The summer in 2010 was a great one for us! My husband had to travel for his job and we were having a great time tagging along. We stayed in Detroit 1 week and in Kansas City 3 weeks. The boys were loving their time “living” in a hotel! The time in Kansas City was great and our days were packed with activities.
We came back home by the end of August and were getting organized for the school year. We were determined to start the year off strong. My oldest son was in 2nd Grade and I had ordered Adventures in My Father’s World. I had their binders ready, had ordered the library books and made photo copies we needed for that month’s lessons. I had been working on my Home Binder and was feeling more settled and organized with my life as a homeschool mom of 4 boys.
The school year before this was challenging as we were recovered from my pregnancy and I was getting used to handling lessons with a baby in the home. I felt like I finally was used to the recent changes in our family and was finally back in control! I was committed to making this year a success! I am a planner by nature and I found comfort in seeing all my plans organized and on paper!
The word of God says in Proverbs: “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
An afternoon, in middle of September I got the call: My mother told me my father was diagnosed with Stage IV tongue cancer.
Everything after this phone call was a whirlwind. Life seemed so foggy and everything was happening so quickly. At the same I felt like everything in my life came to a standstill. I was consumed with conflicting thoughts and feelings. At times I felt like this nightmare would never end, but then I considered how the possible ending would be so much more frightening than the nightmare itself. The nightmare went on for 9 months and everyday was unbearable. I felt denial and anger when I first heard the C-word over the phone. I felt so afraid to face this “monster” head on, to hear the treatment plan from the doctors in person. To hear of the side effects and the prognosis was terrifying, but to have my parents go by themselves was unacceptable. So I went with them to my father’s first appointment.
I will never forget my father’s expression when the doctor explained to him the treatment process…the usual chemo and radiation…but in preparation for the radiation he was going to have to pull out all of his teeth. The doctor went on to explain the toll the treatment would have on his body and the prognosis. The room was so quiet. My parents looked so helpless. The posture and expression on my father’s face made me see how weak and defeated he felt. We were all so overwhelmed with all the decisions we had to make. We had so little time to think about the decisions as we made them but knew how his life depended on each one. These were life and death decisions that would no doubt determine success or failure in this war we were forced to fight. A challenge so different to any other we had ever faced as a family. Failure in this case would mean no second chances, no rethinking alternatives.
The loneliness that consumed me was debilitating. A terminal illness can be so isolating for both the person that is sick and for the family. I look back and am so grateful to all the friends and family that were there for us and walked with us and sacrificed so much for us. In spite of all the support and love we always had, and even though we were always there for each other, the loneliness was eerie. It was an emptiness and desperation only the Lord could soothe. It felt so strange to look around and wonder how the rest of the world can go on “normally” when my world seemed to be coming down on me. People were still getting married, having babies, celebrating, laughing and my world was in complete chaos…it was like it had come to a complete halt!
It’s now September again and things are starting to feel “normal”. The year is planned, I prepared the boys’ binders, picked up their library books, made the photocopies for the month. We are all excited and it looks like it’s going to be a great year. In the back of my head I can’t help but be reminded of September 2010 and how life did and still can change in a moment.
So much happened and so much was lost in those 9 months. My Earthly daddy is no longer with me. He passed away in his sleep July 9th, 2012. This loss changed my life, my faith and the way I run my household forever! Though I am still the same person, I still find comfort in my plans and in the structure that I set in my home and homeschool, I now have a higher appreciation for my heavenly “daddy’s” Sovereignty. His Word says: “Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” I still move on with excitement with my plans but now I first submit them to God and they are only tentative. I expect great things this year but am aware that in the end God determines what “great” will look like…and as a child of God there is no better place to be in then in the center of His Will.