Sunday, December 18, 2011
Mom passed so peacefully, in her home surrounded by her adoring family. Honestly, surrounded. You always hear that, but I never imagined it. Daddy was next to her, and the rest of us stood around her bed. She held on until her sister arrived from California and when Brenda arrived at 8:22 pm Friday evening, she opened her eyes for the first time that day, looked around at her family and took her last sweet breath.
She sat at the banks of the River Jordan dipping her feet in. And in this life, she was scared of the water, but at 8:22pm she know longer knew fear. She dove in, and crossed the River to the other side and she is free and experiencing love and radiance I can't imagine.
She is still with me. My son, Cody said that she will always be with us, because no one in that room that night would be who they were if not for her and her love.
But she is face to face with her Healer. And that brings me joy!
Please pray for my dad. He adores her and she was his life and he has to begin a new chapter. I have no doubt that God has amazing plans for him and is going to use him greatly. There is still work for him to do and I can't wait to see what that is.
There is more to write here, but my heart is still searching for words.
Monday, November 14, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I wrote this for a writing contest a few weeks ago. The theme asked the question, "When did you first understand what love was?" Unfortunately, due to a crazy schedule I didn't make the deadline for the contest, but this was so in my heart I had to write it anyway. Those that read it told me that there was another place for it. Here, on this day, is the place for it. Because the dance continues.. and will continue, despite the music...
They were teenagers in the 50’s, the decade of sock hops and dance marathons. They married and started their family in the 60’s, the decade of dancing to the beat of your own drum. They have probably danced hundreds of thousands of dances together, but it was one dance that caught my heart. It was one dance that showed me what love was.
I don’t remember mom and dad being terribly demonstrative when I was growing up. I take that back, Daddy was. I remember vividly the whoosh of his recliner as it returned to its upright position. I remember him displaying his most exaggerated pucker lips as he left his chair and crawled on his hands and knees to where my mom was napping on the couch. He would smooch the air, until she woke up, took one look at him, and playfully demanded that he leave her alone. He was comically flirty, she fittingly coy. And this was their dance.
` They knew each other so well, they could anticipate each other’s steps. Mom instinctively knew just how Daddy would lead, and she would follow. They danced through life, having children, watching them grow and giving them up to new dance partners. Grandchildren came and with them came even more dancing - Goofy grandparent dancing. Their music was the joys of life. Sometimes the beat was slow and steady… sometimes a bit frantic and overwhelming but they always danced with grace no matter what life’s soundtrack brought.
To tell the truth I never really caught on that their life, their love was a dance. It wasn’t until a new more sinister beat began to echo. My dad heard it first. The doctor told him it was prostate cancer that had spread to the bone. The pain was unimaginable, and it stilled him for a bit. Mom put all her energy into taking care of him and it worked. He was soon crawling across the floor to the couch where she lay resting; blowing exaggerated kisses until she woke up and the dancing began again.
But just like a bad song on the radio, the sinister music hadn’t played out. And this time my mom was caught up in the beat. Multiple Myeloma brought more unimaginable pain. And it was then that I began to understand the dance.
Mom was truly in so much pain that she could hardly breathe, let alone move, but she had to move. As she stood up, pain hit her body so hard she couldn’t go anymore. She stood there weeping, unable to take another step and unable to sit back down. Daddy wrapped his arms around her. I thought he was simply going to help her get moving again, but he just stood there holding her. And after a few minutes, I realized he wasn’t just holding her… he was swaying with her. She relaxed and followed his lead. For several minutes they danced to some sweet melody that only they could hear. He had danced this dance before.. He knew the pain. And he was taking the lead now, holding her tight and not allowing death to cut in. He knew there was more dancing to be done and he was not willing to give up his dance partner.
I cherish the memory of this moment, and I thank God that I got to witness it. It was true love and true romance and true fight, this love that dances no matter the music.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Saturday, September 11, 2010
Blood Tests - Normal
Full Body X-rays - Normal
Back to Shopping, Cooking and Generally Spoiling her Grandkids - Normal
That's not to say that everything is back to normal. I don't think anyone in the family will ever go back to the normal that was before the diagnosis. There is a new appreciation for God's grace and mercy that you don't acquire unless you go through difficult circumstances.
Job said it best. " My ears had heard of you, but now my eyes have seen you." (Job 42:5)
It is easy to speak of God's love and compassion, but to speak of it after you have gone through the kind of fire where you have to rely solely on Him, is more difficult.. mainly due to the lump in your throat. Times like these draw us closer to God, and we know Him more intimately and learn His voice and His ways. After you have seen God this way, things can never be the same, nor would we ever want them to be.
The change is subtle on the outside, but noticeable none the less... especially, it seems, by children.
On two different occasions, after Mom's hair had grown back in, two different little girls asked Mom what had happened to her hair. These little girls had never seen Mom before and even if they had, her hair had grown into the same short cut she always wore before her chemo, yet they saw something had changed about her. Something had. God had leaned in really close and kissed her. And you can't hide God's kisses.