sunrise from yesterday morning. the clouds are on fire! ablaze with God’s mercy. i barely slept a wink (and binge watching the show parenthood until 2:30am didn’t help) praying constantly that dad make it through the night. he did. it turns out his white blood cell count was skyrocketing and dad’s doctor urged him to call family and say good bye. they gave him a strong drug, as well as the experimental drug and waited. dad wasn’t in pain, and actually slept that night. my mother by his side every minute. the next morning it showed this white blood cell count had actually dropped. not to normal range, but … wow … they dropped! a miracle that i ask is just the first of many. dad made it through the night. dad is feeling well today!
when i was a kid my small bedroom had a walk in closet, at one point, that was a comfy place to hide. my mom used this walk in closet for her own clothes. one day i must have been snooping around because in a cupboard in the closet i found a shoebox of letters handwritten by my dad to my mom. the letters were written when they in high school and dating. just about every envelope was inscribed with the acronym ‘s.w.a.k.’ – sealed with a kiss. i admit i read a few letters and it felt like i was spying on two teenagers awkwardly playing out their relationship. i was reminded of that box of love letters today. thinking about my mom watching her boyfriend, turned husband, turned lifelong partner knock on death’s door. in the last two months i have watched her hug and hold my dad in the hospital bed. her tender love. her tearful prayers. her gentle kisses. no kid wants to see their parents’ public displays of affection, but i relished it. i wanted that in my own marriage. i was watching two people truly in love.
my prayer is for my mom today. that she is spared from seeing the man she loves fade away. not now. let it be thirty years from now. i pray their love is ever more undying. unbreakable.
This photo was taken over a month ago when dad was undergoing first round of chemo. My brother had just shaved his head. An obvious sign of cancer. The last few days have been an intense, get-me-off-now, emotional roller coaster. One day there seemed to be little hope, yesterday good news. Today my dad calls me in tears. Tears. How can a daughter handle that? Her dad crying not knowing what not say. Good bye? Don’t let this be your final good bye. Dad asked me to pray that he remain comfortable tonight. In the morning they may try new drug. I’m praying there are a hundred new mornings for him and then some.
arise sunshine. warm us. entertain us. grow us. change us. heal us. i talked with mom yesterday and she said, “one day at a time.” what a way to live where every day is new. a gift, really. a day to live or die. dad’s cancer is back. in fact it never left. it is still ravaging his blood. the intense chemo failed its mission. so now we wait. again. questioning if this experimental drug will work. questioning God: “what is going on!??!!??!!” as the sun rises this morning i think of my dad who awakens to a new day. he is alive. but for how much longer? will we see the mighty, merciful hand of God at play? dad is going home tomorrow to try and live in the comfort of his home with his wife. each day is a gift. please, God, let my dad be gifted with thousands of more days.
this picture was taken new year’s eve. my last day at my parents’ house. my boy seen sitting on the couch. the magical glow of a christmas tree. i have not been taking pictures lately. life got in the way and i let it. instead, i have been thinking back to my time here just a few weeks ago. when i left my dad had just started a second, more harsh, round of chemo. today i found out it didn’t work. the leukemia cells are fighting back. and winning. the doctors do not want to put dad through another round of chemo right away. so they are sending him home with an experimental drug. our hope now lies in the unknown. scratch that. as a christian i should say my hope is in our heavenly father. it is. believe me. will he use this unknown drug to perform a miracle? i feel like this is what it will take. my dad has no other option now. before, we were hoping the chemo would work. it didn’t. now we hope. this could be our last hope. my favorite story in the bible revealing and intimate interaction with jesus is of a woman who was suffering with an incurable disease for over ten years. i’m sure she tried everything under the sun, placing her hope in all of them. until one day (probably right before she was about to give up) she heard rumors that jesus was in town. she found the strength to muscle her way through the crowd with such determination to just touch jesus. and she did. she reached out to cling to the hem of his robe. with tremendous faith that he would heal her, he did. the bible says jesus stopped dead in his tracks because he felt the power go through him. i believe jesus was there that day for her. he knew her ailment. her incurable disease. he loved her and had compassion for her and saw her tremendous faith. and he healed her. all she did was cling to his robe, clutching ever so tightly. i know my dad is clinging on. we all are. wanting to have God feel the power move through himself and wave over my dad’s body. we want to see a miracle.
how mesmerizing watching the swishing and sloshing of sudsy clothing spin around. i have not been to a laundromat since my husband and i were first married and used a laundromat across the street from our apartment. thanks to the laundry woes at home the piles of dirty clothes was growing exponentially. i mean, i COULD do laundry at home, but it was a pain in the butt. and i was tired of that pain. so i planned to drive to a laundromat that looked empty. i used 5 washers at once. it was thrilling. kind of. at least we have a plumber friend who will come by in a couple of days to fix our problem. i guess i couldn’t wait.
when it rains, it pours. and then it freezes over. we have lived in this drafty, old, on the verge of dilapidated house for eleven years now. it was our first home purchase, at the advice of my parents, shortly after our first year of marriage. it was cheap and the time was right. even if we were not literally in the market for purchasing a home. as newlyweds we were happing playing house in a loft apartment. but, like i said, to the much advising of my parents we signed on the dotted lines and were handed the keys on halloween night in 2003. every day i claim to love the house or hate it. i am sure every home owner has that luxury of feeling the same way. the reason we’ve stayed so long isn’t worth getting in to now, other than to say the opportunity to sell and move has not happened. instead, we endure. live. abide. in this tiny ranch. which is perfect for the three of us. we’ve dealt with leaky pipes, slow draining pipes, chipping paint, scary noises coming from the attic. finally, after eleven years i let my husband convince me to get new windows. no more putting up the dreaded plastic sheets to act as insulation that our windows lack. no more drafts. no more of what you see in this picture. ice on the inside of the house. granted it was at least -25 degrees last night. but it was supposed to be the last night of heat finding a way to escape. we awoke early this morning to move furniture and remove curtains. i was excited to behold new windows. that wouldn’t need a crow bar to wrangle open the storm window. that didn’t have rot on the sills. that were brand new. we waited for the installers to arrive fresh and early this morning. although they didn’t arrive early. they didn’t come at all. i was so disappointed! my heart set on such newness! newness that we are already paying for. where are you?! whoever got the date wrong is up for debate. i still think it was them and they scrambled to make it happen to at least come tomorrow. so. we will get the windows. a day later than planned. but i felt let down. deflated. until i went to to laundry.
we’ve had issues with our eleven year old washer. it doesn’t like to drain, rather overflow and flood the floor. unless i stand there during the cycle and stop the washer every time i hear the water gurgle to the point of over flowing. i have it down to a skill now. but it is a severe pain in the butt. tonight i successfully did a load of laundry, put the clothes in the eleven year old dryer and it stops working. you’ve got to be kidding me. i am not happy. in fact i feel terribly sad. i think i have felt sadness for the last month, but refuse to let it over flow. today i found out that a student of mine lost his grandmother last night. a woman battling cancer and lost. our son did not sleep well last night and so neither did i. although i may have slept a little bit when i crawled into bed with him at 3:30 in the frost bitten morning. another student’s father emailed me today to say that his son is struggling to the point of tears on his homework and doesn’t understand anything. this is not what he is paying thousands of dollars for, now is he, he writes, so why is the boy struggling? (why am i not doing my job, i hear) my dad is slowly recovering from chemo in a hospital that seems millions of miles away. the windows have ice on them. i feel my veins have ice in them i myself and so cold. the washer won’t drain right. the dryer won’t work. the window people didn’t show up. i feel beaten. like i have lost the match. today life sucks.