Conversations With God

I have really been struggling since I wrote my last blog. I think I’ve said it before. I’m a planner. Usually I have some sort of an outline in my head as to what I’m going to write about. Now I will tell you, each time I’ve sat down to write with an outline or general idea in my head, God has taken me in a different direction. The difference is, I had an idea. I had an outline of some sort. I felt confident in sitting down because there was something there. Not lately. It’s like a black hole. It’s blank. I have nothing. I feel like a deer caught in the headlights.

I keep jotting down little thoughts and ideas in my notebook that pop into my brain. Lord knows if I don’t write it down, it’s gone in the next five minutes. Then I start to question myself. Maybe that’s all you have. Maybe you were just supposed to get on here write a handful of times and then move along. Well, maybe that’s true. How am I supposed to know? Where’s my burning bush? Can’t you just give me a word God? Well, that’s the thing. It was pointed out to me the other night in my recovery group that I just need to let it happen. I am listening to the voices of defeat and not even giving God a chance. This oh so wise person said, “You have got to stop trying to plan out everything. You can plan a lot of things but you are going to have to just let God move through you and stop trying to put him on a schedule.” Not planning is along the same lines as going to your job/school naked. Yeah, hermit status for the rest of my life. I want to feel confident before I step out and do anything. I want to feel like what I put forth is going to be met with acceptance and understanding and not get egg on my face or wow did I really say that.

It’s so funny because I used to think I was so confident back when I was drinking. I could talk to anyone, life of the party, dancing on the tables and sometimes the bar. What a false sense of confidence alcohol gives us and oh what it makes us step out and do. Talk about egg on your face or wow did I really say that or do that. We are more afraid of showing our true selves and being real with eachother than we are of being absolute idiots and making a fool of ourselves. That can just be chalked up to, oh, she just had to much to drink. Well that’s not the real me. I am more than that. Why are we so afraid for people to see us? We are afraid they just might not like what they see. It’s like the filters on Snapchat. Ya’ll better stop using those all the time and take some real pictures of yourself. Someone is going to see you in person and not know who you are. I needed to take that filter off. I needed to be me because it got to a point where I didn’t even know me. I had to start finding out who I was again and just where it was that I decided that I didn’t love myself enough.

So I took the advice and picked up my computer today. WITHOUT AN OUTLINE! WITHOUT A PLAN! She was right. That wise person in my recovery group. God knows what I need when I need it. Just like all the other times I have written. I may have felt confident but It was God laying on my heart what needed to be said. It is God writing this today. I just placed my fingers on the keys and started typing. The words just flow and you know what it’s like? It’s really like I’m letting you all in on a conversation that God is having with me. He likes to wait to reveal things to me until I’m typing here. Maybe he thinks someone else might need to hear something similar. My confidence needs to be in God. Not in how well I think I can write about a certain topic, or just how many ideas I have come up with.

It is a process to get to know myself. I have hidden away for quite a few years. I am learning through my conversations with God. I didn’t even realize until tonight that he was showing up in real time and having class with me each time I wrote.The more I remove the filters and remember and find that girl inside, the more I like her. The more I’m not ashamed. I may have done some shameful things but that does not define me. I am more than that. If I could just see myself as God sees me. Whoa!!!! Watch her go. Now that’s a Wonder Woman.

The Rock

Do you ever go to church and think, are you spying on me? Did God tell you directly to write that sermon for me? I almost felt a little paranoid this past Sunday. I was beginning to wonder if my Pastor hacked into my home security camera’s. I mean the worship music, the sermon everything it couldn’t have been more spot on. I haven’t been in a while with everything that has gone on. That’s no excuse. There is no good excuse. That is all the more reason to go and make time for church and to hear the word of God and be loved on. Sometimes we are so quick to be so lazy on the things that we need and are so good for us and are so quick to pick up the things that can do us so much harm. So I made it back this past Sunday and I do know that my Pastor did not hack into my home security system but he sure did preach. It was for me, and I’m sure others but God sure did give me ears to hear on Sunday. Now let’s do this!!!

I leave church and I always feel like when I leave its like a football huddle. We all have our heads together, we are all given the plays, we’re hyped up, ready to conquer, we have our arms around eachother in a great big circle kind of doing a little jumpy dance, the Pastor yells break and we all jump up and yell, GO TEAM!!! That usually makes for a great Sunday. There is usually good food on Sunday, Football (I happen to know that God is a Steelers Fan, he does have a Terrible Towel). But seriously, church just feeds your mind, body and soul. It always helps me get a handle on my week and I can sit down and break out my super planner and schedule for the next day. Each night I sit down and write out individual things I need to accomplish for the next day. I mean right down to when I’m going to eat breakfast. Don’t judge. So here’s the thing. I have a couple of things that I let steal time from me.

Like so many others I suffer from migraine headaches and I have for 20+ years. I think I have been on every medication out there and I continually try new things that come out on the market. I wake up on a regular basis with a migraine headache so that throws my whole day off. A lot of times it can take my whole day from me. Sometimes several days from me. I also suffer from depression which has a really good relationship with these stolen days. It’s very hard to suffer from a migraine and be down a day or two or more. I can send myself into a spiraling hole of depression. The struggle is real and it all takes place in my head.

It has gotten much better. There was a time quite a few years ago that I could not function. I could do the bare minimum. Which was take my son to school and pick him up. I think I managed to function just enough to get through the day. It really all came to a head when I decided I didn’t want to be here anymore. I thought Wyatt would be better off without the stress of me in his life. He would not have to continually worry about me. I know JT felt like a caretaker and that was no way for a child to feel about his mother. He should be a kid. He should be with friends, having fun not worrying about whether I was going to be ok. I just wanted them to stop worrying about me and I just wanted to stop hurting every single day. So I decided to stop hurting and take a bunch of prescription sleeping pills and attempted to cut my wrist. I was so tired by the time I tried to cut myself that all I managed to do was scratch myself. Wyatt was at home and he was working in the garage and kept coming in because he felt that something was wrong and I finally told him what I did. He took me to the emergency room and I was admitted to St. Mary’s Mental Health Ward. I spent almost a week there, they changed up my meds, I was released and began counseling.

There are a couple of things that are important to me to point out about that time in my life. 1: Prior to this happening I had changed Dr.’s and he had changed my depression medication. I had called him for a month. I had made 4 phone calls and told him I did not feel right. There was something wrong with these meds and I did not feel like myself and was feeling even more depressed than I was before I started taking them. Each time I was told “Just give it some time, they will get better.” The last time I called I was told, “Dr. —– can not help you. You are going to have to find someone else. You need to see another Dr.” 2. The first thing I said to Wyatt when I got to the car that day when leaving St. Mary’s “I’m so glad to be out. The first thing I want to do is go home, have a cigarette and a glass of wine.” It is very important for everyone to understand this. I am positive there was something wrong with my depression meds. I’m not saying it was the total cause of why I did what I did. It is very important that when you start taking something new that is supposed to alter your brain chemistry you let people around you know. That you Dr. is attentive and listens to your concerns. You know your body best. My Dr. was negligent in my opinion. He should have brought me back in. Those little warnings on the commercial or in fine print on the leaflet can and do happen. Pay close attention to your loved ones who are on these depression meds. It was also important to me to get back to self medicating myself with alcohol as soon as I got out but Wyatt and I weren’t identifying that as the problem. It was the depression. I’m pretty sure alcohol doesn’t mix with those meds.

I am so beyond thankful God brought me through that. I didn’t want to die. My family would not be better off without me. God has things for me to do! I wish I could say that I turned everything around from there but you might know by now I think I know better. I know that is a whole lot to take in and maybe more than you want to know. I feel like a lot of times as Christians we feel we are not supposed to talk about those kinds of things. We don’t suffer with depression, we don’t do things like try to commit suicide. We don’t smoke, we’re not alcoholics and we certainly don’t get committed. We’re all happy. We have Jesus!! Can you tell me where that group of Christians is because I’ld like to make sure I steer clear. I’m not sure of anywhere in the Bible where Jesus said if you believe in me life will be one big walk in the park. In fact just the opposite. – Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted me they will persecute you also. John 15:20 – In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2 Timothy 3:12 – strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” they said. Acts 14:22.

As believers we are going to have hardships that we come under, some more than others. Some of our own making and some not. No matter if from our own making or from God it’s what we do with it. How we get through it. Illnesses that can keep us down. Depression that can take over our minds and bodies mentally and physically. Substance Abuse that is slowly robbing us of everything we hold dear. A lost job threatening your financial situation. A bad marriage, a violent spouse and you don’t know where to turn. An out of control child and you feel like you are held hostage in your own home. Gossip spread about you that has no merit to it what so ever yet it is ruining your reputation. Compulsive lying and you don’t know how to stop. Death, expected or unexpected. There are so many trials we will go through while we are here on earth and each one that belongs to us can feel like climbing Mt. Everest. I can certainly say I have not done a great job approaching some of my mountains I have come up against. My initial reaction has not been to immediately turn to God. That’s our flesh. That’s the world. If you are in this world and of this world you have a lot of options. Drink your problems away partying with friends, complain, blame, send your problem away, violence, denial, look to false Gods. None of those will bring you peace. If you are in this world but not of it you have one place to go. Jesus. You have to face the truth. That’s not always very easy. I am certainly learning that. I’ve tried for so many years to ignore Jesus and use the ways of the world and it finally came crashing down. What I feel starting to form under my feet is that rock.

I’m building my house upon the rock. It’s going to take a while but that’s ok. No strong house was ever built in a day and you have to make sure your foundation is good and solid. I’ve got a lot of construction ahead and I’m sure storms are going to come and delay my work. I just need to know that this house will always have need for repairs and additions. She’s going to keep on standing but occasionally when those hurricanes rip through a shingle or two or three or even a deck is going to need replaced.

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had it’s foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mind and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:24-27

Big Wheel

This is hard for me to sit down and write. Looking back there is a word that comes up a lot in my writing. You may have noticed. FEAR!!!! I started writing in May in the hopes that it would help me face my fear. I felt God wanted me to share my story. My story of coming to sobriety. Finally admitting that I needed to get sober. The struggles, the victories, the pain, the joy and well just every day life. I never realized it would help me so much when I sat down and started pecking away on the keyboard. You all were such an encouragement to me as well and I hope I could do the same for someone out there. If you read any of my postings you know my Dad was diagnosed with brain cancer so my writing took a different turn, which was fine, it was what I needed and what my family needed I think.

There was a lot I learned during the time that my Dad was sick. I learned how much I love my family and just how special each one of them is. I learned how God is deliberate in giving each one of us unique gifts. When we use these gifts to serve the people around us you can see God, you can be fullfilled with God, you can hear God and there is no room for fear. I learned just how many people my Dad touched, how many people came to know the love of Christ because of my Father. I learned and gained so many amazing things during that time and was just awestruck at all the people that surrounded us. I miss my Dad greatly but as someone who sent me a message the other day said, “Let’s plan to meet at your Dad’s house by the street made of gold.” Isn’t that fantastic! This person and I have never met and don’t know if we will meet in this lifetime but we already have a future meeting set at my Dads house.

So, those are all wonderful things but I also learned that I have done myself a disservice by keeping myself isolated. Instead of learning coping strategies these last two years I have just kept myself in safe places that I can control. I feel the need to be transparent since I started this blog talking about my sobriety. My 2 year sobriety date would have been August 1, 2019. Well, I fell short of that. That’s really hard to say. In my first blog I had mentioned that it was time to step out. I was keeping myself closed up. I was sober but my coping skill was to keep myself from any situation in which I could be tempted or might be harmful to me. I just didn’t see the downfall in that plan. I mean I had done such a great job so far in controlling everything in my life. I could control my surroundings until I die so, this should not be a problem. This is the part whereGod says,” I thought you understood? Your not in control. We’re not doing it that way so I’m going to have to give you a push. If you didn’t learn any coping strategies, well now, who’s fault is that? Time to get out and do life.” (I put that in quotations because I really think that’s what he said as he was shaking his head) I could have made this easier but I seem to have an aversion to that. It wasn’t even alcohol that tripped me up. It usually isn’t your drug/substance of choice that gets you.

As an addict you know the exact moment the wheel in your head starts turning. I was sitting in the Dr.s office with my Mom and Dad. The Dr. asked if my Dad was having any pain and he said no. He said NO!! The Dr. said,” well, I’m going to prescribe you some pain meds so you have them on hand.” Big Wheel Keep On Turning……..Rollin…. Those pills sat there for three weeks. 60 pills. It wasn’t constantly rolling at first. It was slow but then it was creeping and slowly started to pick up a little speed. There was the fleeting thought to throw the switch and put this train on a different track. I could have said something to my Mom and had her put them away. I did not do that. I had stayed at my Mom’s for a week and it was really hard. My Dad was so weak and he really could not get up and down out of the wheelchair or bed by himself and that Friday my sister came in town and I was tired. I was heading home and she was taking over. Can you hear it? Can you hear the rationalization? Can you hear the excuses I’m making? Yes, I gave myself permission. I deserved it. He wasn’t using those pills. He wasn’t in pain, I deserved to check out. It wasn’t alcohol! I just need to be numb for a while and not think. So, that’s what I did. I checked out.

When I checked back in so did the guilt and that voice that says, “Are you kidding? You took your Dad’s pain pills? He has Cancer? What a loser? I knew you would screw this up. Wyatt’s never going to trust you. Everyone in your family is going to hate you. What kind of a person….? Well you might as well just be depressed. You suck at life.” I fought that battle in my head for over a week. It was torture. Meanwhile my Dad was put in the hospital and things progressed and a few weeks went by, decisions were made and he and Mom were moving into my house. I thought long and hard and knew that I could not have them move into my house without telling Wyatt and my Mom what I had done. Believe me I had thought about throwing my hands in the air and saying “What?! I don’t know what happened to those pills. That’s crazy. They just disappeared.” I knew that ultimately if he was coming to my house he was eventually going to be in pain and would need even stronger pain medication and I needed to be held accountable. I wanted to be there for my Dad and take care of him. I did not want to spiral down and end up in a really dark place. I needed to be there for my Mom. Wyatt and I put a lot of hard work into loving this marriage right where it needs to be and we will not stop! I will not sacrifice my relationship with my son. So, I sat down with them and was honest about what I had done. As hard as that was there is something about telling the truth. Yes, the saying is true, “The truth shall set you free.” There is nothing like the truth. You are lighter. There is no more hiding. You know where you stand. Others can either choose whether to forgive you or not. It may take some time to build trust back but you can. You just have to be willing to put the time in. If they love you they will forgive you. If you love them you will earn trust back and you won’t repeat that behavior over and over. I’m so thankful that I have a forgiving family. I’m so thankful I had a forgiving Dad. He helped me understand just how much more my Father in heaven loves and forgives me.

This has been quite a year for me so far. Quite a year for my whole family. I think we would all like for the rest of 2019 to be without incident. I could go for that. It’s time for me to get out and do life. It’s time for me to follow my Dads example and spread the word. I need to get that Big wheel turnin for Jesus. I want to be sitting here a year from now and saying, “I know the exact moment when that wheel started turning in my head and God was going to change my life!!” Big Wheel Keep On Turnin, Proudly for Jesus I’m burnin, Rollin, Rollin…..

Facing Fear

Where were you? Do you remember? I’ve heard most people liken it to knowing where they were when President Kennedy was shot. Where were you when you heard or saw the first report of something happening at the World Trade Center? Did you tune in at the very beginning when it was some type of explosion and no one knew how it happened? Did you tune in as the second plane hit and gasp in sheer terror? I think for the majority of us we know exactly where we were.

I was at home with a 6 month old baby living in Lafayette, Indiana. Wyatt was getting ready to walk out the door for work and JT and I had just finished breakfast. I think that was one of the most terrifying days of my life. I remember being in my living room after putting JT down from a nap and being so overcome with fear. I had no family near. All of my family lived in Virginia and North Carolina and I just felt so very far away from everyone that I loved in that moment. The only thing I could do was hit the floor on my knees and cry out to God and pray. I wept and prayed and buried my face in the floor and just cried to God for the people in the buildings, the first responders, for the people in the planes, the Pentagon, the plane that crashed in the field. I prayed for so many things that morning. That was the first day of many that I was glued to my TV crying and praying and hoping.

Our country changed forever that day. We have so many different tragedies that befall us and can give us a spirit of fear. Shootings and natural disasters, the fate of our government gives some people a spirit of fear. More terrorist attacks. You name it, there is a lot of things we could fear from the time we get up in the morning to the time we lay our head down at night. Well that is if you sleep. Maybe you are so afraid you have a hard time sleeping. I could just stay in my house for the rest of my life if I let fear overtake me. There is one thing that kept coming through during that time back in 2001. God did not give us a spirit of fear. – For God did not give us a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 We are not to walk around afraid or stay closed up somewhere so nothing happens to us. God created us to share his love with those around us. We can’t do that if we are afraid.

I always remember that scripture on this day every year. God did not give me a spirit of fear, in short. I think for a long time I thought I had that under control. I’m not afraid. I walk with courage and power and love. I was mistaken. I had a lot of liquid courage. I used Vodka to give me courage. I was lying to myself. I was so afraid. I did have a spirit of fear. I certainly wouldn’t compare my walk to those who have experienced the type of terrifying tragedies that I mentioned above. I was still fearful. Fearful that something would happen to me or my family. Fearful that I couldn’t raise this little baby boy to be better than me. Fearful that he would be just like me. Fearful that I wasn’t a good wife. Fearful to go out in public. Fearful of me. Fearful of who I am as a person and not letting anyone know who I really am. That was my biggest fear of them all. I conquered my fear. All it took was alcohol. That conquered a multitude of fears. Really it just turned me into a drunk. Then I was just afraid that someone would find out how much I was drinking and how often. ‘Round the mountain we go. I thought I was conquering my fear when I stopped drinking. I really just found another way to hide and I’m ready to face this fear head on.

So today on this anniversary of 9/11 I want to take time to remember all the people that lost their lives, all the people that fought to save lives on this day. All the families that were affected by this senseless tragedy. This was just such a far reaching act of terroristic proportions that one can not name all those that were possibly affected. Lets pray for God to wrap them up today especially but every day in his peace and that they are drawn closer to him. Lets face our fears with a spirit of power and of love and of sound mind. – What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31

His Gift

It’s been a little over two weeks since my Dad passed. He passed away on August 23rd. I miss him very much but the funeral wasn’t as much of a funeral as it was a call to know the Lord. That’s exactly what my Dad would have wanted. Several people stood up to speak about him and how he had touched their lives and how God had come into their life through my Dad. There was laughter and there was tears. My Cousin Bryan spoke and my nephew Nick spoke. They led the service. They both did an amazing job. If you walked in there unsure of who God is and how much he loves you, you walked out knowing the truth. (If you were listening)

The Gospel was spoken on August 31, 2019 at 2:00 PM. It was a celebration of my Dads life and a dedication to the man he was. That was the overwhelming theme. I never heard my Dad or anyone that knew my Dad say he was afraid to talk about the Lord no matter where he was or who he was with. That was who he was and I hope is what everyone that walked out of there will remember about him. He loved Jesus. All you had to do was be listening and have your heart open that day and you could have received the greatest gift you will receive in a lifetime. The gift of Jesus. The gift of eternal life. The gift of being saved. Not by anything that you or I could do. Not by trying super hard or finally earning the right to have him give you that gift but by believing. God loves you as you are, where you are and you just have to accept him and know that he died for you on the cross and shed his blood for you as a sacrifice to wash you clean of your sins. He was buried and rose three days later and ascended into heaven where he sits at the right hand of God where you will see him and live there eternally when you die if you accept him. If you didn’t know that before you walked into Monaghan’s Funeral Home you should have known it when you left. That was my Dads parting gift to all that gathered there that day. I know seeds were planted and they will just need to be watered by the next gardener God puts in the path of those open hearts.

You don’t always get to see the seed you planted flourish in the spiritual world. Sometimes you might not even know that you actually planted a seed. I was so blessed that day to meet a man that I had heard about through the years. Winston Parker. I met him his wife and daughter. This man, if I have the story right, had asked my parents to come to church on many occasions when they were young and I think living the young fun life. I think it may have taken quite a few invites for them to finally go. This man was the reason my Dad accepted Christ. How amazing is that!!! What an awesome sight for him to see. That 50ish years ago he invited a couple to church and they finally came probably to get this guy off their back so he would leave them alone and this is what came of that. That makes me want to shout with joy! Through him Christ has been shared in countless places, throughout the world and will be shared down through generations to come. What a legacy for Winston and what a legacy for my Dad. It was an honor to meet him that day. I am so glad he was able to see the fruit of God’s good work working through him. So the lesson here is, never stop asking. Maybe that friend or couple or co-worker will come to church with you just to get you to stop asking. Maybe that’s all it will take.

What a life my Dad had and how blessed am I to be a part of it. To have been able to call him Dad. It wasn’t a walk in the park for him. He wasn’t a man without faults. There isn’t a man without faults but he did a great thing. He shared this great gift that is more valuable than all the riches in the world. Thank you Dad. You are still my hero. I will see you again and if there’s a DVD player in heaven we can watch The Storm of The Century if we can get God to make it snow. Maybe they have streaming up there. Haha, I’m sure there will be better things to do than watch movies.

My Dad, My Hero

Jesus Is Waiting

I am at a loss. I have been trying to blog since we came home from inpatient hospice on Monday. I have written and deleted I don’t know how many times. Nothing seems right for me to put on the page. I’m all over the place.

We were given such a gift from God on Monday. Dad woke up, is how I like to describe it. It’s called a rally. It’s very common for a person to have a rally as it gets closer to the time that they are going to pass. He was alert and he wanted to eat and we all got to spend some time with him. I think we all got to tell him things that we thought we weren’t going to get the chance to tell him. I had the chance to tell him I love him again. I had the chance to hear him tell me he loved me. I was able to hold his hand and look in his eyes and let him know how very much he means to me. What a good, good, father he is. I don’t want to let him go. Looking around the room at all the people that had gathered to spend a moment with him and love on him was overwhelming. There must have been close to 20 people in the room. A person isn’t surrounded by that many people if they did not touch all those lives in some special way. The room was lit up with laughter and love, tears of joy and tears of sadness. I went to bed that night feeling like I had been rushed from the bottom of Mt. Everest straight to the top in about 5 seconds. Cold wind rushing in my face, snow hitting me and standing on the top peak with the sun shining down on me warming every part of my being making me feel alive.

Only to wake up the next morning and find that he had gone back inside himself again. As fast as I had been whisked to the peak I had been dragged back down to the valley and the trip was exhausting. He was still somewhat responsive and could call us by name. We were still able to talk to him and understand if he was uncomfortable or in pain or not. He was still able to say I love you but that spark that had been lit the day before was slowly going out. Little by little he has traveled inward until he is unresponsive. We might get some sort of an answer every now and then when we talk to him and ask him questions but I believe he is battling now. He has many conversations, most of them we can’t decipher but he is talking to someone. The nurse explained so many things to us about the mind and the body and how they fight against eachother. His body is struggling and is tired and I think he is ready to rest but his mind still wants to stay and isn’t ready to quite let go. He is having hallucinations according to the nurse and I like to think he sees his Mom. Meemaw is sitting in her rocking chair chuckling and shaking all over and can’t wait to hug him and show him around. I’m so excited for him to go and sit and talk with Jesus. I know he is going to have all his quesions answered and I can just picture his face full of light and love and joy when he sees the Father. At the same time I want to be selfish and hold on to him. I know it is time. I don’t want him to suffer or be in pain or struggle to stay because he thinks we are not going to be ok. I have told him it’s ok. He can go. As much as I will miss him and mourn his loss I know I will see him again. That’s what makes death so bearable. I know he knows Jesus as his Lord and savior. I know Jesus as my Lord and savior. I know where he is going without the shadow of a doubt and I know where I am going. So I know we will be reunited. Death is not the end. It’s just the beginning. We are only on this earth for a short period of time. If there is one thing my Dad would want anyone to know who is reading this or who knew him it would be Jesus loves you. Jesus died for you. Jesus rose from the dead for you. You can have eternal life and live with him in eternity if you just believe and accept him as your lord and savior, admit you are a sinner (as we all are) and believe he died and rose from the dead and is the one true Son of the living God. He will wash you white as snow and you will be forgiven. You will have eternal life. So you see, earth is just a short journey and we should certainly live and love and spread the love of Jesus Christ while we are here. Death is where our real life begins. It’s where we are made whole again if we so choose and to live in peace for eternity or to be separated from God for all eternity. That is the true definition of hell.

So while I sit here today by my Dads bed and watch him labor to breathe and struggle with a foot in both worlds so to speak I pray that he will hear us and know that it is ok. I love him with all my heart but Jesus is waiting and I will see him in a short while where we can sit and talk just me and him on the steps.

What’s Most Important

I am laying in the hospice suite at Regional Memorial tonight getting ready to go to bed. My Dad was taken to the ER yesterday and then admitted to ICU. Now the day before, Friday, he was at Sheltering Arms, where he had been for a little over a week doing physical therapy getting his strength back and was walking with his cane and going up 3,4 steps and coming down them. He was doing really good. We were looking forward to him being released the following Saturday and coming home. We just wanted to take care of him and make him comfortable. Let him feel the sun on his face, feel the breeze be surrounded by the people that love him the most and would do anything to make this process as easy and pain free as we could.

He had a heart attack! Yes, I know. That’s not in the script. We didn’t plan for that. We have everything lined up just so and that doesn’t involve a heart attack a trip to the ICU and my Dad dying at any time now. He has a year to a year and a half. Oh wait, no probably a year, that’s more of what we should expect. Well, now we are thinking more like 6 to 9 months. Wow, this really is a tragedy. We did not think this was going to play out like this. We thought we would have several rounds of chemo, radiation etc. etc. This is just not how we saw this going. These of course are not the exact words from the Dr. Some, but you get the general idea. We are just a little under the three month mark. How did we go from a year and a half to we might not even make it to three months? How did we get here? This just happened so fast? I’m not ready? I have plans, I’ve rearranged my house for him to come stay there. I want him to sit on the front porch with me. I want to read to him, take him on walks. My Mom is not ready. She has plans for things she wants to do or say I’m sure. My brother and sisters, his grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends. We have things to do and say and want to have that one special moment in the time we have left! It’s not fair! Don’t take that from me God!

I needed to take a minute and get myself together. I have calmed down a little. I forgot during all my planning that I wasn’t in control. I haven’t been in control of any aspect of this since the very beginning. Nothing about this cancer has gone the direction we thought it was going to go and everytime we get comfortable a curve ball is thrown our way. I don’t get to plan my Dad’s last days. The hour and the time, the when and the where. Is there comforting music playing. Is he surrounded by all his family. Have we all gotten to look in his eyes at least once since this started and let him know how much we love him, how much he means to us, how much we are going to miss him. How JT and I know that if we ever saw an alien he is the only one that would ever believe us. How he can look at me and know if I’m not doing well I can talk to him about anything, if I need to call him in the middle of the night to have him pray for me or anything there is never a question he just does. That no matter what I have done in my life I know my Dad loves me unconditionally. PERIOD!!

I don’t know if anyone got to say or do all they wanted. I don’t think there would ever be enough time to be honest with you because the list would go on forever. I do know a couple of things though in thinking and writing all of this out. As I wrote this I saw how many things that I listed that I wanted to make sure I got to do and I got to say and I wanted. It’s not about me. It’s not about my comfort. It’s not about making sure I get to take care of my to do list so I feel better. This is about my Dad. All those things are nice and great and movies play out so wonderfully when they show how everything just falls into place so naturally and beautifully. Well that’s not real life. What is real life? What? This is so hard. Losing a parent is just not even registering correctly with me right now.

I want my Dad to know he is loved. I know he knows I love him. I know he knows through this process he is loved by more people than he thought. More people have reached out, visited, sent cards, called, texted, done acts of kindness the list goes on. My Dad was overwhelmed by the love he received and the places it came from. Every hospital we had to go to for even one day do you know what we heard over and over. Wow, he really has a lot of people that love him. We take over a waiting room when we come in. It’s a lot of people. When we were waiting during his brain surgery the Dr. came out and said whoa, you guys have your own rugby team here. A lot of people love him and we all rally and love on each other. I know I’m bias but my Dad has the best family in the world.

I want my Dad to be comfortable. He is. That’s where we are now. He is comfortable. It wasn’t my step by step plan, it was God’s. I keep forgetting I’m not his assistant. My brother Buddy made a statement that this might have been better for him and for us than to have him struggle and suffer months on end from the effects of the brain tumor. I never thought about that. He would slowly lose control of the left side of his body. Sight, movement, feeling, speech and much more. Is that what I want so I can sit on the front porch with him or take him for a walk. I think not.

So Lord willing we will be able to move him to my house tomorrow so he is in a familiar comfortable place, we can fit a lot of family in and people can stay the night but that is in Gods hands. He is a good good Father and he knows whats best for my Dad and that’s what’s most important.

(Just a little side note. I am super tired and I typed this and proof read it without my glasses on so ignore any misspelled words or crazy ramblings. I just wanted to get my thoughts out tonight. Thanks ya’ll)