Caleb and Cancer
by Dr. Andrew Roquiz
Igot to live with a two-year-old once. His name is Caleb, the son of my wife’s brother, Chris. My brother in law’s whole family stayed with us for a month while Chris, a medical student, rotated at our clinic.
Caleb was adorable and brought great joy to my wife, Melanie. His big brown eyes and toothy smile had a way of lighting up the world around him.
But they don’t call this stage of life “the terrible twos” for nothing, and Caleb had his moments. Most notable was the degree to which he would cling to his mother. Even if she left the room for a moment, Caleb would begin to whimper or cry.
One day, in an effort to help with Caleb’s attachment issues, Chris and his wife decided to go on a date. They slipped out without telling Caleb, who was blissfully playing in the backyard under Melanie's watchful eye.
On my way inside the house, I saw the couple backing out of the driveway. Chris waved and wished me good luck. He knew what was about to take place.
Stepping into the house, I heard the sounds of a gleeful toddler playing outside. He didn’t know yet.
Before long, Caleb ran into the house and into the guest room where his parents usually stayed. No parents there. He looked in our bedroom. No parents. Caleb began to whimper. He ran back outside and then back into the guest room. Still no Mommy or Daddy.
Now he was crying. “You want to play, Caleb? You want to play?” My wife asked, to no avail. The boy wanted one thing and we didn’t have it.
Now Caleb was at the front door turning the knob. “You want to look for Mommy and Daddy?” I asked. “Okay, let’s go!”
Melanie and I took Caleb outside and started walking toward the neighborhood playground. We pointed to various objects and asked Caleb to name the color. The distraction seemed to calm him down for a few minutes, before he again erupted into tears.
On the playground, his mood improved temporarily. His most enjoyable activity comprised of tossing the wood chips that covered the playground into the air.
As soon as we headed home, the cries for Mommy and Daddy resumed. Entering our empty house, Caleb collapsed on the floor crying.
The only thing that finally brought him comfort was the embrace of Mom and Dad after their short date.
In this experience, I was struck by the difference in perspectives. To this two-year-old, his world was collapsing around him. The sources of his love, comfort, food and care were gone. He was crushed. His parents had abandoned him. In Caleb’s mind, he would be utterly alone forever.
Melanie and I had another, much less dramatic, perspective. Caleb’s parents would only be gone for an hour before returning home. He was not abandoned but needed to learn to be without his parents and trust the supervision of other loved ones. From our perspective, Caleb would be just fine.
When I Learned Mom Got Cancer
A few weeks ago, I learned my Mom has cancer. Her PET/CT showed evidence of the cancer in her right shoulder, ribs and left heel. It hurt her to walk. Just breathing caused her pain. I cried over the phone with her when she found out. We didn’t know how much time she had left.
She has multiple myeloma. Her father passed away three months after diagnosis at the age of 63. Three of Mom’s friends have died within the same year of being diagnosed with this cancer.
It wasn’t supposed to be this way. Mom is only 64 and I expected her to at least reach the same age as her own mother, 84. She is supposed to have at least 20 more years left.
That would be enough time for her to see the birth of my son.
That would be enough time for her to see my sister get married.
That would be enough time for her to see her granddaughters grow up.
Now cancer threatened all of it.
My world was collapsing. I was crushed. God had abandoned me. I was alone.
How I Have the Perspective of a Two-Year-Old
My perspective is similar to that of a two-year-old. My view is so small, so limited, so self-centered. Yet God invites me to trust Him, and in doing so I take on His perspective.
It’s a perspective I want. It’s bigger. It’s hopeful. It’s eternal. It’s meaningful.
How Much Time Left?
I took a last minute flight to Houston to be with my Mom during her doctor’s appointment. The doctors gave us hope. God gave us hope.
The doctors explained to us that even though it was affecting her bones, this cancer was still in its early stages. With current therapies, the median survival was 7-10 years.
Maybe there was more time than I originally thought. I probably don’t have 20 years left with Mom, but maybe we can get 10 more years together.
Meanwhile, I’ll be treasuring the few moments I have left with her.
Meanwhile, I’m learning to have God's perspective.
The Storm that Changed Directions
by Susan N. Gallant
Iremember attending the Northern New England Conference camp meeting about three years ago. It was Friday evening, the tent meeting had begun and the speaker had announced that the meeting might be cut short due to expected bad weather. I was sitting on the back row in the corner of the tent and noticed the wind picking up within a few minutes.
I stepped outside to look up at the sky and saw a horrifying black cloud that looked like a very long, wide blob, hovering over the campus. I recalled the first chapter of Job and how it tells the story of God and Satan debating (for lack of a better word). The narrative continues and describes the tornado that appeared and wiped away Job's children. This verifies to me, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that demonic forces are behind severe weather and natural disasters. As I stood looking at the sky, I felt the Lord prompting me to pray right then and there!
I frantically looked around for someone to pray with. At that moment, my husband, Scott, appeared from out of nowhere walking towards me. I ran over, grabbed his arm and said, "We need to pray!” He looked a little confused and I pointed to the monster cloud above us, briefly explaining the bad weather situation. I started the prayer, asking God to overpower the demonic forces behind the cloud and send them and the cloud away, along with the storm.
The wind was getting stronger as we started praying. I asked God to send His heavenly angels to cover the tent and the camp with divine protection. I expressed my gratitude that God and His angels are mightier than Satan and his fallen angels. After a minute, I looked up and saw the cloud beginning to move in the opposite direction like a car backing out of a driveway. A moment later, the long dark cloud was gone and the sun was shining. I was so thankful and relieved, as the storm was supposed to be so vicious that people could have actually been hurt. Praise the Lord for His answers to urgent prayers and for His love, mercy and protection.
Your Story Hour Introduces New Aunt and Uncle
by “Aunt Carole” (Carole Pezet)
Ihave some exciting news to share with you, but first I must provide some background. As you likely know, Chet Damron, Your Story Hour’s beloved Uncle Dan for the past 20 years, passed away in October 2017. Well before he died, both Chet and I knew it was time for a new aunt and uncle to be added to Your Story Hour (YSH). Make no mistake, Chet and I loved our roles as Your Story Hour hosts. We loved recording together. We loved giving tours of YSH to boys and girls and showing them how some sound effects are created right here in our studio. We loved going to conferences to promote YSH to radio stations. We loved giving presentations at churches. However, as is common to all, we were getting older and realized we needed to have a younger aunt and uncle ready to step in and carry on. So, for the past few years, Chet and I, as well as the president and YSH board, have been asking the Lord to guide in the search for the next aunt and uncle.
We needed to find a man and woman whose voices blended well and who could warmly convey their love for God and His children. They needed to be able to volunteer their time and energy to the mission of YSH: helping to make the boys and girls of today become the men and women God desires them to be. They needed to believe in the power of stories to inspire and they needed to be located close enough to the studio to record together often. As you can see, those are some extraordinary qualifications—difficult to find and difficult to fill. We were having no success and were somewhat frustrated, but we kept reminding ourselves that YSH is God’s ministry and, for the past 68 years, He has provided for our needs. We assured ourselves He would do so again.
And He has! God knows our needs and God’s timing is perfect!
I’m happy to report that, after many auditions and much prayer, Nicole Buckhanan and Jon Clayburn have accepted our invitation to join the YSH family and shall be known henceforth as “Aunt Nikki” and “Uncle Jon.” You’ll soon be hearing their voices on the radio as they’ve already started recording introductions to some of our stories. I’m very pleased with the rapport they have and they are so easy to coach. Their willingness to take direction and record over and over to get the audio “just right” is admirable. But I’m not surprised. Why should I be? When the Lord chooses individuals to take part in His work, He enables them with abilities to carry it out. We here at YSH are convinced that Nicole and Jon are God’s choice to carry on this ministry.
Now, you may be wondering what I’ll be doing while Aunt Nikki and Uncle Jon take over hosting duties. Well, as long as God blesses me with health and strength, I’ll continue coaching Aunt Nikki and Uncle Jon, narrate new stories, and audition and direct children for those stories. It’s a team effort, and there’s plenty for all of us to do.
Just so you know, for awhile you will be hearing Aunt Nikki and Uncle Jon’s programs intermixed with some of the programs that Uncle Dan and I recorded. Both are currently on our airing schedule. So see you soon, everyone! May God bless you in a very special way today and every day!
2 June (19)