The power of prayer

Rich got mad the other day because the pharmacist said she would pray for him. I understand where they're both coming from. One is not used to being prayed for in the course of a sales transaction. She was just trying to be nice. I can think of far more unhelpful things she could have said. But it frustrated Rich.

Granted, this was the day before we drove up to see Dr. Hanna and Dr. Sardi and Rich was under a lot of stress. He had worked himself into a fret over the assumption that because Dr. Sugarbaker couldn't do Rich's surgery (BECAUSE HE'S 80!), that no surgeon would help him. He was feeling a little hopeless already, so in his mind, prayer was what people did when there was no other recourse.

After the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007, Harry wrote "Prayer does not always result in the outcome you want, but it always results in the strength to deal with the outcome you get." (Yes, I dug that up out of the ILLiad-L archives.) Somehow over the years, I paraphrased that into "we pray not to get what we want, but to better deal with not getting what we want."

I've always found it strange if people ask if it's okay for them to pray for me. It's not like they expect me to come to their house and participate. It does me absolutely no harm.

Rich told me the other day that he had figured out something. He said that he didn't necessarily need all the well wishes - the cards or the prayers or the ribbons. He said he just needs me. It reminds me of my father saying he didn't need to talk to anyone about being depressed because he had Mom to talk to. No one asked if perhaps then Mom needed someone to talk to about Dad being depressed.

This whole cancer situation is a giant pyramid scheme. Rich only needs me. But I need approximately a million people's support in order to be there for him. Julie commented today that caring for someone else is a full time job with a lot of overtime and I believe it. I'm happy to do that for Rich. But any and all help is appreciated.

So pray away! Light a candle, talk to God directly, lie in the grass and visualize all the green slime leaving Rich's belly leaving behind nothing but goodness and light. Add three more smiles to your day in our honor. Pay for someone's Starbucks. Send us a postcard. Wear slime green and orange on Monday and post your picture to Facebook. Make signs like they do for runners in marathons.

When we told the barony that Rich had cancer and we would need to go to Baltimore for surgery, I explained that we don't go to church but chose to participate in the SCA instead. This medieval motley crew is our support network and it was time to break out the casserole dishes and rally around our banner. But I also extend that to each of you reading these words. You're our posse and were it possible we would all have team jerseys and a fight song.

Perhaps your fight song comes out of the hymnal. I'm fine with that. Just don't be quiet about any of it. You all are the foundation of the structure holding us up, so paint your faces and get loud. Praise be.