Thursday, December 6, 2007

Do You Trust Me? Part 3

The next few days were pretty rough. I am normally a daddy’s girl, but I avoided him whenever possible. I can’t lie to my dad, so it was just better for me to not be around him. As for my sister, I knew how to get her to leave me alone. I just had to hurt her feelings a few times, and she wouldn’t open her mouth around me. I don’t remember what I said, but I do remember the hurt look on her face. She waited for me to apologize, but I never said a word.
God didn’t ask me again if I trusted Him. If He did, I wasn’t listening. And as for my mom, she would give me a sympathetic smile whenever we crossed paths. Sometimes, she would just reach forward and hug me. I never pushed her away, but I never welcomed her embrace either. It was too painful.
Thursday night, we sat down to eat dinner as a family. This wasn’t completely out of the ordinary, but something was different, and everyone knew it. As we silently poured drinks and passed food around the table, I knew what was coming.
Finally, my dad broke the silence. He looked tired, but he still had a smile on his face. “Girls, we need to talk to you about something.”
My eyes filled up with tears. Don’t say it, I thought.
“Your mom had a doctor’s appointment earlier this week, and she’s gotten back some news today. Your mom has breast cancer,” my dad said, swallowing to hold back his emotions.
Melody’s hands flew over her mouth, and she burst into tears. “What?” she asked. “Why? How?”
My dad held up one hand, as he saw my mom beginning to tear up as well. “Now, here’s the good news. Her doctor said she’s discovered it in the very early stages, and it’s completely treatable. There are a few options with treatments and surgeries, so we’ll be looking into that over the next few days.”
My mom smiled at us, “Girls, God is going to use this. I’m going to be okay,” she said. “So you girls just keep your chin up, okay?”
I nodded, still not looking at anyone at the table. How could you do this to us, God? My dad’s a minister. My mom teaches Sunday School. I won state in Bible Drill for six years in a row. And Melody even goes to a Christian school! This shouldn’t be happening. Not to us.
Melody continued sobbing, and my mom reached over to rub her arm softly as she cried. “Melody, please don’t cry,” my mom pleaded, trying to console my sister. She looked up at me, and we locked eyes. “Michelle,” she said, trailing off. I looked away.
My dad continued. “What we need from you girls is to keep your bickering to a minimum. The doctor explained to us how stress can impact cancer negatively, and you know how it upsets your mom when you girls fight. Can you do that for us?”
Melody and I looked at each other and nodded. In that moment, I knew Melody forgave me. Somehow, she just understood.
My mom changed the subject, and asked Melody about school. They carried on small talk, while I stayed pretty quiet. I pushed the food around on my plate with my fork to make it look like I was eating, but I didn’t have an appetite. After about twenty minutes, I excused myself to go take a bath.
I remember how I thought the running water would mask the noise of my tears, and I cried again for what seemed like the hundredth time in a row. As I got out of the shower, Melody called to me from her room. “After you get dressed for bed, come in here, okay?”
Ten minutes later, I walked into my sister’s room. She was curled up on her bed, snuggled into covers and holding her giant Winnie the Pooh stuffed animal for comfort. When I got close to her, I saw that she was crying.
“Did you really know the whole time?” she asked me.
I nodded. “I was with her when she found it,” I said quietly.
“Is that why you’ve been so mean the past couple of days?” she asked.
I nodded again. “Sorry,” I managed to say. I felt tears trying to well up in my eyes again, but I must have used all the ones I had already because no tears ever fell.
“Do you want to sleep in here tonight?” she asked, opening up the covers on the other side of her bed.
“Yeah,” I admitted. “I do.” And with that, I crawled into bed next to my sister and fell asleep to the sound of her sniffles.

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Esther 4:14b

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"