And speaking of Square One ...

After months of vague information, I finally have a date written on my calendar. I know when our oldest child, our only daughter, will board the flight with the rest of her unit, and go to spend a year (God willing) serving her country in the wild and tribal country of Afghanistan. There was a report from the region on Morning Edition today. It's hopeful, I think - in the part of my brain that thinks.In the part of my body that feels, the sudden "fire into the air" of the guns in the report pierced my sternum and woke me up and all at once I know. I see it. I am going to have to go back to the slaughter, and make an offering of my will. This is an echo of last summer's battle. The keening sound of the cancer cells has faded into the distance, but this time I face my brazen and repeated assertions that "everyone dies. It only matters how you live," and (groan) "I raised my kids to live for something bigger than themselves." (I didn't mean this! I didn't mean this!)Some time before the middle of the month, I am going back in there. I will go into the church alone, and face this. I will pace and pray and kneel and pray and rail and cry and pray and pace. I will turn toward this sacrifice, and I will choose it. The part of my brain that thinks is proud and sensible and aware of the growth and honor of this adult choice of our adult daughter. The part of my body that feels has the audacity to be surprised and in pain, and so I have to go back. It's time to spill more tears onto the floor and pews in the church, light another candle, and come to rest. It's time to choose. Again.


Trish said...

You are so well read that I hesitate to mention this as you have probably already read it, but just in case. I am in the middle of reading The Storyteller's Daughter and so far I am enjoying it very much. It is the story of a women of Afghani descent and her life in Afghanistan as a journalist.

Stephanie said...

Thanks, Trish. I don't think I'm all that well-read, really -- I've never heard of that book, so thanks for letting me know. I bet my daughter would like to read it too one day.

Kim said...

You have been and will continue to be in my prayers regarding Sarah and Afghanistan. Your writing is so lovely and concise. I can't get enough of it! (I'm really hoping my comment goes through this time!)


Sheldon said...


I can only imagine how tough this must be for you.
My thoughts are with you, your daughter and your family.