Friday, December 20, 2013

One Journey Ends and A New One Begins

I've been thinking about this position of starting a new journey.  I struggle a little with being defined in it.  Is it a journey of Widowhood or of Single Parenthood or is it a journey for my children of being 'Fatherless'? 

I suppose it is a little of each of those things.  However, though there may be those aspects in our lives, those things cannot be what defines us.

Who we are has not changed.  Yes, our circumstances affect us in various ways; but they do not change the essence of us.

Some of the unchanging facts are these: 

  • We have a loving God - a Heavenly Father - who created each of us for a purpose.

  • We belong to Him.

  • He will never leave us or forsake us.

  • If we let Him, He will guide us on this new journey.

We came to the end of that path called Cancer.

Now, we walk a new path; but we walk it in the same way that we walked the old path - one step at a time, living each day as God gives it to us -- and living it as best as we are able to do so.

I have no idea what this journey will look like.  I don't know what the future holds -- I never did; but God holds our future in His hands, and I know we are safe.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The End of the Path

The last several days were marked by consistent decline.  The delirium had returned.  Trent's overall condition was very much like the day I brought him to the hospital at the end of October.  (End in Sight)  There were also new issues that we did not deal with back then.

I let our pastor know.  I called family.  I sat with him - watching and listening.  I watched for signs of discomfort because he wasn't able to articulate what he was feeling.  I listened to his breathing.  I listened to his words, most of which stemmed from the delirium.  I tried to calm his frustrations that were coming from the strange messages his brain was sending him. 

Yesterday was definitely a more difficult day.  I knew we were incredibly close to the end.  I did my best to keep him comfortable.  The kids came for a brief visit.

I sat by his side during the night.  I dozed off here and there.  About 6:20 this morning, I was suddenly awake.  I knew.  Trent's suffering is finished.  He rests in the arms of his Savior.

I called my pastor, and we made plans for meeting with the kids.  There simply is no easy way to have that conversation, but it went as well as could be expected.  I am grateful far beyond words for the incredible support of our pastor and his wife.

So far today, it has been all about the details.  There are still many details to which I need to attend.

God has shown His incredible goodness and grace through all of this, including the timing and surrounding circumstances.  He is good!

Thank you so much for all of your prayers.

Friday, December 6, 2013

One Day at a Time

This past week was a little more difficult.  Thanksgiving Day certainly was different than any other holiday observance.  There were a few visitors and phone calls, but mostly, the day was quiet - quieter than usual since several of the residents were gone to be with their families.

The fact that it was a holiday week gave place to thinking about all of the changes that have occurred this year -- and those yet to come.

Of course, Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the 'Holiday Season'.  That, in itself, is hard to process.  I can't make plans.  At this stage of life, there isn't even a small degree of what can be 'reasonably expected'.  The best I can do is to formulate a few vague 'If / Then' scenarios.

Last week, Trent's wedding ring would no longer stay on his finger.  I asked him if he wanted me to wrap it with tape so it would stay on.  He handed it back to me and told me he didn't need it.  I had tried to mentally prepare myself for the fact that I would need to remove his ring at some point, but I was totally unprepared for him to hand it back to me.  It was hard.

Yesterday, there was a marked increase in Trent's level of fatigue and weakness. 

I think one of the hardest things I deal with is not knowing exactly where we are in this journey.  It requires me to continually surrender myself to the timeline that God has for us.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating:  The greatest comfort through all of the uncertainties that we have been through has been knowing, without a doubt, that God is in control and that He has a plan for our lives and that He loves us and will work His plan in His time.  Daily we see God's goodness to us.  He continues to provide for our needs and shows us His love through those who He has placed in our lives.

We appreciate your prayers for us as we continue our journey.