When we were in the thick of it with Ronnie, after a couple failed attempts to embolize the last spot, the bleeding was still continuing, and "solutions" being thrown around seemed more like threats than solutions. Everyone became apologetic. Ronnie, with a warped personality from all of the medication, would sleepily and tearfully apologize after most bleeds. He would apologize for putting me through this. He would apologize that we were where we were instead of at home. He would apologize that he didn't make better choices in his early twenties with regards to treatments. All of these were unnecessary apologies. I would tell him that he had no reason to be sorry and to quiet his mind and just get some rest, and then usually, he would dose off (as he was in and out of sleep most of the time).
But on this day, when tensions were especially high, he apologized again, in a way that sounded outlandish and broke my heart all at the same time. We sat there discussing the state of affairs (which usually looked like me talking and him falling asleep and waking back up to semi agree and ask me to repeat what I just said)...and then Ronnie said, with tears in his eyes, "I'm sorry if you feel like I've tricked you." He continued on to apologize for the fact that he had been so "healthy" most of the time that I knew him (except his little hiccup in 2009), and then boom, we were at a very different place. Now, in his unmedicated mind, I know he wouldn't say this. He would reason through the fact that I google a lot, I know him well, I know CF well, I work in the CF world, so no, he didn't trick me. I knew exactly what I was signing up for. I probably knew more possibilities than most people. But I also knew that this comment did stem from somewhere, even if just a small, microscopic fraction of what he believes.
It broke my heart.
So I did the only thing I knew to do. I held him close and began reassuring him that I, in no way, felt tricked. And then I got stern. "Stop apologizing," I finally said. "Just stop." And then it hit me...he needed to know that I still loved his CF. That all the stuff I always said about CF was still true, even on that day. Because it was.
Psalm 139:14 says, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
That's it. That's all either one of us needs to know in any situation CF brings us through. So that's what I said. We are all the result of God's perfect plan. He doesn't make mistakes. He knit us together in our mothers' wombs, exactly as he wanted us to be. We were created in a way that made us uniquely equipped to bring Him glory; in a way that would serve Him best on earth. Ronnie is fearfully and wonderfully made. Not in spite of his CF. Not in lieu of his CF. Not most of him, except maybe his CF was an accident. All of Ronnie was a deliberate choice made by an all knowing and all powerful God who loves him and wants the very best for him. So when CF rears it's head and lands us in the ICU, no one should feel like they need to apologize, there's simply nothing to apologize for. In fact, I would argue CF is one of the things that is most unique about Ronnie, and therefore something about him that I believe God has used most in his life, is currently using most in his life, and will continue to use most in his life to bring Him (God) honor, glory, and fame. So instead of apologizing for where it has landed us, we should instead, in the moment, step back and look to see where God is using it to work.
We are all "assembled" on purpose, just the way we are. Wonderfully made.