week # 51 in an experimental year…

One of my rituals for each new year is to choose a word to influence me for the year.   My word for 2011 is EXPERIMENT.   To support my EXPERIMENTAL focus, I commit to post the results of a new experiment each Sunday of this year.

I  appreciate all of the suggestions ya’ll offered last week for my last two experiments of this year.  I’d even chosen two of your recommendations.   Ya know what they say about plans making God laugh though.

So God chose this (and maybe even next) week’s experiment.  I spent this week balancing the bitter with the sweet.  That’s always been one of my favorite Carole King songs.  It helped me a lot this week.

Our family found out on Monday that the cancer in my sister’s body has spread to her brain.   So here I am, with other family members, simply being present with my sis.

On Wednesday, she wasn’t even sure who I was, but she let me help her eat broccoli and mashed potatoes.    That’s the last time she ate this week.    She also let one of her sons, his wife and one of their kids know she knew and loved them.

On Thursday, she took a break from her naps to let our mom know she knew, recognized and loved her.

On Friday, we spent more than an hour flipping through her favorite magazines.   On Tuesday, she wouldn’t have known what a magazine was.

On Saturday, in between naps, she kept trying to take off her oxygen mask an hand it to me.  When I asked  she what she wanted me to do with it –   the look she gave me not only let me know she understood the question, but gave me her reply – VERY CLEARLY.   She also let her other son, his wife and their twin girls know she knew and loved them.

Today, as we await news from the docs tomorrow about what The Next Step will be, she returned an “I Love You” sign language message back to me and she took off her oxygen mask just long enough to get her husband to kiss her.

Yep, this Life thing is one holy gig and it’s SO Full, of the bitter with the sweet.  Gratitude doesn’t even begin to sum it up.

No special questions this week.  Just blessin’s all over all of you who’ve lived in this space.

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11 thoughts on “week # 51 in an experimental year…

  1. I love you Lisa and your sweet sister, Mari, whom I’ve never met. I’m so sorry that Mari and your whole family is having to go through these bittersweet times.

    Love, prayers & hugs,
    Lois & Maurice

  2. This made me so sad for you and Mari and everyone you love and those who love you. I think you are so right with your observation on bitter and sweet. I am so grateful Mari gets to tell everyone how much she loves them and hear from them how much she is loved too. That’s a sweet that goes with the bitter, but I wish you had years together instead of the time God is giving her. I send you prayers and blessings with wings on them.

  3. Lisa, warm hugs to you and your family. Sharing those precious moments together are so important for both of you. Take care and know we’re all thinking about you. Mary.

  4. Darling Lisa, What can anyone say? Mari has said it best, I LOVE YOU! I am sitting here trying to find the words, but there are none. So, I want to share my “Mari Story” with you and all your readers and friends.

    For those of you who are reading these replies, Lisa and I met in Brownies. We have been best friends ever since. It’s the best thing I got out of the Girl Scouts. This also means that I have been blessed to know Mari for over 40 years. Most of you know we grew up in the small town of Havelock, NC. Did you know that Lisa and Mari are over 10 years apart? (Sorry Mar.) Ironically, I have 2 older sisters that are 8 & 10 years older than me. My sisters, Mari & Joe (Mari’s husband of forever), all went to high school together. Even more ironic is the fact that we weren’t the only sisters our age spans like this from Havelock. (Steward’s, Lennon’s, LaRue’s, there were more. Guess that’s life in the military!)

    By the time Lisa and I were in junior high (that’s what they called middle school “back in the day”), our sisters were all married. I would see Mari from time to time when I would spend the night with Lisa. I also already knew Joe. He and his family lived on my street. My whole neighborhood was just one long street. Also, his mom was our Jr. High “lunch lady”.

    My point, during the first 20 years, Lisa would tell me about Mari. When she was getting married to the guy who lived on my street, “you know the lunch lady’s son”, being pregnant, each time she became a grandmother and working with her at Cheap Therapy. However it wasn’t until our 15th High School Reunion, that I felt like I really got to know Mari for myself. Again ironically, Mari and I both grew up with only sisters; we married and only had sons, living proof that God truly does have a since of humor.

    Lisa and I would drive from our reunions in Havelock to New Bern to visit with Mari before we headed back to the Lake. We would recount the entire weekend to her. She would ask if certain friends had come to the reunion. Often, the answer would be yes. The next questioned would be; how is their sister? Of course we would tell her what we knew. I would tell her about my older sisters. It was almost as if Mari was having a mini reunion of her own, because we could update her on some of her long lost childhood friends. Best of all, we would laugh!

    How is it possible that my heart can hold so much joy and sorrow all at the same time? I joyfully and thankfully celebrate Mari’s amazing life. Mari plays a very large part in making my best friend who she is today. I am so thankful! I am thankful that her family is getting the time to just me with her right now. I am thankful that in the best way she can, she is still being a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother and grandmother. My heart hurts because, my longtime friend is so ill, that my best friend is worried and while not admitting it, a bit scared and my heart hurts because we just don’t know.

    We are in the last week of Advent. As Christians, we know it means “wait & watch”. As I continue to pray for Jesus’s will in my life, I pray for Mari and her family. I pray for God’s will. I pray for strength to accept whatever his will may be. I pray for my best friend. Lisa, I love you!

    Mari’s story isn’t completed just yet. We wait. We watch. We pray. We hope for Christmas miracles! God’s peace to you, Mari. Thank you for being my friend!

  5. Oh Lisa. My heart hurts for you and I am awed by your sister. What an amazing woman. And how fortunate she is to be surrounded by such love. Know that you, too, are circled by love and support and prayers for peace in the midst of the pain. Love you!

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