Now I lay me down to sleep…

“….I pray the Lord my soul to keep.   And if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

I remember this verse from when I was a child.  It was in a little blue book with a gold embossment. My Mom would sit on my bed beside me while I knelt and recited the whole verse.  After I was finished, I would climb under the covers and she would tuck me in and seal it with a good night kiss.  The blankets were drawn snugly around my body to not let any drafts enter.  She would softly leave the room, look back, and turn off the lights.

I never really liked that bed-time prayer as I thought either way, whether the Lord kept or took my soul, I was scuppered.  I only understood that prayer recently.  It is possible for the Lord to be the keeper of my soul when I am alive, as long as I have faith.

Truthfully, I am not sure that faith is a choice at this point to me.  It is essential.  Who, in their right mind, can willingly “go to sleep” with a team of people holding a series of scalpels and sharp objects in their hands – poised at you… without faith? I won’t be awake to stop them (I hope!).  I don’t have the expertise to advise them.  I don’t know what cancer looks like, nor do I know how to even stitch me back up again!  I have no choice but to have faith.

And that’s not the only place where I have faith.  I believe also in my family – in my husband.  Kevin has been there with me at every step – literally an figuratively.  Sometimes the walk was easy and sometimes it was tough – but Kevin was always there to offer me his arm for support.  That can’t be easy.  I am sure there were times when he wanted to just get back home so that he could prepare for work – and not be late.  I never felt that took second place to his job… no matter how much pressure he was under.  This year will mark our 24th anniversary.  Neither one of us could have imagined 24 years ago, that we would really need to re-visit and live that section of our vows that offered a promise to support one other, “in sickness and in health”.   Just like our morning walk, our marriage has sometimes been easy and sometimes it would tough.  I’d like to think, however, we have always been there for each other – offering our arms for support.

I hate the idea of Kevin having to wait for me alone.  He will say he is fine.  I won’t be fine with that.  Everyone needs support.  Everyone needs to know that they are not alone.  Everyone needs to believe in someone, someOne, or something.  Whether it was through the hands of my parents, or someThing else, I have been actively reunited with the right person for the right time.

“Jan, are you still willing to be with Kevin during my surgery?” I asked with baited breath.

“I am absolutely going to be in the surgical waiting room at 8am on Wednesday morning. –nothing and no one could keep me away”, she replied.  “Know that I will be holding Kevin’s hand until you wake up to take over.”

If that isn’t a guided response from the Hand that guides, I don’t know what is.  Jan said exactly what I needed to hear at exactly the right time.  That she was an oncology nurse at this same hospital certainly helps to bring comfort too.  Funny how the right people have popped up at the right times throughout this journey.  And so – the very moments when I am most vulnerable – I know that my Kevin will be comforted by a loving and capable soul. In turn, Kevin will tuck our own children to bed that night, draw the blankets snugly around them, and turn off the lights.

Of course, this action applies figuratively to our oldest son, Ben, whose bed is 16 hours away!  I have faith – I have to have faith – that he will be comforted too.  If not, I won’t sleep.  It was always “Mom” Ben called in the middle of the night by a tummy ache, or a fever ache.  “Mom” rushed Ben to the toilet when he was sick.  “Mom” got the water and cold cloth for the fever.  “Mom” stayed with him until he was back to sleep – more because I knew I couldn’t sleep if he wasn’t well.  Now that Ben is an adult, I need to pass that torch along to someone else.  It is time for me now to be the patient – to sleep instead of nurse.  I pray Ben will have someone whose hand he can hold until I can wake up to take over.

It is almost time for me to sleep.  I pray my Mom will be with me during surgery and holding my hand to comfort me.   Then, to wake-up to take over my roles as wife, mother, friend, teacher once again.

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About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
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35 Responses to Now I lay me down to sleep…

  1. hopebringsstrength says:

    Not sure why this post has had such an incredible impact on me, but it has. I am in complete awe with how much love you have had with you through this journey…both in heaven and on earth. Your appreciation and awareness of this love has given you so much strength and assurance. It protected you like armor and nurtured you within. You are as strong as a person could ever be going into these final steps of the battle. Your mom prepared and taught you how to be the best mother, partner, and friend. She also taught you how to graciously receive and embrace the love of others. You are so blessed and I am so humbled. Much Love to you Today, Tomorrow, and ALWAYS!

    • inmycorner says:

      Deb – thank-you. Funnily enough, that interview with Brenna yesterday was a real highlight for me. Someone I don’t even know – so young – with such an interest in knowing. She has such curiosity – it was great to experience. As for my strength – I guess it is not how I had ever defined it because truthfully I scared “shi… less”. I have to move forward as I see there is no other way – and it is my family and friends who carry me. I am NOT alone – if I were, this journey would NOT be doable.

      • hopebringsstrength says:

        I’m so happy that you enjoyed the interview. I know that it meant a lot to Brenna. She was VERY Nervous and I was a bit concerned about whether this was the right time to be asking. She felt so good about the fact that so much of what you talked about she had read and learned earlier in the week. You also surprised her with new information and insight that she had not known prior to your chat. Nothing can replace REAL LIFE learning! Thank you so much for your willingness to do this with her and for your kindness. You made it easy for her to understand and provided her with such a compassionate and powerful perspective. You are a born teacher my friend. I’m just sorry that you are teaching about this particular experience. THANK YOU So much for caring and sharing. Much Love

  2. Dawna says:

    Our prayers and thoughts will be with you and your family.

  3. Marsha says:

    It was nice to see you at school the other day – praying for you today – may God the great Healer give you strength and peace for the days ahead!

    • inmycorner says:

      Thank-you, Marsha. It was nice to see you too – we have many more conversations to have about accessories! I appreciate your blessing and pray for strength and peace too. Hope to see you soon!

  4. April says:

    Okay, now that I dig around a little bit more, I’m assuming you are having surgery today? Soon? When I had the biopsy on my lung nodule, I knew that they were going to take a little sampling to see if there were visible cancer cells, if so, I would have a chunk of my lung removed. I will never forget how my husband sounded when he told me it was cancer. Anyway, I was petrified before surgery, and I asked my dad to please help me not be so afraid. Right at that moment…when they were carting me off…prior to any sedation, I felt such peace and warmth wash over me. Your mom will be with you.

    By the way, this is the blog I found through Chatter Master’s blog. Now I see all the connections.

    • inmycorner says:

      I have surgery tomorrow morning – bright and early. I really appreciate your candor talking about your lung cancer and anxiety. I feel the same fear… but am trying to deal with it calmly – it helps to blog. Are you now cancer free, April? DId you follow-up with chemo? (I will take a look at your blog some more for answers too..) I want so much to find that same peace and warmth.. thank-you for letting me know you had your Dad’s help to feel better.

      Colleen – Chatter Master is awesome and such a great support. She is good to have on “our side”!

      • April says:

        I don’t know how much I have left on my blog about the early days of my diagnosis, but it’s why I blog. I have archived quite a bit, the rest is under the menu tag..That thing called cancer. Because I have archived so much, I don’t know how much I have left explaining my diagnosis. My moods were up and down and were reflected in my writing.

        I had my gallbladder out in 2011, and a week and a half later, ended up in the ER. All my blood work involving my liver was way off. Many tests later, I was told that I had two stones stuck in my bile duct, and by the way…you have a 1cm nodule on your left lung. The suggestion was to take antibiotics and follow up in 9 months.

        So I Googled lung nodules and got right on advocating for myself. Three months after the ER trip, I had my biopsy, and a lung segmentectomy.

        I didn’t have any chemo because it was a stage 1a–the protocol for the type and size was no chemotherapy. Now I kind of wish I had adjuvant chemo…just to make sure they took every microscopic speck. I have worried about cancer in every other part of my body. I think my doctor is growing rather tired of me.

        I had clean scans up until this past September. There were some suspicious findings on my liver, spleen and right lung. In December, the lung and liver spots had vanished. The spleen lesion hasn’t changed. I follow up with a ct scan in June.

        One thing my oncologist told me, was to quit living life in 6-month increments. Sometimes it’s not an easy thing to do. I have always had anxiety issues and moderate depression. The diagnosis threw both of those into overdrive–which I am finally recovering from.

        Colleen is wonderful. We have talked about the perfect *neighborhood* where all our favorite bloggers live next to each other.

        I’m sending you all my positive thoughts and prayers for strength to see you through your surgery.

      • inmycorner says:

        Thank-you for that overview, April. It does sound like a roller-coaster… and now you are looking at June. Good news, though, that the liver and lung are clear! Oh, boy. I love the idea of the neighborhood ! So good to meet a new neighbour in you! Will be in touch – so good to meet you!

  5. Alan Baglien says:

    I find it comforting, that childhood prayer, as it is both familiar and true.

  6. Tom Graves says:

    “The Lord bless thee and keep thee: The Lord make His face to shine upon thee; and be gracious unto thee; The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

  7. kiwiskan says:

    You and Kevin are in our thoughts and prayers. May God Bless and keep you both. Psalm 121 ‘I will lift up my eyes to the hills…’ ♥

  8. I changed this prayer and said it my children every night at bedtime:
    ‘Now I lay you down to sleep, I pray the Lord your soul to keep, may His love guard you through the night and wake you with the morning light”.

    No matter how I tried, I could not remember it any other way. It made more sense to me this way. So now I say it for you. Sleep well tonight Stacey. And sleep well in the slumber of your surgery tomorrow. And what I say when someone I know is having surgery, may God guide the hands of the surgeon and send the flurry of angels to comfort your sleep, and your friends and family waiting for you. ❤

  9. Not much more I can add to all the comments, all the best for tomorrow and will wait for the results and hope that is all good news. Your are in our thoughts as always.
    Love from Martin & Toni

    • inmycorner says:

      THanks so much you two. And Martin – a very happy birthday to you tomorrow! I will be thinking of YOU. Celebrate – we have lots more celebrating to do together!

  10. Terri Lynn says:

    all the very best for tomorrow……..sleep well and know that there are many people keeping you in their thoughts and prayers!!!

  11. Susan says:

    Hi again Stacey – I said that prayer with my mom too. I look forward to going snowshoeing with you as soon as you are up and around again post-surgery 🙂

  12. Lynn & Kevin Bugden says:

    We haven’t commented before, but we have been following your journey since Karyn & Gary told us about it. We want you to know that you are in our thoughts and prayers as you take this next step tomorrow. Wishing you the very best of outcomes and sending positive energy your way!

    • inmycorner says:

      Thank-you so much for being a part of this journey. It is nice to know that you are with us all – and following. And thank-you for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers – it helps!

  13. pepe says:

    Such an emotional write up…Have Faith in Heaven above and i am sure He will be there for you and your family. And i know the feeling of “right people popping out at the right times”, so you have a bunch of right people surrounding you..Don’t worry..You and your family are in my prayers.

  14. Kathy says:

    Take care Stacey. Look forward to reading more posts soon 👍

  15. Just dropped in, as if this is the “WAITING ROOM”. I know Kevin and children and local friends are busy with caring and loving and praying. And wanted to stick my head in the room and say hello without intruding. Just so you know I was thinking of you today…….

  16. Stacey. I have.been thinking of you and praying for you on your journey. You and Emily are in my prayers every time I look at my cup half full jar that I have on my counter. It has been a positive reinforcement for us for the last 8 months. I would like to come and see you when you are well enough to have company. Sincerely Marilyn Nigro

  17. pepe says:

    Hi Stacey, i hope you are doing fine. Just dropping by to remind you that i have been thinking about you. Hope to hear from you soon and Take care of yourself.

    • inmycorner says:

      Hey – pepe – just got home from surgery last night! Hope I got my nurses to read my blog and then you can meet some other people from Canada who are inspired to make cancer history! Thanks for the note. Am “almost” back in the game.

  18. pepe says:

    it’s so nice to hear from you with your strong spirits again…welcome back..!! do take rest properly and eat well 🙂

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