In the Garden of Gethsemane

There is a moment between "I think we might have a problem" and the diagnosis of cancer that is the loneliest, most painful, darkest moment of all.  It is the moment when you get up in the quiet of the dark hours of the morning and gaze at your sleeping baby and wander back to watch your sleeping husband and you beg. "Please, Lord, take this cup. Please!"

I know that moment, Melanie.  I wish I could reach across the wine dark sea and just let you cry on my shoulder.  I wish I could tell you that you will make it through this time and that your young marriage will grow stronger and sweeter and your child grow ever dearer. And I wish you could see me, whole and healthy, almost exactly seventeen years from my own Lenten despair and Easter diagnosis, just to give you tangible hope.  There is an Easter, Melanie. You will arise from your knees in this garden and you will embrace the cross in front of you and you will carry it well.

And we will help you. We will pray and pray and pray.  And we will even be here, in those dark hours of the early morning. In our own homes, with our own babies, we are mothers who can certainly stay awake and keep watch with you. When you think you are alone with your fears in the night, you are not. We are with you, calling upon the communion of saints to console you. We are with you and we will be there to celebrate your Easter with you, too.