Monday, March 29, 2010

Testifying Before Congress

Loved Ones,

The girls and I traveled to D.C. last week for a Congressional Hearing on cancer research. I was able to take part in the hearing, giving testimony about the sore lack of funding for gastrointestinal cancers like Ray's. It was thrilling to be able to speak to people who can truly make a difference; a big step in our campaign to alert the National Cancer Institute to the problem, and motivate action. Many many people helped to make this happen and happen well and we were so glad to be able to devote our efforts toward preventing additional death and loss from these cancers.

Nora and Maggie were able to attend the hearing, to hear the words said about their dad, and witness the actions taken in response. And this, a big step in our campaign to restore our own security.

I have been listening to a copy of Il Divo's Christmas album. Someone, during that Christmas when Ray was sick, sent this CD. I've been so glad of it. There is a song, that speaks of a person who almost loses his faith, but then finds it again. "Come and rejoice, what is lost is found."

When I hear this song I always feel a wellspring of emotion. Though I've felt no danger of losing my faith in any of this, my own security, and that of my girls, was rocked by all that we endured, and it's taking awhile to regain our footing. Because, one cannot be reassured in the same ways.

Before Ray was sick I knew intrinsically that the answer to fears could not be that they would not occur. But I hoped it was the case. Of course I know now, in a very real way, that fears can and do occur. And my girls know it too. And so to quiet those fears, one cannot respond that things just won't happen again, that somehow, we've fulfilled our duty. There has to be safety, even knowing all that can occur.

Of course, looking back, we know that we were held and sustained by our God. And there is hope in that.

It is the paradox of knowing that we can survive, and not wanting to lose again. The task of wholly and truly submitting to God's will, even and especially knowing what it can entail.

There are days, many days, where I simply want to beg God whatever his will, not to let it occur. But I strive to, as my dear and recently departed Grandma Gaye says, say: "Yes Lord, yes, yes, YES."

And so this is my task. To find this way of existing, not in fear, but in confidence, whatever may be to come. To live this for myself, and teach it to the girls. To be able to say, someday, and hopefully someday soon, that what was lost, is found.

not alone and not afraid,


"So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. "And the son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' "But the father said to his slaves, 'Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet; and bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found.' And they began to celebrate." Luke 15:20-24