Friday, July 4, 2008

pulling my foot out of my mouth.

One of the 14 year olds in my young women's group at church has cancer. She started her second round of chemo this morning at 9:30 AM.

Last night she was at our camp fire activity (it was next door to her house) and we were very, very happy to see her. I was so happy that I couldn't stop talking, even when I had nothing to say or had no clue what to say. I overcompensated in this area.

Why? Because I want to make everything all right. I want to make people happy. Feel good. And not sad.

This young woman was not sad last night. She smiled. Openly discussed her next round of chemo, and seemed genuinely happy to be there. She was handling it well.

I don't handle things well. I don't know how to interact with illness. My reaction is to ignore, hide, act like everything is great.

As she was about to leave last night, my first thought was, "Have fun tomorrow." I don't think I actually said that. But I'm not sure. I think I actually said, "Good luck tomorrow. (Long Pause to rethink how awful that sounded.) We are praying for you." (Even longer pause to re-assess how neither statement sounded right, or good or....well, what do you say?)

Here is the dilemma: I don't know this young woman very well. She just barely turned fourteen - and I get to work with the 14-15 year olds. She isn't always at church and I have not had the opportunity to get to know her. Yet I have this overwhelming feeling that I need to do something. Either by myself or with others.

Clin said, jokingly, that I should shave my hair in solidarity. But the thing is, I would totally do that if I knew it would help.

So to you the more mature, more experienced readers - what ideas do you have? Any thoughts?


Bryan Summers said...

Shaving your head would totally help. Do it!!!!!

Arianne said...

You're great--I'm sure she's not offended. You probably don't need to shave your head. I think if I were her I would appreciate some visits--being sick can be lonely. Yea, I think I'd stop by a few times and talk and whatnot--then as you get to know her better you'll know if you can do something more.

Jacks said...

Thanks Arianne - the YW want to do something in class. So I was thinking of doing a class on freezer meals - having the girls put 5 family size ones together and then taking them over to their family.

I'll keep you posted.