Monday, September 24, 2007

Tears with Peace

This past week was an exhausting one. Although I seem overwhelmed with the to-do list that I have in my head, I think the biggest thing stealing my energy is simply the situation with Dad.

On Friday morning, my sister, Traci, called and informed me she was going to visit Dad. We left all the kids with Sabrina and went to the hospital. I’m grateful she called and asked me to go with her. It was a good visit and we were able to have some good conversations. There was a large shock factor as I entered the room and saw my dad laying in the bed: skinny, weak and with oxygen in his nostrils. He cannot even get out of bed other than when Mom helps him just to use the commode next to his bed. That shows he is fighting. Most people would just have to have a catheter put in. I still wasn't prepared to see my dad this way.

As I drove to pick Fiona up for our run early Saturday morning, the radio played songs from the viewpoint of someone in heaven. It was hard to listen to and comforting at the same time. I just cried for my dad. No one should have to go through what he is going through.

During our run, I was sharing my Kleenex with Fiona (the unused ones). We were talking about her daughter’s 1st birthday party and how mom and dad wouldn't be there. It also brought conversation about how they’ll likely miss Jaycie’s 2nd in a few weeks. Not to mention that we will be running this marathon without Dad at the finish line for us - our motivation is in a hospital bed -- in the ICU. There’s a lot of emotion surrounding the situation. At the same time, we don't forget that there is much to be thankful for.

Later on that day, Rod and I stopped to visit Dad again on our way into Chicago to celebrate my sister-in-law's birthday. We also brought him Dreamsicles because he was craving them. He fed himself the Dreamsicles which was good to see. He just hasn't been eating and doctors are encouraging calories of any kind. The visit was good for Mom because she was able to visit with Jaycie and Nike in the waiting room while Rod and I visited with Dad. Our visit with Dad, unfortunately, was not quite as uplifting.

Dad seemed even weaker than the day before and today, he was just downright discouraged. He’s been fighting a resistant staff infection on top of everything else. In our conversations, he continues to inform us that he just cannot focus. His days and hours are all jumbled in his mind and he just wants to get out of that bed. It's extremely discouraging for him that he cannot walk and do more for himself. This is the first time he has not recovered quickly from everything. When this whole battle started in February, he continued to beat one thing after another and really never had to be down for an extended period of time. Now, he can’t even really focus on beating the cancer until he beats this infection. He is weak and in pain. He has a terrible rash on his back and his body is full of fluid. Today, they are talking about bringing in some physical therapists to try to help him get on his feet again. This is what he really wants so I’m certain he’ll do whatever he possibly can -- even if that means using a walker.

Once again, I couldn’t really control the tears as I left the hospital on Saturday. I lost it before I even left the room -- telling Dad that I love him and I just want him home with us. Later, I told Rod that I’m not really sure why I’m even asking him to fight. Who would want to stay here in this world when we know the other option is heaven? My heart hurts for my dad. I know he is fighting for us. I’m grateful but hurting that he’s in so much pain and confusion.

God still provides me with peace as I pray about the situation. It may be peace that He will heal dad or it may just be peace that he will take care of us. Either way, there is peace in my soul when I pray.

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