I’m Back!

September 14, 2014

My dear readers, it has been over three months since I last blogged. Some of you have been asking if I am all right, and your concern has touched me and challenged me. Yes, I am just fine! Last week I had the six-month post-op evaluation of my condition, with CT scan and blood work, and I remain “cancer-free.” My strength is back and I have been remarkably busy enjoying life and catching up. Just normal life stuff, vacation, sorting and disbursing my deceased mother’s possessions, ¼-time work, things like that.

Only three reminders of my illness remain: 1) the VAP is still installed and won’t be removed for two years “just in case we need it again”; 2) nine hours of sleep is about right, still, and after a really big day I don’t just get tired, I crash; and 3) some breathing issues persist and investigation of their cause(s) continues.

Item 1 is simply a reminder of my mortality, which is not a bad thing.

Item 2 means I do not wake, bright-eyed and bushy tailed, at 3 a.m. anymore. All last year, 3 to 5 a.m. was my prime time for writing! Getting up at 7 a.m. has changed all that and I’m still trying to figure out how to get everything done in a day’s time, especially those activities that need to be done “first thing in the morning.”

Item 3 means I have been preoccupied with self-maintenance and medical detective work, attending a rigorous pulmonary rehab program, keeping a series of diagnostic and monitoring medical appointments, and exercising up to two hours a day.

The bottom line, though, is that I am now able to do just about anything physical I want to do, at sea level; I may be a little slower on the uphill, but I can get there. It gives me great joy to witness God’s creation in the quiet nooks and crannies of my town’s Open Space and even up high in the Sierra Nevada, where, after some acclimatization I can actually hike and breathe in the pristine air and soak in the silence.

My professional life is a mish-mash of interesting activities, including serving as a gap-filler, officially titled “pastoral associate” at the Lutheran church (ELCA) near my home. This is my day-to-day faith community and the context for exercising my spiritual gifts since returning from medical leave on June 1. But I have also been retained as counsel in some Presbyterian legal matters, which has required a bit of travel and intense days (the ones I crash after). I am still the Moderator of the Presbyterian Coalition, but expect to step down from that role as soon as our post-GA work is done, probably in October.

The question you have asked, though, is the one that has been in a “stuck” position since last April: “What is happening with your writing?” There are two sides to this question, my book-writing and my blog-writing. The first one I can dispatch easily. The book-writing is all in my head and not on paper, with the exception of Slaying the Beast, which is half done but has been dormant since June. Too busy, pure and simple, with other priorities and constant interruptions for Item 3 above.

The writing of the blog, however, has a much more complicated answer. I share some thoughts on this, finally, only because I believe my personal dilemmas might resonate somewhat with my readers. Today I will just list them, with the intent of unpacking each one in the coming week:

  1. I feel I have lost my voice, figuratively speaking.

  2. I have, at times, been overcome by sadness at events unfolding.

  3. Some of the interesting topics are so broad and global, I hardly know where to start.

  4. Some of my thoughts have been on topics that cannot be discussed because of confidentiality agreements. I won’t be saying anything more about this, for obvious reasons, but when I am “working on a case,” it dominates my thoughts and writing time.

  5. My illness, such rich fodder for spiritual reflection, is basically done and gone. Now what?

  6. I have not been “in the Word” as a daily or even regular spiritual discipline. I realize just how much the Scriptures are food for thought, and I haven’t been eating.

So there you go. God is stirring me up to repentance, re-engagement, and reflection. You’ll be the first to hear all about it.

Until tomorrow,
“Silent No More” Mary



8 Responses to “I’m Back!”

  1. Welcome back! Two days ago I was wondering about you, pulled my file of copies of your better blogs and looked back in my email to see when I had last received your blog. I wish you continued good health and a productive ministry.

  2. Mary, Like William, I want to say welcome back! Looking forward to reading your thoughtful insights

  3. emd5542 Says:

    I hear and understand. The Lord is tending to you still, as always. Your Mansions of the Heart blog series still resonates and in print form is ever within reach. Peace and Joy and Gratitude, Eleanor

  4. Patti Says:

    Have missed you blogging! Thanks for getting back to it!

  5. BradVeitch Says:

    You’re Back and in good writing voice. The update was a good prayer list. It is good news to know you are returning strong!

  6. Pastor Carl Batzel Says:

    Oh, Mary, we are so glad to hear that you are alive and well! Our thoughts as to why we hadn’t heard from you for so long ranged from the possibility that having our computer hard drive completely cleaned out to that of you being “uploaded” to heaven, were the reasons. We have continued (albeit not with consistency) to thank God and pray for you and yours and are so thankful that our hopes that God was leading you to come away from this internet medium for awhile, but only for awhile, have been confirmed. It verges on the selfish, but we have relied on God’s wisdom through you in a major way and are relieved for your sake, yes, but also for ours, that you are back!

    We pray renewed and ever being renewed blessings from God upon you!

    In Christ, Carl and Carol Batzel

    • revmary Says:

      Oh Carl & Carol, you made me laugh out loud! Seriously, I’m glad that my posts are edifying, and with God’s discipline and strength I will be able to continue them. Thanks for writing!

  7. David McCarty Says:

    Welcome back, Mary!

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