I know there aren't many of you reading this. I hope that those of you who are will forgive my indulgence as I catch up a little (or a lot), because I'd like to have a written record of these events. If you aren't in the mood for a novella, skip ahead. Once I get these thoughts recorded, I intend to forge ahead with the regular posting, for better or for worse!
But this summer's events mark many turning points in my life and the life of my family, so I need to place an Ebenezer stone here. I need to remember what God has done and is doing.
- We started this summer by investigating and eventually proceeding with a new adoption agency. Friends of ours used them and recommended them to us. You may remember that I mentioned that we were pursuing adoption here. Yeah, way over a year ago. The desire and call didn't go away, but we were scared...and feeling kinda old...and we drug our feet. Well, God blessed us with these friends who introduced us to Generations, and the more we've learned, the more excited we've become. We spent the summer making preparations and filling out our initial application. More on this in a bit.
- My parents began planning a move to San Antonio. We were all so delighted, and were looking forward to living in the same area again.
- My dad (who had 2 rare blood cancer disorders) started chemo to build up his blood. This kind of chemo actually makes the patient feel better and stronger. He seemed like the old Daddy, with lots of energy and enthusiasm.
- My brother closed the doors on his woodworking business. The change in the economy was making it less than profitable, and he was feeling a tug toward a more ministry-based career. He and his family made several visits to SA as well, as he visited with area churches. We were blessed to spend time with them.
- While we were still in the process of working on our application, Mom and Dad had a buyer for their house, so they came to SA to look for homes. The buyer had to back out and the sale fell through. They (together with their realtor) planned an open house to reintroduce their home on the market. Brian and I went down to the Valley to help prepare for the open house and to celebrate Brian's mom's birthday. Our whole family spent a great weekend together, celebrating with a delicious meal, working on the house, relaxing in the pool, etc. Brian & I left the Valley on Sunday evening, July 19th to return to San Antonio. Brian had made secret plans with both of our families to meet in Comfort the following weekend to celebrate my 40th birthday (a bit early).
- On Monday morning, July 20th, my mom called me to let me know that my daddy was running a fever. We'd been through this before, several times, and she just wanted to let me know so that we could be praying for him. A bit later, she called to say that she was calling an ambulance because he was unable to get out of the bed. What followed were several hours of spotty communication, as we waited to hear what was going on and how he was doing. He seemed to rally at times, then falter at other times. Late that night, I spoke with my mom and my brother, as we tried to decide whether I should return to the Valley. Everything was too uncertain, and we were having a hard time reading the reports from the doctors. We finally agreed that I would wait until Tuesday morning, and then decide. Brian & I decided I would go by myself, and that if things became more serious, he would join me later. This was hard, as I haven't traveled by myself since we were married.
- On Tuesday morning, July 21st, I stopped by the office to pick up some things to work on, then started heading to the Valley. I was shaky and teary, and worried about my daddy, but God was just blessing me with the best worship time. I felt He'd chosen special music to play on KLove. About an hour out of town, I called Brian to ask him a question. He told me he wanted me to come back and get him. I asked him why, and he told me he didn't want me to drive alone. I asked him if something had happened, and he told me that my daddy was already with Jesus. The official cause of death was heart failure/pneumonia. His body just gave out. I was shocked, because the chemo had allowed him to be so hearty and happy the last few months. He'd been so...so...alive on Sunday! This was the hardest day of my life, thus far. All of us were hurting. We grieved. We prayed. We loved. And then...then...we rejoiced!
We rejoiced, because we recognized all the good things God had done over the summer to bless us. We had joy because we knew some things for sure. I'll share those things with you tomorrow.