waiting, waiting, waiting…

You can get so confused

that you’ll start in to race

down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace

and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,

headed, I fear toward a most useless place.

The waiting place…

From Oh the Places You’ll Go!

by Dr. Suess

Life is full of promise.  My life is, your life is, everyone has a life full of promise.  We have hopes and dreams. We have goals, we have wishes and prayers. My life is full of promise.  If I keep saying it, soon I will believe it again….my life is full of promise.  I love Oh the Places You’ll Go! by Dr. Suess.  It captures the promise of new journey in our lives. It tells me of talents and dreams, yes, talents and dreams that I possess, but it also captures the feelings of challenges and pitfalls along the way.  A life full of promise isn’t a perfect life.  It isn’t an easy life, but it is a good life.  We must participate. We must help this life of promise flourish. I love that, I really do.  I love the book. I love it so much I give it as gifts to graduates, colleagues starting in new directions and I read it to my children.

Waiting. Unfortunately for me, I find myself in the waiting place quite a bit.  This is a place that Mr. Geisel describes in his book.

The waiting place…

for people just waiting.

waiting for a train to go

or a bus to come, or a plane to go

or the mail to come, or the rain to go

or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow

or waiting for a Yes or No

or waiting for their hair to grow.

Everyone is just waiting.

When my husband was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer, I entered a waiting place in my life. It started with his illness and I still battle it today.

…or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake

or a pot to boil or a Better Break

or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants

or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.

Everyone is waiting.

I started waiting for a cure or waiting for my husband to die…not sure which. I didn’t want him to die, but we knew that he would. I started waiting for someone to help me understand how life could deal me such a blow.  I started waiting for a Better Break. While he was sick, my head was full of what would happens?  and what will come next? I was waiting for something or someone to pull me out of the sad story that had become my life.

The waiting didn’t stop when he died. Next I waited for the pain to subside, the world to be hopeful again, my children to be happy. I wait. I wait. I wait. During the waiting, I have tried to escape (as Dr. Suess puts it). I have tried to find the bright places where the Boom Bands are playing. I have taken new directions, sought out support, focused on healing and balancing my heartbreak and my new life.  I have found that jumping out of the waiting place is a daily challenge for me.  I teeter between the bright new places and the waiting.

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!

There are points to be scored. There are games to be won.

and the magical things you can do with that ball

will make you the winning-est winner of all.

When I feel discouraged, I try to focus on gratitude.  I am grateful for the time with my husband. I am grateful for my children. I am grateful for the time I have with my children every day. I am, dare I say it, I am grateful to be here…even without my love.

I guess that’s where the promise comes to fruition.  Through sadness and pain, heartbreak and challenge, I am still grateful. I still get up every morning and breath. Even over five years later, I still have to remind myself some days to get up and breath.

On and on you will hike.

And I know you’ll hike far

and face up to your problems

whatever they are.

Every day is full of promise. Every day, I get a new chance to be more loving, less sad, more joyful, less angry. If I remember this every day, every single day…my hope is that these days, these moments will add up to a life full of promise.  If they do, I will be forever grateful.

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way!


One thought on “waiting, waiting, waiting…

  1. Phyllis Drees says:

    Hey Christine, I remember reading Oh the Place You’ll Go to my nephews and nieces and I would always tear up.

    I am lousy at waiting….I can’t wait, and this process seems so, so slow. Sometimes I try to escape, sometimes I want to be rescued. That’s why I liked “Remembering”, I know that I have to find a way to knit remembering with moving forward. To make my wonderful past part of my today and my hopeful future. With God’s help – we will be amazing! Ah heck, we already are.

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