Posted in Writing

When Being Still Seems Impossible!

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“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalms 46:10 English Standard Version.

In 2015, I wrote about a citrus tree I’d planted in my small garden. (You can find the story here https://tammycarteradams.com/2015/08/28/far-reaching-branches/) My husband, Jay told me it would never produce fruit in such a small space in our garden.

            I am happy to announce…he was wrong! Fist pump!

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“Give me some dap!”

 

There are huge uh… fruit of some sort growing all over it. I believe it’s grapefruit, but I won’t know until the day it ripens, which for weeks I’ve been monitoring its progress.

            “How’s the fruit?” Jay says when I walk in the door from the garden for the umpteenth time.

            “Still green.”

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The Mystery Fruit

            After several months of this, I contacted a specialist on all matters of the universe, Dr. Goggle and found it takes 11 months for grapefruit to ripen on the vine. ELEVEN MONTHS!  I mean goodness gracious, I could die of scurvy before this fruit ripens! Kudos to the citrus farmers out there, I crown you Saints of Patience.

            Blessings follow patience I suppose. If you’ve read my previous posts titled Half -Naked and Picking Weeds Part 1-3 (You can find part 1 here: https://tammycarteradams.com/2018/05/22/half-naked-and-picking-weeds/), you’re familiar with my friend Vanessa and her battle with brain cancer. She’s being blessed for her patience.

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Bella staring out the hospital window.

            Since Half- Naked and Picking Weeds was posted, I’ve been sitting with Vanessa in her apartment while she tells me her life story. Her apartment is dark, because her eyes hurt, and I squat at the foot of her bed with pen and notebook. Somehow, we work through her sentences one by one, word by word, and I’m able to understand. (The brain tumor has affected her communication skills.)

            These past weeks, her head has been hot to the touch. So much so, one day I placed a cold cloth on it after rubbing it with oil. There was a bump rising up on her skull, along with the anxiety in my gut. Time was running out…or so I thought.

            Her mother Joan came into the room, “No Tammy take that cloth off. Jesus is using heat to heal my daughter.” I removed the cloth, remembering my sister’s hyperthermia treatment in Germany, where a doctor heated her body up and iced her brain to fight breast cancer. How ironic, Vanessa’s brain was heating up now on its own.

            Last week, my husband and I met Vanessa at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa. While we waited for her MRI consult, Vanessa wrung her hands, I reached over and squeezed them in her lap.

            “Oh my gosh, I’m just so anxious,” she said.

            I touched her head. “You know it’s weird, but your head’s not hot and that bump has gone down. You look good and sound better since the last time I saw you.”

            “I know. I feel great,” Vanessa said.

            Finally, we were called back to speak with the doctor. The doctor turned from the monitor and asked her, “Are you sure you haven’t received any other treatment?”

            “No,” Vanessa shook her head. “I’ve been on hospice.”

            “Well, this is incredible. You only have one tiny spot of cancer left. Here,” She pointed to the monitor, “at the base of your brain. You can see, the swelling and the tumor have all shrunk. I suggest you get off hospice and start getting some physical therapy right away.”

            Vanessa laughed. Her mother cried. I sat speechless by it all. (Speechless is a word rarely prescribed to me.)

            You see, I’ve struggled with this whole cancer thing since my sister’s diagnoses. I’ve been asking God if He ever heals miraculously in the USA. I’ve read of many healings in developing countries where there is no medicine. Although, I’ve prayed for a miracle, I admit my faith is weak when it comes to healing. Sometimes, hopes hurt, and when they’re dashed to bits it takes time to recover. So, we build a wall around hopes and tread the perimeter with caution.

            I can’t imagine I’m the only one who feels this way.

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My sister’s daughter Peyton.

            Around two months ago, Vanessa was given two months to live. Her tumor grew and swelled her brain to a point where she wasn’t conscious. Two hospitals washed their hands of her and sent her home to be on Hospice, but God had a plan. The miracle comes when there is no other option.

            After her MRI, I sped a squealing Vanessa zig-zag down the hallway to the check out. Behind the check-out desk there was a sign on the wall. The sign was incomplete, but I knew it was meant to be noticed.2018-06-26_17.00.01

            “Vanessa, look what that sign says.” I whispered in her ear. “It says, Be still.”

            She nodded. “Be still and know that I am God,” she said.

            Perhaps, that’s why God allowed my tree to produce something to teach me to be still while He brings uh… something to a ripened state. Hmm…Maybe that’s why He’s brought me Vanessa. So, I’ll just wait…and continue praying….and maybe wiggle in my seat a bit.

            Perhaps you’d like to share how you struggle with being still, being patient, and letting God. Until next week…

English Standard Version (ESV)

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

Posted in Cancer, Christian, Minsitry, Writing

Half -Naked and Picking Weeds Part 3

(Please note: If you haven’t read part 1 and 2 of Half Naked and Picking Weeds, I suggest you scroll down and read those first as this is a continuation of it.)

 

I asked Vanessa what she wanted everyone to know. Before the words slipped from her lips, she closed her eyes to concentrate on forming them. “Every day counts,” she said. “I want them to know, every day counts.”

   Every day counts. Even the humdrum days?  Even the days when the kids are driving us cray-cray?  Even the days we can’t wait to slam our bedroom door and disappear under the cool sheets because the to-do list whipped our butts? Even that day when her head is wrapped in cold rags and she has to wear sunglasses because her eyes hurt from a cancerous tumor pushing against her skull? She would tell you…yes, even that day.

            I’m convinced there are days of our lives that count more than others. They weigh more in value on eternity’s scale.

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          The doctor didn’t lie when he said rotator cuff surgery was painful. I’d given birth to four children and after surgery the pain sent me moaning on the floor rocking back and forth. He’d stated my arm was so tore up it looked like an eighty- year old woman’s with an old tear and new. For six weeks, my arm was in a bulky sling and I couldn’t hold my baby, so I borrowed Vanessa’s arms.

            You can’t help but get personal with someone who’s loving your baby. Her affection for Bella built the foundation of our friendship… our sisterhood. One day she casually mentioned that she worshipped the Hindu gods, Allah, and the Christian God.

            I laughed. “What are you doing covering all your bases?” I said.

            “Oh my gosh!” She burst out laughing. “Yes, I want to be sure I get it right. Besides, I think they’re all the same anyway.”

            “You should look into the characteristics of each of them, that’s how you’ll know if they are the same,” I said. “I think you’ll find the Christian God is far more personal. He’s the only one out of the bunch that gave His life for mankind. He’s the only One who loves us whether we love him or not.”

            I walked her out that day and knew when I closed the door, God just opened one.

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Doors in Rome, Italy

            The next afternoon, “So, how do you worship all three gods?” I said.

       “I have three altars in my apartment. I’m drawn to the Christian God, so I go to church on Sunday, but I have a Hindu altar, an Allah altar, and an altar with a cross. I pray at each.”

            “What do you pray about?”

            “I just want some direction you know?  I want to know what I should be doing in my future,” she said. “I’d like to use my experience with cancer for something good now that I’m healed.”

          It amazes me when God opens a door. Sometimes, it’s just a crack, while other times it is thrown open so wide the light is blinding. Soon after, over the phone my father told me what he taught in Sunday school that week, the story of Paul’s travel to Athens.

            “When Paul arrived in Athens he noticed all the gods and altars scattered around the city,” Daddy said. “but there was one altar titled the “Unknown god,” and Paul stood before them and told them about that God, our God. You see, baby, they were trying to cover all their bases, as many people do today, but in doing that, they are lost.” (Acts 17: 16-34)

I was blinded by the light.

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The next day, Vanessa sat across from me at the kitchen table. Praying she’d understand, I slid my open Bible across the table. “Before you go, I want you to read something.” I pointed to the passage.

            After she finished, her eyes widened. “Oh my gosh! That’s me!” she said.

            “You said, you were praying for guidance and for your next purpose in life. How can God lead you if you haven’t made Him Lord?”

            She nodded.

            “I don’t want you to do anything for me, but you need to think about that,” I said. “God will never lead you if He’s not in the lead.”

            She promised to think about it. I wasn’t there the day Vanessa chose to make Jesus Christ her Lord. God placed the seeds in my hands, I pushed them under the soil, and moved on to tend to the weeds of life, but God sent others to water it.

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            After I recovered, Vanessa remained Bella’s babysitter one day a week until Bella started preschool.  Jay, my husband, then hired Vanessa to work at the office for him and his brother Shaun. She was so happy to be back behind a desk. One Thursday morning, Jay stopped by her counter.

            “Why are you sitting there?” Jay said. “Come join our Abiding study in the conference room.”

            “Really?” She jumped up and followed him.

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Vanessa’s desk at the office.

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            She sat in a men’s Bible study every Thursday morning learning how to Abide in Christ. Between Jay and Shaun his brother, Vanessa had two very determined men pouring Jesus into her on a daily basis. She told them she’d made the decision to accept Jesus Christ as Lord.

            It was then…the cancer returned.

            Last week, I wanted to hear from her own lips she’d made a decision. I swabbed her bald head with a cold cloth. Our relationship had come full circle I was now at her home.

            “The last time we discussed God, you told me you’d think about it. Did you?” I said.

            “Yes, I chose Christ.” she said.

            “Did you tell Him that? Ask Him to take your life?” I said.

            “Yes, I did.”

            “You’re undertaking the most important assignment of your life, but you know that don’t you?” I said squeezing her hand.

            Vanessa nodded. “I do.”

            “You are just as much a sister to me as Tricia was. Our relationship is eternal.”

            “Really?” she said.

            “Yes, in fact if Tricia wasn’t a Christian you’d be more of a sister to me.” I hugged her.

 IMG_2962       I’ve never seen a faith so strong in someone so new to it. How does she know He’s a loving God when as soon as she gave her life to Christ, her cancer returned? I’ve pondered this. I’ve asked God why didn’t He allow her some healthy years to use her faith for Him.

Then, I glance at Vanessa she’s filled with a peace that is not human. She knows God loves no matter what she’s going through. If anything in this life can give us comfort, it’s this…our circumstances are never indicative of God’s love.

            What a relief! Having a bad day? God loves you! Husband’s left you? God loves you. Your son has passed away? God loves you! Your addicted to drugs or alcohol? God loves you. You’re sick with cancer? God loves you. Praying to the Hindu gods or Allah? God loves you right where you are. Vanessa’s proof of that.

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            It’s time to harvest at the farm. There are rows of heavy vegetables curling the stems. I don’t know about you, but there’s something satisfying about snapping them off and filling a bucket. We load them in the back of the ATV and drive them up to the farmhouse. In the sink, we wash them one by one, preparing them for the job they were born to do. Nourish.

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            Just like those vegetables waiting to be plucked off the vines, Vanessa’s story will become someone else’s spiritual nourishment. In time, someone will be walking ankle deep in the dirt and weeds of this world and feeling empty. They’ll wonder is this all there is to life? They’ll witness the light and color of a young woman’s faith and want to consume the invitation of salvation for themselves. The circle of life is eternal.

When Vanessa’s time comes, I’m so sure Tricia will run up and greet her at the gates of heaven. “Vanessa! I’ve been waiting for ya. What took you so long?” She’ll give her a hug with a hard pounding on the back. “Welcome home, sister. Welcome home.” She’ll wrap her arm around her shoulders. “So you gotta tell me, is Tammy fat? I sure hope so.”

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If you would like to donate to Vanessa Raghubir’s Go Fund Me Page, please click on the link below. She is in need of some financial aid. The Go Fund Me page needs to be updated it is from her first diagnoses of brain cancer, but the need is even greater with the second. Thank you and God bless you for helping someone you don’t even know.

https://www.gofundme.com/i3nnns

Posted in Writing

Half-Naked and Picking Weeds

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When I was a little girl we had this huge garden running alongside our house on Mockingbird Lane. Mornings and evenings when the heat was bearable we’d pull the weeds and collect our bounty in baskets. I can still feel the prickle of the cucumber stems and smell the pungent scent from plucking the tomato off the vine.

            My sister, Tricia and I labored in our underwear. The sun-browned our bodies to the color of mahogany and we’d moon Granny our bright white bottoms because she’d laugh so hard tears spilled out of her eyes. We didn’t have air conditioning in our home until I was almost a teenager. Daddy clutched the coins and feared a high electric bill. In case you’re unaware, summers in the Tidewater area of Virginia can get extremely hot and sticky.

            We didn’t have a microwave either. Momma feared her children would glow in the dark from the radiation. She was a purist when it came to feeding her brood. Most of our food was homemade for she didn’t like preservatives. While Tricia and I raided our cousin’s house for the Pop Tarts. No amount of begging in the grocery aisle would make my Momma cave.

            “That’s junk!” she’d said. “Do you want your poop to turn green? I’ll bake you a banana bread instead.”

            Momma was a firm believer in the color brown, brown eggs, brown bread, brown cereal, brown poop. She was obsessed with us having a good BM (Bowel Movement) every day. This obsession peaked in her wheat germ phase. As I sat guarding my mashed potatoes like a dog over a bone, and hoping Daddy would hurry up… for all things good and decent in this world… and say the blessed blessing so I could get in a few bites before she came around with that jar of brown granules…splat! It was too late, my potatoes were healthy-matized brown.

            “There! Now you’ll get a good cleaning out,” she’d said.

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            I can still picture Momma clad in a halter top and shorts standing by the hot stove. Her dark hair piled on top of her head, while her brown skin glistened from perspiration, cooking up dinner or canning the cucumbers. Without air conditioning, summer meal preparation was a true labor of love. It probably explains why Momma’s lost the joy of cooking today.

  I suppose my nostalgia stems from just returning from taking care of Momma after her surgery. Time has a way of turning the table. I was the one standing by the stove cooking the meals albeit in a nice cool kitchen.

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             I haven’t written in a while because I’ve gone through an extended season of illness. I had Influenza B, then strep invaded our home, after that a dear friend named Vanessa who’s been battling brain cancer took a turn for the worse, followed by my trip to Virginia to take care of my parents.

            Meanwhile these last two months, I’ve felt half-naked in the scorching heat picking through weeds while they keep popping up through the soil of my garden.

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            Speaking of gardens, we’ve entered the garden season at the farm. The land is plowed and planted. The families on the farm are pitching in, to weed and harvest. We are then going to learn to can the produce in an assembly-line fashion. I’m surprised I’m excited about this, and yes, for all those dirty minds out there, I wear clothes when I garden now. (Farm friends you can thank me later…Ha!) Our last attempt at gardening, we ended up with vegetables rotting on the vine, that eventually sank into the earth and fertilized the soil.

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            Lately, I’ve thought about times we feel like that, the times we feel God out of reach or not answering our prayers, the times we think He’s neglected us, left us drooping on the vine. If only we could peer into the future and see our rotten times just may be the fertilizer in someone else’s life, would we be more willing to allow ourselves to be bruised… to feel neglected? 

            I imagine Vanessa feels that way as she lies in her hospital bed suffering from seizures. There were times my sister Tricia felt as if God left her dangling on the vine during her battle with breast cancer, but her rotten part revived the heart soils of those around her.

 

            The older I get the more thankful I am for the rotten times. I hated my sister’s suffering, but it was through it my husband strengthened in his walk with God. It was through it, we all strengthened our faiths in a God who’s sovereign and holy. My sweet Tricia passed away in the winter of 2014.

            When vegetables rot on the vine, they not only fertilize the soil, but their seeds fall into the earth as well. After the vegetables have been long forgotten, a new shoot springs up from the earth. Lately, I’ve witnessed one of Tricia’s seeds in the green faith of Vanessa.

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( To be continued…)

Posted in Christian

The Right to Life

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” Psalms 34:18.

Brittany Maynard ended her life on November 1, by swallowing pills legally prescribed by a doctor. The pills guaranteed Brittany a death with dignity. The first time I saw her on an interview, I rushed to judgement. Who was she to decide to take her life and encourage others to do so as well? It was a cowardly decision. The desire to hold on to one’s dignity was to hold on to their pride.
I have since changed my mind for my sister chose a death without dignity. Her breast cancer has spread up her spine, neck, and all over her abdomen. It is hard under the skin like a rubber armor. The cancer has entered her kidneys, lungs, bones, female parts, liver, and brain. She has lost the use of her limbs, bowels, speech, and for the most part her thoughts. She grunts and moans, and uses uncontrolled hand gestures to tell you what she wants. Sometimes a word or sentence is forced out and her voice sounds like a 90 year old woman. She has no body fat. Her bottom is sunk in, as well as her cheeks and eye sockets. Her skeletal face cast a gray and yellow complexion. One of her eyes seems to bulge in a peculiar way through her half opened lids. She talks to people you can’t see, in a muffled tone you can’t understand.
When I came to see her recently, she yelled, “I can’t believe!” (you are here). I wanted to shout it back, for I shared the same sentiment, I couldn’t believe this was my sister. She leaned in when everyone left the room and laid her head on my shoulder, “I’m so sad,” she said. I wiped a tear from my cheek. “Me too sister… Me too.”
Today, my heart is so heavy I feel the weight of it in my fingers. She wouldn’t want anyone to see her this way. She worries her loved ones will think less of her.
Kim Williams-Standridge (KK) and I stayed with her over night, to give Thomas her husband a night off. She fought me when I tried to change her diaper, and said, “I hate this.” I hugged her, “I know you do, but I am so happy you are letting me help you, it makes me feel good.” Then, as if for me, she released her grip on her diaper. She apologized several times to KK and I, and we were struck by how she still worried about others more than herself.
If I close the story here, you will never see beyond the darkness into the light. Look past the shell of a girl dying in her lazy boy chair.
There are four close girlfriends from her church, in the midst of work, families and Christmas, who give of themselves tirelessly to meet any need. A friend who’s like a sister, puts aside her own broken heart only to pour it out into Tricia’s care. A cousin who buried two of her own children, finds joy each morning nurturing her sick cousin.
There are the stories from nurses who tell how Tricia has inspired them, for she had an unexplainable joy in the midst of a terrible disease. The shock her hospice nurses expressed when she came out of a coma fifteen minutes before her son came home from bootcamp.
I have witnessed a mother who saturates her daughter’s shirt with her tears, as she pleads with the Lord “please take her home.” Morning and night, a father leans his forehead against his daughter’s, as he fervently prays for God’s healing in whatever way it may come. There’s a brother, who still tries to make his sister laugh as he massages her head or moves her legs before work, but as he walks out the door his smile fades and he wipes his cheek.
I have witnessed the strength of a little girl. who sacrifices sleep to help her Dad change and care for her Momma all night, and still goes to school the next morning. Each afternoon she bounds through the door, “I’m home Momma. I love you,” she says, climbing on her lap. Some days there is only a grunt, but when Tricia says, “I love you too!” Peyton beams. “Did you hear that Tammy? Momma said she loves me. I haven’t heard that in a long time.”
There are burly sons who sit beside their Momma, and become gentle lambs as they hold her hand and speak softly to her, their eyes fill with tears.
There is a husband who honors his promise to love her in sickness and in health. Through his own brokenness, he meets her needs day in and out. Each time, Tricia hears his voice, she grunts and throws her arms in the air. He kisses her mouth and cheeks, and tells her, “You are so beautiful. How did you ever want to be with me?” Tricia smiles.
There is a sister who promises, “I love you. I’ll be back soon.” While Tricia throws her arms into the air. “Wait!” she says.
She hugs me tight. “I love you too!” She forces out of her slack mouth.
She wants all of us to know how much she loves us.
I’ve never been so proud. I tell her repeatedly, “I’m so proud of you.” It is like witnessing a miracle. I am a writer, (with all humbleness), but with that comes the responsibility of observation. I have seen the unconditional love of God through a death with no dignity.
In the case of Brittany, I don’t rush to judge her anymore, because a death with no dignity is painful, sorrowful, and slow, but it is also spiritual, humble, miraculous and loving. It takes courage and faith to endure it. My sister has given me this incredible gift, through her I have felt the most intense sorrow and agony, as well as joy and love. Instead of discrimination, I feel sorry for Brittany and her family now, for not allowing God to decide when it’s her time to go. I firmly believe there will be rewards in heaven awaiting my sister for humbling herself before the throne, and allowing God to decide her fate. She kept her heart beating for the possibility of a miracle, and I tell you there have been many… a smile, a word, a hug and kiss, a brush of her hand against a babies toes, hurting women who find joy in nurturing, nurses who feel inspired, a husband who still loves…
A death without dignity allows others to share God’s love, show compassion, and bring light into a dark world. It invites God to lean in close to those who are hurting, and feel His presence.
Tricia will finish this life and in the next stand before the throne without shame. God will tell her, “Well done, good and faithful servant”, for you gave much…you gave all.

II. Timothy 4:3-6
“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. As for me, my life has already been poured out as an offering to God. The time of death is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me- the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge will give me on the day of His return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”

Posted in Christian, family matters, Minsitry, Motherhood, Parenting, Women, Writing

Sometimes God sends a Pig

In the hall, she laid heavy and limp on the tile floor, illuminated only by the light spilling from the bathroom. That is where the children found her. I was unloading bags from the car, when blood curdling screams made me drop everything and run.

“Don’t let my Mommy die Tammy!” Peyton said.  I will never forget the look on my niece’s face, as she looked at me for reassurance. Her little hands patting her mother’s still face.

I leaned her head back in Peyton’s lap and gave her mouth to mouth. She gasped, while her eyes rolled up into the back of her head. She was not coherent, but she would not die today.

As with all stories, they never begin at the climax, for this story started with a pig. I have come to realize through our fight with Breast cancer, when life gets so heavy and sad, sometimes God sends you a pig.

The night before her mishap, my son Christian was studying for a test on China. Tricia and I were cleaning up the dishes, while everyone lingered around the table. In his research, he discovered the Chinese Zodiac and asked what our birthdays were.

“Momma, you are a rooster. You are talkative, outgoing and entertaining. You like a neat house. You like to dress up and go out, but you can be blunt and vain.”

“I can’t get why people believe this stuff!” I said.

Tricia laughed at my denials. “What am I?” she said.

He scanned the page for her birthday. “You’re a pig!” Christian burst out laughing. “You are content and loyal. You face troubles calmly, but you like to wallow in your own mess.”

We laughed as Tricia tried denying she is a pig, but finally shrugged her shoulders and let out a snort.

The following afternoon after a meeting with Dr. Shah,  Tricia and I sat in an Italian bistro, over a spicy plate of pasta.

I leaned across the table. “The doctor’s not God.” I reminded her. “She doesn’t know the cancer will spread into your organs and bones. We must stay positive… stay the course.”

She nodded, while trying not to get emotional.

“Let’s just pretend we didn’t hear it…like it didn’t even happen,” I continued. “We’ll juice more, to boost your immune system. Vitamins…that’s what we’ll do. If she takes you off the chemo…oh well..” I shrugged, “we look at alternative treatments. I will find another doctor….Europe! Let’s go to Europe. I’m telling you, we will get this done. I feel good about it.”

She quietly listened to my ranting, as she cut up her pasta.

I used a spoon to swirl my pasta neatly onto my fork, while Tricia chopped hers, until the occasional piece she missed, which she slurped sloppily into her mouth. I giggled and she snorted.

After lunch, I dropped her off at home, and told her to have a good cry. I would not return with the children until after basketball, so she had time to get herself together before Peyton came home.

While at school, I paced the sidewalk praying.

“Tell me what to do now. What do I do?” I pleaded for answers. “How do I save her?”

I passed under the shade of a giant oak tree, over and over as I prayed. I took a breather and looked up to study the tree. It’s trunk was split down the middle from a lightening strike, and it’s root system was popped up over the ground, spreading several feet. It wasn’t a beautiful tree, but it produced many bright green leaves. The gnarly roots sprawled strong and vast, to help it weather a storm of significant magnitude.

It struck me, man did nothing to save this tree. God ordained it.

I had painted a tree like this before. The theme of the painting was a beautiful life can come out of disaster.

God also knows He needs to hit a rooster on the head for me to shut up… in Jesus name, and listen. It was then my phone buzzed, I checked my messages and found a post from my girlfriend Yvonne. It was a poster created at our school and it read, “My child, you worry too much. I’ve got this remember? Love God.”

I breathed. “Okay, you’ve got it.” I said out loud.

Just as I surrendered, I saw a pig. There was a pig face in that tree. I felt the stored up tension release, as I laughed. I took a picture of the pig to show Tricia when I returned home.

But…she was lying on the floor heavy and limp.

I rode in the ambulance with her. I watched through the mirror as my husband’s black car veered into a U-turn, and sped up with us. He texted me.

“I can see her through the window. She’s talking.”

When we arrived, I ran to the back as they unloaded her gurney.

“I’m here.” I said. “See me Tricia! I won’t leave you!”

By the time they allowed me to see her in the emergency room. I couldn’t breathe from crying. I saw her lying on the bed. Her head was swollen so high in the back, and she couldn’t remember a thing.

“Did I fall?” She repeated over and over. “I feel like I fell.”

But then…

“Hey Tammy! SNORT!

She did remember the pig.

There are times in life God knows, we need a pig.

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