February 8, 2009

Everything bad that can go wrong, will go wrong.

So, three weeks ago, my sister Liz ended up in the ER for a severe allergic reaction. Her throat started swelling shut and she had hive-like things all over her body. Lymphoma runs hand in hand with Celiac disease, so... this is not something that my family wants to be messing with. Needless to say, she ended up on steroids a few days later, because she'd started reacting to everything she ate... with a total of seven of those types of reactions in a week.

The next Monday, (so, the week before last) Suzannah gets her lip pierced on the right side. By Wednesday, the lymph nodes on the right side of her face and neck and under her right arm were swollen to the point that they hurt. She had a fever of over 102.5, and it kept rising. And, most importantly, she couldn't breathe. (Again, lymphoma...) After three trips to the ER, my mom being yelled at by one of the doctor on call that night, and waiting around for a total of probably about 12 hours, we finally learn that the upper half of her right lung had collapsed and she was developing bronchitis and asthma. 

This week: Tuesday/Wednesday, we got slammed with a HUGE snowstorm. 
Thursday, I got into a mini-car accident (I ended up in a ditch. Damn postal lady). 
Friday, Amanda's dad drove himself to the ER. They think he has pancreatitis. 
Saturday, Licorice attacked and killed our bird, Buddy. 
Sunday, Buddy accidently went through the washer because of a miscommunication about where she actually was (aka. not inside the coffin like she should have been). 

In these moments, it's so hard to believe that there is a God. But, if there is a God, then He cannot be a good God because HOW, on top of everything else that my family is faced with, can these things continue to happen. (This is the Problem of Pain, the argument C.S. Lewis attempts to address in the book. I probably should read it.)

Why does He allow layer upon layer of sadness, frustration, and deep, overwhelming grief to continue to build upon itself? Why has He given us all of these crosses to carry? Why has He allowed two years to roll on without giving our family answers? I've been wondering for a while, if my family is somehow cursed. I just wonder if some Christian Science wacko way back down on the genealogical line didn't curse every generation to follow. What other explanation for all of this is there?

Why would it take twenty years to get my diagnosis that eventually ended up saving almost everyone in my family? Why has my stubborn father refused to follow the diet that he should? Why did my parents choose to build a house on top of land that is filled with poison? Why have the doctors completely written my family off as lunatics? Why are the doctors from Chicago forging medical records; erasing incriminating evidence; STILL claiming that there is nothing wrong with my father when our ENTIRE LIVES have been turned upside down by whatever disease/deterioration has been occurring, especially over the last several years? Why are there never any answers? 

I thought every doctor took the Hippocratic Oath, which states: "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.... In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients."

Whatever happened to that? Whatever happened to being a good, upstanding, moral person? Why... How could you allow your actions to manifest such deep, heart-wrenching despair in another human being? How differently would you act if it was your child? Your spouse? Would you be above begging for help? Would you be above being infuriated? At the end of your rope? Always ready to scream with frustration and cry with an overwhelming sense of hopelessness? Would you lose faith in your profession? In people? In God?

"No trial has come to you but what is human. God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13

I wish I could believe this. I wish I had faith like that. I wish that my family didn't feel as deeply as we do. I wish that we could brush off all of this suffering as though it was... nothing more than we can handle. I wish that, carrying all of this, it didn't feel as though God had abandoned us.... on top of everything else... that is just too much. Unacceptable. 

My family represents the perfect storm. A mix of seemingly impossible, minute possibilities that have all come together into one, deadly concoction. 

The mysteries of my faith I can accept. I know that I will never fully understand how the bread and wine are turned into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Nor the story of Jesus' incarnation. I will never understand having a deep, deep relationship with God the Father. Well, at least for a long time. 

But, I can accept these mysteries. I accept them on faith. I accept them because I believe they are true, whether I understand it or not. I know that I'm far less intelligent that I'd like to believe myself to be. So, I trust the explanations of those who have had far greater faith than I, and I believe.

What I cannot understand is anything that relates to this life that is illogical. Anything that shows the TRUE depravity of man. Maybe I'm still too idealistic. I'd like to believe that everyone in the world struggles against the same sins and traps that I struggle with... hell, even to know that another person out there STRUGGLES would be nice. Right now, I feel utterly alone.

I feel as though I could climb Mount Everest, and scream for as long as my lungs could hold air, and it would not penetrate the atmosphere. My utterance would fall back upon my own deafened ears, unheard by the Divine Being that holds the world in the palm of His hand.... 

And, as I write this, I know that in a few hours, I will be standing before the altar, communally participating in Christ's Passion and Death, uttering the words of the Nicene Creed -- I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and Earth... I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, Our Lord... I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy, catholic Church... the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life ever-lasting. Amen. -- without fully meaning them. 
Tonight, I will be seated to listen to encouraging words from the Old and New Testaments, and I will feebly stand for the Gospel, hearing about Christ's own feelings of loss and abandonment, His life story. 
Tonight, I will fulfill my Catholic duty.
Tonight, I will feel nothing
Tonight, I will beg God for forgiveness for my lack of faith. 
Tonight, I will beg for mercy and deliverance for my family. 
Tonight, I will beg for things that I know will not happen overnight. 
Hell, for things that may never happen. But, I will ask. I will pray, without feeling or hope that God actually will hear me... or that He even cares. 

God, if you're listening, have mercy on us, oh Lord. Bring peace to our family.


Anonymous said...

my comment is getting REALLY long so you will get an email soon. I love you SO much and hope that what I have to say helps even in the least bit.

Hero said...

I haven't commented in awhile here. But I hope things are looking up. I know times can be tough.

Anything you need, ask, you're family. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.