This is how I will forever remember my parents. This picture speaks a thousand words to me and when I look at it, I don’t see the wheelchair or the cancer. I see love. I see two people deeply in love speaking without saying a word. They know what the other is thinking. They can finish each other’s sentences. They know each other.
I’ve always been intrigued by the Hebrew word ya-da (pronounced: yaw-dah) which means “to know.” To know someone in complete detail. To know them completely. It’s not only how God wants us to know him but it’s how He intended a husband and wife to know each other. And they do. They’ve been married for 47 years. They met on a blind date and shortly after Daddy was shipped off to Vietnam. They wrote to each other all the time and recorded messages on those huge tape wheels and would mail them back and forth. After all these years they still have every single letter and a love that has only grown deeper.
For the last three weeks, mama has been asking when can she go home. We’ve had to tell her a gazillion times “soon, but not yet” or “we need you to get stronger” or “I don’t know, but not today”. And then the inevitable “well why not?” comes and we blame it on the Doctors. (Yes, we do blame y’all for a lot. It’s easier for us to make y’all the bad guys here instead of us, after all, we will be the ones living with her, sorry.) So today when she asked “If I pass my therapy tests and get my certificate, can I come home?”, we told her doctors be damned! If they won’t approve your coming home by Tuesday, we’ll bust you out. Just give us a day or so to put together an escape plan. And she was tickled pink at that idea. Just a week ago she was trying to sweet talk one of the nurses into tying the bed linens together to hang them out the window so she could shimmy down them. She’s ALL about escaping, can you imagine?
But for the last week we’ve noticed that she isn’t making progress with her therapy and her therapists have noticed it too. Daddy and I have the highest regard for HealthSouth and ALL of their employees, but agree that this is just too big and out of their hands. So, after hearing results from a recent MRI of mama’s brain and being told that there is more hemorrhaging, swelling, shifting of the midline and growth, we thought it was time to say enough is enough. And it is. So there will be no more therapy, no more hospitals, no radiation and no chemo. There will be lots of laughs, snuggling with her grands and her beloved doggy. Tons of kisses, smiles, hugs and many, many memories made. That’s why we’re coming home.
Daddy and I met with Hospice of Charleston and have arranged her coming home on Tuesday. She knows nothing about Hospice being involved and we think it’s best this way. If you visit her, please don’t mention it…..she does know that there will be lots of people coming and going to help us take care of her and she’s good with that, thank the Lord.
And that’s how we’re doing. We appreciate all of your cards and prayers and the many offers of help. Please keep us all in your prayers. We know the days and weeks to come will not be easy. We know the end reality but choose to focus on the here and now, one day at a time. I don’t think there’s enough Xanax for me to look too far in advance. (I ate one off the hospital floor the other day for crying out loud, now you know how desperate I’ve become) For now, we enjoy each day and we ask God to show us joy in each moment. And so far He’s been pretty darn good providing that.
“I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” ~ John 14:27
But God, I am troubled and I am afraid….so now it’s your turn….