Not for Nothing

I keep wondering what will be left.

After all the trying, all the hoping, all the tears, after everything has been thought through, said, whispered, and prayed.  When my plans can’t budge what is best.

I still don’t know the rest of my dad’s story, but I know who is the Gracious Storyteller, dare I say the Author.  There are pages that we can’t see…parts of the book where the ink isn’t visible to our teary eyes.  And even though I can’t see everything, and I twist and swing against my confusion, this story will end with Restoration.  With a healthy, cancer-free dad. No more tears, no more darkness.  No more disease.  No more death. No more leaving daughters and wives. I believe.

Tears that fall aren’t wasted.

And in the end, the end is
Oceans and oceans
Of love and love again
We’ll see how the tears that have fallen
Were caught in the palms
Of the Giver of love and the Lover of all.

Comings and Goings

The front door at my mom and dad’s house has a very busy doorbell.  Don’t even get me started on their phone…seems like everything there is ringing at once.

Sisters are coming in  from all directions, although we don’t ring the doorbell.  We just walk in, look for dad , hug mom and each other and go about the business of figuring out how to do this.

There isn’t one of us that knows what we are doing. Since every day brings something new, the fluidity of thought and motion  seems to work.  Not much can be proactive these days.  We are all in reactionary-mode.  “Are you cold, dad?”  Turn up the thermostat. “Do you feel like drinking some water now?”  Only two ice cubes. ” Watching to be certain he’s steady, answering questions and visiting, but where is he?  Where is he going?

His job was always to take care of us.  4 little girls, can you imagine?  A household of girls, girl things, and girl feelings, handled quite gracefully.  All we ever really set aside was his own bathroom and a boy dog.  Other than that, his devotion in life was to raise four daughters to adulthood, motherhood, godliness.

And now?  We are watching you, dad.  We are watching your kind eyes handle uncertainty with your typical steady resolve.  We are watching you so that you won’t fall.  We are flying in and calling and coming over so that we can see you smile that funny grin you have and giggle at the kitchen table with you and laugh together at all the funny family things that no one but the 6 of us know.

The other night I told you that mom loves you , and you said:  ” I love her more”.

I love you more, too.

White Flag Please

Today is a sad day.  Sad days make us want things to be different. Sad days create longing.  Sad days are teary ones.  Today has been a wet day.

I want answers now, but I wait.  I want to see clearly, but for now it’s dim.  I want to understand, but for now I live in patient confusion.

In the fight for faith, I know that blind eyes will see.  I know that liars will cease to speak. I know that hardest hearts will crumble into pieces and I know that knees will bend.

I really want to see sickness and death wave its white flag, but for now I just know it’s already done.  Accomplished.  And I didn’t do it.  I had nothing to do with it, but I live in that Victory.  Reminding myself of that is enough for today.

I offer You my yes

I don’t know what else to do these days except to keep walking.

Walking, for me, means doing what I know to do, behaving exactly like who I know I am, and listening to the One who knows everything.  For many of you, you already know that includes prayer, time alone , earphones and worship music.  Non-negotiables in my life. Absolute Must Haves.

Kathryn Scott never fails, although I can’t believe this one hasn’t captured my heart before now. It’s been waiting for me.  Lovely.

And this is every word of my heart today.  I will confess your goodness, God, no matter what.  Through the fire, through the pain, I still believe. I offer You my Yes.

We Still Believe

From the thankful heart to the battle-scarred

From the comforted to those who grieve

From the mountaintop to the empty cup

From the waiting to those who have received

We cry out as one

We still believe
We still believe
We still surrender in our hearts
Your faithfulness is our reward

We still believe
We still believe
And though the journey has been hard
We will confess your goodness, God
We still believe

From the reborn hope to the weary soul
From the quest for truth to those who see
From the soaring wings to the shattered dream
From the broken to those who have been healed
We cry out as one

Through the fire, through the pain
We offer you our yes again

Best Things

My Window is open again, and although I usually welcome these open windows of awareness and insight, and unanticipated opportunity, today I’m shivering in this breeze.

Have you ever suddenly cried when you meant to laugh? Or rolled your eyes in aggravation over something not the least little bit really significant? What about being so tired that all you can think of is sleep, but then sleep plays hide and seek until morning?

A very wise friend told me that all of these things…and more…are the shared experiences of some exclusive “clubs”.  The common denominator is Loss. In my case, it’s the serious illness club  of a parent.  My dad.

Despite evidence to the contrary, these kinds of things can bring out the best in families that have best things.

My sisters are “best things”.  Each of us brings ourselves to this, and it is awe-inspiring to see the gifts offered.  Organization, compassion, culinary genius, stubbornness, flexibility, devotion, prayer, laughter.  Oh, and lots and lots and lots of text messages.

My mom is a “best thing”.  57 years of in-love with her husband, and entirely, completely, without a doubt in her soul committed to for better or worse. All she has to do is walk in the room and he smiles. Wow.

My dad is the best thing. He knows he’s sick, but he is a one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of guy. Its amazing how sweetly comforting that is to the rest of us.  One amazing realization that I have recently had (at the hand of a very good friend) is that I know my dad.  I mean really, really know him.  He is available to be known, which I think is an incredible gift.

Well, and now not, his gift to us is his presence.