Friday, February 11, 2011

Light Within Unyielding Turmoil

Last night the Teddy Bear Cancer foundation blessed us with a night at the Biltmore in Montecito. Nina was super excited! She LOVES hotels, especially big fancy ones. Yvonne, Sosie, Nina and I left for the Biltmore around 8pm and were checked into a lavish suite overlooking the ocean. The hotel chef had arranged a beautiful assortment of delicious cakes, pastries, and yummies, all colorfully decorated for Nina.

Nina started to struggle with "starving" and nothing sounding good to eat. Eventually, we settled in, ate, and started to watch Tangle. As I lay next to Nina, listening to her labored breathing and low pitch moaning, grief began to clutch its awful claws around my neck. I felt like I was suffocating. I kissed Nina gently over and over again, begging my eyes to lock away the flood of tears that was emerging. I watched the vivacious Rapunzel character and found myself imagining Nina at 12, 16, 20, 30. I looked over at Sosie who was eating away at a $12 bag of pistachios and bit my cheek, forcing myself not to cry. Why was I being denied the preciousness of seeing Nina at almost 16 chowing down on an over-priced bag of nuts????? Why would I never get to hear her sing about kissing a boy, discuss where she wanted to go to college, and travel to Portugal with her and show her the depth of her roots. My heart was pounding so loudly that I was sure the girls could hear it, but they didn't.

At about 10:15pm I snuck out of the room and headed down to the waterfront. It was pitch dark and freezing outside. I walked out past the hotel and stood at the corner, listening to the pounding waves hit the sand, over and over again. I felt like I was falling into a trance, the methodical pounding of the waves calling me by name, pleading for me to join them. I stood there frozen, thinking about how easy it would be to sneak Nina out of the hotel and walk into those waves with her. It would be so simple. I could walk in, holding her in my arms, and not worry any more about the suffering she was enduring or the suffering that awaits me and my family. My mind drifted further with each slam of the pulsing sea. I closed my eyes and tried to not listen but it was as if the water was creating a lyric just for me, convincing me that it could consume all of my pain, anger, and fear.

Then out of nowhere, I was blinded by a searing pair of headlights, careening from around the corner. Instantly I snapped out of my trance. All I wanted to do was climb inside that car and beg for it take to take me far, far away. I wanted to run away with Nina and never be heard from again. But alas, running away has never really been an option nor was it now! Sadness overtook me! I could fight it no longer!!! I was freezing and grief stricken, no longer able to fight, shaken inside out, obliterated to my core. Then just as quickly, Heaven-sent warmth surrounded me. My soul cried in relief knowing that I did not have to carry this burden alone, that love was being poured all over me, from every direction, reassuring me that there was light to reach for, real light not a figment of my imagination. I cried!!! I sobbed!!!!!! I wailed!!!!!!! But the warmth never let grow; on the contrary, it only grew, securing me from every direction.

A promise emerged, lifting my spirit. I will never leave. I will never run away. Walking into those waves, with or without Nina, is not an option. Drowning is not an option. Walking into darkness is not an option. Being swallowed whole by grief, pain, and anger is not an option. Breathing is the ONLY option. Walking toward light is the ONLY option. Shining for Nina for the rest of my life, whether she is physically by my side or not, IS THE ONLY OPTION!!!!!!!


  1. Dear Rosy,
    I have been following your blog since Pastor Britt mentioned it on Daisy's website. I want you to know that I pray for Nina.. and for you, Teddy and Todd every day. Although many of us have never met you, and we can't live each day with you, and can't feel what you feel, know that you have a support network of intercessors just for moments like those at the beach. May God continue to give you the strength and energy to carry out the wonderful memories you are creating for your family.
    With love from Irvine,
    Marlynne Thomson

  2. You are never truly alone in this journey as God's grace and love will always be surrounding you and your family. Your heartache is so real and so heavy...My thoughts and prayers are with all of you daily!

    It's hard to believe that so many families are faced with such pain. I pray for all families suffering through illness to be blessed by God's ever giving presence.

    Love, Hugs, and Prayers...

  3. I too keep up with your situation. I am praying for your strength today. Hang in there, God is ALWAYS with you. He will see you through this.