Recent Things That Make Me Smile
Puddin' sent me a text recently that said this; "Guess what! My birthday is on 5th Sunday! That means I get to play drums on my birthday this year! and be at church!! :D "
Her excitement tickles me to no end.
And I am so excited for Pippin. For a couple of years now she has said, "Gosh it would be so fun to get a job at a coffee shop." Well, she just got hired on at a coffee shop down the road from our home. She is officially training to be a barista. That's my girl. Wish I could go in and watch her shine.
Here in Texas
Here in Texas I feel like we are in this...state of...transition of...I don't quite know what it is but I know God will get us through it.
Tomorrow Daddy will attempt another round of chemo at a 50% strength level. We did it once in July before he fell and there were side effects. But we figure that was with round after round built up in his system. Now that he has been "clean" for 2 months and he has the medi-port in his chest he feels obligated to try. The doctor says we will do 2 or 3 rounds over the next few weeks and then run a scan to see if the new lesion responds to treatment.
Our days have been good but the nights seem to creep up with a unique set of problems. As Daddy gains his strength and feel more sure footed he is wanting to assume more independence. The problem is that it doesn't always work out the way he plays it out in his mind before hand.
Last night proved to be a climax of night time trials. I stirred awake to the tap-clicking of little Tia pacing the wooden floor. Evidence of her upset tummy was all over the kitchen. But that didn't faze me at all because my immediate realization was what I saw in the den. Daddy's chair (he sleeps in it) was empty and the walker was next to it and no IV pole in sight. I found Daddy in the sun room getting ready for a cigarette in the dark. He had used that pole, the very same pole he had tripped and broke his hip with, to 'steady' his walk across the room. I was absolutely livid but knew enough to keep my mouth closed for fear of saying/doing something to hurt his heart.
I spent the next 2 hours on the couch praying for God's attitude and words while he settled into a comfortable sleep. I felt frustrated. I've bent over backwards to make things convenient and accessible for him. He knows he is not supposed to walk with that pole but he stubbornly did it anyway. I felt sabotaged.
"No Julie. This is not about you.", God said. "He is your daddy and he is worried about you taking care of yourself. In his mind, what else can he offer and provide you as a parent but a few hours of uninterrupted sleep. Getting up on his own is his way of trying to be a provider. He has been stripped of so much independence and freedom and in some way this is his offering to you."
In the morning we sat quietly together, neither broaching a topic because of the proverbial big elephant in the room between us. Finally I said, "Daddy I know that it has to be so hard for you to not be able to do so many things that you used to do. But please Daddy, please don't walk with that pump." He looked at me and I saw a flash of wanting to argue glint in his eyes. But then he softened and said okay with a sigh.
You know, we can all imagine what we would do and how we would feel in his shoes and I am sure he has thought all kinds of logic through himself over these last several months. But to actually be at these pinnacle points is all together different. After a few minutes he began talking to me about how hard it must be for me to have to clean up after old dogs and a sickly old man all the time and how much easier I had it caring for my husband and 2 teen girls.
Truly it is not often that he lets himself go down a pity type of path and I mentally gave him a "free pass card" before he even finished talking. I know it is only satan wanting to whisper to him that he is a useless waste of time.
With tears in my eyes I looked him square in the face and told him that it is my honor and privilege to be here. Anything and everything I do; whether it is cleaning up puppy potty, watching him sleep in his chair, laundry, medication management or just sitting and talking....it is ALL done 100% out of my love and it is my offering to give. It doesn't matter how anyone else views it.
With that the dam of emotions broke. He held out his arms and cried into my shoulder.
So far Daddy isn't showing and chemo effects. He has been dabbling more with eating and has been awake a fair amount of the day.
The nights have been broken for me every couple of hours with sick dogs or doing particulars for Daddy. Strangely I don't feel tired. God must be replenishing my sleep.
A couple of days ago I stepped out of the house to do a couple of short errands but ended up being longer than expected. The truck started to overheat. I flipped on the heater, rolled down the windows and pulled over to my cousin's house to let him do a quick service while I called Daddy to let him know. By the time I made it back home, Daddy was red faced and teary eyed meeting me at the door with an embrace. I think he was frustrated that his truck didn't 'take care' of me. I think he was worried for my safety since I took longer than expected. I think he is so used to having me around that he really felt the weight of being alone for three hours.
Yesterday I stepped out to finish my errands and it didn't take too long before the truck completely became unusable. I don't know what the small belt is called that broke but it snapped and shot through the fan belt which made the fan belt jump and suck up into the fan housing unit. The tension caused the time worn water pump to blow and then my steering locked up. Once again I called my cousin and he happened to be right around the corner. Daddy called a tow truck for me so we could put it in the shop over night.
Once again Daddy was worried and so apologetic that I had to deal with truck problems. Again he greeted me with big hugs and worry across his face. I laughed and told him that I thought it a grand adventure and saw God through the whole thing. I was on the main road when everything locked up but I was still able to pull around through traffic and into a parking lot around the corner with safety. I think that is really cool and I imagined God's hand holding the steering wheel with me because I was able to turn it and I never panicked. Plus having my cousin right around the corner where he happened to be running errands was more proof of not having to be alone. I told him stuff happens and we have a choice on how we react to it. I thought it was just spice to the day.
So here we are now at Friday night. It has been a full day of friend visits and birthday celebrations. We went out tonight to a burger joint and Daddy was able to eat part of a chicken burger. I did give him a bit of extra morphine before leaving the house to help the evening along but I think it was encouraging that he even wanted to go out and try to be with everyone.
When I look back over the things I have written I sometimes wonder if you tire of what I imagine can seem depressing circumstances. Thank you for letting me share my days with you. I pray that two things always get accomplished. One being that I can sort out my thoughts by journaling. The other important thing I pray is as I ramble on that you see God through our real circumstances. Our days don't always fall together like a little flowery storyboard but no matter what.....we are never alone.
I pray that you have an amazing destiny filled week.
Know that you are so important and loved.