here is my dad. bible in hand. mask on. heart alive. we’ve been here in virginia with my parents for four days now and dad has been home. yesterday he was feeling weak, but managed to still tinker and putter around the house. it seemed like there is always something for him to do: watch college basketball, fix the tire on his motorcycle, find something in the filing cabinet for mom, rest, live. and here he is on a sunday morning bringing testimony of what God is doing in his life. the tiny congregation of this church love dad (and mom). they even printed a ‘welcome home’ sign for him and hung it up on the back wall. they cry with me and pray with me and, too, expect something big.
dad realistically has a few months left. i cannot think about that. i cannot imagine life on earth without him. and i wonder what he is honestly thinking and feeling. what is it like to live knowing you may die soon? is he tired of living in this emotionally painful state of mind? what is it like to live with a cancer that is slowly destroying you? what is it like to wake up each morning, knowing you have another day, but it is one day closer to the end. the end. it is looming. not quite clearly seen, but you feel it near.
dad seems pretty healthy, though, and his normal self this week. what a blessing to have him home. a lot of hand washing and air hugs. he is very susceptible to infection. every time someone sniffled or sneezed we all held our breath and said a short prayer that it wouldn’t sicken dad. but he is not normal. he has cancer. a horrible cancer. a monster eating away at him. to help fight back dad is armored with a stockpile of drugs. they come in every color known. and the amount he has to take, and how many times a day, is mind blowing. for the last two weeks the drugs have worked, in keeping him alive.
will i be witness to God’s power? can God hear and be moved by the prayers of hundreds of faithful believers? maybe. maybe not. the look in dad’s eye that i caught once or twice was that of exhaustion. not defeat. but being done. he’s tired of the cancer beating on him. maybe he’s asking God to bring him home. this has been quite the wrestling, the struggle, the testing of faith and patience. if for me, then how much more for my dad? so we wait. and wait. and pray.