Monday, April 5, 2010

Grandpa's Cancer, Easter, and floor update

Several things has happened since my last post. Some happy, some not so happy. :-(

The floors turned out okay so far. I have s step down into my living room and that is the only thing that is not finished. Hopefully that will be done this week. We had a rug made for the living room and I just got a phone call saying it was ready. :-)

Last Sunday my grandpa was admitted to the hospital because he was having severe abdominal pain and had not been able to eliminate his bowels in a month properly. Turns out he has stage 4 cancer that started in his pancreas and has metastasised into other parts of his body. It is terminal and he has only been given 6 months - 2 years to live. My mom and other members of my family have taken this news bad. My mom flew down from AL on the 31st of March to be here during the decision making process. I can't even describe my feelings about this. Sometimes I am like why is everyone so upset, if this is God's will it will be done. My grandfather is a Christian and I have comfort I will see him in the Kingdom of Heaven one day. On the other hand I don't want to see death anymore and I wish he did not have to face this. It is horrible to know your time is limited. I know that none of us know when we are going to die. It would be today or when we are 90, but to know you have as much or little as 6 months??!! I don't want him to leave us.

Thinking about death again so soon after Logan has started a new emotional roller coaster of anxiety, stress, and depression. Saturdays are hard for me. Every Saturday marks one more week apart from my miracle boy. Something as simple as the age of a patient sent me into a neat panic attack. I had a lady come in for a simple noncritical reason to the ER. She was 98 years old. Sharp as a tack still. She had no serious health issues and still did many things on her own. All I could think was wow 98. Then I felt angry that Logan did not get to make it 1 and how my grandpa is still able body and has this sickness within him that is going to take him before he is 65. Then I started thinking about how healthy this lady still looked. Then I thought I'll never make it to 98 because how unhealthy I continue to live. That rolled into thoughts of Jacob and the chance that he will need life long care. I don't want him to live in a nursing home because I am to fat to take care of him or because I die from being such a fat ass my entire life. So I vow that I just ate my last chocolate bunny and I am making better judgements for my life so I can be here for my family able to doing for myself and others until God chooses to take me home.

Easter was wonderful. We went to our church. My mom came and so did Jack's parents. The babies and Ava were dedicated. I pledge infront of God and my entire church family at Journey Church to live a Godly lifestyle for my family and do my best teach our children about our Savior. I have been praying with Ava every night before she goes to bed for about 3 weeks now. Open prayer as a family is something we had lost over the past year. We all pray still but I never involved Ava except for at the dinner table every now and then. It is so cute and makes my heart full of joy to watch her. She lays in her bed and I tell her it is time to pray. She folds her hands together and puts them under her chin and looks down. I tell her to close her eyes, but usually when I am done and I look up she has her eyes open looking at the tv. It has become a routine with her though. I have noticed good changes in her. She not been as mean towards others manly her father. Back on track now. After a WONDERFUL church service. She had an Easter egg hunt at the church with other toddlers in her class. Then we went to Outback for lunch with my mom and Jack's parents. We stopped by Logan's grave and left him an Easter lilly. After that we went to the hospital to see my grandpa. He got to hold the babies and Ava sat next to him in his bed. It was nice to finally get to take them up there. Then it was time to go home for nap time!

Jack is home from work sick today :-( Ava is still working on potty training. Jacob is much more allert than he has been in a while. He smiles alot more now. I am joyful to see him express when he is pleased lol. Andrew is rolling over now from him back to his stomach. I have been putting them together more like I did when they were smaller. They have been in seperatae cribs since mid Febuary and I realized they really don't spend that much time next to each other anymore. So I have been putting them in the same crib for nap time and letting them spend time together on the play mate. They are both sleeping now.

I got this from an email from Faye. She is so wonderful to me even though she lives so far away. I love the encouragement she sends to me and I thought I would pass this along to others who have thorns in their lives.

The Blessing Of Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her shoes as she pushed
against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had
been easy, like a spring breeze. Then in the fourth month of
her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her

During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son.
She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her
husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose
annual holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not

What's worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her
grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to
empathize with others who suffer. "She has no idea what I'm
feeling," thought Sandra with a shudder.

"Thanksgiving? Thankful for what?" she wondered aloud. For a
careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-
ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of
her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?"

The shop clerk's approach startled her.

"I....I need an arrangement, "stammered Sandra. "For

Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to
challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the
Thanksgiving Special?" asked the shop clerk.

"I'm convinced that flowers tell stories," she continued.

"Are you looking for something that conveys 'gratitude' this

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted out. "In the last five months,
everything that could go wrong has gone wrong. " Sandra
regretted her outburst, and was surprised when the shop clerk
said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

Then the door's small bell rang, and the shop clerk said, "Hi
Barbara...let me get your order." She politely excused herself
and walked toward a small workroom, then quickly reappeared,
carrying an arrangement of greenery, bows, and long-stemmed
thorny roses.

Except the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped...there
were no flowers.

"Want this in a box?" asked the clerk.

Sandra watched for the customer's response. Was this a joke?
Who would want rose stems with no flowers!?! She waited for
laughter, but neither woman laughed. "Yes, please," Barbara
replied with an appreciative smile.

"You'd think after three years of getting the special, I
wouldn't be so moved by its significance, but I can feel it
right here, all over again," she said as she gently tapped her

"Uhh," stammered Sandra, "that lady just left with, uhh... she
just left with no flowers!"

"Right...I cut off the flowers. That's the Special... I call
it the Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet.

"Oh, come on, you can't tell me someone is willing to pay for
that?" exclaimed Sandra.

"Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much
like you feel today," explained the clerk. "She thought she had
very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to
cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs,
and she was facing major surgery."

"That same year I had lost my husband, "continued the clerk,"
and for the first time in my life, I had to spend the holidays
alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too
great a debt to allow any travel.

"So what did you do?" asked Sandra. "I learned to be thankful
for thorns," answered the clerk quietly. "I've always thanked
God for good things in life and never thought to ask Him why
those good things happened to me, but when bad stuff hit, did I
ever ask! It took time for me to learn that dark times are

I always enjoyed the 'flowers' of life, but it took
thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the
Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted, and from
His consolation we learn to comfort others.

"Sandra sucked in her breath as she thought about the very thing
her friend had tried to tell her. "I guess the truth is I don't
want comfort.

I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God."

Just then someone else walked in the shop.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted the clerk to the balding, rotund man.

"My wife sent me in to get our usual Thanksgiving arrangement
....twelve thorny, long-stemmed stems!" laughed Phil as the
clerk handed him a tissue-wrapped arrangement from the

"Those are for your wife?" asked Sandra incredulously. "Do you
mind me asking why she wants something that looks like that?

"No...I'm glad you asked," Phil replied. "Four years ago my
wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a
real mess, but with the Lord's grace and guidance, we slogged
through problem after problem.

He rescued our marriage. Jenny here (the clerk) told me she
kept a vase of rose stems to remind her of what she learned from
"thorny" times, and that was good enough for me. I took home
some of those stems. My wife and I decided to label each one
for a specific "problem" and give thanks to Him for what that
problem taught us."

As Phil paid the clerk, he said to Sandra, "I highly recommend
the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life."
Sandra said to the clerk. "It's all too... fresh."

"Well," the clerk replied carefully, "my experience has shown me
that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's
providential care more during trouble than at any other time.

Remember, it was a crown of thorns that Jesus wore so we might
know His love. Don't resent the thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the
accident, she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take those
twelve long-stemmed thorns, please," she managed to choke out.

"I hoped you would," said the clerk gently. "I'll have them
ready in a minute."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?" asked Sandra.

"Nothing." said the clerk.

"Nothing but a promise to allow God to heal your heart. The
first year's arrangement is always on me. "The clerk smiled and
handed a card to Sandra.

"I'll attach this card to your arrangement, but maybe you'd like
to read it first."

It read:

"Dear God, I have never thanked you for my thorns. I have
thanked you a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my
thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear; teach me the
value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed closer to you
along the path of pain.

Show me that, through my tears, the colors of your rainbow look
much more brilliant."

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