organization here on the blog because, frankly, I say too many personal things here, and I have absolutely no desire to negatively impact our work in any way.

This week, though, we got some tough news as a family.  My 5-year-old niece, who I’ll call Kay, has been battling leukemia since she was 2 years old.  We thought it was beat, with her last treatment of a more than two-year cycle ending just two weeks ago.  We were so excited that she was finished with treatment.  Thrilled!  Ecstatic!

Sadly, Kay’s parents found out Tuesday that her cancer has returned.

I’ve never written about Kay, or about her family.  I’ve done this out of respect for their privacy.  I realize that my personal privacy settings are set to the extreme low end.  Privacy?  What’s this strange word, privacy?  Their privacy settings are much, much higher, than mine… more in the range of “normal.”

I don’t want to do anything, ever that will make Kay’s family suffer, including posting personal, sensitive information.

And yet, here I am, with my heart broken.  Not like their hearts are broken.  Not the same at all when it’s your own child who’s sick.

I have drafts written for the blog that I’ll post later this week.  They’re about my hair, my sagging body, my sister-in-law Kim who uses her spiritual gift of peer pressure for good and not for evil, my son Cai who’s a long kisser, and my foolhardy plan to run a half marathon… and why an old lady and a homeless woman make me think I might pull it off.

But for today, I have to take a time out. Because even though I’ll return to frivolous, funny posts very, very soon, if I hope to be honest and transparent here with you, you have to know that there’s a shadow on my heart at the same time.

We can live both places simultaneously.  Places of joy and peace.  Places of sorrow and uncertainty.

I’ll tell you, one of the joys of writing this blog has been the ability to connect with like-minded people all around the world.  I count it my privilege to be your friend, and I’m grateful that so many of you have reached out hands of friendship to me.  Because you’re my friends, I’d like to ask you, will you pray for Kay?  And pray for her mommy and daddy?

Or, if you don’t believe in prayer… and I confess I have problems with it from time to time myself… then follow your heart and do what you will.  Think a good thought, send a wish to the universe.

I believe in God.  I believe God hears our hearts.  Even when our questions and confusion are louder than our faith.

And I believe in hugging my kids extra tight tonight.