Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Arrangements

The visitation will be held Saturday from 2-8 at Kurtz Memorial Chapel in Frankfort, Illinois. The funeral will be Sunday at 10:00 once again at Kurtz. The burial will be at a cemetery near the farm in Iroqouis.

No more pain

And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away. Then He who sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. - Rev 21

Mom called this morning with the phone call I've been expecting. Dad became face-to-face with his Savior last night. He went in his sleep. God did not allow him to suffer for long. I'm grateful that he is whole again. He can see more clearly than ever. He's at Jesus' feet, bowed down and in awe over something he could never truly fathom here on earth. 1 Corinthians 13:12 says For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.


Oh, how I can't wait to be with him there for eternity! It's still sad and my tears will linger for a while but I am so grateful for this overwhelming peace of knowing where Dad is and that I will see him again. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 says But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Clinging to Faith

Dad has been on oxygen since Sunday night. He continues to run a fever. Although we still tell him things, there really is no communication on his end. We believe he is resting fairly comfortably from what we can see.

I still just find myself shaking my head over the whole situation. My human mind cannot make sense of all of this. There's just no way to. It all seems wrong. Still, I cling to faith. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is exactly the situation we are in. Sure of heaven and eternal life. Certain of God and His hand working even now.

I found an outline Dad did from my wedding. He spoke at my reception and did not get to share everything he wanted to. It was cool to read through it. Just moments earlier, my mom and I were discussing the song they sang at my wedding, "Household of Faith" and the verse Romans 10:17 "Faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the Word of God." Dad had this same verse written out in the outline. My parents truly are "one". It was just another comfort for my hurting heart. And another reason to keep the faith.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Living

Dad continued his fever yesterday. It was extremely difficult to watch him as he moaned. Here is this man that has always been so strong - an anchor for our family. Now as this anchor fades away the only Anchor I know to hold onto is the one he taught us about - Jesus. I prayed numerous times for him yesterday - that God would take him home to heaven. This prayer is another one where I must trust God rather than believe I know best.

There is really no more communicating with Dad although we still believe he very well can hear and understand everything going on around him. There is now a hospital bed at the house. It was necessary so Mom can take care of Dad best. At the moment, my brother, Will, has a fever and my brother, Trent, hurt his back at work. This takes away the strength that is needed in moving Dad around. Mom still wants our family to be the help for Dad. It's our privilege. Traci and I helped once again yesterday as our husbands helped on different occasions as well. We are so blessed to share this and have this time together.

Watching my mom care for my dad is one of the most heart breaking and strengthing parts of this process. Here is a woman who we characterize for her self-sacrifice. Even now, so many of us cannot fathom the way she pushes all her own needs aside to care for this man she has shared life with for 36 years.

They should have been able to celebrate this part of life. For the first time in just the last couple of years, my dad began to talk about retiring rather than working up until his final breath. It seems like so much is stolen from them. They were married at 17 and 19-years-old. That almost seems like a guarantee for enjoying life after the kids are grown and gone. There are no guarantees in this life other than the ones God promises in the Bible.

I have not witnessed Mom in tears very often throughout this process. Yesterday, throughout the day, I'd find her laying her head next to him attempting to sing along with the music we have playing and the tears just began flowing from her eyes. My mom lives 1 Corinthians 13. Love is sacrifice and my mom has given us such a strong example of what we need to be to others.

I find myself longing for eternity and yet there is still this life to be lived. Currently, my life is consumed with my dad. I don't know how long we will experience this process. Still, I know life continues and through this God is teaching me how to live it more richly.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Running a Fever

Today Dad was running a fever. There was not really any communication with him. It makes us wonder how much time is really left here on this earth for him. For his sake, I pray it's not long. Mom gave me the privilege of sitting by him for a short while. His body was so hot, I began sweating. It was a moment where I couldn't fight back tears. I don't want him to suffer. Really, though, we don't know how much he truly is suffering. We just expect that he is.

The house is always full of people. Even just between my siblings and myself. Today my maternal grandparents came in from Peoria, my Aunt and Uncle were in from Michigan and most of my dad's siblings as well as his mom came to visit at some point during the day.

It's an exhausting process but comforting at the same time. Most moments he seemed to be resting peacefully. I found myself praying for God to take him soon. I know God is in control, it's just hard to watch him this way.

Thanks to everyone for all the offers to help, the assistance that has been given, friendships and prayers. We're forever grateful.

2-23-08

I just don't feel like blogging. I'm sad. Writing my feelings brings the tears flowing and all I want to do is sleep. There are many moments I am just at complete peace but overall there is still that feeling of sad.

One of the nice things about all of this is that we get to say goodbye. People are coming over that haven't seen Dad in quite some time and that is so comforting - especially to my mom. It's one thing that is great about Dad. He is showing his hope in heaven with the peace he has here in the end. He is fine with being surrounded by all of us.

Traci and I went to the funeral home on Thursday at the advice of some friends. I'm glad to have it out of the way. There wasn't much thinking involved because Dad has been able to express all of his wishes in regards to this as well. It's so hard not knowing how much time we have left with him. I already miss him. I miss his laugh. We have home videos playing a lot these days and his laugh is often what makes me cry. I'm going to miss that so very much.

I missed visiting over there yesterday. It's important I get my rest still and the girls need theirs as well. Besides, I promised Nike she could go to school yesterday. My emotions tend to get more raw when I'm not over there. Today, I'll head back. Dad has a fever today so I don't expect much wit. Still, there is something comforting about being with my family. He's leaving some strong footprints behind for us.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sunshine

Dad continually wants to know what day it is, what time it is, and which direction he is facing. It's confusing to him and we can only imagine what it must feel like. He doesn't know the difference between daytime and nighttime. Partly because he sleeps so much and partly because he cannot see the sunshine. This is sad because dad loves the sunshine. Yesterday we were talking about it and I said that's probably all there will be is sunshine in heaven. My sister confirmed by saying there won't be any darkness in heaven. This morning as I was reading a book that was given to me, it quoted Revelation 22:5 "There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever." That's nice to know he'll soon be able to see the sun again - this time in the presence of the Son!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Dad's Wit

Dad definitely still has his wit about him. Yesterday, for example, he asked Sabrina if she wanted him to take her for a drive. Even unable to see anything, he said he could still drive better than she can (she's 15 with a permit).

I was telling him that Rod plans to tell our children stories about him all the time. He said, "So, he's going to potmouth me."

There are numerous times Dad talks for just a few moments but inputs his humor. It's something that keeps things from being quite as heavy as they could be.

2-19-08

I had decided NOT to head out to Mokena yesterday. That is until my sister called. Some dear friends of ours went through this just last year and one of them advised my sister to clear her schedule if possible to be at the house. She said it would never be something to regret. I decided to head out there at least for the morning and decide what to do with Nikelle and school later. Her school is very supportive and she ended up not attending yesterday. We'll see what I choose today. My decisions seem to be very last minute these days.

I'm glad I went. There was a moment where my brothers were both away. When they are there, it is generally one or both of them sitting right by Dad's side and I want to respect the time they may need there. I was grateful, however, that yesterday I had a time where I got to help Dad and I finally had the chance to hold his hand which was one thing I was beginning to wonder if I'd regret if I didn't do it.

Although, we were to call my brother if he was needed because he lives just minutes away, we didn't need to. Dad woke up and asked to go to the bathroom. We were about to clear the room with the grandkids when he said, "Wait". "I can walk to the bathroom." Mom, Traci and I helped direct him down the stairs as he slowly and cautiously walked. It was good to have the privilege to help.

When he returned to the sofa, we were able to have some quality conversation with him. As I held his hand, I talked to him and Sabrina about when I was little and always pushed Mom out of the way so I could hold his hand. He said that I was quite the jealous one about that. I told him how Nike's relationship with Rod always reminds me of my relationship with him.

I also told him a couple things that Rod wanted to say to him but wasn't able to. As well as thanking him for helping me find Rod. I reminded him that it is because he and Mom approved of Rod so quickly and encouraged me in that direction that I have the husband I have for the rest of my life. I knew the words didn't sound right as they came out. He corrected me. "You'll have him for the rest of his life."

The only negative of yesterday involved my 78-year-old Great Aunt (Mom's Aunt) coming to bring us dinner around 4 p.m. After getting everything situated, she walked down the stairs and fell when she got on the wood floor (I think there was a rug there). We called 9-1-1 (a little all too familiar) and I road with her to the hospital. I was with her until about 8 p.m. only to find out that she has a hairline fracture and will need surgery. As she said to me yesterday, when it rains, it pours. Please pray for her quick healing. She is strong otherwise.

Dad was cold and clammy yesterday and we're still attempting to manage his pain. The fact that the nerves are overtaken by the cancer makes it difficult in this area. The nurse confirmed that the way his body is reacting reveals the spinal cord is involved.

It was sweet to watch my mom care for him and yet so sad at the same time. I don't want my Dad gone but I'm grateful for the conversations we were able to have yesterday. I will forever treasure them in my heart. I even found an old Christmas card yesterday that was written in his handwriting to me. It was nothing overly special but it's from him.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More Comforting Song Lyrics

Sing the wondrous love of Jesus,
Sing His mercy and His grace;
In the mansions bright and blessed
He’ll prepare for us a place.

Refrain:
When we all get to heaven,
What a day of rejoicing that will be!
When we all see Jesus,
We’ll sing and shout the victory!

While we walk the pilgrim pathway,
Clouds will overspread the sky;
But when trav’ling days are over,
Not a shadow, not a sigh.

Let us then be true and faithful,
Trusting, serving every day;
Just one glimpse of Him in glory
Will the toils of life repay.

Onward to the prize before us!
Soon His beauty we’ll behold;
Soon the pearly gates will open;
We shall tread the streets of gold.

Living in Darkness

Close your eyes and imagine that once you open them you cannot see anything anymore. All you see is darkness. Your eyes are open but you're blind. No longer can you see the people around you, your house or God's creation. Darkness is what you are left in.

That is now what my dad is experiencing. Rod commented on how strange it was yesterday to have Dad staring right at him but know that he couldn't see him at all. What else will he have to endure before he can be whole again?

Dad slept most of the day away again. Because of this and his lack of sight, he no longer knows what time or day it is. My brothers were once again right by his side taking care of him. Mom, too. When I got there, Traci was sitting by him holding his hand. His mom and brother and sister-in-law came by yesterday as well. It's just plain hard on everyone to see him this way.

I think the part that made it so difficult for me was to see my dad as he is. He looks like an old, dying man. Cancer has taken him away from us and it still seems so wrong.

I cleaned the kitchen for my mom and did some grocery shopping (needed to do my own anyway). When I returned, my brother, Will, opened the door and told me Dad decided he wanted to get up and walk downstairs to the bathroom. He had not moved really other than to use the commode since the previous morning so this was quite the accomplishment for him! It is such a difference from just a week ago. This cancer attacks so darn fast.

Jaycie kept climbing on my mom's lap yesterday to sit near Papa. Nikelle didn't want to touch Papa's hand yesterday. She seemed uncertain and a bit scared. When I asked her about it on the way home, she said that she just doesn't want him to be sick. We talked a little more about heaven and she said, "I know he's going to get a new body when he's in heaven." It was comforting to talk about how he'll be able to see again and no longer experience pain. I asked her if she thought he'd have hair in heaven or if he didn't need hair. She said "No, he looks fine just the way he is."

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Today 2-16-08

Today all three of my siblings spent some time with dad. I chose not to go. My decision kept wavering but it ended up being the right one as I took a 3-hour nap this afternoon instead. I am still sick with this pregnancy and spent time with the toilet bowl before I went to bed last night. Today I was just plain worn out and I know that I must take care of myself during all of this.

Dad has been on my mind all day. I've called over there numerous times. I want to be there but also know there is a life still to be lived. I'm not going to allow myself to regret any decisions that I make. There is nothing on my mind that I feel must be said and as I said before, I know he is just waiting for that moment where he can truly live again. This time in eternity - forever. As I remember, he told me that he'll start by worshipping at Jesus' feet.

Longing for Eternity

I was sitting in Nikelle's school parking lot waiting for the doors to open when I decided to call my mom. She informed me that some of my family, as well as a lifelong friend, were over visiting. I turned to Nike and asked her if she wanted to skip school to go to see Grams and Papa and her cousins. So, off we went.

It still seems so surreal. My dad has always been the epitimy of good health. Not in a million years did anyone expect what is happening with my dad. There are so many emotions and thoughts running through me that I might sit and write for hours. I'll attempt to stay focused.

I cannot comprehend how it must feel for Dad as he lies there waiting for God to allow him to go home while we all continue life around him.

The grandkids all go inside and greet Papa only to run downstairs to play with their cousins. In some ways that is comforting. It tells me that no matter how much it breaks my heart that their Papa will be gone from this world, they'll be okay.

My sister is great at knowing what to do without anyone asking her to do it. She did some laundry. She always cleans up little messes and takes care of her kids. Through it all, she would walk over by Dad to sit and hold his hand and talk to him.

My brother closest to my age came in right after work. His wife and son were already there all day. He walked in and stayed close to Dad. He kept conversation going with visitors so Dad could rest and just seemed to know what to do as well.

Later after they all left, my older brother came in with his family. This cheered Nikelle and Jaycie up to be able to play with more cousins. Walking in the door with some Ensure and other nutrient-packed drinks for Dad, he, too, sat down next to Dad and stayed nearby. Dad's best friend was there so Will was engaged in conversation with him while dad laid there.

It just seemed so strange to me. Dad was part of our day but he didn't interact all that much. He couldn't. He welcomed our hugs and kisses. He greeted the grandkids and attempted to interact a bit with them. There were even moments that he made attempts at humor. Thankfully, his eyesight has not completely failed him as of yet and we can still understand the little of what he had to say. The only time he would sit up would be when my brothers would help him so he could have a drink or move his head to the other end of the sofa.

I talked to Dad a bit about my conversations with the girls about heaven. To be honest, I don't feel as though Dad and I have much to say. It's all been said already. I do want to be near him but at the same time, I've already let him go. My mind is in eternity when it comes to my Daddy and I want him to be able to go there now. I spent my time looking through pictures, pulling out the ones that included Dad, finding comfort for my heart.

It seems wrong to talk and laugh and interact while he is right by us in pain (although the drugs work pretty well) waiting to leave this world. Still, our lives go on. That's the sad part of it all. We have to wait for eternity.

Nikelle and I were talking about the fact that Papa will get to see Great Papa (his dad) in heaven. She said "he sure is lucky". Just a matter of fact. That's how she is with all of this and it's kind of comforting. She just accepts it. She's not fighting it. It'll be interesting to see how she reacts once he's gone because I know she loves her Papa.

Jaycie seemed a little uncertain. "Papa leaving?" she asked me. "Heaven?" "Jesus?" It's the only way I know how to explain to my 2-year-old what's going on. I told her we'll have to say bye-bye to Papa because he's going to heaven to meet Jesus.

To be honest, both girls are confused. Nikelle wanted to know if we were going to say goodbye to Papa for the last time. She even told my mom as we were leaving, "I'll see you at the funeral". Mom said Nike's a little too well-adjusted to all of this.

I am sure going to miss having my dad around. I just find myself wanting to know more about heaven. I long for him to go there. I long to meet him there as well. This temporary world has too much pain. I want eternity without any goodbyes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Dad Update 2-15-08

Dad is home. It seems like his pain is being managed. I have yet to see him. I might go over there this afternoon. I think I'm just hesitant because I don't know what to expect and I know everything has been said that needs to be said. We're just waiting and praying that God will take him home soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Because He Lives

God sent His son, they called Him, Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

How sweet to hold a newborn baby,
And feel the pride and joy he gives;
But greater still the calm assurance:
This child can face uncertain days because He Lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to vict'ry,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!

Chorus
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow,
Because He lives, all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living,
Just because He lives!

Dad Update 2-14-08

On Sunday night, Dad went into the hospital for pain management after having suffered for a week. The hope was that the pain was associated with the chemotherapy. A couple days ago, we became aware of paralysis in his face once again. An MRI was done and the cancer is now covering the nerves in his head. To say this is sad news is an understatement. There will be no more chemotherapy and Dad has maybe "weeks" left here on this earth with us. He is losing his speech due to the paralysis and he is losing is eye sight as well. This will be a difficult time as we selfishly desire to keep him here with us.

I had been praying that he would live long enough (end of August) to know his next grandchild. Now, my prayer is that this will go quickly for him so that he doesn't need to suffer any longer. Please pray that they can keep his pain under control and that God will be merciful and take him home quickly.

Once again, I am attempting to find comfort in the Bible and music. If anything comes to mind, please send it my way. I'm grateful for all your prayers and your friendships. Despite the bonus year we have been given with Dad, nothing prepares one to say goodbye to someone they love. It just plain hurts.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Dad Update 2-12-08

This morning Mom called to inform me that they were still attempting to manage Dad's pain. She was headed out to get him some breakfast.

This evening she called to tell me that when she got back, he told her that his lips felt swollen. When she asked him to smile, the worst was confirmed. That partial paralysis he had previously (around Labor Day) has returned. Doctors did an MRI and found that there is something pressing on the nerve by his eye. The plan is to do a spinal tap to see if the cancer is once again attacking the nervous system and to administer chemotherapy at the same time to fight against it.

Every day the situation continues to seem so surreal to me. I still cannot believe that my Dad has cancer. That my Dad has been told there is no longer a hope of a cure.

On Sunday, Steve and Laurie prayed with us. Steve prayed for healing for both of our Dads. I thanked him because so many times it's difficult to pray for healing. I don't want to be disappointed or I don't want to make demands of God.

Still, I am reminded that whether God chooses to heal him here on this earth or in heaven, He will answer this prayer and Dad will receive healing.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Update 2-11-08

Dad went to the emergency room last night. The pain was overbearing and he was desperately in need of some medication. Thankfully, the doctors were able to get the pain under control. They are also leaning towards believing that this pain is related to the chemotherapy. He needs to be in the hospital for 24 hours and should then be able to go home. It's hard to see him in so much pain. Please pray that they are able to keep in under control.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Rude Awakening

Dad has been experiencing a lot of pain lately. It's very similar to the kind of pain he experienced back around Labor Day at the farm. Doctors never identified what the pain was from at that time and we are uncertain as to the current cause. The nurse has advised him that bone pain is one of the side effects of this chemotherapy he had administered on Monday. Yeseterday she laid out a pain management plan to hopefully help him sleep and feel some relief.

Rod's dad is going to begin kidney dialysis on Monday. They will also be administering some type of alternate chemotherapy drug to help combat the leukemia soon.

With both of our dads experiencing the health issues that they do, we realize each night as we fall asleep that tomorrow may not be what we expect.

The other night, we are both sleeping when Jaycie began to cry. Rod graciously went to attend to her so I could continue sleeping. That's when the phone rang. I jumped out of bed, my heart pounding, mind spinning and grabbed the phone.

"Hello?"

"Hi. Can I be transferred to..."


A wrong number at 1 a.m. I didn't know which emotion was stronger: irritation or relief.

"You have the wrong number," I stated and hung up.

Rod inquired as to what was happening and I informed him of the situation.

It took a while to fall back asleep. Still, I think relief was the stronger emotion. Thanking God that nothing had changed that we were aware of with either of our dads and praying for relief from the pain Dad is experiencing, I fell back asleep.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Turn Off

The final benefit (although probably the most important) of attending MOPS last night was that one woman at my table finally called me out on an issue I've been saying I need to overcome for quite some time.

Television is a big stumbling block for me. As I've said before, it's not that T.V. is sinful, it just isn't the best use of my time. I could be doing something that would benefit my relationship with God, my husband, my kids, friendships or my household.

Last night one of the discussion questions was "What is one thing you can cut out of your life to make room for God?" The obvious answer that others knew I would respond with was "television".

Kerri Kristoff called me on it. She said, "I'll e-mail you often to find out if you stick to a commitment we make here today. What is it for you?" She's also placed an ante on it. I owe dinner to a few women if I back out of my commitment first.

My commitment is to not watch T.V. from 3-6. Most people would think that is easy because it is such a busy time with dinner and everything. However, since I feel overwhelmed and exhausted at that moment, it's the easiest moment for me to turn on the T.V. and ignore everything else.

Today has been nice not having the T.V. on quite as much. I've even turned it off for the girls just to have the silence. That's been extremely difficult for me because I like the background noise. I have to say that I've enjoyed Jaycie more today than I have in quite some time.

Each of us have something we can cut out to make room for God. What's yours?

Knowledge v. Desperate Desire

The talk last night at MOPS could be a little overwhelming to some. I could see how those not raised to read the Bible consistently or memorize scripture could find their minds spinning with the topic discussed last night.

So, I found myself in a conversation with a friend who was a bit overwhelmed. Here I am listening to her talk about how she'll never be at the level myself or some others seem to be at. Knowing God and knowing scripture. Knowledge. Reading the Bible will tell us what God thinks about knowledge alone.

I told her what was on my mind. She has a desperate desire to know God better. She can honestly say that today, she is closer to God than she was a year ago. Can I say that about myself? To be honest, I'm not so sure.

She challenged me simply through her desire. What good is my knowledge if I don't desperately desire the One the knowledge is about?

To desperately know my Creator. I must desire that if I choose to pass that desire on to my children.

An important calling

I was hesitant to go to MOPS last night. I am often asleep by 7:30 which is the start time. Drifting off to sleep last night after 10:00, I know God wanted me there to draw closer to Him.

Keri Wyatt Kent, the author of Breathe was the speaker last night. Much of what she said resounded with me. I'm clinging to one thing she said, in particular. "Your job is not to keep a perfect household. Your job is to raise your children to know they are loved by God and loved by you." That is such a relief! Although I often feel like a failure as a housekeeper, I can definitely achieve the more important calling to teach my children that they are loved. Not only by me and their Daddy but also by their Creator.

God was certainly speaking to me in other ways last night as well. I'll get to those later.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Sick of it!

On Monday I went off of my anti-nausea medication. I've found that the meds make me completely exhausted and I am unable to think straight.

I was able to think more clearly for a couple of days which was nice. Today, I went back on the meds. It seems that all I've done the last two days is lose whatever I've been eating!

I would love to fast forward through February. My second trimester begins in March. I am so looking forward to being able to function again when this "morning" sickness stops. It went away with the second trimester in my other two pregnancies so I see no reason to believe any different with this one!

It seems like I've tried just about anything suggested to help with this but does anyone have any suggestions?

Monday, February 4, 2008

Football and Marriage

I've always been one to play sports. Basketball was a family sport and we all were involved. As for football, it was never really a sport I understood or chose to play. Then I met Rod. Rod is not really into sports. It was actually a reason I contemplated not marrying him. I just didn't see how that would fit into my athletic family. Thankfully, that silly reason did not interfer with my choice and we are here today. Although Rod enjoys involvement in only a very few sports, he has a passion for football. Football season is the most Rod ever spends in front of the T.V.

Over our 11+ years of marriage, I've learned to enjoy watching football. It's important to Rod and he enjoys when I sit and watch a game with him. We have even been able to attend a few Illini games and a Bears game together. Listening to him as he has explained how the game is played has helped immensely. I think that much of my lack of interest in football was simply due to a lack of education.

Last night, we went to Rod's parents' house to watch the Superbowl. His dad was able to go home from the hospital on Friday and they share the love of football. Although I was feeling lousy, I went with and slept on their couch. I only slept during the 2nd and 3rd quarters of the game so I didn't miss the exciting stuff.

I am immensely thrilled that the NY Giants won the game last night. Following the rules is something I am very passionate about. With all the controversy behind the Patriots, it was refreshing to see the underdogs pull this game out. From what I did see, the Giants were well deserving of this win, too. I also think it is nice to see Eli match the accomplishment his brother experienced last year.

With all that said, it's interesting what watching football has done for my marriage. I actually enjoy watching the game and discussing it with my husband now. I've always heard about the importance of sharing similar interests. Since history, computers and science fiction are never something I will really be able to enjoy, football is my way of entering his world. It's rewarding.