From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another. John 1:16

Friday, May 13, 2011

about to blow...

It's been a little over 2 months...10 weeks...72 days.  In the past, I don't remember going more than 2 days without talking to my Dad....more than a week without seeing his face. 

Some days, I find I wake up and Dad is right there in my mind.  Lately, I've had nights where I lay down to go to sleep and realize I haven't thought of him much at all that day.  Other days I feel like a champagne bottle whose cork has worked itself half way out of the bottle and if you tap it or bump into it, it will blow.  Its contents will burst out of the bottle with force and spray all over everything around it.  The champagne, you see, is under great pressure...bubbling, expanding, wanting to "let it all out".  The cork, however, has been assigned to hold it all in and is straining against the force of the sticky, sweet liquid with all of its might.  Part of me is the cork...holding it all in.  Part of me is the champagne...brewing, bubbling.  All around me, is the delicate glass that I fear will break if something whacks against me and causes the cork to dislodge.  On these days, more times than I can count, I feel myself about to blow...

All in all, I would have to say that we're all doing fairly well...all things considered.  We've made it through Lura, Brennan & Eli's birthdays, Liam's first soccer game, our 20th anniversary, Good Friday & Easter, Mother's Day and a field trip to a landfill.  None of these were easy days.  Each held their own pain.  Each brought memories of Dad being the first to call, being an usher at church, making days special, stuffing plastic eggs with coins & candy, honoring the mamma's around him, calling to see how things went, offering advice, giving directions.  Some of these memories & reminders are so filled with joy.  Others bring stabbing pain.  Yet in each of these days, God has graciously given each of us what we needed to make it through. 

I am sure that I would not have made it through without the love of Christ and the full assurance that I will one day see Dad again.  I have to remind myself of where he is now, the new body that he's been given (free of pain & suffering), and even reassure myself that given the chance, Dad wouldn't want to come back.  He is in the presence of the One who laid down His life for us.  He is worshipping at the throne of his creator and he is experiencing a joy that, to us, is unimaginable.  These truths have made me long for my heavenly home in a way I never did before.

I would not have made it through without the love and support of my Godly, patient, understanding and compassionate husband.  I would not have made it without the sweet smiles and hugs from my boys.  I have been drawn closer to my Mom, my sisters, my in-laws, my dear friends, and most importantly, my God.  God has given me the gift of seeing how many lives my Dad's touched.  He has allowed me to see the impact Dad had on so many people around him and it's made me want to be more like him in so many ways.

I know that as time stretches on, the days of sadness will lessen and the memories that make me so sad now will make me smile.  I know that just as He has for the past 72 days, God will give me exactly what I need to make it through each and every day.  For this, I will be eternally grateful.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Memorial Service

A Memorial Service honoring the life and faith of
 Richard L. Blosenski
June 11, 1944 - March 2, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

Community Evangelical Free Church
52 South Brick Lane
Elverson, PA 19520

We would be blessed to have you share special memories of Dad with us.  There will be a time during the service for you to do so.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"When he had said this, he breathed his last."

 Luke 23:44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

At 11:35 this morning, our dear, sweet Dad went home to be with the Savior who laid down His life for him.  It was a very peaceful moment, as Mom, Melissa, Lura, Aunt Nancy, Uncle Bobby, Doug and I sat around him singing Be Thou My Vision while Melissa played her violin.  We know full well that because Jesus breathed his last on our behalf, we can be with Him for eternity.  This seperation from Dad is painful...he took a piece of each of our hearts with him, but it is not permanent.  We have a promised eternity together, worshipping at the throne of the Creator of the Universe. 

Our hearts are broken, our bodies are tired, our eyes are dry from crying.  This is a bittersweet time for us as we rejoice in knowing that Dad is with Jesus and yet mourn his departure from this world. 

Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart,
naught be all else to me, save that thou art;
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light.
Be thou my wisdom, thou my true word,
I ever with thee and thou with me Lord;
Thou my great Father, I thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with thee one.
Be thou my battle shield, sword for the fight;
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight;
Thou my soul's shelter, thou my high tower:
Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise:
Thou mine inheritance now and always;
Thou and thou only first in my heart;
High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O Bright Heaven's sun!;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

I will update again once arrangements have been made.  In the meantime, please continue to pray for our family as you have faithfully been.  We would have not been able to walk this road with the peace we've had without our dear brothers and sisters interceeding on our behalf.

Monday, February 28, 2011


We would like to request no visitors today. We are exhausted and need these last moments with Dad to be quiet and peaceful. We would appreciate your continued prayers as we walk through the valley of the shadow of death.

Psalm 90
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
   throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
   or you brought forth the whole world,
   from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

 3 You turn people back to dust,
   saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
   are like a day that has just gone by,
   or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
   they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
   but by evening it is dry and withered.

 7 We are consumed by your anger
   and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
   our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
   we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
   or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
   for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
   Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
   that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

 13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be?
   Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
   that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
   for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
   your splendor to their children.

 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
   establish the work of our hands for us—
   yes, establish the work of our hands.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Precious in the sight of the LORD...

Psalm 116: 1 I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
   he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
   I will call on him as long as I live.

 3 The cords of death entangled me,
   the anguish of the grave came over me;
   I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the LORD:
   “LORD, save me!”

 5 The LORD is gracious and righteous;
   our God is full of compassion.
6 The LORD protects the unwary;
   when I was brought low, he saved me.

 7 Return to your rest, my soul,
   for the LORD has been good to you.

 8 For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,
   my eyes from tears,
   my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the LORD
   in the land of the living.

 10 I trusted in the LORD when I said,
   “I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
   “Everyone is a liar.”

 12 What shall I return to the LORD
   for all his goodness to me?

 13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
   and call on the name of the LORD.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
   in the presence of all his people.

 15 Precious in the sight of the LORD
   is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, LORD;
   I serve you just as my mother did;
   you have freed me from my chains.

 17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
   and call on the name of the LORD.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the LORD
   in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the LORD—
   in your midst, Jerusalem.

   Praise the LORD.

I turned over and hit the snooze button.  I laid back and thought, "What's on the agenda for today?"  I rolled onto my side.  That was when it hit a slap in the, we're taking Dad home to die.

Our time together at the hospital last night was bittersweet.  Dad has but one IV left, dripping fluids to keep him hydrated.  No other medicines are being given, unless he has pain.  He's asleep almost all of the time, with only moments of wakefulness and claritiy.  He knows when we're there, who we are, and how much we love him.  He knows that, today, he will go home.

Liam and Landis don't seem too aware of the graveness of the situation.  There are some indicators that they might but today, I need to really explain things to them.  God, give me the words and the strength.

Brennan is just quiet.  He knows all that is happening.  He'll go to the hospital with Nana this morning to wait for the ambulance to come.  Lord willing, he'll ride home in the ambulance with his dear, sweet Papa.  I'll go to Mom & Dad's with Liam and Landis to await the delivery of the hospital bed and the other equipment and medicines we'll need.

Yesterday, we celebrated Mom's 63rd birthday in Dad's hospital room.  When we left there, she went to the store to buy underpads, sheets, etc...  She said she stood in the checkout line thinking to herself that this is her birthday, the last one she'll have with Dad, and there she found herself buying things to take home to prepare for his death.  These are the common slaps back into reality that we're dealing with.

Something that has really struck us is that in the 35 days that Dad has been at LGH, none of us has heard one word of complaint come from him.  His doctors and nurses are now commenting on how sweet he is, how wonderful our family is to him, what good care we take of him.  God is allowing all of this for a reason.  The reason is beyond me but I know that it is good...everything He does is good.

I will post as often as I can.  In the meantime, please continue to pray as you have for our family and for Dad.  Pray especially for his 6 dear grandchildren.  If you'd love to visit, and we would love to have you do so, please call my cell at 610-220-8207 if you need directions and so that we can let you know if it's an okay time to do so.

I had this hymn pop into my head this morning and it is fitting.  Read all of the words.  They are comforting and true.  There is no safer place than beneath the cross of the One who died so that eternity with Him would be our reward...

Beneath the cross of Jesus
I fain would take my stand,
the shadow of a mighty rock
within a weary land;
a home within the wilderness,
a rest upon the way,
from the burning of the noontide heat,
and the burden of the day.

Upon that cross of Jesus
mine eye at times can see
the very dying form of One
who suffered there for me;
and from my stricken heart with tears
two wonders I confess:
the wonders of redeeming love
and my unworthiness.

I take, O cross, thy shadow
for my abiding place;
I ask no other sunshine than
the sunshine of his face;
content to let the world go by,
to know no gain nor loss,
my sinful self my only shame,
my glory all the cross.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

All the way my Savior leads me...

  1. All the way my Savior leads me,
    What have I to ask beside?
    Can I doubt His tender mercy,
    Who through life has been my Guide?
    Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
    Here by faith in Him to dwell!
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well;
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well.
  2. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Cheers each winding path I tread,
    Gives me grace for every trial,
    Feeds me with the living Bread.
    Though my weary steps may falter
    And my soul athirst may be,
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see;
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see.
  3. All the way my Savior leads me,
    Oh, the fullness of His love!
    Perfect rest to me is promised
    In my Father’s house above.
    When my spirit, clothed immortal,
    Wings its flight to realms of day
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way;
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way.

These words are running through my head tonight.  All the way, for many years, the Savior has led me (and my family) and He will continue to do so.  He simply can't stop leading us, being good to us, being faithful to us, loving us.

Today was a very difficult day.  Dad has pneumonia.  For the past few days, we've noticed that he coughs when he drinks anything.  More than likely, he's aspirated something into his lungs and now...pneumonia.  This coughing/choking might or might not be neurological.  Tonight or tomorrow, he'll have a brain MRI to check for changes since his last MRI.  He's now on honey-thick liquids so that he doesn't choke.  We've decided to discontinue the plasmapheresis treatments (there was to be one more, tomorrow) as that could put him at more risk with regards to the pneumonia.  He's on broad-spectrum IV antibiotics.  He's weak.  He's confused.  He wants to go home.

As of this evening, unless he improves significantly with the antibiotics, inpatient rehab is out of the question.  He could barely do anything in physical therapy today.  It took everything he had to get out of a chair and into the bed with the help of 2 nurses.  He did sit up in the chair for quite awhile and he ate a great dinner. He wanted a fountain Pepsi so I went and got him one and, once thickened, he had a few spoonfulls.  All in all, everything took alot of effort for him today.

At one point, Mom asked him if he wanted to talk.  He said no.  He said we should talk to Dr. Reddy, who was out in the hallway.  Mom asked if he wanted to talk to Dr. Reddy and he said yes.  "What do you want to talk to him about?", Mom asked.  "When I'm going to die", was Dad's reply.  "What do you think about that, Dad?", I asked him.  "About a week", he said.  Mom told him that only God knows and that Dr. Reddy had already said about 6 months.  "That would be great", he said...and then he drifted off to sleep.  When Dr. Reddy came in, Mom and I asked a few questions, talked to him about how Dad was doing, talked about the future a little.  Dad opened his eyes and smiled at Dr. Reddy.  I asked him if he wanted to talk to him about anything and he said no and just smiled at me.  I simply smiled back, not wanting him to know that right then, right there next to him, my heart was breaking into a million pieces. 

Tomorrow afternoon, we'll be meeting with the hospice team to talk about what the plan will be when we take Dad home.  They'll start gathering orders for all of the medicines & equipment he'll need at home.  If he doesn't improve with the antibiotics, enough to go to rehab, then we'll take him home.

Please pray for my Mom.  This is a hard road to travel.  She'll be 63 on Thursday.  I kinda think she's too young for this.  (I think my Dad's too young, too).  Pray for her safety, for peace, for deep & restful sleep.  Pray that she won't be overwhelmed when decisions need to be made, that she'll lean on Lura, Melissa & I to help her...and that she'd lean on Jesus even harder than she does on us.  Pray for Lura, Melissa & I to be good daughters to her & to Dad...that our time with them would be a blessing to them.  Pray that in all things, in all circumstances, we would honor God with our speech, our thoughts, our actions.  Pray for the nursing staff and the doctors, the hospice team, the PCA's...that the way we care for our father/husband would cause them to wonder what is different about our family...when compared to the people who have no one sitting by their side.  Pray that God, through us, might reveal himself to them.  Pray that we'd be reminded to read scripture to Dad and to turn the TV off more often.  Pray for our children.  They love their dear Papa.  Pray that we'd answer their questions gently and honestly.  Pray that our time with Dad would be sweet...I mean really, really sweet. 

Thank you for all you have done for us.  Thank you for your cards (Dad has more than any other patient on 8 Lime).  Thank you for your visits, too.  I've written down all your names (at Dad's request) and I'm pretty sure that there are nearly 90 names on my list.  Thank you for lifting us before the throne of grace.  Like Aaron and Hur did for Moses, you're holding up our hands.

Exodus 17:12 When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset.

Friday, February 18, 2011

a quick update...

Dad had a really good day today.  After his plasmapheresis treatment, he had a little lunch, then saw his internal medicine doctor, his oncologist, his neurologist, had PT, and we even took him outside to soak up a little sun (and he wore his hat almost all day long!)

His abdominal ultrasound shows NOTHING ABNORMAL!!!!!!!!!!!!  This means no metastasis to the liver, spleen, kidneys, gall bladder, pancreas or stomach!  What an answer to prayer!

After PT, we saw the representative from inpatient rehab and she said that he's tentatively approved by his insurance, and has a green light from PT.  That being the case, after 2 more plasmapheresis treatments, he'll be re-evaluated and if he continues to do as well as he is, will go to inpatient rehab as early as Wednesday.  Our goal in all of that is to be able to get him home with more ability to get around on his own.  If that happens, Dr. Reddy will determine whether or not he feels Dad can withstand chemotherapy.  At that point, we'll decide if visiting nurses or hospice is the best way to go.

God has surely been nothing but good to us...every minute of every day.  Thank you for kneeling before the throne of grace on our behalf.  We couldn't ask for more.