Over the past few months I have been absent for long periods of time on 52 Sundays and my other blog Lincoln & Puppa and I want to take the time today to apologize and explain. First a little backstory, the following is a letter I wrote to my grandson Lincoln last year on Lincoln & Puppa.
I recently wrote to you and explained how in that past few months we experienced 2 great losses in our family, great grandpa Buck passed away on June 28 and great great grandma Laurel passed away on August 7. Now, just as most family members are beginning to adjust and move on with their daily lives, we found out yesterday that great grandma Boo has advanced cancer. The doctors tell us that the cancer has filled 2/3 of her left lung and that the rest of her lung has collapsed. She is only breathing with her right lung. The cancer has also spread to her brain. There is nothing that can be done for her, it’s too far advanced. Next week after some more tests we find out how long she has left.
Great grandma Boo has spent the last few years caring for great grandpa Buck and she may have ignored how she left and probably didn’t go to the doctor when she should have. The news was devastating to your Nana. Her mommy and daddy mean the world to her. It just seems so unfair right now and everyone’s questioning “Why God Why?”. For some in the family, their faith is beginning to waiver.
In the Bible Paul tells us: “God is faithful, and he will not let you be tested beyond your strength but with your testing he will also provide the way out so that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). Over time that promise has become abbreviated to “God will never give you more than you can handle.” Like many others, I’ve derived comfort from these words, though I know God does not “give” me loss, pain and grief.
Let me stress that this verse does not imply that God won’t let you be stressed beyond what you can bear.
Or challenged beyond your ability.
Or pushed beyond your threshold.In reality, God gives you more than you can bear all the time. On purpose.
It’s only when you can’t bear the load that the strength of Christ kicks in…
and He becomes everything you need and more.
Count your blessings, we’re told, but it’s just not in our nature. We’d rather count our problems. Our species survived by reacting instantly to threats, and the ancient humans who stopped to smell the roses made easier targets for predators.
Today, the predators are mostly gone, but we’re still so primed to pay attention to bad news that we tend to ignore what’s going well. As soon as we solve one problem, we take the progress for granted and find a new cause for alarm. Every now and again it doesn’t hurt to take stock of just how good we have it. I urge you to always count your blessings.
I guess what I’m trying to tell you is that there will be good times and there will be bad times in your life. It will be up to you how you deal with the bad times. For me I have learned to be thankful for what I have and not worry about what I don’t have. I’m thankful for every minute I had with great grandpa Buck and great great grandma Laurel. As I have told you before great grandpa Buck was the most influential person in my life, I don’t know where I would be if it wasn’t for him. We will concentrate on the time we still have with great grandma Boo instead of dwelling on losing her soon.
You have been such a joy in all our lives, I treasure every minute I have with you. Bear with us as we go down this path together again. We will get through this as a family, with much love, understanding, and faith that we will all be together again.
I love you Lincoln, Puppa
After Grandma Boo ( my mother in-law ) went through all the testing and countless doctor appointments, we were told that she had about 3 months left to live, and that treatments would not prolong her life but would make her time left more comfortable. What the doctors didn’t take into account is that Boo is a fighter. She smiled at the doctors and stated that cancer better be ready for a fight, she wasn’t going down easy.
Boo wasn’t supposed to be with us at Christmas;
Boo wasn’t supposed to be with us at St. Patty’s Day;
Easter….not suppose to be there:
Since then there has been other great moments, cookouts, trips to the casino, and lots of family around. Since last year my wife has spent a lot of time up north caring for her mom ( we live 2 1/2 hours away ). Unfortunately in the past few months Boo’s health has steadily declined, cancer is starting to win the battle. My lovely wife travels back and forth constantly, a day or two here to watch our grandson when our daughter has to work. But other than that she is lovingly caring for her mom. Boo, (mom) has told me more than once that Carol is her “Guardian Angel”. I couldn’t agree more.
When I can get away from work I make the 5 hour round trip, even if it’s just for the day, so that I can help comfort her. Mom and I have spent many early mornings in her little kitchen enjoying coffee, talking, and praying together. She knows God has a plan and she is ready for what God has in store for her. She is, and always has been, a strong and brave woman.
So, our days have been quite full the last year and especially the last few months. My plan was to write every other day, to my grandson and on this blog, but God, as always, had a better plan, and that was to care for my family through this difficult time, comfort Boo, and love and support my incredible wife.
We know that time is slipping away and soon God will call Boo home. Until then I pray every day for mom, my family and my wife. Today I share my prayer for my wife;
Lord, when we are infants, you partner with our parents in loving and caring for us. Our loving Boo is now elderly and is fighting a losing battle with cancer and I ask that you partner with your daughter Carol in giving her the same tender loving care. Give her the strength to be fully present for her mother and lovingly tend to her needs and give her the wisdom to take time out to tend to own physical, emotional and spiritual needs as she cares for her. Amen.
“Don’t you be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. Yes, I will help you. Yes, I will uphold you with the right hand of my righteousness”.
I now look to you, my friends, I ask for your prayers, an encouraging word and understanding during this difficult time.
May God bless you, Jay