(Post from Paul) What is this? What the %@#$ is this???

Fellow seekers of Truth,

Since it’s Sunday, I don’t doubt for a minute that you all made it to Mass this morning.  😉  Excepting, perhaps, the occasional one or two with extenuating circumstances.  So, for those one or two — as well as the many who, like me, tend to sleep while the lector is at the ambo, I thought it might be a helpful idea on my part to post today’s first reading from the sixteenth chapter of Exodus.

Then I read it.  

Maybe, if you’ve got a really big appetite for Bible talk, you’d want to read the whole thing; but I suppose that if you’re one of those people, you were probably awake when it was read at Mass.  Myself, I only caught a sliver of it while I was fighting to keep my eyes open, and for me,  one sliver is plenty — so I’ll post that.

What is this? (Ex. 16, 15)

You know, that’s the very question I’ve had on my mind since Pam was diagnosed.  That question, and a few of that question’s cousins like, “How do you expect us to deal with this?”, “Do you actually expect us figure out how this fits in with life as we knew it?” and “Really, God, what are you trying to pull?”

I hope you won’t be insulted when I tell you something you’ve probably known and understood since Fourth Grade religion class, but “What is this?” translates to ‘manna’.  Manna, manna, manna — manna, the bread from heaven.  For some cocamamie reason, God got it into Her head that this brain tumor trip is our bread, that it’s supposed to feed us.  Feed our souls, perhaps.  Feed our desire to be loving, and joyous, and grateful.

That God, what a kidder!

Trying to figure out why God would place such a dreadful obstacle to health into the life of a woman as young, as lively, as full of drive and purpose as my darling Pamela is one hell of a head scratcher.  A real puzzle!

It’s a puzzle; but, when you slow down and think about it, it’s a puzzle with a couple of clues.  One clue is the realization that neither Pam, nor I, nor anyone in our family, nor any member of that army of wonderful people who love Pam is actually all that important.  I’m not going to spend any time asking God, “Why me?” or “Why Pam?” because I already know the answer.  I’ve always known the answer.  The answer is, “Why not?”

The other clue is that all those cherished plans Pam and I have had to put on hold since we got the surprising news are plans that never had any guarantee of bringing happiness anyway.  For all I know, Pam and I are going to find more happiness dedicating ourselves to the task of putting some dignity into a battle with cancer that we would ever have found in the work of fattening up our retirement accounts.

All of this chat puts me in mind of a lyric of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

What is this?  I really have no idea; but while we’re sorting it all out it’s going to have to be, “Out with busy, in with life.”

Stay well,



About pamvbradford

I am a fifty seven year old banker specializing in government banking. I have a beautiful twenty-one year old daughter and a wonderful husband. My husband and I recently downsized, and purchased a beautiful condo in Watertown MA. We love our new home. I know I am a very fortunate person. I am surrounded by supportive family members, by supportive coworkers and by the marvelous support of our faith community at Sacred Heart Parish in Lexington MA. As the Psalm says, "There is nothing that I lack." My whole life changed on July 18, 2012 when I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. The news came from out of the blue. My tumor was removed by the marvelous Dr. Mark Johnson and his wonderful team of surgeons at the Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. The surgery truly was a miracle. I couldn't possibly have gotten better care. Now the 'easy' part is over. The tough part is to learn to walk with God in the midst of danger and surprise. My mood shifts from gratitude to fear and back again but I know God has a purpose for me. There's a reason I didn't die on the operating table. There's something that God wants me to do. This blog is my effort to share with others, with all of you, what it is that I am learning as I put one foot ahead of the other, live each day as it comes, and discover what it is that God has to teach me. Your prayers keep me going. Your love comforts me. Your knowledge and faith guide and teach me. God bless you all!
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4 Responses to (Post from Paul) What is this? What the %@#$ is this???

  1. Karla says:

    Pammy. Paul and Liqa
    We are all thinking and praying for you
    please let us know when we can come and visit you

  2. Julie Lancaster says:

    You have been gifted with wisdom and words. I am hanging on every word you and Pam are posting. I never knew it was so hard to deal with Pam having cancer and the real battle on her hands. I have always been grateful for how Fanny, Ann, your mother and other peolpe I care about that have fought through their horrible times. And are doing well. The” mother” part of me wants to make Pam better….fast. I validate what you are saying about this fight being something that will bring you closer. I agree,” Why not” as to an answer for why she is going through this. It sure helps to hear you verbal those things. Also, I have my “marching orders” directly from Pam….Do not be anxious and fearful. She has things under control. I miss you all so much and agonize that I can’t be there. Please give me some direction as to when I could come …..that will be good for her.

  3. Maria O'Brien Hylton says:

    Paul–superb post! Please be sure to let us know if there is something we can do even if it is many weeks into the future. Pam, you and Angelique are all in our prayers every day!

  4. Mary Ellen says:

    Paul–this is an AWESOME post. Particularly riveting is the combination of: “…all those cherished plans Pam and I have had to put on hold since we got the surprising news are plans that never had any guarantee of bringing happiness anyway.” With the chaser: “For all I know, Pam and I are going to find more happiness dedicating ourselves to the task of putting some dignity into a battle with cancer than we ever would have with the work of fattening up our retirement accounts.” LOVE YA your sistah

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