Everytime that I am on the unit or explain my work in conversation, I am surprised.
I work primarily with oncology patients.
I purposely avoided the profession of nursing for years, for the implication that I might work out my frustrations with cancer. And yet, in my job I am brought daily to the ravages of that damned illness. It opens up a wound in me that lies like a broken-hearted little girl over a parent with cancer.
By His grace, this tender spot is transformed into an altar for offering thanks.
For many good reasons, my brother and I weren’t told much about my dad’s illness when we were young, but (and this is a bit of a plea should you know parents undergoing illness, with children) though young, children are so aware. With a lack of conversation and explanation, I experienced the wrecks of a wee mind with daddy’s foreboding diagnosis – I thought I was losing the man I loved.
The cancer was treated, the remission still (and I thank and thank Him) sustained, and life was resumed as normal – trauma avoided?
No. Trauma without an oral tradition, but written deep with gnarled script into heart and soul, and man’s body.
Know that I know
You think, and we say:
Big for a too small mouth.
Baby girl is tugged to quiet shadows.
But that’s not it.
For from tongue flows heart
Beats big, as He is big.
I know. But, I don’t understand what.
I never learned the words.
With straight backs, and schooled gesture.
Time for Word to take us back to little on lap.
For the brokenness,
Not for the knowing of it.
Knowing what I know
Makes you cry the tears that would heal you.
We try so hard to shake our hurts rather than live through and with the phantom pains can linger over surgical scars. I try not to fidget at it, but I struggle to trust – creates this cornered sensation in me and I become incensed – frustrated at being as helpless as an angry, helpless, untrusted, quieted seven year-old.
Trusting, is learning to see how God has me here for a purpose. Trusting is living His word in the silences of life.
Each step up the hall and into a room is a memory of away-daddy, lost men, wounded women - with cuts, old and deep. It is communion with the pains of my Brother, and Father. I open my mouth, and out come words – prayers between patient and professional, of stark truth and raw life. Out of the silence of childhood has come the adult passion to draw out words, from others, from myself, from God - to draw out Truth, drawing on His health to cleanse the fester.