But he is allowed to be distracted.
My brother in law, Pancho (Francisco), was diagnosed last Wednesday with lymphatic cancer. We don't yet know what kind of lymphatic cancer or at what stage but we do know that either way he will have to undergo chemo and radiation therapy. We are praying that he is in the early stages and that it is Hodkin's. The good news is that the chances for survival are very very good. Dennis has been kind of out of it though, and understandably, because he is so worried for his little brother. Pancho has spent the last couple of years performing (the photo above is him performing at a tribute concert to japanime theme songs of the 80's.) It is so interesting to me that the cancer was found in his throat, just after removal of his tonsils (amygdalas)- I keep thinking that he must be so worried about his singing and performing. But maybe cancer is so much bigger than singing and performing. Our whole chilean family is on pins and needles, waiting for the results of more tests. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey.
So Dennis has been very pensive and quiet and I've been trying to be there for him, while at the same time being quite stressed out myself. He has been taking me to school every morning, even on his day off, so that I am in class by 8am. It means alot. And so I've been trying to show him a little bit more grace. Today he said his chest was hurting and that his heart was pounding- I'm thinking it is a reaction to stress. So I gave him a massage and I'm trying really hard to keep the apartment clean and I'm even trying to not respond with sarcasm or grumpiness. He has been my rock for basically our entire relationship and so it is important for me to be able to support him, even when I am myself quite exhausted. It's my turn to bring grace and presence into our marriage, my turn to live up to 1 Corinthians 13 (erin is patient, erin is kind, erin keeps no record of wrongs, etc....).
Surprisingly then, I'm the one keeping up with who is winning in the World Cup (yay for Mexico beating Iran!). Dennis is too tired (he really tried to be "the life of the party" on Poker Night but he was, understandably, quite distracted...). I can't tell him why his brother is sick and why things are so hard but I can listen to him. I had an epiphany when I realized that our conversations are so much more helpful when I shut up and let him talk instead of trying to be the primary speaker.
Prayers for Pancho and our family in Chile, and prayers for us are obviously much needed.