Sunday, July 5, 2009


I've been missing my dad a lot lately....little things here and there....that make me think about him and dream about him more often than not. He was diagnosed 4 years ago with cancer....I can't believe it has been that long feels like just yesterday that we were living trudging through it. He died a few short months later in November of 2005.
The other day I had to tell my children that Sara died. Sara was their aunt Melinda's boyfriend Matt's dog or Melinda's dog by it? Good! They loved Sara and were sad that she had died. They were also very surprised, because last time we saw her; she was fine. I explained that she had gotten sick, and the vet discovered that she had cancer; and soon thereafter she died. While driving in the car the other day, 5 year old....asked me "Why did Jayla die? She wasn't old. She was a little girl." I told her that Jayla was not old, but she was sick....she wasn't sick like Elliot had just been with a summer cold....but she was sick with a disease....cancer. Bryna said, "Like Sara?" "Yes like Sara!" Then I reminded her of Papa....which is what they called my dad. She was barely 2 when he died, so she doesn't remember a lot about him; but she knows that he died. I told her that some people just can't be cured of cancer, and they die; BUT sometimes they can be cured, and they grandma (NPayne's mama) who had cancer the year that Bryna was born and has been in remission every since her treatment ended. So she said, "Cancer is a bad thing!" And I think I'm going to have to agree wholeheartedly, and yes although God can and does bring good out of bad things....even cancer....I think "cancer is a bad thing!"
When my dad was first diagnosed, it was a true whirlwind....he went to the doctor for a pain in his hip....and the next thing we know he has cancer in his bones, his lungs and his brain....I mean literally in a matter of weeks, he had deteriorated. Unfortunately by the time this was discovered, it was really too late to do much to treat it. I hate to admit it, but I knew this from the beginning of the illness....I could see it on the oncologist's face every time I took him to the doctor....I knew from the look on the radiologist's face after he witnessed dad's first seizure....I just knew deep down in my soul that he wasn't going to get better. I struggled with this knowledge so much that I truly felt helpless....I didn't pray for a miracle healing, because I didn't believe it would don't misunderstand my thoughts and my beliefs as far as God and miracles go....I don't doubt, for one iota of a second, that God can heal whomever He chooses from whatever they are suffering from at anytime He chooses....I don't doubt, for one iota of a second, that God can perform miracles, I mean He created the world, so in my mind; any sort of miracle is undoubtedly something that He is capable of ....I don't doubt, for one iota of a second that God could have healed my dad; BUT I just didn't believe that He was going to choose that route for my dad....there was no sign from God or dream or voice or anything that led me to believe this other than I just felt it in my soul. I felt so hypocritical praying for something that I felt, in my soul, was NOT going to happen; and yes some may say that was doubting God....but I never doubted Him....I just believed that He was going to give my dad the ultimate healing....death and everlasting life. When my dad was first diagnosed, and I first confided to NPayne my feelings.....I was confused and guilt ridden....I didn't want my parents to think that I was just giving up on my dad and smash any will to live that he may have. I didn't know what to do....I didn't know what to do....I didn't know what to do. The doctors always gave me that "I'm so sorry" look, and my dad was getting so sick so fast. I was struggling so hard with the fact that I felt like I was failing my father, and the fact that I was going to lose him all at the same time; and I was trying to be so strong for my family....and it WAS HARD! What should I do? I knew I should be doing something, but what? One morning, I sat down at my computer in my dazed like fog and opened the following e-mail from NPayne...all it said was this....
This made me think of you and your dad.....
Passage 1 Thessalonians 5:16-19:
16 Rejoice always;
17 pray without ceasing;
18 in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward.
19 Quench not the Spirit;
From that moment on, I began to pray continually for my dad....I prayed for peace....I prayed for comfort....I prayed that the pain would go away....I prayed that he wouldn't be so grumpy to those who loved him....I prayed that he would remember my children when they visited him....I prayed that my mom, my disabled mom, would be able to survive without him....I prayed for good to come out of this life changing and hearbreaking situation....I prayed for it to all end whether that be by death or by healing....I didn't want him to suffer any longer. It was nearly unbearable to watch!
The other day, I was asked by a good friend of mine, who is a very private person, to pray for her son....he has many health issues; and they are trying desperately to improve his quality of life. Her e-mail began by saying that she knew we were all busy and had our plates full and maybe our prayer plates full as well, but that she had been nudged by God to ask us to pray. If we had the time, would we pray? I told her I always had time to pray and please never hesitate in asking me to do so. Then an update came, and there were some complications with her son; and she asked for more specific prayers. Again I responded, but this time I sent her the same e-mail that NPayne had sent me when my dad was ill. I shared with her how NPayne had sent me that e-mail when I was struggling with what to pray for and what to do in what seemed like such a hopless situation and how from that moment on, I realized how much God wants us to much I believe 100% in the power of much I believe that through all things God works for I believe that sometimes He answers Yes and sometimes He answers NO and sometimes your answer might not come until you are face to face with God Himself....and how that scripture is now my very favorite!!!! I carry it with me everywhere, and I think of it every single day.....sometimes it's the pray without ceasing part....sometimes it's the in everything give thanks part....sometimes it's the don't quench the spirit part....but there's always part or all of it that I think about.
As I was sitting at the lake on July 3rd with my friends who have lost 2 children, their first a few short months before my own father friends who have survived Leslie nearly losing her life during friends who have faith like a mustard seed....we were listening to a woman sing and play guitar. Her final song of the night...."I'll Fly Away"....the final song that was played at my dad's funeral....touche'! Knowing that he is healed brings such a feeling of relief, but it doesn't make me miss him any the less. I miss you Russell, Dad, Papa! We all miss you!

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