Saturday, April 27, 2013

"You Are A Fine Fellow!"

Between sleep and the wretched affects of chemo, Jack musters the energy to obey the Physical Therapists requests to exercise by riding a pedal powered go cart around the unit. 

Like a young, black Mr. Rogers, he animatedly smiles and waves at his neighbors that are too sick to leave their rooms, bringing faint but appreciative responses. 

"Pete", his "pet IV pump" ever trailing at his heals, Jack pauses at the end of the hall and declares to a doctor working away at a computer, "You are a fine fellow!"

YOU are a 'Fine Fellow', Jack!

Day Zero, Minus 3.....aka-transplant in 3 days....

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Day Zero Minus Six-no turning back now!

Chemo started today:
 It feels like either we embarked on a journey to Forever... or the beginning of the end. 
 I tried so many times to imagine what this day would feel like, but couldn't. 
 Now I know why; its surreal!
They just pumped two different types of toxic chemicals into his body, in an attempt to save his life! 

Over the next few weeks, my beautiful boy will feel the effects of the poison in his body while I sit by and helplessly watch.
We could debate about the medical alternatives, the pros and cons of traditional vs. alternative forms of treatment, but that's each families decision.  For us, it was clear, this was the road laid before us and the one we chose to take.
Ultimately, we trust in a God that leads, directs, and is the one that heals.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

May the road rise up to meet you...

Today I realized that all my children will be home for Easter-Hurray!!!!

 A year ago, I never would have guessed at the enormity of that statement.  The last 12 months have seen changes that I could not have imagined.  God is good, life is temperamental.

I have learned that it is difficult to avoid looking forward without some element of fear.  Knowing there will be joys along the way isn't enough to calm a nervous soul; even though reminders of the sort are a favorite form of comfort from well-meaning friends.  The reality is that we are weak and vulnerable, and we know it.  Look at the animal world and you will see how the meek react in the face of danger.  They don't face it bravely, they run and hide-a very natural reaction.

If the turmoil in my life has taught me anything, its that I am living in a broken world.  I cannot change that and all the good thoughts I can think, don't make me any more prepared to face the hardships.  Good times are a band aid; they cover the wound and help keep out the infection of bitterness.  They don't prevent hurts, prepare you for them, or even make them heal any faster.

My life is filled with joys, I am thankful for them.  But my comfort comes from the fact that I don't walk alone.  That my Savior walks with me through the only Hell that I will ever know.  My comfort is in the knowledge that I don't have to like my circumstance; I can cry, weep, wail (which I am getting VERY good at, by the way), struggle, tear my clothes, and pull my hair out. But at the end of the day, I realize that I am the one that He has chosen to walk this path and by His grace, walk it I will!

The real danger in hardship is in working so hard to handle it 'correctly', we continue to look inward.
                                          (Please read that sentence again.)
 Focusing on every detail of our emotional state that we forget to look look UP!
If God thought we could go through our challenges the 'right' way (whatever that is),

 He never would have given them to us!


That's right.

 He knew we would kick, scream, get angry, be selfish, thrash around...and then, look UP.  Like a toddler that finally decides to quiet their fit and listen, we take a breath and do the same.  Then we listen, and we learn. 

We pick ourselves up, brush ourselves off,
                                  feel a little better for having gotten it all out,
                                                                                    take His hand ...

                                                              and keep walking!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Beautifully Broken

I recently began reading the book WRECKED by Jeff Goins, in it, he talks about how it isn't until you are truly broken or 'wrecked' by something, that you really start living.
David and I had just been talking about that same concept a few weeks ago. There is so much going on in our lives, enough to destroy us if we let it. And yet, we feel more alive than ever. Is that wrong? Is is a sick love of the dramatic or painful? Why is it then, that when one son is facing bone marrow transplant, another one is going through drug addiction, another is trying to graduate from high school, we are struggling to get our daughter with mental issues to live independently, we suddenly feel like we can taste and feel life in its most amazing sense?
Please dont get me wrong, these things are hard-EXTREMELY HARD. My heart aches with brokenness. There is NOTHING more difficult that watching your child struggle physically and/or emotionally. I have had more sleepless nights and shed more tears in the last year than probably my whole life combined.
Yet, even when I feel my heart stop in fear of the future, there is breath moving through me. I am breathing...or God is breathing into me. Sometimes, its all I have. The world seems to turn, while I stand still. Suspended. Separated. Alone with my pain. All I can hear is my breath. I listen, really listen, amazed at the wonder of it. Comforted by the rhythm of it. So very thankful for it. And know that it is not my own. That even the very thing that gives me life, is not my own.
This life, with all its storms and crashing waves can thrash and tear at me, but I will rise above it all, carried on the breath of the One who holds it all in His hands.