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 me...like a slap in the face...today, 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.