Mano a Mano

Fighting is something I have learned to appreciate more as I have gotten older. As a youth it intimidated me. As an adult I have learned that facing those fears on a wrestling mat is incredibly therapeutic. Mano a mano literally means “hand to hand” but most use it as “man to man.” It means that there is nothing to hide behind and we are going to find out who is best in strength, endurance, skill and heart (the desire to win). It means you have to put fear aside and courageously fight; to not tap at the first feeling of pain, but rather inflict enough on your opponent to cause him to quit first.

I think I am going to coin a new term: “womano a womano”. Its just like mano a mano only tougher. Tara was readmitted today due to severe dehydration and a resulting very high heart rate. I remember saying when she was vomiting again, “she doesn’t have that much stuff in her.” She proved me wrong. I was calling for her to tap. To cry “uncle”. To say “mercy”. Whatever you want to call it, I was saying she had enough. Somehow in the midst of it she kept her calm, got poked 6-8 more times, took a liter of fluid by IV and then her body calmed down. A nurse confidently told her an hour later, “Except for the nausea, vomiting and cancer, you look pretty good.”

Somehow she manages to smile. Like a fighter covered in blood that smiles like he likes it and says “bring it on!” She’s a fighter. To the bone. Tough as they come. She would say that she is resting and God is fighting for her. No wonder she kicks butt.

In UFC pre-fight announcement fashion: In the blue corner, standing 5 feet 5 inches. Weighing in at 103 pounds. A freestyle fighter from Rochester, Minnesota. With a record of 5 wins and 0 losses. Tara “the crowbar-a” Maier.


23 thoughts on “Mano a Mano

  1. I think you might have a new career as a writer. Somehow you are always able to say something funny when the situation isn’t funny at all. Praying for you all. May God sustain all of you and strengthen and heal Tara.

  2. Yea, thou dost light my lamp;
    the Lord my God lightens my darkness.
    Yea, by thee I can crush a troop;
    and by my God I can leap over a wall.
    This God – his way is perfect;
    the promise of the Lord proves true;
    he is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.

    For who is God, but the Lord?
    And who is a rock, except our God? –
    the God who girded me with strength,
    and made my way safe.
    He made my feet like hinds’ feet,
    and set me secure on the heights.
    He trains my hands for war,
    so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
    Thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation,
    and thy right hand supported me,
    and thy help made me great.
    Thou didst give a wide place for my steps under me,
    and my feet did not slip.
    I pursued my enemies and overtook them;
    and did not turn back till they were not able to rise;
    they fell under my feet.
    For thou didst gird me strength for the battle;
    thou didst make my assailants sink under me.
    Thou didst make my enemies turn their backs to me,
    and those who hated me I destroyed.
    They cried for help, but there was none to save,
    they cried to the Lord, but he did not answer them.
    I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
    I cast them out like the mire of the streets.

    Psalms 18:28-42

    Keep fighting on my dear sister! You can do it! Because God has prepared you for it! I know too well the pain and struggle you are battling, it is why my heart aches. But I do know that you can endure it, as God has given you the mighty armour to withstand and win this battle!

    Love you!

  3. I love you Tara! It was so good to get to see you today. I am glad you have gotten rehydrated and I hope you feel lots better as a result. Jay, thank you for this blog. The updates, honesty and humor are plainly wonderful for all of us that love all of you. XO

  4. A prayer for Tara:

    “Lord God, we praise you anew for Tara Maiers’s successful operation and are thankful that you chose to glorify yourself in that way. Help us not miss the miracle that You performed in our midst and how you heard and answered the collective prayers of Your people the world over on Tara’s behalf. As stated by the psalmist, You heard our panicked cries and answered our call for help.(*)

    We praise You for the assurance that even in our darkest hour, Your Presence will calm our fears and we will experience Your Comfort (**) and we embrace that promise as we pray it on Tara today.

    Strengthen her body and lift her spirit in the power of Christ’s resurrection, we pray. Aid her and us to acknowledge You in her circumstances so that You may direct
    our thoughts (***) and make them captive to obedience to You (****).

    We praise You with our lives, approaching Your throne clothed in the righteousness of Your Son Jesus Christ who lives and reigns forever and in whose Holy Name we pray. Amen.”

    (*) Psalm 31:22
    (**) Psalm 23
    (***) Proverbs 3:5&6
    (****) 2 Corinthians 10:5

  5. are a true woman of courage and you inspire me!!!! But the way you handle this doesn’t surprise me at all since I have always seen you as a woman of quiet strength and peace. Here is a scripture I read recently that reminded me of your situation. Hope it can bring you courage: Psalm 27: “The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord al the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwellig; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock. Then my head will be exalted above the enemies who surround me…”. …May the Lord continue to deliver you from your enemies…dehydration, pain, cancer, and a number of other discomforts you are facing. YOu are in my prayers. Love you guys!!
    Janet McEwen Broom

  6. And we are all in your corner. I love knowing there are angels with flaming swords. And they are big. They are in Tara’s and your corner too. He shall command his angels concerning you.

  7. Aw Tara…my heart aches for you as I remember going through the chemo. Being readmitted with Strep pneumonia and neutrophil counts so low that each day when I would ask Dr. Richardson, “What are the counts today” and he would say, “I don’t think you want to know.” Here we are and on the 22nd it will be 13 years post surgery and doing quite well. Keep your eyes on the goal and know that God goes with you. This too will pass. (o: Love, Gramma Bergan

  8. Tara the crowbar-a. I like it. You keep fighting, Tara… But when you rest, how comforting to know your Trainer/Creator/Redeemer/Savior will pick up the fight for you. His record is amazing, just like yours!
    Fight well,
    Rest well,

  9. The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? When (evil advances) against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. …I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Ps 27

  10. The Anderson/Sandgren/Garn crowd is right there with you, Jay and Tara. What a beautiful scene to think as you go through this that so many people are on your side rooting you on. Really, its no different than a team playing in a stadium full of fans, but your fans are all over and not concentrated. We are with you and love you all.

    Thank you on so many fronts for sharing this journey with us.

  11. Please know our hearts go out to all of you. God will be beside you fighting right along with you and guiding you in beating this. Our thoughts and prayers are also with you daily.

  12. Isaiah 33:6 ” He will be the stability of your times”
    Tara, keep fighting. Jay, You are a great writer. You have a way with words!!! Keep all your notes for your future book and we will come to your signing! By the way Jay, Tara has a record of 6 wins, not five, you were her FIRST WIN!!!! Keep fighting Tara, we are in your corner throwing punches for you and wiping the sweat fromy our brown, giving you sips of water between rounds. God has promised and continues to promise Strength for the day, rest amid labors, light for the way…. unfailing sympathy, undying love.

    Rest easy,

  13. Oh my goodness ! I am so sorry that you had to return to the hospital Tara .Aren’t you guys blessed to be living in the “medical capital of the world” Your support system of church,family, and friends is unbelievable! Wow taste and see the goodness of the LORD!! It was great to see your Mom & Dad in Albert Lea Monday on their way to Rochester . Many prayers from CL for strength and endurance during this time continue for you Tara. God bless everyone so directly involved day after day also!! We love you. Aunt Cathy & Uncle Mike

  14. …and the crowd goes wild!!!!! I love the fight analogy, even though I generally dislike the violence of fighting…. It is truly an accurate picture of what’s going on, and the great crowd of witnesses is cheering (and praying and loving) wildly to see our Savior’s victory!

  15. Oh my, we need to get some meat on those bones so she can fight even harder. That is way to light for her height. Of course the N & V didn’t help. I hope you can find things she likes to eat that will put some weight and fliud back in her. I continue to hold you all up in my prayers.

  16. Hey Maiers, I think of you and pray for you often. Thank you for sharing your journey with us. You are nothing but an inspiration and encouragement to me.
    Please be encouraged by these words (that surely you have heard before).

    Isaiah 41:10, “‘So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.'”

    Kanae Nord

  17. I don’t think I can add anything new to the comments above but know that I am praying for you and loving you. I love your comments Jay. We had good news today. We were approved for refinancing of our mortgage. We are finally going to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I wanted to share some good news and encourage you to keep on the path and to fight the good fight. I love your writing. Tara – I’m glad you went in and got the fluids you needed. It’s okay to admit our weaknesses. God is shown strong through them. I love you sis and look forward to seeing you one of these days. God bless and keep you in his care.

  18. For some time I was afraid of having to take you (Jay) down on the wrestling mat. Now, I am glad that it I only have to face a gimp like you instead of your tough Moose-of-a-wife Tara!!! See you in the ring!


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