Last Friday, I called home to talk to my brother. I asked him how he was feeling. He said not good. I asked why? He said I have a headache and I’m scared. I think it’s something serious.
Only 2 hours later, after a CAT scan at the hospital, his worst fear was confirmed.
The 10 days since have been the most difficult of my thirty short years. From seeing my brother Lance suffer pain, to seeing fear in my Mom’s eyes, to seeing my Dad bent over, utterly broken. Words fail me when I think back over the past week. But one doesn’t — prayer.
Last Tuesday in particular. We woke up early to be at the hospital before the surgery began. The city was shrouded in fog. All of us, for about an hour, went into the chapel and lifted Lance up in prayer. Each in his own way, my sister with her head on my shoulder, to give up our fears and anxieties, our doubts and cynicisms.
At midday, about halfway during the surgery, we received news that the cancer was malignant. Since then, the only thing that has sustained us has been prayer. My Mother’s perhaps, the most profound. She prayed to take upon herself all Lance’s fear. Surprisingly, he has been quite upbeat.
Funny how prayers works.
My friend emailed me to tell me Lance’s name has been added on a slip of paper to the Western Wall in Jerusalem. A family friend lifted him up at the basillica in Rome. Another will pray for his health on a week-long visit to Chile. My wife keeps vigil in Warsaw. Everywhere, the prayers for my brother, are being offered up like incense…
And Lance, our prayers have been heard. The Doctor said you may lose your memory. That you may have trouble with speech. But right away, when you woke up, you were so rambuctious and chatty they had to sedate you to let you rest. In the six days since your surgery, you’ve recovered to be your old self. Full of wit, enthusiasm and charm. Tomorrow, so they say, you may go home from the hospital. Horray!
Our prayers have been heard. So persevere. Brother. My Best Friend.