Thursday, January 19, 2012
Who's gonna date a girl with Stage Four Cancer?
Shortly after my divorce, I met several men. Now mind you, I had no intentions of ever entering into another relationship. The pain of the first was enough to keep me single for the rest of my life. At this point in my life, it was just me and my cat and I was really okay with that. She liked to cuddle and purr and only made noise when she was hungry or needed her litter box changed. Life at my house was finally peaceful and relaxing and I was going to do whatever it took to keep it that way.
CHANCE ENCOUNTERS BEFORE THE CANCER DIAGNOSIS:
At Christmas time, my boss called me on the intercom and said “You have a gorgeous bouquet of roses up here in the main office.” Confused and a little excited I went upstairs and brought the roses to my office. The card wished me a Merry Christmas but there was no name.
Obviously this Mystery Man doesn’t know me at all! Instead of appreciating the beauty of the flowers, I focused on the unknown admirer. How could he do this? Will he ever reveal himself? Was this from one of the girls from the office trying to make me feel better? Oh…. I wasn’t happy about this at all.
Almost a month later, a guy I barely knew walked up to me and said, “So did you like your roses?” I spun around and asked, “Were those from you?!” He smiled at my shocked expression. I wasn’t even certain what his name was. Why in the world would he send me roses? Then he said quite seriously, “Would you like to marry me?” Oh boy… now I knew I was in trouble. I smiled sweetly and said, “Oh you’re too kind but I’ve gotta go” and slipped away as swiftly as I could.
Another encounter happened as I was trying to get my belongings out of my house during the divorce, a police officer asked me to stop in at the police station and pick up some paperwork he thought was important for me to have. So of course, I went to the station and he buzzed me in. The door unlocked, I walked in and the door locked behind me. Being the very naïve (newly single) woman that I was, I strolled into the main office and was a bit surprised that there was no one else in the police station.
It didn’t take long before I realized that (much like a trapped rabbit) I was in a very bad situation. I grabbed the paperwork and literally ran to the front door. It was still locked. By then the police officer came up very close behind me and whispered “I can’t stop thinking about you. I wake up thinking about you and I go to sleep thinking about you.” My heart was pounding and I wondered if people were going to read about how they found my dead body somewhere!
I spun around, looked him straight in the eyes and said, “That’s great! Now if you want to help me… why don’t you stop THINKING about me… and start PRAYING for me?!” His face was priceless. That was not the response he had anticipated. How do you continue with your sexy approach when this crazy lady just wants to pray?!
He reached over, stuck the key in the door and unlocked it. I bolted like a wild deer! From that moment on, I knew I needed to stop being so naïve if I was going to survive the life of a single woman.
During this time, there were a couple men who came and went. They were probably great guys, but this girl wasn’t letting her guard down for anyone! No one was going to get even remotely close to this aching heart! And with each bad experience, the wall I had built became thicker and thicker.
Then I was reunited with a long time friend, began dating, became engaged and planned to marry on October 19, 2002. This relationship was safe because I had known him for many, many years. In fact, my first husband introduced us one day years prior. I knew his family, I knew he was a Christian, I knew everything about him. We tried to make this relationship work and kept struggling to move forward. But this was not from God and after several years it fell apart and I found myself alone once again.
CHANCE ENCOUNTERS AFTER THE CANCER DIAGNOSIS:
Then there was the tall, dark, handsome and single man who just happened to be painting the offices where I work. He convinced me to make a doctor’s appointment and took me for a couple of the very first doctor’s visits. But when things got intense and I received my Carcinoid diagnosis, he vanished and moved six states away.
Not long after the diagnosis, another man stepped into my life. Again, my wall was up and the lock on my heart was bolted down! But this patient man was persistent. We spoke a few times and then had dinner together. As we were leaving, he leaned over to give me a completely innocent little kiss. I quickly turned my face and it landed on my cheek.
When I looked at his shocked face, I began to blush and said, “I’m sorry but I’m not looking for a relationship at this time in my life. I’ve got a lot going on and would really like to just be friends if that’s okay with you.” He smiled and said, “That’s fine.”
From that point on this man made me feel like a queen. He would pamper me and spoil me. When I was sick, he would hover over me and make sure he was making me feel as comfortable as possible. He worried about me. He prayed for me. But most importantly, he made me laugh….
At this point in my life, all I really needed was someone who could really make me laugh and he did that effortlessly. When I was with him, I would life hysterically at the situations we would find ourselves in. I felt safe with him and I enjoyed his company a lot. But there just weren’t any feelings there for me. There was nothing telling me that this might be the man I should marry. In my heart he was (and still is) a very dear friend who was there for me during probably the most difficult time of my life.
Then one day I heard the Lord say “You can’t more forward until you close this chapter of your life.” And I knew exactly what He was referring to. My intentions were to send my good friend an email the next day explaining how I felt. When I woke up the next morning, there was an email waiting for me. He had called it all off. He didn’t want to remain friends and couldn’t remain in our relationship if that‘s all it was ever going to be. That stung a little but I knew he was right and thanked him for being there for me and for being such a good friend.
When I look back at what seemed like chance encounters, I realize they didn’t happen by chance at all. Each person who came into my life for one reason or another, was there to teach me something, to show me something, to help mold me into the person I was created to be.
It wasn’t but a few weeks after my friend and I agreed to not see each other again, I was invited to a single’s picnic. That was the last place on earth I wanted to be. But God had other plans. He knew the plans He had for me. Plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Plans to give me a future and a hope. My journey continued with a covered dish, an empty chair and a broken arm.