• sarah@healingeyes.org

Tag Archives: gastric cancer

Pink ukulele brings joy

I had a brilliant blog entry all typed up and then the internet dropped and I lost the whole thing. Another part of island life to get used to…free wifi means compromise, but then again I think its much slower than the states anyways.

Today was a fulfilling day at the Boys and Girls Club, although quite frustrating with the Junior high kids. They seem to have no respect and consider me a bother to deal with. Alas, I did get two of the young ladies to listen to me and I think they remembered some of the computer skills I taught them. After the abuse from the older kids was done I got to grab my pink ukulele and searched for Angel who asked to play it again.

Outside the kids quickly swarmed around me to play the ukulele. We ended up having a cute sing along to the ‘Let it Go’ song from Frozen. It’s amazing how many words they know from the song but how little they remember about word comprehension and math. Oh well, a downfall of not enough adults to give them one on one attention with their homework it seems. Some days its me and 20 some 3rd and 4th graders in a small room with picnic tables, needless to say its a lot of yelling and not so much concentrating. Slowly we’ll get there.

I let each kid have a turn with the ukulele and taught them a few notes and how to strum. They really were drawn to it and it was a great encouragement after the older kids put me through the ringer. After I gave all my love and attention to them I drove home to my little apartment by the water. It’s a beautiful view but at night its lonely and dark. When I got home my stomach started to grumble and I realized it was the dreaded time of night where I have to figure out what to make. One thing about gastric cancer is the repercussions it takes on the ones left behind. Andy lost his stomach and ultimately his life but in the process food now has a stigma with me. It seems I have some post traumatic symptoms to work through on dinner time. I remember when I set up Andy’s feed tubings through his gut and how he hated not being allowed to eat real food, so I would eat in another room and away from his gaze. Months later when he was eating small amounts of food there was one evening where we were eating subs. I had a 7 inch sub and he only was allowed a couple inches to slowly eat. We both broke down crying and I had to tuck my sandwich away so not to make him upset and later that night I silently finished it so not to hurt him more. Gastric cancer took a lot away from us and changed me forever…food is not a pleasant affair and lots of food brings back memories of Andy losing his favorite thing while he was ‘alive’. Somehow I’ll have to work through this one but it’s going to take a lot of work since we take food for granted.

Healing Eyes

Walking with Andy

Today I walked with Andy reliving our moments of love and pain together. It was and is our 14th Wedding Anniversary today. We got married at 20 years old and never looked back.

Coming back ‘home’ to michigan to take care of Andy’s ashes and also the symbolism of it being our wedding anniversary has weighed heavy on me for days now. Finally the day of our wedding vows arrived but the ashes need to wait until this weekend when his best friend can drive me the 8 hours to where Andy and I fell in love.

It’s hard to know where to begin with my day but I know that today was planned out for me and I didn’t even realize it. I had 4 things that were predetermined today. Everything else that happened was unimaginable when I first started off on my journey today

1. Doctor Appointment
2. Hair appointment
3. Lunch appointment
4. Meeting with Andy’s past doctor and close friend

After I finished by doctor’s appointment I made my way to Starbucks to get some tea for a friend back on the island. Little did I know that when I walked in this coffee shop the first words I would hear were ‘Cancer’. Ok a bunch of woman were sitting by the door discussing something cancer related. I decided to just walk by and get my tea and go. But there was this little voice in my head that said, “Pay Attention Sarah, I have a blessing lined up for you”. So what should I do? Well I walked right back out of the coffee shop with my tea and stopped at my truck, paused, struggled, and then turned right around and swallowed my fear of people and said hello to this group of ladies. “Hi, I may sound crazy but I heard you mention cancer”. I found out they were brainstorming ways to improve the cancer center that Andy and I went to…they all worked there. LOL! So I then told them a very brief version of my life and Andy’s death and just soaked in the blessing of connecting with people who UNDERSTOOD cancer.

Then I walked out feeling choked up and also a bit glad I took the courage to speak out to a bunch of stranger.

Now I looked over and there was the hospital Andy died in almost 6 months ago. Alright…the little voice started again and this time took control of my steering wheel. Minutes later I was standing in the ICU on the 4th floor just outside the room Andy died in. What was I doing here????!!! What crazy widow revisits the place where their husband dies on there 14th wedding anniversary?! I stared blankly at the door and the glass window which months ago held the image of Andy connected to wires and tubes. Room 403. I asked the nurse if I could sit in the room. Seriously! Yes, I broke down and cried and just soaked in the memories of that fateful night.

Andy had led me to this room.

Andy’s body was gone but my mind wouldn’t let go.

Now what? Well, guess what?! I kept on walking the path laid out before me….

Walking

The cancer center is just next door, sooo what did I do? Yup, I went there next. I followed the bread crumbs to the place of diagnosis and treatments. Once inside the doors I stared at the receptionist and said, “this is going to sound crazy…but…. can I speak to Katie, my deceased husband’s nurse”?  Short answer I was allowed back but not after a few back and forths and crying and then a stranger holding me and yea…I kinda broke down.

Nurse Katie…She was there when Andy first got dosed with chemo. She was there to watch me and Andy sit for hours and hours in those chemo chairs. She saw the dramatic change in Andy after the surgery. She saw our pain and she was helpless to fix it. The nurses at the cancer center see so much pain come thru there doors. I told her she meant a lot to Andy and I and that we appreciated her kindness. In return she told me that me and Andy were undeniably soulmates. That when she saw us together those long chemo days that she was amazed at how much love we had for each other and how we tried to find any kind of joy in the situation. We even tried to get her to say funny words like, poop in the pool. She remembered our dogs too. The one things she told me that I needed to hear on this day was that she saw our love for each other and she saw the change in Andy’s health. He died months before he died! She saw it too! I am not alone in that memory! It’s not my fault! Let go of the guilt!

My morning didn’t end here. After my hair appointment (where my favorite stylist ever did an amazing job, as always, to my hair) and therapy session with my hair stylist:). I have to say Amanda is great at cutting hair but even better at listening to a crazy lady ramble on and on about God this and God that. LOL. Who am I these days? You would think God has taken over my body and really has complete control over everything now.

Then I drove past my old house…I then turned back around and marched up the stairs and rang the door bell. Seriously, I did! Well I was led to do it. The guy that opened the door was a blessing. He let me in my old house and showed me how much they loved this house. How much joy and laughter was in this house now. There are 5 kids living in this house! Amazing! A lot of it looked the same and yet different. They kept some of the paintings up and the kitchen was still gorgeous. The old computer room was now a kids room for 3 (pink walls). And Andy you were wrong! There was hardwood floors under that carpet in Perfect condition! I told you so:). The mother in law also lived there and she spoke Spanish. He translated to her who I was and why I was crying in there living room. Oh my word…how did I get the courage to do that? Well this closure was just what I needed. He talked to me about his experiences with people in hospitals he has helped and told me how much they loved the house. He even said the one neighbors mentioned I was a nice lady and that my husband had passed away. Upstairs he had taken some shelves andy made and was using them…I burst into tears of joy. Andy lives on!!!!

Then after that…

I went to lunch with Andy’s old classmate from high school. She shared stories of how Andy was in Chemistry class. I guess he was super smart even though he looked like a punk. Oh Andy.

Free Cookies

Free Cookies

Then after that…

I went to the other cancer center downtown and saw Dr. Abby my friend. I hate to cut short on this part but I do detest long blogs:). She as always had some great therapy for me in our talk. The sarcasm and joking about some new business ideas was very enlightening. When you go thru cancer and see so much pain you can’t seem to avoid hospitals. The nurses and doctors can become family to you and a level of support no other family member can give you. They are with you from the start and you may get frustrated at each other but it still is a journey thru hell together.

Finally I went to Hope lodge. A place where during Andy’s surgery I was given a bed and comfort. There was a journal that I needed to find on one of the 3 floors. The guy at the front desk was very nice and we went to each floor looking for this public journal where visitors can tell there story. When I had stayed there I wrote an entry in it and I wanted to re-read it. Then I wrote another entry for today in memory of Andy. By this point I actually didn’t cry that much. The guy that helped me did the one thing that not many people think to do…. he asked me what my husbands name was and in that moment made Andy real again. All a grieving person wants to do is bring that person back to life in some way, even if for just a moment. Having someone ask his name is the most precious gift you can give.

 

I faced each terror at each building I was led back to and finally gained some peace.
God or Andy or both wanted to give me an anniversary gift today…a gift of peace and love.

I LOVE YOU ANDREW STACILAUSKAS… Andy’s song for me today.. Click Here

Healing Eyes

Conversation at Sunrise

I am spending the night next to the Sea! Literally, I can hear the waves crash on the surf and I can smell the salt… and what am I doing… I am bawling my eyes out missing Andy. Guilt is weighing so heavy on me right now of the all the hospital visits I am starting to blur together in my head. This evening I tried to document them all and went back at my calendar to find correct dates and procedures. If I forget the last 2 years I feel like I am losing another piece of Andy. The piece of Andy that fought so hard and suffered so much. The piece of Andy that shined so brightly when facing death. This morning I realized he had such a peace…a wave of peace came over him in that hospital bed that was God’s doing. I saw it first hand and yet it took me months later to really come to grips with it.

This morning I sat on a beautiful patio overlooking the Sea and I was sad. Seriously?! Stop being sad Sarah!

Why is it that when I wake up I can’t be happy and free? Because when I awake I remember I can’t wake from my dream of forever being separated from you my love – my other self. I will forever awake each morning in mourning for you. The loss felt is forever etched in my soul.

While others smile and welcome the day I fear the pain to come.


 

Job 33:

In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on people
    as they slumber in their beds,
he may speak in their ears
    and terrify them with warnings,
 to turn them from wrongdoing
    and keep them from pride,
 to preserve them from the pit,
    their lives from perishing by the sword.

 “Or someone may be chastened on a bed of pain
    with constant distress in their bones,
 so that their body finds food repulsive
    and their soul loathes the choicest meal.
 Their flesh wastes away to nothing,
    and their bones, once hidden, now stick out.
 They draw near to the pit,
    and their life to the messengers of death.
 Yet if there is an angel at their side
as a mediator to tell a man what is right for him..


Andy I knew the words to speak to you. You told me before you died I had a way of reaching you. That I always knew what to say. The day you died I felt useless and words seemed desperate to save you from death. I long to hear your voice again – even if for a flash. What joy I would feel – but quickly it would be replaced with agony as I know I never can feel your embrace again or your breath on my cheek.


and he is gracious to that person and says to God,

    ‘Spare them from going down to the pit;
    I have found a ransom for them—
 let their flesh be renewed like a child’s;
    let them be restored as in the days of their youth’—

“God does all these things to a person—
    twice, even three times—
 to turn them back from the pit,
    that the light of life may shine on them.


Speak no more of woes but take care my child that Andy lives, he lives in your heart and those that he touched with his struggle of life. His pain is gone and he smiles at the sight of you. One day when you wake the pain of separation will be replaced with peace — knowing that Andy is at peace in my arms.

Healing Eyes

Moaning widow

Why am I writing this pointless rant of my boring life. Am I blogging to sound important or to update followers? Just to hear myself rant and complain? Well for today it is for the pure joy of complaining and being completely disappointed in the the turn of my life. So if you want a fluffy, happy, encouraging blog than stop here because it’s gonna get ugly.


 

Let’s list out all the things I don’t have anymore:


 

  1. Husband
  2. Soulmate
  3. House
  4. Cars
  5. Puppies
  6. Cat
  7. Couch
  8. Safe bed
  9. Full time job
  10. Freedom
  11. Sanity
  12. Michigan weather
  13. Bathtub

 

Instead I have:


 

  1. A room
  2. 90+ humid air
  3. A bed with a Centipede in it while sleeping last night that chose to bite me in my upper thigh and it fricken hurt, still does hours later! They are creepy and fast bastards and I lucked out and met it last night
  4. Minimal electricity which means when the sun goes down at 6:30 I am in darkness
  5. Fast cold showers
  6. Books (several)
  7. Bible (2)
  8. Clothes
  9. Friends
  10. Skittles

 

Now then why am I doing this to myself? I have no idea! I can chalk this up to momentary insanity after losing a loved one and started hearing voices. Mid life crisis brought on by a traumatic event which led me to think I could change my life. So I am going to give it until July before going back home. Back in Michigan I can easily get an apartment for one person and 2 small dogs. Have a bathtub and running water I can drink. As much electricity as I want and no CENTIPEDES that crawl on me at night! Yes, this grieving widow is miserable and pissed at her current circumstance. Yes it is a pitiful sight to see. I have knee high socks on since my 3am incident out of fear of another bite (yes its 80+ here and I slept in Andy’s sweatshirt and wool kneehighs). It took me 3 hours before I fell asleep on top of the sheets since I didn’t want to cozy up next to another bug unexpectedly. Am I blowing the bug incident out of proportion? Maybe, but I don’t care… we all get a few moments in life where we can complain and be mad.

Andy called me in my sleep last night and I bolted for the phone.

“Where are you?! Andy, I need to know and I miss you!” – Sarah

“I’m at a friend’s house, why do you care? You left me anyways”. – Andy

I sobbed in my sleep..

“Andy I am so sorry, please let me come to you.” – Sarah

I woke up in a sweat and remembered I was in a bed not of my own and living on an island where I don’t belong. Reality sinks in and I want to run. In my dream I was looking for a first flight out of here but my Internet refused to work. Now I am fully awake and contemplating if I should look up those flights still but I won’t. I will give it until July before going.

There you have it…a blog post worth laughing at… the ‘I told you so’ post about why I shouldn’t have come. All the doubt I had about why not to come is true. Question is what will I do with it? Stay tuned…maybe my day will not be as I expect it to turn out. Until then I am going to lay here with Andy’s wallet and stare at photos of him and I together (yes that’s what this widow does when alone, supposedly it can be helpful when dealing with loss)

Healing Eyes

I woke up in a sweat last night from a terrible nightmare. Andy was in the hospital and I went to find him but I couldn’t, no one knew where he was. So i insisted he was in ICU and that was where I left him. Finally he magically appeared. Sadly he looked awful…his head was tilted up and he had a oxygen mask on. His eyes were wet from tears and his face was contorted oddly. He had wires hooked up all over him and was was groaning in pain. The smell of the hospital was all over me, suffocating me in my sleep, a smell of hospital gowns and chlorine. The lights were bright and he was in a room with several other patients.. it felt so humiliating seeing Andy stripped down to nothing as if he was just a number in a line of sick hospital beds.

I held his hand tightly and cried, “I love you! I love you!”. Andy replied saying he loved me too, over and over we said these words. I told him please don’t go.. please don’t leave me..please stay.. over and over I begged him. He was laying on his side and crying with me crying over his shoulder. The nurse came in and prepared some pain drugs, it was a very large cocktail and I asked lots of questions about why so much and what they were. One of the drugs was a hippopotamus tranquilizer (why I don’t know).

Slowly the nurse pushed the drugs into his IV and Andy convulsed and slowly calmed down. Slowly he drifted off and his eyes died all over again. Over and over I see his eyes die in my dreams. At one point he crawled out of his bed and had no arms or legs. The nurse quickly scooped him up as if he was a baby and slammed him back in the bed. She yelled at me saying you have to keep him in that bed otherwise his IV lines will come out. I stared at Andy and cried, screamed for him to stay, Don’t leave me!!!

Then I woke up!

Back to reality of where I was. In a room in someone else’s bed wondering why am I here. Why the hell am I here? I am miles away from the familiar and alone in my bed. Andy is not there to comfort me after a nightmare…he can’t hold me or stroke my hair. Nevermore will he be and nevermore will I hear his voice. You can’t just erase 13 years of companionship, it stays with you like a ghost in the room. Quietly sleeping in my shadow until something stirs it and it suffocates me with its misery.

Sleep Andy.. and haunt my dreams no more. Speak softly to me with encouragement but please take those hospital memories away! Your agony and feeling of desperation of doing nothing to save you. I was helpless to save you. I failed you as a caretaker…that feeling of guilt will never go. I know it’s normal to feel this way but others out there must know they aren’t alone! There has to be a way to have peace about watching someone die and being helpless to stop it.

 

Healing Eyes

iMac

I am in the thick of self doubt.. Doubting my decision to move..to pack up my belongings into boxes again. This time even smaller boxes…

Downsize again from what already is sparse. My head says stay but my heart says go. I have about 5 bins left of my stuff and it still seems like too much but if I ever come back I need warm clothes right? If I ever come back I need my stuff. My brother will read this and think, ‘great, where am I going to store more of my sisters stuff….’.  Garbage can? lol.

I have about 2 weeks left and I need to vacate my apartment by next week. I will be sleeping in my brother’s basement..oh my word I truly will have no place to call my own now. The beginning of a hobbits life for me.. Why? Why Me?

I have one more belonging left that is worth money. Andy’s and mine 27 inch iMac..its soo gorgeous and sleek. I want to drewl all over it when I stare at its glossy, shiny monitor. In fact I am a staring at it right now while typing and its soo beautiful.  Now I could store it and let it collect dust and depreciate or I could sell it and use the cash for a smaller more mobile computer..I know the answer but it doesn’t make it easier. Andy bought this computer over a year ago now and he was so excited to use my bonus check to buy it. He said he was going to make so many videos on it (but never really did)…he did make just one special video on it that I am glad he did, his valentine’s gift to me, his final goodbye but he didn’t know at the time it would be his last homemade video for me. I’ve put a link to it numerous times but it seems fitting to do it again since it was made on this glorious imac 🙂 Valentine Gift.

Don’t be mad Andy if someone buys our iMac.. Don’t put a raincloud over my head..It’s someone else’s turn to enjoy staring at this machine for hours on end. I promise I will instruct them to always wash there hands and absolutely No Food by the Keyboard. It’s awful when you spill Root Beer on a keyboard or even a computer….as you explained time and again to me.

 

—————————

little link to a fundraising page…

..if you can’t tell I’m not very good at fundraising. I’ve been asked though what will I do there. Well i want to build my faith…help others in pain…learn to be loved and to love others. What more could God want from a lost broken heart like myself? God Knows. But I will eat ramon noodles, english muffins, and cereal until I find out what path I am supposed to take over the next few months in this transition period.

Healing Eyes

Andy in the woods

When you have no experience of pain it is rather hard to experience joy.
——————-
The night before I say goodbye to my puppies… another loss to be felt in my story of pain. I wait on the edge of fear of what’s to come. Another step forward in this endeavor of faith and love for the Spirit that has awakened inside me. Relentlessly pursuing me with a passion I do not question. Today I took the puppies for a hike in the woods. The snow was pure and the air was oddly quiet. As if the woods was waiting for me to come. It has become my place with Andy.

He was waiting for me in the trees, the stream, the breath on my cheek. With each step I took I drew nearer to his love. His voice whispered sweetly in my heart. After I went past the bend in the river, where some of his ashes lay, I opened my mind to the woods and felt a peace enter my heart.

Over and over it repeated, “I am okay… I am well… I am not in pain… cry no more for me Sarah… shed no more tears and grieve no more for I love you. I will always be with you and shall never leave your side”.
The voice was mixed with Gods voice. As if in this blessed spot my two loves were brought together to comfort and walk with me. The tears flowed and I wished to see Andy in the trees so badly. Oddly the puppies walked so calmly next to me… Not once did I have to call them back. It was as if Andy was walking with me and telling the puppies to stay close.

Towards the end I heard a bird whistle our tune. Through this Little bird my love was reaching out to me from heaven. As I whistled back the bird replied so sweetly–until at last the bird was gone. My love had come to say hello and quickly was gone again. For an hour of my day I was with my soulmate again. We were a family again us three.

Refined by fire my heart is seared. The flames engulfed me, the heat burns me, the air is sucked away from my lungs. Nevermore will I love as deeply as I did. That chapter of my life is gone. Although I burn in the pain of yesterday… I look towards tomorrow… for hope sings true in my heart. Each moment of my days brings reminders of hope and pain … Which makes the happy moments all that richer.
Tomorrow or the next A cool wind will return to blow the flames out. Through great pain comes great love!
My God waits for me and he has my Andy close by.

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Healing Eyes

Are we all ‘Ok’ ?

Is it ok to share with the world doubts?

Is it ok to expose ones fears to the world about trusting in God?

What good can come from being that transparent with people about one’s thoughts and feelings? Doesn’t that leave us vulnerable to being seen as weak to ones peers? Putting everything on the line and letting others judge you however they see fit. Every day we get dressed and prepare ourselves for a day of barrage of negatives mixed with positives. More often than not I find myself waking up and sighing anxiety thinking what will today be like and am I ready for more dissapointment. Not a very healthy way to start a day when I already assume its going to be bad before it begins. It seems we can’t every be entirely genuine out of fear of what others might think of our actions or even physical appearance for the day. Is that what God wants? To have us be less genuine and put on an ‘ok’ face in order to make others more comfortable? Sounds silly when said out loud.

Last night I looked at old photos of Andy. Our last vacation together in June for our 13th Wedding anniversary we went to Jamaica. We figured let’s go all out since we had wanted to go Ireland but that was right before cancer was diagnosed. Our dream vacation was to go to Ireland together and that was quickly snatched away. As I was looking at photos of Jamaica I saw a pattern develop in how Andy looked in each photo, something I had subconsciously been ignoring while he was sick. However, I knew it was happening since I saw it every day. That slow death in the eyes, the hollow pain filled look in his eyes. For months on end he was in pain and his eyes showed it every day. At times I could look past it and see the Andy inside but soon that pain was just overwhelming him as hard as he wanted to pretend he was ‘ok’. In each photo he did his half smile he always did but this time his eyes showed the other side…the side of internal pain and struggle with cancer. June was the mid point for his remission (I dislike that word) and our high point of being able to do activities together without him being completely wiped out. Most of the vacation I would walk the beach while he slept, or I would swim while he chilled in a lounge chair. He tried so hard to swim with the dolphins but as I knew he was having fun seeing me smile it was killing him to continue putting that happy face on. Maybe I tried to smile too much for the both of us. Maybe that’s where we shined…I could put the happy face on for the both of us and pick up the slack. Oh what a great vacation though! I got to see sooo much of past Andy on that island before the coming months back at home would prove too much for Andy’s strength and mine. Inside I was a mess and putting on that face to the world that I was ‘ok’. Some days we both were good at it but other days it was obvious. Cancer was ruining everything..the disease was stealing everything away.

Is there life after Cancer? Depends on the stage in my opinion. First round of chemo, yes. After major surgery and removal of a stomach, yes’ish. After 2nd round of chemo, barely. That last round of chemo was what annihilated Andy’s body and spirit. That last round of chemo took the last of my pre-cancer Andy away and we were left to muddle thru the aftermath. We did find happy moments that made it worth it..such as Jamaica!

Oh that Andy is finally free is what keeps me going each day. Fly Andy, Soar Andy, and guide my days on this earth as an Angel by my side. Nudge me to move..Nudge me to try.. Nudge me to just Wake up in the morning like you did those weeks following your death. Where you whispered ever so quietly in my ear, “Please Get Up”.

 

Dolphin Andy Resting EEk

 

Fundraising for my Real Mission Trip

 

Healing Eyes

Proof of what?

I need your pain…it’s not love any other way

I already know who you are and all the things that kept us apart… It’s enough, it’s not enough to just say I’m ok..I need your hurt.. I need your pain.

“You are Mine for all Time … utterly secure you are…your future is absolutely assured!”

Those were the words I read this morning when I got into work for March 10th out of the ‘Jesus Calling’ book on a friends desk. Every morning I walk over, regardless of how busy I am, and read the daily inspiration for the day. There is no hiding it, God is screaming at me and proving with each step I take that it is ever SO right! How did I live for so long outside of this amazing embrace of faith?! Maybe it was the fear of believing and fear of losing control. 

I worried that this blog might turn into a ‘Religious’ ‘Christian’ blog more than a journey of ‘LIVING’. Why do we put so much attention on the word ‘Religion’ and what denomination we are, what the differences are between each of us, and being a ‘good’ christian? Because then we concentrate on all those things instead of just BELIEVING in something more and LIVING truly in faith of a LOVE we all can touch. Sometimes I just feel like my words are not my own and my story could have purpose to touch others… Maybe that’s my calling?!

Each day is a surprise on how it unfolds before me. The day started slowly by hitting the snooze button. It got better as I went thru the day listening to what God wanted me to hear and see. Then as the night closes in and I realize my bed is alone I look to the memories of times lost. For those who have lost a husband to cancer they can understand the pain. The relief felt after death finally releases there husband from the grips of pain. I went to the cancer center the other day where Andy had his surgery and I visited the garden on the top floor. It had both good and bad memories obviously, but I wanted to face something by going there. It wasn’t really closure but a closeness with the battle we fought that 2 weeks in the hospital. I even reconnected with his doctor while there. She was a doctor that always cared about Andy and took such care in answering our questions and concerns (I have to be careful since I know she may be reading this haha:). But really, you can’t find many doctors who give so much time and care for a patient, one of many patients who drain there emotions day after day. Knowing that those who come in may eventually die from the disease while watching them suffer from the pain and reality of the truth. She told me, “Sarah, you did everything you could…the disease was too much for Andy…it wasn’t your fault. It may take a long time to truly believe that, Sarah, but you loved Andy so much, it was obvious to everyone you loved him even thru the hard times. It wasn’t your fault”.

It may seem obvious to think that dying from Cancer is not the caregivers fault. But there is a part of me that believes I didn’t do enough and that I did kill Andy. How ridiculous that sounds when saying it aloud! But I watched him suffer, I watched him die, I felt his last breathe. I helped him find relief from the pain with the morphine drip. I made him comfortable in his final hours. The disease killed Andy but the disease also killed me. It killed an innocence in me, a belief that we are all in control of our lives. I will never forget the ravishing effects that chemo took on Andy’s frail body, the broken heart of a man who lost everything and when faced with dying finally gave in. Made the choice to stop fighting and leave this earth. When I was in St. Croix I read a book, Proof of Heaven, and at the end of it was a poem. I know this will lengthen this blog entry but I know thru it’s words it gave me peace and it was as if Andy was saying to me, he didn’t want to go but…

“When tomorrow starts without me, and I’m not there to see, If the sun should rise and find your eyes are filled with tears for me; I wish so much you wouldn’t cry the way you did today, while thinking of the many things, we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you, and each time you think of me, I know you’ll miss me too. But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand, that an angel came and called my name,
and took me by the hand, and said my place was ready, In heaven far above and that I’d have to leave behind all those I dearly love. But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye For all my life, I’d always thought,
I didn’t want to die. I had so much to live for, so much left yet to do. It seemed almost impossible, that I was leaving you. I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad, The thought of all the love we shared, and all the fun we had. I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile. But then I fully realized that this could never be.
For emptiness and memories would take the place of me. And when I thought of worldly things I might miss come tomorrow. I thought of you, and when I did my heart was filled with sorrow. But when I walked through heaven’s gates I felt so much at home
When God looked down and smiled at me, from his great golden throne, He said, “This is eternity, and all i’ve promised you. Today your life on earth is past but here it starts a new. I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last and since each day’s the same say. There is no longing for the past. You have been so faithful, so trusting and so true. Though there were times you did some things you knew you shouldnt do. But you have been forgiven and now at last you’re free. So won’t you come and take my head and share my life with me?”
So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re for apart, for every time you think of me I’m right here, in your heart.

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Healing Eyes

Quotes from: Experiencing God by Henry and Richard Blackaby

“When you trust that God always gives his best, you will devote your heart to whatever assignment God gives because you know in that role you can experience everything God has in his heart for you.”

“When God gives you a directive you can be sure he has already considered every factor. ”

“When your life is centered in Gods’ activity, he will rearrange your thinking. God’s ways and thoughts are so different from yours that they will often appear wrong, unloving, or impossible. You will often realize that the task he assigns is far beyond your power or resources to accomplish. as soon as you recognize that the job appears humanly unattainable, you need to be ready to believe and to trust him completely.”

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One night I asked for more.
One night I asked for it all to end.
One night I asked to save me from the pain.
One night I screamed out, “I give up, take my life!”

and

One day God said, ‘Ok’.

One day at a time is my motto ever since Cancer. Now more than ever it is becoming clearer as to how important that saying is. Today I purchased heavy duty tupperware bins to pack just enough clothing and necessities for the new direction in my life. From a house packed full of things and 4 cars in a driveway I am reduced to 2 tupperware bins. When I made the decision to follow the unthinkable .. become childlike in my trust of God’s plan for my new chapter in life I never thought it would mean this. Each day I am faced with imposing doubt of what used to be precious to me. To surrender it all, risk it all to find a bigger purpose in life…oh what madness..but what if by chance faith can win. To have fear is to doubt..how can I doubt the one who wants the best for me, he wouldn’t send me away if it wasn’t a path that would eventually lead to the best for me. Yes there will be pain, ups and downs, trials, but oh what sweet victory to truly live! Find the beauty in the rain, the sun, the simple act of breathing, appreciating each blessing every day as if it were my last. To not live in limbo of the future…without worrying about each imposing day ahead of me..can we all not live like that? Trapped by our own worry and doubt of a future we can’t control.

Step out with me to see a world full of hope and a touch less sorrow. The pain of our past and present will always remain but to seek ways to be happy amidst the storms of life, now that’s worth doing. Finally a challenge worth accepting.. 34 years in the making (with a 13 year intermission of love and life lessons)!

So what am I up to? Well I have eluded to it in my previous posts..something about God’s calling and a remote island. Putting the pieces together? In April I will be leaving my home, friends, and family to follow a small voice inside that says, ‘Go’.  Leave behind what is familiar and have faith in the impossible…
Walk with others strong in their faith, learn to live a simpler life and stop trying to DO everything and control each day. God doesn’t always give specific details of his plan but nudges you in the right direction. I have been given a nudge to help out at Lighthouse Ministries, BE around others in need, BE around God’s love, and BE with children. Along the way if my skills in technology, design, and leadership can be used than by all means God will make it happen. If I am hungry or need shelter than God will provide it. If I am sad or in pain than God will be there to hold me. All of this is foreign to me, and yet it feels so right to trust .. to give up controlling since I have learned thru much suffering and loss that its futile to fight God’s will.

I have started a fundraising website again but this time instead of going to just heal from Andy’s loss… I am going to follow a dream, an awakening of my heart and soul to God.. what madness it is:)  God brought me out of my comfort zone to show me love he can only give to a broken heart.

I will be staying at a wonderful lady’s house again, in a quaint room with showers from the rain that falls from the heavens. My belongings will be simple and my diet will be limited (I never was a good cook…kinda lazy on that front). My income will be cut in half while I attempt to still work online. My puppies will be staying with a family member and thanks to prayer I will not have to separate Yoshi and Miko from each other. The rest of the details will work themselves out each day as I lead up to my flight.

Andy can you believe it!? Out of great pain will come great hope! It’s going to be ok…

Donate here: Fundraising Page

Healing Eyes