Which segues me into my next topic: a quote. I have been reading Ursula Hegi's Salt Dancers*. Here is a quote from the book in which the main character describes her feelings for her husband, early in their marriage:
Those early years with Andreas, I'd sometimes woken up at night, my love for him stretching every cell of my body with fear because so many accidents and illnesses could claim him from me. Those nights I couldn't imagine how I could possibly continue without him.
I remember feeling that way. I still feel that way even though an illness is trying to claim him. Now when I wake up at night, I have a brief moment where I am awed by the beauty that is my life. Then one word, cancer, makes its way to the forefront of my mind and while I remain grateful for the countless blessings that are mine, I also become taut and angry about what the disease is trying to take away.
Lately, as GH has not been feeling so well and as it seems that cancer is getting the upper hand, I've been dealing with a lot of fear. It ranges from small-scale fear (Will GH be able to get up in the night to help me with the twins?) to large-scale (How on earth will I even begin to function without GH?) It's overwhelming. I know I need to just focus on the now and try not to worry about what the future holds, but damn if that isn't hard.
I was really inspired by this post over at Sojournering (the church part, not the potential social gaffe part [OTRgirl, if you're reading, I don't think it was as bad as you think it was!). I'm a total mess about religion, one of those "spiritual but not religious" people when people ask, but more of a believer without a home at heart. All this fear and uncertainty in my life has often made me contemplate going to church. I hate to use the words "good outlet" and "resource" to describe a place of worship, but I think church could be both of those things for me. But which church? So many churches have social views that I find unacceptable. Maybe the Quakers? The UUs?
For a long time, Al-Anon was my religion.** When GH and I bought our condo, shortly before I became pregnant with the twins, we moved quite far away from my home meeting and I just never got back into it what with all the pregnancy and cancer stuff we had going on. It was in Al-Anon that I started to think more about religion rather than just rejecting the idea outright. I have shared at many Al-Anon meetings that I have three prayers: Please, Thank You, and the Serenity Prayer. I find that those three cover all of my bases. Frankly, those three prayers are in many ways enough religion for me right now. It's just not very social of me to have three prayers I say when I need them, and it's the social aspect that I'm starting to crave.
I don't know how to wrap this up. This is more of a think-aloud than anything, more questions than answers, and mostly unformed thoughts. Fruitful topic, though, and I imagine I'll return to it now that it's on the table.
* Aside: I tried to read Hegi's Stones from the River some years back. I could not get through it. I'm enjoying this book enough that I might give Stones another try.
** I've never blogged about my Al-Anon experience. To be honest, I'm not sure if it's a violation of the principles of Al-Anon to talk about the fact that I'm a member and share what I've said at meetings. I think it's OK as long as I don't talk about other people from meetings. In any case, someday I'll get into how I got into Al-Anon; for now, suffice it to say that my 17-years-sober father is my qualifier.