It’s funny how life works sometimes. On this day last year I wrote the following:
You can read it by clicking here.
What are the odds that exactly one year later I would be writing a blog from the family waiting room of the Marshfield Hospital ICU department as my dad fights his way back from 7+ hours of emergency brain surgery? Early this morning he suffered a very serious stroke due to an aneurysm in his brain. The surgery went as well it could, but he is a very long way from being out of the woods. While were hoping and praying for the best we have to keep the sobering realization of what reality could likely hold in the back of our minds. Over the next few days we’ll see if he can clear the first hurdle. Then 7-10 days later we’ll see if he can clear another hurdle. He keeps fighting a good fight he’ll have another 6 months of hurdles to keep clearing.
As Dad puts up his fight, it was surprisingly easy to find many things to be thankful for today. It seems almost wrong, like I should be only focused on the negative, but I almost can’t help but run into something I am grateful for.
Our families were here seemingly instantly to help support Dad, us, and one another. They stayed throughout and helped each other and each of us. As they had moments of strength they helped those that had moments of sadness. Every so often the roles reversed, and then reversed, and then reversed. In between there moments of laughter, stories, memories, and bonding. Many, many hugs were around all day. Everyone stayed through the day and will be back tomorrow. Even the family members who were not able to make it were involved, sending texts, messages, pictures and calls. I was surrounded by family.
I was able to meet Dad’s pastor, Pastor Glenn, and he helped me through a couple of rough patches. We bonded over our shared passions of home brewing and carpentry. His prayer with the family at the end of the day really helped get my head back in a good place. The time with my family was filled with love, Pastor Glenn helped me remember God’s love, something I really needed today.
My friends and work family have been amazing. Offering calls, offering up watching the kids, places to stay, lighting candles for Dad, driving down to give a hug and all the like. Many prayers are headed his way and to all of us, and each is incredibly appreciated. Thank you so much to Kelsey and Adam for taking care of the boys and keeping them occupied, we are very thankful for you two!
One of my work partners was huge rock, helping to keep me steady. Reminding me to be strong when I need to be, finding time to crumble when I’m alone, and sharing stories that touch my heart and remind me to keep faith.
Nancy and I have had a chance to bond more than ever, helping each other with hugs, long walks, giving Dad a hard time ;), and reminding each other of the presence of God in this situation.
When Nick walked into the waiting room this morning it was surreal experience. As he walked in I realized that this was really real. I couldn’t run and hide from it, this was reality. Throughout the day we’ve been together, holding each other up when needed, helping the other laugh, working through reality, hugging, and sharing the occasional cry together. Through this difficult time we’ve been closer than we’ve been in a very long time. Some moments it feels like we’re the adults we really are, and others it feels like we’re little kids again just trying to help each other hold on.
Becky’s my rock, my foundation, my everything. With her by my side I have no fear and I can make it through anything life throws at me because she makes me stronger.
I’m thankful that Dad’s still here. His eyes are closed, but I know that somehow, some way he can hear me whisper in his ear as I ask him to please come back, I need him. I’m not ready to let him go. As soon as I’m done typing I’ll go into his room and pray with him, for him, plead my case for him to The Big Man Upstairs. I’m thankful that he’s still here, he’s still got a chance, he’s still got time… I’ve still got time with him.
Between all of these there’ve been so many little but wildly meaningful moments today that will continue to resonate in my head and heart.
With all of this going on I’m amazed that I don’t quite feel like my faith has been tested. God is with me, my family, and my dad. When I have felt weak I know He is with me comforting me. When I feel strong I know it’s because He’s holding me up. I’m really not a fan of His plan right now, but His will be done. I know He feels my pain and sadness, and it reminds me of Jesus praying in the garden… as He asked, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” If there is anything I can do to help this go in my direction I will, but I am prepared to accept His will.
I’m so very grateful for the prayers, love and support from my friends and family today. Together we laughed, we hugged, we cried, we prayed… together we loved Dad and each other today. For that I am thankful.