Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Powerlessness and Letting Go

I started my "writing half of the week," with a full list of things I wanted to accomplish.  That's not anything new and unusal, all professional writers set goals--and work to meet them.  But, sometimes life gets in the way, and not always in ways we can predict.

In December of 2010, a little over a year ago, my now three year-old granddaughter Abigail was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopenia Purpura, an autoimmune blood disorder that causes her body to destroy her platelets.  She's done well with treatment, even though she's required regular blood product transfusions.  To date, over 6,000 donors have helped keep this little Princess alive. 

About a third of kids with ITP will have only one episode of the disease, about a third will have recurrences that subside within a year, and about a third will have life-long problems.  Since Abigail is past the one year mark, it is likely she is in the chronic category.  Another constant concern for kids with ITP is the risk of it developing into Leukemia or Lymphoma. Last week, Abigail's blood showed some things that raise the concern of this happening.  Yesterday, they drew more blood to repeat the smears.  If they are also abnormal, a bone marrow biopsy will be the next step.   

Waiting for lab results is always difficult.  But, today, with all these "things" I want to get done, I found myself looking up at a photograph of Abigail on my wall and dissolving into tears.  It hit me, this is the first time in the year Abigail's had ITP that I have cried.  It's never been my nature to break down, something I think has a lot to do with my nursing background.  But today I am not the nurse, I am a grandmother and a mother. I can't DO anything to change what she's going through, all I can do is love and support my daughter and son-in-law, and of course Abigail as they face the unknown. 

And I dont like it.

In my last blog post, I talked about why I write horror, and how I plumb the depths of my own soul when I write.  What I realize today is that I am terrified of not being in control.  From nursing and medicine, to being a retail manager, and even being the future president of the Nebraska Writers Guild, I gravitate to roles that allow me to shape my own world.  Think about it, don't fiction writers do this every day?  My rules, I make them up.  I tell my characters what to do, I create every detail of my story worlds.  I don't want to bow to God's will, I want to BE God. 

It's Holy Week, and I contemplate Christ's surrender as he faced his death.  The taunts, "If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross." 

As I search for solace, I recall Christ's words, "Father, if it is your will, let this cup pass from me; yet your will not mine be done."

As a grandmother, I pray that this cup pass from our family.  I can't make myself finish the sentence.  I'm praying for the grace to be able to finish it, and to have the conviction to back it up.  Is that me wanting to be God?  Absolutely.  It's my character flaw. 

I'm working with the plot for a short story, and in big letters on my notes page is the word, SURRENDER.  I'm not quite sure how I'm going to use it yet, but salvation will either be had or lost over that one word.  Writing truly is self-analysis on the page.  I'll let you know how it works out. 

As for Abigail, check out Abigail's Angels (ITP Support) on Facebook.  My daughter Megan, and Abigail are changing lives.  They are much better at this surrender thing than me.  You guys are my heroes! 



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