2009 Reflections

December 30, 2009 at 7:09 pm | Posted in family | 1 Comment
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I’ve been meaning to do this for quite some time, but haven’t had the courage or the patience to sit down and write down my thoughts. It’s been a rollercoaster of a year that’s for sure. The  beginning of 2009 started with excitement and joy. In the end of February or the beginning of March (can’t remember exactly when) Mike and I found out that we were pregnant. We had decided to start trying for a baby in January, and within one month’s time, God decided to bless us with our little Lily bean. It was a wonderful first couple of months, as we had the joy of telling all of our family and friends that we were pregnant. My dad was especially excited, and was practically screaming in the phone when we told him. He let out a couple of wahoos! If you know my dad, that kind of reaction isn’t a surprise, seeing as he was one of the goofiest guys on the planet.

In the midst of our excitement, my dad had started intense radiation therapy in the Spring for reoccurring brain tumors that became evident in the beginning of April. This treatment was tough, but I always thought that he would push through it, like he did everything else. My dad struggled with cancer for 7 years, surviving a surgery that took out his kidney, a gallbladder surgery, a hernia surgery, and the removal of a brain tumor in 2005. I guess kids always think that their dads are immortal, but with the amount of stuff my dad lived through, I was beginning to think that he really was!

However, at the end of May, and towards the beginning of June, things started to go downhill. My dad lost all mobility in his left side, and had to be permanently hospitalized at the VA Medical center, since my mom and I were unable to care for him on our own. The rest of the summer of 09’ was bittersweet, as we cherished every second of time that we got to spend with my dad, but also watched him deteriorate before our eyes.  During that time, the evidence of my dad’s influence on people was incredible to see, as he had visitors come to his bedside everyday. Some of the people that had come to visit him, I had never even seen before in my life. Even my parent’s exterminator came to visit him in the hospital! Even though, we knew he was nearing the end, it was a precious time, as we got to pray together, and sing hymns together with his church family, and also read Scripture together.

The end finally came for him on August 12th, but only for his flesh. He still is experiencing immortality and eternal life in heaven with Jesus face to face, and also through his testimony and influence. My dad had the incredible blessing of looking death in the face, and living in the reality of his own mortality. Every day is precious and meaningful.

It all started 7 years ago for him, when he first found out that he had cancer that the gospel became more beautiful and precious than it had ever been before.  He began to evangelize and share the gospel fervently, with the philosophy that he had nothing to lose. My dad was certainly not embarrassed or ashamed of the gospel, and made it known repeatedly to everyone he encountered. It was awesome to watch my dad share the gospel, because no one could deny such a radical conversion. My dad was the definition of a “baby boomer.” He was a Vietnam vet, that had abused drugs and alcohol. He had been married before he met my mom for three years, and had a child, but because of his alcohol abuse, the marriage did not work out. Through the influence of Alcoholics Anonymous, my dad met the Lord, and was never the same again. My dad also struggled with post war traumas of PTSD, from being wounded in combat. He dealt with schizophrenia for his entire adult life. Despite all of his wrong choices, and unfortunate circumstances, Jesus saved him and delivered him from a life wrought in pain and destruction. My dad was keenly aware of his need for a Savior, and knew that it was only because of the Lord, that his life had any sense of normalcy, joy, and satisfaction.

Dealing with the loss of my dad was tough, but with the coming of the Fall came comfort in knowing that he was with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His struggle was over, and now he was able to experience eternal life in a glorified body.

And Finally…

November came, and our long expected baby Lily Grace, came into the world on November 19th. She came 6 days late, and was born at 3:15 in the afternoon after only about a half hour of pushing, and 12 hours of labor. God bestowed such grace on me, by allowing me to have such an easy pregnancy and easy delivery. I was afraid with the stress of everything going on with my dad, that I was putting the baby’s health in jeopardy. God was merciful though, and brought both of us through it healthy and happy.

This year was definitely memorable and had it’s share of highlights and hard times, but this verse continued to stick with me through it all..

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”


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