while you were sleeping.

i can't really even begin to describe the bizarre turn my life seems to have taken since my mom's diagnosis just three long weeks ago. i'm walking a delicate balance between
wanting to be strong for my family and dealing with the closest thing
to true despair i've ever experienced... and then trying to pray myself
out of it. i've prayed more in the past month than i probably have my
entire life put together. it's so strange and surreal to keep reminding
myself that i am not the first person to experience this, not the first
child to be terrified of losing her parent. i spent five days at my
parents' house before i flew home with both of them on her medical
transport flight (a visible answer to prayer in itself) to our hometown
of raleigh, nc. sorry for the giant medical team member in the foreground, i had about a 10 second window of time when the plane touched down to take this:

there she is on the flight, on a breathing machine that was followed by a full ventilator a day or two after reaching the hospital, leaving her very sedated and already in
pain from starting chemo. for all the "miracles of modern medicine" we
supposedly have, all the tubes and ivs and catheters still seem more like medieval torture when it comes
down to it.

i'm going to share the following picture that i took while i was staying at my mom and dad's .this would really bother my mom, that i would show her "messy house" tothe world, but i think any crafter (and any mom, really) can relate.

the blue squares are a quilt pattern laid out, half pieced and nowhere
near finished. my christmas present. too gorgeous for words.
heartbreaking, because i don't know how to quilt. the dining room table
(that you can't really even see) is covered in more quilting and sewing
projects, half finished scrapbooks of her grandchild,
and another card table set up by the couch for rubber stamping cards
and little notebooks for gifts. a crafter's dream that turns into a
nightmare at the possibility of being forced to leave them permanently unfinished.
we spent a bittersweet christmas day in a hospital waiting room while my momma, the heart and soul of every family holiday we had growing up,
"slept" in deep sedation. during her few wakeful moments over the past few days, i stare into her eyes, weepy and blurry from over-hydration, and worry for the way
her brow furrows in pain and she twitches her toes in frustration at
not being able to communicate with us. all i can do is hold her hand
and brush back her hair to let her know i'm there, and hope that even
my gentlest of touches meant for comfort and reassurance are not
causing her more pain. this is the worst situation i can possibly think of for my perfect mother, and the waiting for a verdict is awful.

we've set up a website for her for those interested in following her condition. it's been such a blessing to see so many old and new friends reaching out to her and my dad through this potentially devastating thing, this cancer.

for now, life has become about just breathing. being thankful for the breaths i take for granted that my mom's cancer-blackened lungs cannot, and making sure that every breath of mine carries a prayer for her. please excuse me if the posts here become infrequent for awhile... i'll still be checking in when i can and always appreciate any comments that are left (thank you, lea!).

i hope all of you were able to enjoy the peace and love of the season... merry christmas!

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