Tag Archives: dad



found my way in dad’s workshop today. thousands of tools that have not been touched in months, and will probably find their way on a yard sale table one day.  dad had a true gift of making furniture. when i was younger i was sneak down to the basement alone and tinker with his tools.  i could never make a desk or bed or table like he did.

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dad’s closet.  it’s weird walking into a house that he lived in.  i am kind of grateful i did not grow up in this house so i don’t have a million memories piercing my heart and mind. but i was not looking forward to this day.  walking in to his house and seeing photos of him. seeing a rack of his hats.  seeing his closet (with the sweater he was wearing when i said goodbye last). seeing his side of the bed.  seeing his handwriting on papers in the office.  seeing him.  he is everywhere. truly, it is haunting.

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goodbye, dad.  i cannot fathom the fact that i will not see you again here on earth. never again.  how does someone live their life after death? my poor mother.

it was what i feared. i was awoken by my phone ringing at 1:56 am this morning.  “mom’s cell,” the phone lit up. i knew what she was about to say.  the words a mother never wants to tell her children. he passed away. and with that my life has changed drastically.  i will never see him again.  how could i sleep after that?  i lay there in bed trying to think of every memory i have of him. praise GOD there are too many to count.  the few photos i have of him, shown above, do not pale in comparison to the amount of memories i have of this kind, quiet, humble man.  a true servant of Christ.

he’s gone.

goodbye, dad.  i know i will see you again.

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my dad is under hospice care at the hospital. it is time. oh, to hold his hand one last time!  but soon he will be holding the hands of our savior and how much more do i wish that upon him than anything.

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my family. dad. sister. brother. mom.  it’s been a long time since we have all been in the same room, together, sans spouses, kids.  in the haunting early hours this morning dad found himself here again: duke university hospital cancer center. turns out the last round of treatment nearly a month ago killed all but a few rogue cells.  these cells decided to go on a revenge spree causing dad’s white blood cell count to rise and rise rapidly. after having a meal home together last night with kids and grandkids, he was feeling like he did last time. he was suspicious of the leukemia returning. and it had. we knew it would come back, but not this soon.  at least it waited until after family dinner. so here he sits. in a different smaller room, but surrounded by the same tender care and brilliance behind the staff of this cancer center.  and there we sat around him. talking about football, long gone family members, home repair dilemmas, who wanted dad’s motorcycle.  and then we prayed. barely getting a word out.  tears streaming down our cheeks. asking God to heal. to comfort. to get dad out of here.  what God does is his perfect will. i know that.  i just don’t know when it will unfold.

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what a sight to come home to. i leave my son and husband alone (for the first time for a couple of nights) and this is what greets me at the door.  i loved it.  a beautiful mess.  it showed me that they took time to play together. to build together. to enjoy each other’s presence.  that warmed my heart. my heart so raw.  my eyes are dried and i feel exhausted. but i’m home. i will go back to see my parents in twelve days. but for now we clean up with mess, and trudge on.

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I do not like hospitals. the last time I was in one as a patient was not a good one. Hospitals are supposed to heal, rejuvenate. But when I walked through the cancer ward today on the way to my dad’s room I felt the opposite. I felt the pain and suffering every single one of the patients (including my dad) was feeling. The air was thick with this feeling. These people are not going to be healed. That why cancer is pure evil. It may allow patients to survive, but the cancer will always be lurking.

Later in the evening as I left the hospital with mom I saw a window draped with thousands of ribbons. Each ribbon was color coded to at least 10 different types of cancer and each ribbon had a patient’s name on it.

imageA name of a survivor or not. If I had a pen I would have added an orange ribbon. I’m kind of glad I didn’t have a pen because I’m still in denial that my dad has this killer of a cancer. I’m praying it won’t kill him.

Cancer might take my dad away . Or cancer will let him live a few more years. The thought of “what if” haunted me all day.  I haunted  me when I left the house at 5:45 am.  When I was taking my seat on the plane. When I entered my dad’s room. When he winced in pain. When my mom showed up. When mom and I drove home. I cried every single time. Tears of “please, God….don’t let the ‘what if’ be today.” So. Now we wait. Which I’m learning cancer loves to make us do. Wait for improvement or not.

There is no doubt heaven is waiting. I believe there are millions of angel ready for dad’s arrival. Jesus himself will be holding the biggest “welcome home” sign of all. But I also believe God can heal. I pray for the latter. I pray God  kicks cancer’s ass.  Hard.  Let his will be done.  His perfect will. And may my feeble heart accept it.

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mt. washington. probably the most iconic site in new hampshire. i’ve driven up the treacherous auto road once. i’ve hiked it once. i even rode up on a cog.    the husband and i were able to have dinner and spend the night in the just as iconic mt. washington hotel and resort.  an old hotel boasting hallways similar to that seen in the movie, the shining.  it was nice to be treated to a delicious meal and enjoy a kid free night. no fighting bedtime routines. i was able to watch what i wanted on the tv. i could stretch out on the massive king sized bed (putting our queen to shame).  i woke up to the view above. and i  did not bring my camera.

for those of you who follow this blog and the story of my dad, the update is this: he is slowly getting well. all weekend, especially, i was holding my phone ever so tightly, in fear that i would get ‘that call’ from my mom that my dad has passed.  the phone never rang. in fact i didn’t hear from mom at all making me fear the worse. today i called and talked to them both. he will have another bone marrow biopsy tomorrow to see if the AML cells have been terminated. despite being weak, he is well.

please keep praying.

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woke up to ice covering everything. the trees. the grass. the car. the streets. the dead mum out back.  it’s been a week since my dad was hospitalized for what we now know to be AML. a form of leukemia. it didn’t help at all that someone i was talking to day about my dad said her own dad died of the same thing.  he lived for three years and then the suffering ended.  as christians we believe that there is a better place. heaven. a place that is more glorious than we could ever imagine. but when someone we love leaves us for heaven, we are left here. apart. separated. i don’t want to think my dad will be leaving us soon. in fact mom wrote to say he is doing well.  “almost normal.”  this initial round of chemo is ending today. they will do another bone marrow biopsy to see if the bad cells were killed.  but now he is at risk of infection. being at risk is what scares me.   what scares me is getting that phone call from mom, before i can be with her. that he is gone.  i believe in a God with whom nothing is impossible. yes. it is possible for God to heal my dad. completely. but will He?  what is His will?  we lay in wait.

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my dad. as soon as i got off the phone with my mom tonight i found the photo albums shoved in the back of my son’s bedroom closet. i was looking for a photo i know i have seen before of him holding me as an infant. i forever hold that image in my head when i think of him. a dad who holds me close and simply loves me. in my search i couldn’t find that photo, but several others, including the one posted above. a family posing one easter morning in bennington, vermont.  (that’s me in the pink three piece suit) my dad on the far left. mom must have taken the photo.

my dad. tonight, i found myself having a repeat conversation with my mom. dad’s in the hospital. again. he’s not a sickly man, but just getting old, i suppose.  three years ago it was a brain aneurism. last year it was a quadruple bypass. tonight i hear words like high white blood cell count….leukemia….bone marrow biopsy…chemotherapy.  but nothing determined until tests are done. mom passed the phone to my dad and neither of us could get as much as a ‘happy thanksgiving’ muttered. i think we were both trying not to cry. the man that held his infant daughter with such tenderness. i want him here, now.

our GOD who heals, please heal. our GOD who hears, listen. do not let this be what we fear it may be. administer your mercy.

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