A Wife Loved Like The Church

My “To Do” List

Posted on: June 1, 2009

I’ve decided to take a break from blogging between now and when the baby comes. My Truthful Thursdays will still post as normally scheduled, but this will be “my” last post for a couple of weeks. 

I was talking to a friend this morning about “To Do” lists. We’re one and the same at wanting and liking lists. Completing a list makes me feel accomplished, worthy and proud. It allows me to be focused and goal oriented. But I’ve come to realize that my lists aren’t always in the right order. Many, many times the ordering is completely backwards. 

If you remember, I posted about a woman named Rachel Barkley who is dying from cancer. She is a wife and mother to two children. Her testimony of following after God in these last few months/weeks/days is heroic. Here is her latest update:


I’m a big list person. I love lists. Making them. Crossing things off when I’m finished them. I have a daybook that sits by my telephone that holds my To Do list for each day and one of my greatest pleasures is looking back at the end of the day and seeing all my little check boxes filled in. Sigh…happiness. I’m so easily amused. Crazy, I know. But there it is. It’s who I am.


But my To Do list has taken a back seat of late. It’s been four months since Neil and I sat stunned on that hospital bed after receiving the news we didn’t want to hear. Four months since the whirlwind of waiting to die began. And – surprise, surprise – the waiting is not easy for me.


Lying in bed waiting for my next dose of medications (14 different ones, in case you’re interested). Or waiting for Neil to come home from some activity with the kids. Or waiting for the day to end so I can fall asleep and maybe forget for awhile. Not easy. I’m a doer. I like to do things. Hence the To Do list obsession.


It seems that all I do is wait and write silly things like “Shower” on my To Do list. But today, “Send Update” made it on to my To Do list not because there is much to tell but mostly so I could actually do something. So by way of update, here we go:


First off, I look pregnant. My liver has swollen so much that I am perilously close to switching teams from the In-nies to the Out-ties. I’ve had to become creative with my wardrobe as I’m sure that one of these days some well meaning person is going to ask me when I’m due. Seriously. Fashion issues on top of terminal cancer?!? There must be a limit to what one girl is expected to endure… ;)


And, after a few weeks of feeling like I’d plateaud a bit (i.e. a few less bad days, a few more predictable days), I feel like I’ve turned a bit of a corner again. I’ve been struggling with dizziness, difficulty breathing and more pain in my head. It also seems to be affecting my eyesight now too as I often have trouble focusing. I have had to up my pain meds significantly to deal with the pain in my shoulders, sternum and abdomen. The meds I’m on have been very effective but it does feel like things are continuing to progress. “Does it feel like you’re dying?,” some have asked. The answer is yes.


And I am finding that my greatest challenge and what occupies my thoughts most these days is how to finish well. All the little things that I battle daily seem to loom larger in the waiting of each day and moment as my impatience and selfish tendencies rush to the forefront of every thought and activity.


So my challenge is to finish well. And it seems I am to do this by waiting. Appropriately, I found this verse in Lamentations:


“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”


Waiting. Quietly. It is a good thing apparently.


I have added it to my To Do list…


with love,

3 Responses to "My “To Do” List"

Thanks so much for linking to her site… truly humbling.

yeah, i almost posted this on my site as well…

once again, her words are moving. thanks for posting the link to her video. i was able to share it with quite a few women over here in ames.

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