Monday, April 19, 2010

Dad's condition these days...

tonight i am writing about my dad. it is so hard watching my father's deterioration. someone asked me which was harder -- losing Brian suddenly or watching my father lose his life over time. both are equally as difficult and neither are desirable. and personally, i think it sucks to be going through it either way.

I hesitate to write this as it is difficult for me, but here goes.

My dad has been told by his doctors that there are no more treatments that he
may receive. No more radiation. No more chemotherapy. The reason for this is because the treatment has become ineffective. It's no longer working.

And it's true. He would receive treatment and the tumors continued to grow, as
they do now. They are growing very quickly. The kids and I went away for an
overnight stay at a friend's and when we got home, I noticed a significant
amount of growth from the tumors; even new ones had formed. Also, the older
tumors have begun to weep and bleed as the cancer is eating through the skin.
The large tumors beneath or near his jaw have begun to displace it, making it
difficult for him to eat or drink. Honestly, my father looks very little like
his former self. His voice is changing, too, as the tumors encroach upon his
esophagus and throat area.

Dad's mood is melancholy as he worries about the coming days. I pray he looks to
the skies for the hand of God to bless him and the arms of Jesus to comfort him.
Though he does try to keep a good attitude for us sometimes, he is depressed and
emotionally and physically exhausted a lot of the time.

And so, family and friends, I write an honest account of the happenings here. It
is not easy. Mom is his 24/7 nurse, while dr's and nurses from hospice care have
now begun to visit at least once a week. I try to help when I am home, as I have
a new job that allows me to continue homeschooling the kids.

Please pray for us all here and give Mom or Dad a call or email to encourage. We
will let you know further in awhile, if more help is needed. Thank you for your

Saturday, April 10, 2010

yesterday marked 7 months since Brian went home to be with Jesus. it was a good day. i worked at the farm, went to a writer's group meeting, went to dinner with friends and my kids got to have a sleep over. for dinner, we went to our old favorite burger place, the buffalo inn in upland. that place brought back a lot of memories. and my friends and i talked about barbeque. Brian loved to grill. and he was so very good at it.

kind of strange though, i was driving home from my evening and i sensed that Brian was 'there'. 2 songs came on to the radio successively and both were songs that had been special to us. i was overwhelmed. i felt his presence strongly. i don't typically believe in that type of thing, but man, the sense was strong.

you know what else? Brian's dad came back in to town and the morning he arrived, there was a single bee hovering around his truck... not kidding! i haven't seen bees around here for awhile...

thank you, God, for the reminders and the triggers for memory...

Better than a Hallelujah....

i heard this song and it's so poignant. listen...

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Sunday

i find that Holy Week is draining; no matter how many times i have lived through it, my anxiety about his crucifixion is undiminished -- i am terrified that, this year, it won’t happen; that, that year, it didn’t. anyone can be sentimental about the Nativity; any fool can feel like a Christian at Christmas. but Easter is the main event; if you don’t believe in the resurrection, you’re not a believer.

"if you don't believe in Easter," owen meany said, "don't kid yourself -- don't call yourself a Christian."

john irving, a prayer for owen meany, pp 250-251

this above quote comes from one of Brian's all-time favorite books. i can remember him laying in bed at night reading this book and just breaking out in unadulterated laughter. he would try to describe to me what was happening but it just wasn't the same as reading it for myself. and i never did. we never laughed about the incidences in the book together because i just hadn't read it -- experienced it -- for myself.

i kind of feel that way about Easter in prior years. this year, Easter takes on a whole new meaning for me and for Brian. before Brian's death, Easter was only a symbol of the fact that Jesus was my salvation. i don't think the reality of it had truly taken hold in my heart. yes, i believed. but did i live under the truth of it?

and for Brian, he is now living out his relationship with Jesus, his salvation, in a real way... he is with Him, celebrating new life.

this Easter day, i believe i am living under the truth of Christ's act and God's miracle because it is my umbrella of hope for my salvation from sin and certainty that i WILL be with Brian again some day in a heavenly place, free from all the pain and hardships of this world. my heart is holding on to it. Jesus conquering the grave is so profound, i fear i am unable to fully describe the intensity of feelings i have experienced today. Easter has become my new favorite holiday because of my life circumstances now. i believe it and i want my life to show it. i pray that all people will come to this realization and that God will make himself known to all...

...and he is, even today! a 7.2 magnitude quake hit Mexicali today. we felt it all the way up here! wake up world! Jesus has risen, conquered the grave and WILL return some day... SOON!

what a wonderful comfort knowing my Jesus can make the earth tremble, move mountains, calm seas and rise again... all for me [and for YOU!].

i pray that all will come into relationship with Him... he is our hope and salvation. and He is the One who has gotten me through the past 7 months and will continue to help me in the coming days, weeks, months, years... until he takes me home.

Happy Easter everyone!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ian on the farm

ian loves my new job.... he gets to ride on tractors!