What would I do if I knew ... ?
--Surrender. Not to the disease or the fear or the grief or despair but to the care of a loving and gracious God. This sometimes is a moment by moment process. I surrender then I take it back. I surrender, then I try to start fighting it again. Let go and let God. Let God fight it for me.
--Acceptance. The Serenity Prayer. "God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference." I want to know everything -- the doctors, the medical details, the nurses, the Hospice team; how daddy and mom are experiencing everything. I want to be there. I want to help. I need to accept reality. Add to the Serenity Prayer an attitude of gratitude: gratefulness that Mom and Dad have family, extended family, church, friends and resources including medical care and hospice.
--I thought I would cry. There haven't been many tears yet. What seems to be happening is that I'm shutting that down. I think that may explain why some days I feel as if I'm in a fog. It seems I can't shut down the negative or sad feelings without affecting the full range of emotions.
I thought maybe when the Aggies lost to OSU yesterday in Aggieland that would trigger tears. No, not yet. It will be something more random, I guess. All that game did was mess with my mind. A win would have made me feel a simple kind of happiness. With a loss, my silly mind keeps going over what-ifs. What a waste of mental energy, but that's what happens. So I expend more mental/spiritual energy to tear my thoughts from that unchangeable and truly insignificant thing to subjects of substance. I rationalize and try to see what God is trying to teach me from my reaction to a game. And I still wish they had won. (See, I still haven't let go.)
--Smiles and gratitude. Still, so far, there are more smiles and more gratitude for blessings and less sadness and fewer tears than I would have expected. But there is growing tiredness, and with that comes greater vulnerability to unhealthy choices -- and also to the breakthrough of pent-up emotions. So, I'm back to where I started: praying to let go and let God, to trust Him to protect me from negativity, despair, fear or even too much tiredness, and to hold me in His loving arms and care.