Tuesday, January 8, 2008

To Sleep, To Sleep, Perchance to Dream...

I’ve never been a person who required a lot of sleep, maybe 4-6 hours a night. I’ve also never been a person who had much trouble sleeping. No matter what was going on around me, I could usually sleep. Until now. Now sleep has become a precious commodity, one that seems to elude me at every turn. Part of it is the drugs, from what I’ve been told, but I’m sure part of it is simply plain old anxiety. What is going to happen next? That question haunts me at times. I’m going to see the Oncologist today and hopefully I’ll have more answers than questions when I leave, but I’m not counting on it. Facing an unknown future is frightening. On those nights when I wake up after sleeping an hour or maybe two, I find myself staring into the darkness praying for a glimpse of what is to come. Praying, at this point, seems to be about all I can do. I can put on the brave front, be strong and all of that, but those nights, staring into the darkness, well, I’m scared. But, I am still praying. I may be facing an unknown future, but I am certain that I am not facing it alone. I have been blessed with a loving, supportive, family and with wonderful, loving friends who are beside me every step of this journey. I also have faith. I don’t know why I have been asked to take on this challenge, but I believe with all my heart and soul that God is with me. Some of those nights, staring into the darkness, I can’t see God, I can’t grasp the enormity of what is happening. At times I may feel abandoned, but at the end of the day I know, I believe, that I am not, that God is sharing this journey with me. I pray that in this process I grow closer to God, and hopefully others may see God at work here as well. If that is the case, then no matter what happens, this journey is worth it.
St. Peregrine, pray for us.
Deacon John
January 8, 2008


Gunny John said...

Deacon John,

There was a half-assed song from my callow youth that had a recurring tag line..."reach out in the darkness." Stupid song, good idea.

I, too, stare into the darkness at night - like right now, it's 1:00 am and I couldn't sleep - but for different reasons than yours. Damn, I sure wish we lived closer...

Sure wish I could do something to make it go away...

Wish and pray...

Love you, brother,
Gunny John

angelmeg said...

I wake up in a cold sweat wondering how things are going to work out. It isn't worry it is just wonder . . . how is God going to take all of these crooked lines in my life and make something resembling a picture that makes any sense.

Do you think we are awake at night wondering at the same time. I hope you know that when I am here I am thinking of you there.

I agree with Gunny, wish we were closer.

I think we need another Scooby Gang Reunion

Perpetua said...

As you describe your post, I can almost picture you, sitting in the dark and wondering, feeling the fear invade your body like pins and needles. It steals your beath and peace seems so far away. As you describe it, I feel your fear, too. You named your cancer Poindexter so you could name your fear, visualize it, defeat it.

I am a scientist and I am a Catholic. But I believe there are still many things about the mind we do not understand. The power of the imagination is one of those things. I learned recently from an amazing friend that for people who use visualization as a form of meditation, violet is the most powerful color/light energy. If you talk to someone who is knowledgeable in these things, their face will light up, they will smile and nod excitedly, and say, “YES, the violet flame!!”

Perhaps those nights when Fear is sitting too close to you and won’t leave you alone, and you are exhausted and just want to sleep, you can imagine yourself surrounded by a ring of brilliant, violet flames. The violet flame surrounds you like a bold warrior, and she is too hot for your fear to penetrate. In fact, Fear shrinks at the sight of her and goes away. Then, the violet flame turns towards you and burns the cancer out of your body, leaving you whole, and healthy, and at peace. You hold your breath for a moment and listen closely, and all you can hear is the still small sound of the violet flame, swirling and dancing in the space around you.

You breathe in deeply. One – two —three. You breathe out slowly. One – two – three – four… With each breath, you breathe in the love and power of God. With each exhalation, you breathe out the fear of cancer. You breathe in…. You breathe out…. In…. Out….

You feel the love and power of God. You feel the peace and comfort of God. You crawl back into your bed. You rest your arm on your wife and you feel her breathing in and breathing out. A smile comes to your face. You close your eyes. Peace wraps you in a warm embrace like a gentle mother, and lulls you, her little child, back to sleep.