Soon enough this has become familiar shoreline and I stand at the edge as if I'm gazing out to sea-there's my dad-marooned on his own island, far away in a hospital in Boston.
That imagery is too strong. Our family and my father quickly found out how loved, appreciated, and highly regarded he is. Visitors have come who, drawn by his reputation alone, met him for the first time in the hospital. Family, friends, professional associates and clients have graced him with their love and it is not unnoticed that none of them live in Boston.
Highly relational, dad has easily made positive connections with the hospital staff and although what they're doing to him, (chemo 24/7), is serious business, they seem to have entered into an easy understanding of their roles and my dad's desire to connect with them. One of his nurses is Laura. I'm a little envious that she gets to be with him in this time.
Lest you think I've lost my place, I'm a little bothered that I haven't called him for several days. I warned both of us that on this end of things, I was quite scheduled for the weekend and therfore unlikely to call. And although this brief separation is planned, I miss his voice. I want him to hear mine.
I am one of the fortunate daughters. Not only do I have a father who I love and who loves me back, my father was the first to tell me about Christ, and while young and secure on his lap, dad witnessed my sinful heart flutter and then beat fully alive with salvation, sins washed away.
And my flesh and blood father pointed to Christ for as long as I can remember, and by word, example, and the fruits of the spirit has helped make it easy for me to understand, know, and love my heavenly father.
Flashes of gray in my dark hair, references to events in the 80's and before, and my ability to sing lyrics to musak in stores gives my age away. The years pass so quickly, and before another day goes by I want to stroke by stroke put words to the blessing of being a daughter. The medical community continues to tell us that dad's leukemia is "very treatable", but only by God's hand do any of us take another breath. So while we have this moment I'm giving thanks for my father, and offering humble gratitude to The Father who is the giver of all gifts.
Lots of fun pictures this week:
- A father and daughter, hand in hand,- legacy.
- We are rookie pleased that our cows weighed quite a bit and were noticably healthy when processed. For first timers we are fortunate that it was a good grass year, we didn't struggle with disease or pests, and none of us appear to be too "grieved" by choosing to butcher them on our property. Maybe we'll do ok at this farmer thing...?
- Our first snow fills us with joyful exuberance, even though it got quite cold, cold, cold!
- Beauty and creativity filled the historic auditorium and I watched my older daughters drink in the wonder of "The Nutcracker".
- A friend and I met for coffee, and although I hoped to encourage her, the blessing was all mine as we reconnected after several months of seperation.
- I am well! Medicine, rest, water, and my body fearfully and wonderfully made brought comfort and restoration.
- The plant that appeared to be "doing nothing" has burst forth and we watch and marvel at the miracle of life as green cells divide and multiply.
- Sun! That is never taken for granted during winter in West Michigan-
- New glasses-I've never worn them before and what a relief it is to see clearly!
- Savings enough to buy two Christmas Trees-one for us and another for a military family. How grateful we are for our freedom and the thousaands of men and women who have made it so.
- Dreaming and scheming with my oldest daugher at the fabric store.
- 24 hours-a respite for mother and daugher, away from the farm, chores, routines-falling asleep in the wee hours, still talking.
- Ever resourceful,and never taking ourselves too seriously, we add another layer to the tradition of going to get a Christmas tree-a generator and a sawzall to make the cutting easier, and after all, everything is better when a power tool is involved!
- Good care for my dad, and so far, no side effects from the chemo.
- Answered prayer for family waiting for news of a house to call home.
- And this, right here. A place I said I'd never be since I "hate" to write (bad attitude-I know), that's giving me new eyes to see and a heart that beats with the steady rhythym of joyful contentment.