Thursday, November 25, 2010

Peace

Part of my job at work is to research obituaries.  I got to work Monday and was looking at them all when I found out that a friend of mine had passed away.  Katie was in my ward growing up and while we didn't hang out really outside of church, I always knew her as a faithful and kind person.  This last year, we had reconnected on Facebook.  I eventually found out that she had been struggling with cancer for the past few years.  It seemed to be a roller coaster of hope and then the dashing of hope as she would finish one round of chemo and be clear for a while, until it came back again.  I got to know her through her blog Happy Together.  I'm so glad she shared her thoughts and testimony.  She continued to touch my heart with her honesty, her incredible faith in God, and her peace.

As I reflected on this news and on what an incredible example she was being, I was reminded of how I was feeling and what I wrote a couple of nights before.  It was actually posted for about 10 hours, but I was too embarrassed I guess to leave it up.  But it is part of what I want to say today, so here it is again:

(Saturday night)

You know what?  I'm tired, right to the core.  In every way, I am tired.

I'm tired of my knee hurting, I'm tired of not being able to sleep.  I'm tired of all sorts of aches and pains, I'm tired of the food problems.  I'm tired of squishing my fat self into my car.  I'm tired of feeling like a loser.

I'm pooped.

I'm tired of looking in the mirror and seeing an obese face stare back at me with all four chins.  I'm tired of plucking whiskers off of said chins.  I'm tired of trying to figure out the role that food is supposed to play in my life.  I'm tired of doctors and hospitals and dragging my oxygen tube around everywhere.

Exhausted.

I'm tired of feeling like an idiot.  I'm tired of trying to be funny.  I'm tired of feeling guilty, depressed, anxious.  I'm tired of uncertainty. 

Plumb tuckered out.

I'm tired of hoping and wanting.  I'm tired of being tired.

Does any of this motivate me to do better?  To do something about the four chins?  To find some way to lift my spirits?  Not right now.  Not really.  I'm too tired.

Thinking about her, I revisited her blog and I was struck by how much peace she expressed.  It didn't mean that she didn't cry or get mad or have bad days, but she was at peace.  She knew it was God's will and that it would all work out okay.  Whether she lived or not, it would work out okay.  She was going to put her trust in God.  Turn her will over to God.

I realized that it's okay to be tired...everyone gets tired.  It's just that I have been leaving my Heavenly Father out of the equation for a long time and there isn't much peace in that.  She showed me that you can be struggling and mad and sad and yet still have the peace that The Spirit offers all of us.  Peace that everything will work out, that it's in God's hands. 

I am so thankful for Katie's life.  She has touched me so profoundly.  She makes me want to be a better person, to have more faith that things will be okay.  Whether I find a companion on this life or not, things will be okay.  Whether I lose this darn weight or not, things will be okay.  Whether I regain my health or not,  things will be okay.  Whether I conquer this depression or not, things will be okay.  Trust in God and you will have peace.  I hope I can get there.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Order in the Court

I had to go to court the other day.  (Be assured, nothing criminal.)  I arrived at 12:30, a half hour early, and parked my car across the street.  It was lunch time and I figured I had time to grab a sandwich at this deli close by.  After I get my sandwich I realize I have 15 minutes.  I figure I still have time to walk over, find the room, and eat before I was due to go in.  So, I walk in the courthouse, get through security (Fred, the oxygen tank, was giving me a little trouble), and look for the room.  I find a room filled with about 15 people and a crusty looking man up front.  I see that there is a paper outside the door and as I look at it I find my name and know that I am in the right place.  The man then suddenly starts talking.  I'm confused because I thought I had a few minutes still and everyone else is already there and it's completely quiet except for the man explaining the procedures that are about to happen.  I am nervous to walk in when things have already started, but I walk in carrying my sack with my sandwich in it and my drink.  I notice the clock in the court room and apparently I'm 3 minutes late.  "Oh crap, I'm late," I think.  Little did I know that was only the beginning.

As I bend to sit down, the crusty man exclaims in a very stern, belittling voice, "Ma'am, this is not a lunchroom".  I look up and he's glaring at me from above his reading glasses.  I barely remember that I have a sack in my hand.  And I am suddenly very aware of everyone else in the room staring at me.  So I ask sincerely, "Where would you like me to put it?"  To which he answers, "I don't care where you put it!"  Yikes!!  (Later I would day dream about saying, "Shall I put it where the sun don't shine?")  So I walk out of the room, looking for a garbage, find none and settle for leaving it on a chair in the hall.  I walk back in and take my seat and the crusty man starts talking again.  I can't see my lawyer anywhere and I'm scared I'm going to have to face this mean old man by myself.

Then within a minute, my phone starts ringing.  I am horrified.  The crusty man is glaring at me again and as I rifle through my purse trying to shut the thing up, he says, "I suggest you turn that thing off."  "I apologize," I plead.  "I'm sorry."  This about does me in.  Had he not had such an air of superiority about him, I may have been able to joke about how I was racking up the brownie points.  But I am so embarrassed and nervous and belittled I can't do much except wish I could be invisible.  My oxygen is set on a pulse, so every time I breathe in it sends a very audible puff of oxygen into my nose.  The room was so quiet and I was so mortified, I was afraid the noise was going to get me in trouble so I took it off.  By now, I'm having a hard time keeping my composure. 

At about 1:30, a woman who had been in the room all along, sits by me and explains that she is there for my lawyer to represent me.  I feel a little more secure, but I am still having a hard time.  I keep biting my tongue to stop myself from sobbing.  It is somewhat helpful.  Finally, I ask my representative if it is okay if I step outside for a moment.  (I didn't want to get in trouble for leaving.)  She said that would be okay. 

I go back to the courtroom, still fighting tears, gasping for air (I think I was having a small panic attack), and realize I should probably put my oxygen back on...regardless of the consequences.  I hope and pray that I can be under control by the time it's my turn.  And when my name was called, I managed to speak without crying.  Miracles happen.  He asked me a few questions and then said I could go.  I got up, gathered my stuff, left the room, passed my sandwich in the hall, and made my way to my car, sobbing the whole way.

When I get home, I turn my phone back on and see that the person who called me during court has left a message.  Ironically, it was my lawyer's office wondering if I was going to show up.  I couldn't believe it.  I had to roll my eyes and chuckle a little at that one.

While it was horrifying at the moment, I can laugh about it now.  And to Mr. Crusty Man I say, "(stick my tongue out and blow)".