Thursday, April 28, 2011

Why Does Bad Happen?

Dori is not feeling well again. She's in the emergency room in Texas with her sister, and I'm sitting here in our comfortable living room in Tennessee. Can you tell I'm Catholic?

This morning, she spiked a fever and emptied her stomach. She is very tired, but doesn't appear to have any other symptoms. If you're wondering if this ever gets old, sure it does, but we're not going to give in. We have too many chips on the table, and we're damned good at poker.

The kids and I will soon head for Texas, and family will watch over our dog and house. I take a lot of comfort knowing Dori is with her sister, who I love dearly and trust completely. But the separation right now hurts. The last two days in Tennessee have been better for the kids, but very difficult for me.

Yesterday evening, Kathryn showed me what all of this is about. The first few years she played basketball, she struggled. Dori and I thought she would play for awhile and move on to other activities. The next few years, when Dori was first diagnosed and battling leukemia, Kathryn started playing with toughness. This past year, she's worked at improving her skills and started setting goals. She loves the game.

Last night, she practiced with some of the better area players on a summer team, holding her own, scoring baskets and ripping rebounds. I'm happy for her, because it's teaching her what it takes to do well. She appreciates practice, has a great attitude and willingness to learn, and embraces the team concept. Dori loved it when I told her last night.

Tuesday afternoon on the way home from Texas, Kathryn and I stopped in Tuscaloosa. Today, we learned about the unbelievably terrible tornado that claimed many lives in that college town. Blink, like that, and many are gone. As much as we have on our plate, I can't stop thinking about the families who are dealing with tragedy. I've also read several online arguments questioning the existence of God.

Like many, I believe such events happen for a good reason. Not that they're good, but for a good reason. We are not in charge, no matter how much we want to be or think we are. A long time ago, I abandoned my belief everyone should live long, healthy lives and retire in comfort. So few do, though some suggest otherwise. Our culture screams "now," while our faith quietly but assertively says "forever."

Everyone's shot clock is different, but we all know we're on the clock. I will always believe that God wants to know whether we are with Him, or not. I'm with Him because the hope and love I have on this earth goes well beyond the here and now.

That's how I deal with cancer.


Marty said...

We just read your post. marty is crying, real tears. I am too but I have no tears. I wasn't going to tell you this, but what the heck. I'm running the NYC Marathon is Dori's honor for TNT.

Love to the entire family.

Anonymous said...

Jim and Dori--

I have been absent from your day-to-day but have been watching closely. I believe God never wants any bad for us but at the same time, He has set this world in motion and given all His children free will. Our collective free will acts on each of us in different ways and sometimes not ways we think are positive or even God sees as positive. But He does love every single one of us and right now He is feeling your pain, determination, sorrow and joy and that of your family and loved ones. He is feeling it with you and holding you through it all; rooting for you all the way. I have been pretty silent, but I too am rooting for you all the way.

Donna Clements said...

Jim, those last two paragraphs say it all. We're praying for you all and thinking of you often. May your faith continue to be strengthened!


Donna Clements said...


Those last two paragraphs say it all. We are praying for you all and thinking of you often. May your faith and trust in God continue to be strengthened!