Monday, June 25, 2012


Good news: my dad was officially granted disability benefits. After seven months of fighting for it, my dad is now covered by… whoever cover disability. No more limbo, no more forms, no more hassle. 10 years of disability coverage, until he retires at the age of 65.

A small miracle, in the midst of so much going on. Thank you Jesus.

Twice in one week

My mom went into the ER twice this past week. In fact, she was in the same room in the ER twice this past week.

She’s fine now, just to calm any fears.

On Tuesday she was sent in to the ER by her doctor, because she was so constipated she was in serious pain whenever she tried to stand. They were afraid it was a bowel obstruction. After a day of tests they decided it wasn’t, that it was just a result of some seriously constipating medication she takes, and she was sent home. She’s fine now, and back to her normal… regularity.

On Sunday she went into the ER because she got so dizzy whenever she tried to sit up that she fell over. My dad thought at first she might be having another stroke, and he couldn’t get her into the wheelchair without her getting dizzy, so the paramedics came. She wasn’t having a stroke, and after an MRI and some other tests, it’s decided that the dizziness was not caused by the cancer, and probably caused by some antibiotics she was taking. She’s fine now, and able to sit up without a problem.

Two ER visits, two sets of good news. So why am I in such a funk? Why is it that I’m scared all the time, worried that my dad’s phone calls will bring bad news? Why is it that my eyes are puffy and won’t stop leaking?

Before this, I was living in this bearable state of equilibrium, of normalcy. Every time people asked how my mom was, I was able to say “the same.” She was the same – speaking a little, walking a little, watching TV. She was in good spirits, she was feeling all right. Normal.

But these ER visits, they feel like they’ve disturbed the sludge at the bottom of what used to be a peaceful pond. Ugly things, scary things that I’ve forgotten over the past few months are rising to the surface, disturbing the placid waters. Fears, worries, tears. Even though everything is okay again, it doesn’t feel normal any more.

These ER visits mean that things aren’t as stable as they looked. I have to be ready for anything, any news.

So here we go, back to living on the edge.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cured or Healed?

Sometimes I get really pissed that God hasn’t healed my dad or my mom. I mean, why not? My dad is in constant pain, and my mom is dying. Why can’t the Almighty Healer stretch out his hand and make everything better, everything whole?

And to be honest, I don’t know. I don’t know why some people are healed, why I read all these stories in the Bible about physical healing, and why some people aren’t. Why my parents aren’t.

But lucky for me, Madeleine (yes, in my head, I call Madeleine L’engle by her first name) has some thoughts, and they bring me a little comfort.

“The woman with the issue of blood [Luke 8:40-56] was both cured and healed, and that is easy to understand, but curing and healing are not always the same thing. 
It is always all right to pray for healing. It is also all right to pray for curing, as long as we are willing to accept that this may not be God’s will, and as long as we are willing to accept God’s will rather than our own 
I think God wants us to be whole, too. But maybe sometimes the only way he can make us whole is to teach us things we can learn only by being not whole.” 
            --- Madeleine L’engle, The Irrational Season

As I look at my parents, I do see healing. I see a father who can more deeply care for the sick and the hurting because of his own pain; a father who has to more fully rely on the Lord survive; a father whose ability to preach for the past few years has truly been a gift from God, as all the factors of his disability should have made it impossible. I see a mother whose life-long struggles with depression and anger have been replaced with deep and abiding joy; I see a mother who loves more purely than ever before.

My parents have been healed, but they haven’t been cured. They have been healed, but they haven’t been made whole. And I don’t think this healing could have happened any other way. It doesn’t take away my questions of why they’re not cured now, but it allows me to praise the Lord for their healing.

So sometimes I’ll still be pissed. But at least now I can be pissed with the right vocabulary:
Dear God,
Thank you for healing my parents.
Why haven’t you cured them?
Love, Katye.

The Irrational Season

“This is a strange place
and I would be lost were it not for all the others
who have been here before me.
It is the alien space
of your absence.
It has been called, by some,
the dark night of the soul.
But it is absence of dark as well as light,
an odd emptiness,
the chill of any land without your presence.
And yet, in this Lent of your absence,
I am more certain of your love and comfort
Than when it is I who have withdrawn from you.”
---- Madeleine L’engle, The Irrational Season