30 Jan

Farewell to yesterday’s road

Today my oldest son John would have been 43. I’d like to think he enjoyed all the partying that took place last weekend in his honor… a celebration of his life with a wonderfully loving group of friends and townsfolk who shared stories, played John’s music and toasted him with his favorite libation! Javalina Crossing-you’re my new favorite BCC hangout, and Tumbleweed Junction… my favorite band!

Soon after I wrote my last post, John passed with a sigh and a grunt.  I’d like to think the sigh was having at last reached the top of that Stairway to Heaven (“our song”) and the grunt? That was John pushing the gate of heaven open after his long arduous journey. I’m sure when I get there, he’ll be waiting.  I heard from many of his friends that he talked about me a lot more than I might have otherwise been comfortable with.  In fact, he was often described as a “Mama’s boy”.  …and that makes me smile!

In retrospect, I realized that in my last post, I was praying God’s will. Before then, even as I prayed and believed God for healing, He kept saying no. I’m thinking that even as ornery as he was, the Lord has some important work for him in heaven.  I’ll know for sure when my time comes. Though I expect it will have something to do with fishing or caring for all those dogs in heaven.

I’m on my way home tomorrow. Back to “usual” if there is such a thing after this particular road.  I’ve decided that I’m one month behind the rest of you and starting 2013 on Feb. 1— and did you know, they’re having a Super Bowl on my birthday!

1 John 5:14-15

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14 Jan

…waiting…

Sitting with my son John in hospice. It has been five days since the decision was made to rescue him from the debilitation his illness would have left him with. A life that he often said he wouldn’t want should that be the path his life took.  And so here we are.

He is looking very peaceful and comfortable thanks to the hourly medication he’s receiving. His breathing is fast, with an occaisional deep sigh. Each time he does that my heart quickens-and then he breathes again… and that is where the confusion is. To say I am torn is an understatement. I’m his mom, he’s my baby and here I sit waiting for him to die… or get up and walk out of here!

Over these days of waiting, his wife, family and friends and I have laughed, cried, had our “moments”, as we call them of weeping and wishing we didn’t have to be here. I know when I step away for too long, I want to be by his bedside…and yet I utterly despise that I have to be here at all.

I freely confess that I am angry! Angry with the Lord for doing this to me.  I wonder what kind of love this is, that He would allow my firstborn to go through all this, to hurt his wife like this, to cause this kind of pain to me- one who has been faithful to love, to serve, to do “all the right things” His Word directs.

I’ve talked a lot about Job in many recent posts…and as sad a tale as that is I cling most to one verse ( Job 13:15 ) . Not to say I always “feel” it, but it reminds me there is more to my current sense of sadness and grief.  I will still be here- and after the emotions I am currently experiencing have faded-my life will continue. The sun will still shine, and my Lord will be right there with me- and help me through (Psalms 23:1-6 )

I want so much for John’s body to cease its struggle for breath- to reach the top of that “Stairway to Heaven” -but Lord, the waiting is so very hard! I pray most of all for the waiting to end.

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09 Jan

Selfish vs Selfless

It’s not often that I write more than 6 posts a year.  As I share my thoughts on this unexpected journey-feel free to share yours. I’ve always believed in commUNITY and hope that what I write may someday help you, even as your prayers, love and support help me.

As this journey continues, the question remains for Dawn and I: “Are we doing the right thing?”

I have been here before. I’ve lost a husband in the past and while he died at an unexpected time, it was something I knew was coming. I
can’t say I was truly ready but it just occurred to me that at his passing he was just about my son John’s age..43.  I was there when my mom succumbed to cancer (age 58).  …and when my dad suffered heart and kidney failure and we said good-bye.

It is indeed true that the one thing we’re sure of is that someday we’re going to die. A common saying is that the only guarantee we have in
this life is “death and taxes”.  I know that many, if not all of us have given some thought to how we’d like to leave this world. Whether one is a
Christian who believes in going to our heavenly home after our time is done; or, as my beloved believes… that we just cease to exist- you
know that as those you love die, you’ve wondered what it will be. Is there more after our bodies succumb? To put it bluntly we come face to
face with our mortality. This life WILL end.

Knowing that John is never going to have a quality of life even 50% of what he once had, Dawn and I are faced with the choice to
discontinue curative treatment. Essentially, we would need to tell the doctors and nurses to no longer administer the antibiotics currently
being given. To take him off the ventilator that helps him to breathe easier. To stop the fever-reducing medication and the blood pressure medicine and just keep him comfortable. It means saying good bye to John-even the John that we wish we didn’t see in this helpless, debilitated state.

We want to be selfish and keep him with us. We want some indication that the doctors are wrong and that he’ll return to the John that made
us laugh, cooked a mean “whatever is in the fridge” meal. Called his mom just because he was bored so we could share music, discuss politics and what shows we were watching on the tube or internet. We want!!!

We’ve discussed what John would want too.  And even if we were to continue, where he is now would likely not change. He’d really never
return to us as we want.  Right now, it is so painful to see him lying in the bed, connected to multiple monitors and IVs and a respirator. It hurts to know that he would shoot us both for letting him remain in this state. And so, we’re going to do the self-less.

…and yet I pray even as Jesus did in Gethsemene “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”
(Lk 22:42).

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