Monday, October 8, 2012

I won't let you down

I’m having a bad missing Mike day. I’m stressed because of all the hard stuff pressing on my family. And I’m sick with some pneumonia-like illness. I just want to talk to Mike. But of course I can’t. So I went into the archives of my e-mail, reading some exchanges between us, both before and after he got sick. In a sense it’s as if he is writing to me now. It both breaks my heart and comforts me because, even though he has died, I feel like he’s here saying these things to me. And they’re still relevant. I'm a bit reluctant to let the entire world see a private exchange between us. But there is so much heartfelt emotion here in the face of life's most difficult times. Here is one exchange.

On Mon, Aug 15, 2011 my e-mail to him:

Mike--I can't sleep (that's no news bulletin) and I'm thinking about you. In a sense I feel guilty because I've been in Colorado and am soon leaving for Seattle. It seems strange that I'm flying about, seeing my kids, doing ordinary things when you're doing extraordinary things. Extraordinary things in the sense that you're going through such extreme medical treatment to try to save your life. I wish I could do something for you—I feel so helpless, so useless.

While it was good for me to escape reality for a while (and I'll escape again for a few days), reality waits for me when I'm gone. There is no real escape. I worry about you. I grieve for my brother and dread the emotional trauma of the upcoming trial. There are other things I probably should be worrying about—like is the economy crashing and what will I do to support myself if I lose my investment money? I can't even pay my mortgage on Social Security. Should I start looking for a real job? Should I sell my house while the market here is decent?

I just hate being surrounded by sadness and worry. I hate seeing the butt end of life so much. And I worry that I just can't handle any more bad news. But then I'm trying to focus on standing firm, what Pastor Mark has been preaching on the past few weeks. Just standing firm in faith, finding some sense of peace in the midst of the turmoil. I have nothing to offer God, no barter. I'm just standing before Him, broken. But maybe if I do just stand in front of Him, admitting my helplessness, that stripping bare will open me to his strength and peace. I like the thought that I don't have to do battle, that just standing firm is enough. So I'll stand firm and pray—it's  all I can do. How can I pray for you? Please let me know—it’s at least one tangible thing I can do for you.

Love, Donna

Mike’s response:

First, listen to Mark. (DX note--Mark Campbell is my pastor, Portico Church Arlington.) You seem to have found a home there. I think using Portico as your base can give you strength.

Don't feel guilty about Colorado or Seattle. With everything else going on, you do need to focus on yourself too. Family and friends are helping me get thru this and your trips with family and friends can only help you.

A few months ago, you told me "I won't let you down". Hearing from you, talking to you, seeing you and hopefully seeing you in the near future always lifts me up. My focus is on many details right now. I am the only one who can do this. You are far from useless. You have been there for me every step of the way with support. I can't thank you enough.

I know your big challenge will be the upcoming trial. I wish there was something I could do for you. It is scary, I pray justice is done!

Please take care of yourself first and then help others as you always have.



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