Sunday, January 11, 2009

On a wet sunday morning

Yesterday was a gorgeous day, but Ashley spent most of it in the ER at UNC hospital getting tests done to try to figure out the reason behind a fever. Then the fever left and she got to go home. My doubting heart's reaction was: "Are they being wreckless?" "How can they send her home without any answers?"
But then I remembered all our prayers. Wasn't this what we were praying for?
God, we know fear is the enemy of peace and of healing. Take away our fear. Help us relax and accept that we simply don't have all the answers all the time, that we are not in control of this situation. Yet all is well. Our prayers and thoughts and love are all powerful medicine. The kind that brings about unexplained miracles of healing. I pray for Ashley's healing and for strength and faith to believe in it. I pray for pain-free rest as she recovers at home. I thank you for all her friends and family and their healing love. I pray on this Sunday in the name of the great healer who told us not to worry beyond each day. God of creation and of healing and peace, give Ashley a pain-free Sunday of healing, in Jesus name, Amen.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ashley's wish list

After much pestering, I got Ashley to really share a "to do" list with me so I could get to work. I'm sharing it with everyone who wants to help and show Ashley how much we want her to get better. Already a friend in CA is working on some music, and Caroline is going to take care of the birdfeeders on Sunday. However, here is the complete list:

Ok, here's what I want. It's nuts. You asked.
1. I want help culling and organizing books, the ones we don't want taken away.
2. I want an electrician to fix the wiring that's screwed up so three light switches will work properly.
3. I want a modest tool shed built where a dilapidated gazebo now stands.
4. I want my birdfeeders set up with birdseed in them.
5. I want the drywall repaired and painted or wainscoating put up where the cat has clawed through the drywall.(The cat is now banished from the house.)
6. I want the music of Bread, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Neil Young, Seals and Croft, Karla Bonoff, Doobie Brothers, Steve Miller Band, Mississipi John Hurt, Don McLean, Michelle Shocked and Cindy Lee Berryhill.
7. I want dozens and dozens of beautiful picture frames of various sizes and I want help hanging the pictures I frame.
8. I want to go far enough South to swim in the ocean with Al.
9. I want the drywall stains fixed on Sunny's ceiling.
10. I want the carpet fixed on Sunny's stairs.
11. I want nice curtains for the downstairs windows.
12. I want a concrete pad poured underneath the basketball goal so I can shoot ball.
13. I want four nice maple barstools and eight nice maple table chairs.
14. I want some hair.

Let's pray hard and get it all done. Maria

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Prayer from Carrie Bolton

From Carrie:
"The Lord is good, ALL THE TIME. Sometimes we really do need to look up, don't we? I want you to know that I am praying for Ashley and Al and Sunny. It's such a privilege to know them. It is. I enjoyed the hug Ashley gave me at UNC Hospital. We saw each other, I was going in to be with a niece and she was coming out, and we hugged on the street. It was a beautiful hug."

God, I know you listen to your servant Carrie. Thank you for her powerful prayers and for her love. We ask for a miracle for Ashley like the miracle of healing that Carrie experienced. Thank you for your love. We are, indeed, looking up. Amen

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

In the face of bad and sad news

Yesterday Ashley got bad news: "The results of the MRI of my spine are absurd. Multiple metastatic lesions are seen throughout the L1-L4 vertebral bodies and S1." [Looking this up online, I gather it is new tumors that can be inside or outside the spine.] Yesterday was a very sad and scary day and we cried and worried. Today Ashley is encouraged. I heard her say, in the same breath "I still don't want to die!" in a half-joking way and "I'm much better." She had joy in her voice on her way out the door to Sunny's game.

Thank you, God, for strength and healing in the face of bad news. Thank you for all the friends and family that encourage Ashley and remind her every day of how much she's loved. Thank you that she is looking forward to fighting this new growths and throwing everything she has against this cancer. Thank you that she is not so sick that she cannot get better, and that life is interesting enough, full enough, joyous enough for her and for us that it is worth fighting for. Give us strength for the journey.

God of creation, we pray for the Palestinians in the West Bank. Bring healing and peace to them. Bring healing to us and make us instruments of your peace.


Thank you, God, for Ashley's resolve to cry no more today. If the tears fall, bring around angels to wipe them and to share a joy, a piece of good news, some good food, some healing love. Heal her pain and calm her fears. We pray for shrinking tumors and small and big miracles. We pray for peace today, in her body and in her soul. Thank you for the love that surrounds her and sustains her.

I pray for wisdom for Ashley and her doctors as they look at medical treatments and all her options. Make a path clear and give her the strength and the resolve to follow it. Give us the strength and wisdom to walk it with her, as we hold her in the light. Amen.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Explaining my lack of updates

I had no idea that there were people still following this blog, but this week I've heard from a few who are worried about the silence. I don't have an excuse. When our dog Reilley died the first week of December, I was really thrown for a loop. That was followed by a very bad cold that had me in bed for almost a week, and then Sofia came down with mononucleosis, which was not diagnosed for a couple of awful weeks in which I thought our family was falling apart. When things get bad, I usually rant at God. I whine and cry and call Ashley, which I did during this time. She was there for me, even helping with Reilley's funeral. I found myself unable to write down my disjointed thoughts and pain. I read and read books about beloved pets and poetry and prayers, but I had nothing to contribute.
I'm now starting to feel a little better, but I cannot help feeling helpless. In the face of Ashley's struggle with chemo, with tumors that grow, with low platelets and horrible blood counts, I can only stand by and fix guacamole. Why can't all the geniuses that can figure out how to get a spaceship to mars figure out how to cure Ashley's cancer? Where is the help we need?

God, please listen to us. To those of us who pray, chant, meditate and cry with Ashley. Heal her in body and spirit. We each pray in the name by which we know you, as I pray in Jesus' name. Amen

Peace and Healing for Ashley

God, I have not been writing, but I need to tonight. You know Ashley is hurting and needs healing. I'm praying for a miracle. A complete miracle that transforms this experience. I'm praying for you to change our lamentations into dancing and our tears into laughter. I can picture the dancing, with fiddles and joyous mountain music. And Janey's kids singing. Please let it be so.
Jesus, you healed people that everyone had given up on. Even those chained outside the gates. Please put your healing hand on Ashley. Heal her and bless her. Amen