(Backing Up Note)
When I last wrote, we had taken a break from all our demands to go hiking for the day on Mt Hood. Picturing that still makes me smile. Once we came back down into civilization things went into high gear and the memorial for my husband's uncle pretty much consumed our week.
Between meeting with our pastor, scheduling a time for him to meet the family, and doing the food shopping for the memorial luncheon; Wednesday came all too quickly.
Because I was blessed with so much help, the long day held many joys and sighs of relief. Puddin', Pippin, Rixxi, the ones that I affectionately have claimed as "my boys", and a friend from church all rolled up their sleeves to be my extended hands in preparing service and food for 60 people. There was always at least one of them right next to me ready to receive a commanding request before I could even think of all that needed to be done.
The family was blessed beyond belief and kept saying over and over how everything was better than they had possibly imagined. That in turn blessed me. My goal the whole time was to be able to give the family opportunity to focus on one another during such a difficult time without having to deal with details.
San Antonio Here We Come
Up until the last minute of leaving it seemed we were trying to get everything accomplished. Shopping, visiting with friends, laundry, packing.......haa haa packing. I can't even remember why now but I didn't pack until 1am and we had to be out the door at 7am. It made me laugh though as I tossed this that and the other into my suitcase. I just knew that opening my suitcase later would be something like the surprise of Christmas presents as discovered whatevers showed themselves at my final destination.
The flying was a bit more difficult for me this time. I needed a lot of concentration this time to ride out turbulence that wanted to rob both my stomach and my nerves of any sense of control. Hubby and girls enjoyed the ride and Hubby tried ever so greatly to be supportive and take my mind off the bouncing. But being a 20 year veteran fly-boy tickled his adventure bone a little more than his desire to comfort. I am laughing about it now. His proclamations of "Wow! Look out the window!" as the plane banked and bounced gave me a strong memory of ..............
There I was in a hospital bed at 20 years old preparing for the birth of our daughter. He hated the thought of me being in pain. It tore him up to see me like that and he paced the room desperately looking for something to take his attention. That was when his eyes fell to the contraction monitor and his mind started figuring out how to read it as he asked me questions about my pain threshold. Then he proclaimed with something of excitement mixed with awe, "Wow that is the highest peak this monitor has drawn yet. Can you feel it yet? Wow! I bet you can really feel that one."
See isn't that funny and cute. I love memories.
So here we are now in San Antonio. Everyone has been by to say their hellos and give out generous hugs. Daddy is finishing up another round of chemo and will have a week long break starting tomorrow. He has more energy than I expected but I can see tell-tale signs that it is affecting him. His hair is falling out now and his face is looking a bit drawn. The palms of his hands and feet are peeling and have a heightened sensitivity and his tear ducts are continually leaking. But he is still Daddy.
He is my Daddy and I am so grateful to be here. I sat with him for a while this afternoon in the sun room and I could tell he was physically a bit uncomfortable and emotionally troubled. I asked him if I could pray with him and he answered yes with hopeful and grateful eyes that hadn't yet looked directly at me since I arrived. We prayed for my step-brother serving in Iraq and I prayed strength, peace, and encouragement over Daddy. The resolve of hiding in the label of "strong daddy" was gone and unashamed he wept in my arms as I whispered in his ear that he is not alone and not ever forgotten.
I am so grateful to be here.
There is something else that I want to talk about here and don't really know how to do it except to be forthright.
My dear cherished friend, Kevin Wecker, lost his battle with cancer on Sunday and went to be with God. The cancer that came over his body was so consuming and violently quick. He left behind an amazing family, a wonderful wife, and 3 small children. Though I know he is so peaceful now with God, I grieve for his family and the memories never made.
I have so many smatterings of memories in my mind swirling around of Kevin.
We met in high school drama class and quickly became inseparable. I was all of a week and a half older than him and he never let me forget it. In high school he was my confidant, my protector, my friend. Everyone always predicted we would become an item and you would have thought with our hand holding and endless phone calls we would have. Once we even kissed in my parents driveway. I think we were both looking for the obvious next phase in our relationship. But the funny thing was when we both pulled away after the kiss and said, "Nah that was too weird. It was like kissing my brother." When college hit, we went our separate ways and supported one another from afar. College, work, families, life..........every few months one of us would call the other and we would catch up. A few birthday parties, a couple of comp ticket hockey games, emails of what God is doing in our lives. They are spinning through my mind and I am trying to store them under mental lock and key.
Father God, I pray your peace over Kevin's family.