Tuesday, July 11, 2017

On Transplanting, Cancer Anniversaries and Healing

So, on the 4th of July I did my semi-annual garden weeding. This year I had co-oped the first weeding to the offspring, but I bit the bullet, and did the second (and final) weeding myself. Because ain't nobody got time for more weeding than that.


I had gotten a steal of a deal on the seedlings in the spring. Eight plants for $1.50. Which made for 16 plants at $3.00. Which made for a seriously crowded tomato patch. I think I planted 12 plants (it KILLED me to let the other four just die), which was still about four too many for my space. The plants were slowly growing, but were definitely not flourishing.

Long story short(er)...I pulled out 2 plants (and threw them away!!!), and then moved 3 plants over.

Those three plants immediately wilted.

I was really careful moving them. I kept the roots intact, and even tried to keep dirt on the roots. I buried the plants securely, and then watered. But those babies looked sick.

Very wilty. Droopy leaves. Limp limbs. Barely surviving.

Over the next few days I watered them religiously. I spoke sweet nothings in their ears. I encouraged them to take root again and grow. They'd barely perk up.

But finally they turned the corner this weekend.

They are still not as robust as they were before I messed with them, but they are looking much better. Not as much on death's door.


Of course this makes me think of life.

We each go through tremendous trials. Trials that batter and shape and mark us forever.

In the urgency of the trial, people pray for us, and cry with us, and rejoice with us.

But then, life moves on. People aren't praying as much anymore. People think the situation is over and done with. Sometimes it feels like people are tired of hearing about cancer, or loss, or death, or divorce, or miscarriage, or _____.

The situation seems hopeful or healed (or at least, should be) to the outside observer, while the sufferer is still dealing with the ramifications of the journey.

Like the tomato plants.

I mean...they have roots, good soil, water, miracle grow, sunshine and rain. Sure, they were transplanted. But, really? Get over it and get flourishing.

But, what we can forget is that transplanting is a drastic measure. The bigger the plant, the more drastic it is. You practically bring the plant to the point of death in the hopes that it will bear more fruit. 

So, even with fastidious tending, it takes a long time for the plant to recover.

Today, July 11, 2017, marks the one year anniversary since Meredith's eye enucleation. And she is doing marvelously. She is getting hardier, and healthier, with each passing day.

Our family is doing well. Our outlook is really good.


Sometimes I wonder if I will ever reach a point when cancer isn't my point of reference.

Sometimes I wonder if I will be able to type a blog post again without crying.

Sometimes I wonder if people are sick and tired of hearing about how this impacted us. If they are thinking...just get over it already.

Sometimes the FB memories just take and bite me in the butt.

I know that God is good and faithful all the time. And I am thankful that He brought us through this hell. But, I still have no idea what His plan in the whole thing is.

I feel like the tomato plant...perfect growing conditions, but not quite recovered yet. So even though theoretically we should be robust and flourishing, we are still a bit wilty and droopy.

I try to allow myself the tears as needed, and I lean into healing practices.

We all willingly quote and cling to Romans 8:28-29. All things work together for good. All things for God's glory. All things to conform us to the image of Christ.

People ARE being changed. We need to realize that this is often a radical conforming process. It is excruciating. It takes time to process the ways we've been changed. The actual change and the conduit of the change.

Even though someone may seem healed on the surface, they often deal with the scars and stretch marks for years. Time passes and does heal, but there is not formulaic time period that heals all ills for all people.

Thus we need to listen, and weep, to lean in, and be leaned upon. Whenever and wherever. For however long it takes for that healing to be complete. For the person to become vibrant, robust, strong and flourishing again.

Like my tomato plants.