Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Farm and Prayer

This past weekend we went camping at “The Farm”. The farm is the name my dad affectionately gave some property our family owns in Iroquois, Illinois. It’s so peaceful camping there. The stars as so vast and beautiful. The kids can be as loud as they like because there are no neighbors to bother nearby. Pup can come with and run free because there is so much land to explore. We haven’t had many trips there but the few taken have been quite enjoyable.

This weekend, Rod, the girls and I were the only ones camping overnight with my parents. Saturday night left a lot of room for thinking. I can never sleep very well when we are camping. Waking around 11:30 p.m., I heard moaning and groaning. When I realized where the sounds were coming from, holding back the tears was next to impossible. Dad was outside trying to walk around and work out some pain he was feeling.

I have to admit that I’ve wondered how terrible the pain is that he’s been experiencing. It is somewhat of a family trait to complain and look for sympathy. This night was a revelation for me because I knew he had no idea that I was awake inside my tent listening and praying. That’s all I could do. Mom had already informed me that nothing could be done to help him so I didn’t even attempt to go outside and offer. Praying myself back to sleep, I thought maybe he was able to get some rest as I awoke again earlier in the morning.

Numerous times I was up comforting Jaycie as she just could not get settled until I snuggled her in between Rod and I. Each time I prayed for my parents.

Early Sunday morning around the campfire, Dad talked to me about the pain he endured during the night. He informed me that on a scale of 1-10, this pain was “off the charts”. He didn’t get rest as I had hoped. Rather, he kept himself inside his van so he wouldn’t wake us with his screams from the pain he suffered.

In some ways, I suppose this was a good weekend for me to experience. Once again, I am impressed with the weight of what my parents are dealing with on a daily basis. I am often able to go home and live my life as though all were well. Not at this time, however. The moans, his swollen eye, his shaking hands and legs; they are all embedded in my mind. All I can do is pray for him.

So as I fall asleep at night, that’s what I do. I pray for my dad. Selfishly, maybe: I don’t want to think about how my life will change if Dad is no longer here on this earth.

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