A Gift On The Doorstep

Student-Letter-2

[headline_arial_small_centered color=”#000000″]There Is No Bad Day[/headline_arial_small_centered]

[headline_tahoma_medium_centered color=”#000000″]What You Give You Receive[/headline_tahoma_medium_centered]

No sleep the entire night capped off with the full body workout intensity of those two enemas had me lying on the ground feeling barely alive.

I knew I needed to get myself up the stairs and get dressed so I could make it to the Doctor’s office for the procedure.  But I couldn’t muster the energy to do it initially.  It took a good 30 minutes before I finally recovered enough to work my way upstairs, stopping multiple times in the process.

On the way out the door with Nan supporting my instability, we found a small package of envelopes on the doorstep.  As I fully reclined myself in the passenger seat of our van I opened the package and silent tears streamed down my cheeks.  My seminary students had written me cards that morning and left them on my doorstep.

It could not have been timed better.  I felt as low and discouraged as I could ever recall feeling.  Their gesture touched my heart and filled me with gratitude and love.  Soon it was another full on sob-fest on the way to the hospital as I considered the unknown darkness and pain coming, and felt of the love and compassion of these young friends.

Here are a few of the letters:

Student-Letter-3

 [features_box_light_blue width=”65%” + border=”1px”]“Dear Brother Kennard, Get well soon!! We miss you so much in class!  You’ve been gone for too long.  Hope you get feeling much better really, really soon!   P.S. Have you memorized all of the actions?  I haven’t yet…but I will!!!”[/features_box_light_blue]

Student-Letter-2

[features_box_light_blue width=”65%” + border=”1px”]“Dear Brother Kennard, I’m so sorry that you haven’t been feeling well.  Something amazing must be coming.  We are all praying for you, and hope that you will feel better soon[/features_box_light_blue]

This one touched me most of all that morning:

Student-Letter-1

 [features_box_light_blue width=”65%” + border=”1px”]“Dear Bro. Kennard, Thank you so much for being our teacher!  You are so good at teaching!  I always feel the Spirit when you teach.  I miss you so much.  You taught a lesson on not to Fear and that changed my life.  Thank you!  I love you – XXXX – P.S. I hope you feel better!”[/features_box_light_blue]

I found it so beautiful that one of these amazing youth would repeat back to me one of the principles I had recently shared in class: that this adversity meant that something amazing was coming.  I knew she spoke the truth.  And it filled me with strength and hope and willpower to continue forth and be a little stronger in that discouraging time.  And as I remembered teaching them how fear is the opposite of faith, I could feel God filling me with faith.  I lay there in awe as the love I felt melted fear away.

As I write this tears of joy flow again.  What is that feeling?  Why is it so indescribable?  I can’t say that I know for sure, but I do know this:  I love that feeling.  I relish every occasion when I can feel this level of emotional connectedness to myself, to my source, to the spirit of love and life that flows through me.  I absolutely love this feeling of being alive in this moment…of feeling a joy, a peace, and a happiness that is so intangible, but yet somehow I’m touching it and feeling it flow through me.  These moments are real living.   When I am not distracted by guilt, or remorse of the past, or fear of inadequacy in the future.  When I am simply thankful, hopeful, joyful.  When I appreciate the beauty that is surrounding me right now.

In that moment in the van on the way to the Doctor’s office I knew that everything was fine.  The Spirit of my Creator warmed my heart, comforting me, telling me not in words, but with an indescribable yet undeniably clear and perfect knowledge in my soul that all is well.  That this too shall pass.  That I would be OK.  In fact better than OK, amazing things were coming.  Things I had no way of even understanding at that point.

Like a ray of light piercing through dark clouds of fatigue, discouragement, sadness, and fear of the unknown.  And that ray lit a small fire in my heart, just big enough to give me a taste of joy amidst the pain, and strength to move forward.

[headline_tahoma_medium_centered color=”#000000″]Chronic and Incurable[/headline_tahoma_medium_centered]

Soon we arrived at the hospital and I hobbled into the lobby and up the elevator.  I leaned over the counter to check myself in with the remaining energy I had then sprawled on the ground in the waiting area.  They helped me onto the hospital bed and administered mild sedatives, putting me out of my misery.  “Thank you!”  I only vaguely recall the procedure starting and looking up at a screen and hearing the word ulcers.  Then I fell asleep.

When I woke up the Doc informed me I had ulcers in my colon which indicated Ulcerative Colitis.  But a tissue sample sent for a biopsy would confirm the findings.  They wheeled me out in a wheelchair and we went home to wait two days for the findings to come back from the lab.

On Friday morning, September 22, unable to restrain myself I called the Doctor at 9:30 in the morning.  Nothing yet.  Waiting all day I filled the time with research on Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn’s, and hoped it was only UC.

UC, according to the Doctor, is localized just in the Colon rather than being spread through the entire digestive tract.  So they said it should be less invasive to the body and easier to manage.

Finally at about 4 PM the Doctor called me and confirmed the results did indeed show Ulcerative Colitis.  At least they were 99% sure of that.

A slight relief, since I had braced myself for the worst.  But it’s still a chronic, incurable condition according to the Doctors.  Nice to now know what is happening…kind of.  But is there really no cure?  “This will never go away completely. “ He told me.  “You will deal with this disease the rest of your life.”

 

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