Monday, May 11, 2009

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i just got off the phone with a close family friend of mine. his dad is dying. i grew up with this family and they are like cousins to me. i couldn't even stay on the phone long enough to ask to talk to his mom because i couldn't compose myself. i can't imagine what it's like to have to hear from so many people how sorry they are because of such a horrible thing is happening. to hear how calm my friend's voice is, i don't know what to make of it. don't get me wrong, i know it's killing him. he's taken care of his dad the past several months. i just don't know if it's where you just can't cry anymore or the reality of it all has yet to sink in.

please, no comments on this post. just pray that God surrounds this family with the support they need in this time of sadness.

1 comment:

Melissa said...

I know you said no comments, but I have to share..

In January my mom was told that her arteries were hardened and that she had 2-10 years, at best, left... and it just about crushed my world.

My mom has always had health issues. She takes after my Grandfather who was forced to retire after he had his first heart attack at age 40, he had an enlarged heart, high blood pressure and smoked his entire adult life. He had another heart attack and died at 60. My mom has ALL of those problems, including the nicotine addiction, as well as high cholesterol. DESPITE all of that, my mom seems so healthy. Despite fighting heart issues most of her adult life, she's never have a heart attack and she's never been hospitalized or anything. When she was my age (29) she was told that she would have a stroke any day, but she never did. She's energetic, she teaches dance, she looks amazing for her age (almost 54)... and yet she was being told that her arteries were hardened to the point where there was no way to correct it.

It was a really hard bit of information to take in... I'm not sure how my mom was handling it, but on the phone she sounded so at peace with everything. And maybe to her I sounded at peace with it all, too, but I wasn't. I was a mess. I cried every night. I was so sad, and yet there were only a couple of people I felt I could confide in about it... It just hurt too much to repeat, ya know? Even when I opened up about it at the Furguson's Prayer Group, I had to stop mid-sentence because I couldn't finish. It took me about 5 minutes to compose myself, before I could finish..

a part of me wanted to be able to die, too.

For me, the worst part of it was, thinking about my life without my mom in it. Sure we don't see eye to eye on many things, but she has always been there for me... even when I had no friends, even after she re-married, my mom would always make hanging out with me a priority. I could not imagine getting married, having kids, or any of that crazy adult stuff without her there... The idea was heartbreaking.

Part of me thought that thinking of MY life without HER in it seems so selfish. I should have been concentrating of her, but instead all I could do was think about how it would effect me. And I felt guilty.

We prayed about it. I prayed about it every night until I was in tears. We prayed about it at Prayer Group. I asked my closest friends to pray for my mom.

There was a point where I was crying and talking to Patrick on Facebook every night. And then he said something about never knowing when you'll die, he said that my mom could die tomorrow. I got a little pissed, but then Patrick went on to explain what he meant was that no one knows what the next day brings, that any one of us could get hit by a bus tomorrow and we wouldn't even know what hit us. And as strange as that sounds, it really put things in perspective..

you never know when you say "goodbye" to someone for good.

It was shortly after that I realized none of this matters. It doesn't matter if my mom has clogged arteries. It doesn't matter if my mom isn't around in the future. What matters is that God loves us. He is reaching out to us. God has many gifts for each of us, and sometimes those gifts are beyond this physical world.

I think my mom realized that then, too... because she started going back to her church, for the first time in decades. And now she goes almost every Sunday.

About three weeks after the doctors diagnosed her with hardened arteries... she went back for more testing, and somehow her arteries had softened.

I know this doesn't help your friend's dad. But, sometimes it helps to know that when people say something as cliche as "I feel your pain" or "I know where you are coming from" they really do mean it...

I will pray for your friend, for his dad, and their entire family. I'm going to pray for you too...