Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My Dad

I took an unplanned, unintentional break from blogging, in fact, hardly looked at the computer for a week. I sometimes am on here more than I should be, but this week I've had no desire to, even for simple e-mailing. Life has been full of, well, "stuff!" One major thing that has been going on for about a year now is trying to find a diagnosis for my 19 year old daughter, Karen. She has some kind of mystery condition that is having a major impact on her life. It's been misdiagnosed as epilepsy, considered narcolepsy, she has some similar symptoms as people with MS, but two MRI's, six EEGs, and a sleep study later, no answers. (We really thought the narcolepsy was it, and just found out this week that the results were negative). We'll continue with the next step when she comes home from college...

Anyway, this card is made with a photo of my Dad. I'm not sure who took it, generally he did all the picture taking. He was a school teacher - I had him for History, economics, and psychology. (I learned my love of History through Dad - though admittedly not in the classroom, lol, but at home, during after dinner chats at the table). He had a great love for outdoors; he loved mountain climbing, fishing, camping, etc. For a few summers he helped direct a couple of camps in New England. I was so excited when I saw this picture and remembered this smARTworks stamp set - a perfect match!

I also wanted to share the neat legacy that my father left his grandchildren. Just after Christmas of 2004, my father was diagnosed with chronic leukemia, a cancer that normally is very treatable, and does not result in death. So I did not really worry about him, and continued with our plans for a one week missions trip to Cuba. But when we returned, we discovered that disease had morphed to acute leukemia. He did not respond to the treatments. Early in March they tried one last drug. But, Dad got pneumonia, and the doctors said there was nothing else they could do, and released him. My uncle, a retired physician, came to stay with my parents, and hospice also helped out. We had about a week with Dad, whose hospital bed was placed in the living room, though he was in a coma the last few days. It was very difficult, but as my mom says, a very “holy” time as my family – my husband, Bruce, and I, my brother, two sisters, their spouses and 12 grandchildren ages 3 to 18 -- all spent as much time as we could there. We had many hours of just sitting around Dad singing old sons, and praise and worship songs, including one all night vigil. My father loved the Lord, loved his family, loved music; I am so grateful we were allowed that time. On one of the last days that he was still conscious, all the grandchildren were gathered by his bedside to say goodbye (all but one live some distance away). Dad was really weak at that point, communicating in more of a whisper. But as the grandchildren gathered around his bed one last time, he suddenly raised himself up on one arm and with his other hand pointed upward and with all the voice he could manage he exhorted them, “Stay close to Jesus! Stay close to Jesus!” It was a powerful moment. I felt like I was back in the time of the patriarchs, where the dying father put his hands on his sons for the blessing… Thank you Lord, for an awesome dad.


Susan T said...

It's a great card, Sarah. And what a great idea for a scrapbook page!

I enjoyed hearing about your dad, and how blessed you were by not only his life, but also in his death. God is good!

Sharon in NE said...

What a powerful and special legacy he left. That is incredible. You are very blessed. My father's passing is slow, arduous and sadly degrading. I pray that the memories of this will not blot out the sweet ones we had with him in his normal life.

I look forward to meeting your dad someday. :)

Diane said...

Sarah, what a beautiful post--beautiful in every way. I've been spending much less time on the computer too...just as a personal discipline, but I'm so glad I decided to visit you today.

What a powerful portrait of your father! It is an amazing legacy to see someone of his influence focused so squarely on what matters most...our walk with the Lord.

Even in the saddest moments we have, God finds amazing ways to bless, doesn't He? So thankful you shared about your father...and your FATHER....so we could share the blessing!

Michelle Adams said...

Thank you for sharing this story about your dear Dad. You have blessed me today. Blessings to you and your family.