Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Things That Change Us.

The things that change you come at a time when you least expect it.

This is one such moment in my life. I was blissfully, albeit tiredly, planning the final week of the summer program that I have the honor to direct. I have fallen in love with these 60 kids under my watch. This is part of what I was put on earth to do, it has all come naturally to me and while this is the hardest job I ever had, it is also the most rewarding. Well, I was lying in bed on Sunday night and grazed my right breast as I was trying to find a more comfortable resting position, that is when I felt it.

There was a hard little pebble on my right breast. I said to myself, "what is this?" and immediately did a breast self-exam. Then I tried to not think about it, but what could I do the rest of that night. Monday morning when I took my shower, I did a more thorough exam and found the pebble again and the mass.

A million different things raced through my mind as I waited for the doctor's office to open up. I called as soon as I could to make an immediate appointment. The day could not have been longer, but the joy was sweet as the kids rang forth with their melodic voices in practice for their big night. How could I worry when I was where I knew God meant me to be? One of my kids gave me a big hug and one of my other kids called me "mama taye" and that made my heart dance.

This morning found me a little nervous and anxious as I waited for the appointment to come. The feeling of a punch in my gut stayed with me after my husband and I spoke the previous night, not about the lump, but about the betrayal.

The things that change you come at a time when you least expect it like when a friend of thirty years decides that a little gold is worth more than integrity and friendship. We contracted with him to finish our house so we could sell it. I never really questioned the length of time it was taking to finish the job because we kept getting periodic reports of how great everything was. As God's timing would have it, my husband found out otherwise.

God has an order that is not for us to know.

I was supposed to accompany my husband to Kansas for a business trip. I begged out because of all the work I had to do with my summer program. He went on his own and decided to stop at our house to check on things. There were many surprises that greeted him. His trip ended up being longer than planned while he investigated what was going on, changed the locks on the doors, and fired his lifetime friend.

He came home late Sunday night and since we were all sleeping, he just showered and came to bed. He went to work as usual on Monday and since I had a lot on my mind, I had not clue the internal war and struggle happening to his emotions.

By the time my day was over, I was exhausted and worried about this crazy pebble in my right breast. It was in this space that my husband called me and told me he had to talk to me about something. A million different scenarios ran through my mind, none of which panned out to be true in the motion picture of my mind.

After a dinner of homemade Chinese and a shower, he spoke the measured words, "do you have time to sit down for a moment?" I was stalling because I didn't want to have a conversation like the ones in my mental picture. A little herbal tea and a snuggle up in my leather chair, perhaps shielding myself for what was to come.

Then he told me.

The things that change us come at a time that we least expect.

He guarded his words, perhaps carrying the stone that rested on his heart up to the door of his mouth to speak to me. "I experienced an act of betrayal." This is how he began. I felt a blow to my gut with those words and knew in an instant that our lives would be forever changed.

The story of the house unfolded and with each sentence, I didn't know what to feel. I finally said, "wow" and tried to catch my breath as the reality of almost $10,000 gone and an unfinished house sitting across the state. My mind wanted to take the journey of why this happened when I realized, that greed is the only answer.

We tabled the discussion, this was a meal too big to chew at one sitting. We had kids to get ready for a big performance in a couple days so headed out as a family to the shopping center. We just cast knowing glances of assurance at each other and somehow let the news settle in.

This morning found me feeling as if I had just been in a storm and everything that I thought was...wasn't.

I found myself distracted with the kids until the time of the doctor's appointment.

It seemed as if the time would never come for the nurse practitioner to call me back into the examining room.

"Just disrobe from the waist up." I knew this was not going to be routine.

The exam lasted only a couple minutes but I felt the dread when she confirmed what I already knew. The pebble was there as well as a mast and the area was tender to the touch.

"we are going to schedule you for a mammogram and ultrasound. we will try to get you in today." She left to make some phone calls while I put my clothes back on.

The things that change us never come at a time when we expect it.

I have to wait until Friday for the exam and until Monday for the results. In my heart I know that regardless of what is shown, my life has been altered. This one thing has reminded me of the things I have left to do in my life. It tells me that I have to be persistent and get the book finished. It confirmed for me that my kids, all 60+ of them are gifts to me and the reason for everything I experienced in life.

Tomorrow is the big Show Off Night and the kids are all excited. I am as well. I felt in my spirit when I walked out of the office that this thing in my breast is serious but not fatal and it is life changing.

Change never comes at a time when we expect it but it always comes when we are ready for it...even if we don't think so.

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