Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Here's the Deal

Where's Virelle been? Learning to live with loss. I took some time off from my blog to deal with losing both our parents this spring, whose deaths made the family loss count at 9 for the past several years. Devastating, yes, but real life. Didn't have any extra words in my heart to share. Since that time, my amazing older brother Roger has been diagnosed with a very deadly brain cancer, and for some strange reason, I need to blog about it. To share it with you. So hear goes.

He'd had some small symptoms while visiting with us, just the annoying little memory losses we all experience from time to time in our senior years. Most of us joke about them, but he did not. In stead, he called his doctor who suggested a CT scan and an MRI when he arrived home in Omaha. Call it God. The tests showed a stage 4 glioblastoma, pretty much a death sentence. Roger is only 71 and remarkably strong and healthy. This was a game changer for us all.

"Lord, I'm not ready to lose my brother," I cried in my kitchen. "You have to rescue him. He still doesn't know You, and that's my heart's biggest desire. What are you going to do about this?" Three days later I mopped up my tears and formed a prayer team, "Roger's loop." Some of these folks pray like pit bulls. I love that about them. Others are new to prayer, some are not even sure God exists. But most people, when you ask them to pray even for your sick dog, will at least try. I knew they would. And God was listening. He always is. My prayer was two fold: "Lord, please bring Roger face to face with you now. Help him believe. And give Roger a story in this cancer that is all about you. Something only You could have done." And I watched and waited. Still am.

In the meantime, my dear husband Steve put me on a plane to be with Roger during his first brain biopsy, a life-threatening situation all by itself. His wonderful step son, Bill, was there doing all the real logistics. I just wanted to be with my brother. Actually, half the world wanted to be with him, too. He is loved by so many. And it was a week I'll never forget. Roger, my big strong "I can handle it" brother, suddenly knew real weakness, perplexity, something totally out of his plans. He became among the bravest people I've ever known facing brain surgery like that. Most of us would be crying out for help, or blaming Heaven. Roger is stoic in his acceptance of life. Only four years ago he returned from a business trip to find his beloved wife Nancy on the bathroom floor, dead from an aortic dissection. His heartbreak has been indescribable and has fostered years of insightful writing in his Apogee newsletter. Look it up.

Now I'm learning about life in a new way. "Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing." I'm God's child, his heartbroken daughter, looking to her Heaven Father for yet another miracle of grace in His bag. Another like the one he gave Steve's dear sister Sue who lived healthy, beautiful eight years after extensive surgery for pancreatic cancer. No one lives after that, but Sue did. And God gave the miracle. "One more, Lord! Please, one more!"

I wait, trusting God more for His perfect will every day. It may not be my idea of perfect, but if it's His, I know that's good. It's the best possible outcome. I believe it.

Will you believe with me? Will you pray for Roger, too? I thank you. May you find the real God I know, perfect in His plans, but always listening for His children's cries.

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