Upside Down

My dad is still in the hospital recovering from his surgery. From there he’ll go to a rehab facility to receive physical therapy as it’s been so long since he’s walked even a single step. But for now the concern is feeding him. He hasn’t eaten in 12 days according to my mom. Everything is in small steps and that’s ok. I wouldn’t expect things to suddenly be back on course so soon after such a surgery.

I feel as though someone took my world and turned it upside down. Like there we were going along just fine and there it is…cancer. And the worry that comes along with the word “cancer”. Because it’s not just a single word; it’s what “stage?”, are lymph nodes involved? and what does that mean? Google is not your friend. Pathology reports seem to take forever. And when the reports are ready do you really want to know what they say?  Of course you do. But there’s that part of you that doesn’t.

This song by Casting Crowns sums up how I feel.







Being ok

Since my dad has been diagnosed with cancer. I keep going between being “okay” and not being ok, like holding back tears not being ok. I find myself in prayer quite often. Praying for my dad, praying for more time, praying for God’s holy hand of healing to gather the cancer cells and whisk them away as only God can do. I ask The Father to give my mother strength and to keep her healthy. I pray for God to give my dads doctors the wisdom to treat him with the best possible medical treatments and therapies that exists. I pray for wise and compassionate nurses to care for him.

I have plenty of prayer warriors from church and outside church praying for my dad and my family and that touches my heart is such a special way. Because I know people mean it when they say they will pray for us.

I was able to spend most of my afternoon yesterday with my dad and mom in the hospital. As long as I was with my dad I felt fine and I felt like he was “fine” It’s when I’m not with him that my mind wanders and the worry and anxiety start to take over. Those are the times I need God the most. To lay the worry at His feet.

Today my dad is out of the ICU and in a regular room. I’m happy for the progress he’s made. I’m also glad I’ll be able to call him on his cell phone this way I can hear him being. “fine”

My Grandmother

I was reading another blog post about the writer’s grandmother and it made me think of my grandmother. She was the only grandmother I knew growing up and she was wonderful. Her name on her baptismal was Emilia but everyone called her Emily.  She wasn’t your typical kissy, huggy, “pinch your cheeks” kind of Grandma, instead we did kiss hello and it was only towards the end of her life did she want to hug you, however she was far from cold. You knew where you stood with her as she was very honest and rarely did you have to guess how she felt. She loved to craft and before arthritis set in she was extremely creative. To this day her family enjoys so much of her handiwork.

Grandma was born in 1910, September 14th. She had an alcoholic, abusive  father and was one of 6 children only 5 of which reached adulthood. One girl named Mary died of influenza I was told by her. Mary was 2 or 3 years old. My grandma was never educated past the 8th grade, she had to leave school and go to work to help support the family. When you spoke to her however you would never have known she had to cut her school years short. She was very sharp and on the ball. It took a lot to put something past her. She was also an excellent judge of character. When we were kids she would play all sorts of card games and Rummy Q with us. She was always there to teach us how to play some sort of game and help us with homework when she could. I remember math being the only subject she couldn’t help us with past the 5th grade.

She and my grandfather took us to church every Sunday. And in the spring and warmer seasons after church we would go to yard sales or flea markets. We loved that.

It wasn’t until I became an adult did I really appreciate her. I used to go to her house and help her clean and also change the curtains/drapes every other season. She wanted things just so and had specific directions almost perfectionist in nature. I didn’t mind though. I figured it’s her house why not do things the way she wants them done. I remember she wore Estee Lauder perfume and this orange/red lipstick whenever she left the house. After she died I looked at the lipstick and couldn’t think of any other person that color would look as good on. It was as if it were made specifically for her.

Growing up, holidays were held at her house, Grandma would bake a ton of pies for Thanksgiving and a ton of cookies for Christmas. The cookies were always served on this 3 tier china cookie server, it was so pretty. Christmas was my favorite holiday at her house. The tree was always decorated beautifully and just so. There was a Santa in his sleigh with 8 reindeer strewn across the top of the sun porch doorway. The rest of the doorways were adorned with the many Christmas cards that were sent to them. You couldn’t help but feel festive in that house.

When my grandfather died suddenly of a heart attack I was 14 years old. My grandmother was very stoic and reserved. I don’t remember seeing her cry but that doesn’t mean she never cried. I know she was devastated.  The holidays stopped being held at her house. My grandma also “stopped” in many ways. She changed her eating habits drastically and easily lost 20 pounds. She rarely cooked anymore. She would come to my mom’s house for dinner every Sunday. My sister and I would take grandma to her doctors appointments since she never learned to drive. She was always ready to give us money for gas which we fully appreciated.

I do miss her. I miss her honesty and directness. She wouldn’t say anything to hurt your feelings she just said it the way she saw it without malice.Every now and then my husband will say I remind him of my grandmother and I am flattered. To me it’s a huge compliment.

Life~I’ve been happy

LIfe’s been good.  Today is Thomas’ prom and we’re going, the whole family plus Alyssa’s boyfriend. We will have a good time I know. Thomas is really looking forward to it and on the phone happily told me all about the new clothes he recently shopped for along with new shoes.  He will look so handsome! We’re bringing him home after the prom and on Saturday we will celebrate my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary with a party. My sister did about all of the work related to the party. I can’t thank her enough.

Alyssa and I have toured 2 colleges in Manhattan.  She’s a junior in high school set to graduate next year. I can’t believe we’re looking at colleges for crying out loud, it seems like just yesterday she was in grade school and Samantha was just born.

So as my title says I’ve been happy. I love feeling this way. It’s so “normal” I’m not detached or depressed. I don’t feel like I have to “work” at being myself. It’s all good. I’m still seeing my therapist but it’s different now. I’m not searching for anything, mostly we just talk about life, or rather I talk about my life.  The “usual” circumstances that happen when you have children of various ages. It’s a good talk.

I really enjoy church. I’m really trying lately to understand “is God enough?” I feel like my eyes have been opened recently in realizing that I have other things and people in front of God and this is not right. I need for Him to be first. I want for Him to be first.  I’ve also stopped comparing my family to others. I didn’t realize I was doing this until I stopped and had a realization that God has given me the people in my family. He hand chose them and me to be together in this lifetime. I haven’t been discouraged in my walk with the Lord, rather He’s made me pause and think and appreciate all that I’ve taken for granted. My family, my husband and even God. I hope to have a more grateful approach to life.